Race, the foreclosure crisis and American apartheid.

The foreclosure crisis has been gripping the country for  several yars now, with President Obama catching heat recently over his failure to sign legislation that some say would help lessen the crisis.

That Americans of all background have been hit by the forcelousre is well-documented. However, a recent study by Princetion scholar Douglas Massey shows a racial dimension to the crisis’ origins and impact.

Massey and co-author Jacob Rugh analyzed data from the top 100 residential areas, finding that residential segregation created a niche for real estat agents to exploit.

They did so with vigor.

Massey wrote previously about residential segregation in a sobering and somewhat bleak look at Chicago that he co-authored with Nancy Denton called American Apartheid.  As the name suggests, the work found convincing evidence of separate and unequal treatment in housing and other arenas in America’s third-largest city.

His most recent work, 20 years later and with a national perspective, suggests that little has changed.  What is different about this work is its pointing out how “all of us” pay the price for the exploitation of some of us.


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