It is amazing — and depressing — to look back and understand how we arrived at this place in race relations. At its core, the underlying prejudice and income inequality just moves the focus of the hatred from one place to another.
When the housing act was amended again in 1998, after welfare reform, the new law had a suggestive name: The Quality Housing and Work Responsibility Act.
“This is what John Winthrop would have called it in Puritan Boston in the 1630s,” Vale says. “The assumption that’s built into it is that the people who need these deep subsidies have somehow a moral failing that makes them incapable of affording the housing. It’s not about structural unemployment, it’s not about how maybe they are working full-time at a low-wage job that doesn’t cover rent.”