BREAKING NEWS: The DC Police Project Petition.
BREAKING NEWS: Lawsuit Filed Against Ferguson Police.

Ferguson shows failed US policy and the black–white housing gap

By Andre F. Shashaty

Special to the JA from New America Media

On the surface, the unrest in Ferguson, Mo., was about local police using deadly force on an unarmed young man. But on a deeper level, it reflected the increasing poverty and economic decline that affects ethnic communities all over America.

Despite rosy reports in the media about the end of the national foreclosure crisis and the recession that followed, all is not well in our inner cities and suburbs with largely minority populations, like Ferguson.

The foreclosure crisis was hard on many Americans, but it was a disaster for communities of color, including the citizens of Ferguson.

Half of Ferguson Homes Underwater
In the zip code that encompasses Ferguson, half (49 percent) of homes were underwater in 2013, meaning the home’s market value was below the mortgage’s outstanding balance. This condition
(also called “negative equity”) is often a first step toward loan default or foreclosure, according to the recent report, “Underwater America,” from the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society at the University of California, Berkeley.

Mortgage lenders targeted predominantly black and Hispanic areas for the highestrisk, highest–cost types of mortgage loans, such as adjustable–rate mortgages and loans with high prepayment penalties. This led to higher–than–average default rates, according to the Housing Commission established by the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington, D.C.

Many of the families that were sold risky mortgages had good credit, decent incomes and everything else necessary to qualify for traditional long–term, fixed–rate loans. Yet, they were not offered those kinds of loans, but instead “steered into exotic and costly mortgages they did not fully understand and could not afford,” the commission said.

This “deliberate targeting of minority areas for the sale of risky and expensive See Housing on 13A

Speaking Truth to Power: Why did Linda Brune register as a whistleblower?

By Alice Thomas–Tisdale

Jackson Advocate Publisher

Part II

Last week in Part I, I reported that Linda Brune was retaliated against by City officials and forced from her job after she was interviewed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation regarding the illegal conduct of City Councilmen Robert Williams and Louis Armstrong.

Brune filed a lawsuit which contained several claims, including retaliation and racial discrimination. The jury’s $50,000 verdict on her race discrimination claim was upheld by the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. In its decision, the court stated:

“Defendant–Appellant City of Jackson, Mississippi (“the City”) appeals a judgment in favor of Plaintiff Appellee Linda Brune for violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, codified at 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. (“Title VII”). We affirm the judgment.

…The jury found by a preponderance of the evidence that the following complaints by Brune did result from intentional racial discrimination:… she was treated differently from similarly situated black employees after being interviewed by the FBI …”

The entire court decision is located at
See Brune on 13A

A good public work!

You may have seen these guys around town. The City of Jackson employees are hard at work sprucing up city streets to make it easier for motorists to stay within their lane. Worker Randy Bolden was also making sure he stayed within the lines as he repainted wording on Monday at Old Canton Rd. and Northside Dr. (Advocate photo: Alice Thomas– Tisdale)

Tougaloo students complete 10–week program at UMMC

Diva Whalen elected Tougaloo’s 2014–2015 SGA President

Diva Whalen is the President of the Student Government Associa _on at Tougaloo College. She is a senior biology major. She graduated from Clinton High School and began her journey at Tougaloo in 2011. Diva is the daughter of Maurice and Terri Whalen of Clinton, MS. Along with her President posi_on in the Tougaloo Student Government Associa_on, she is a member of Beta Beta Beta na– _onal honors biological society, Sigma Xi na_onal research society and the Na_onal Associa– _on for the Advancement of Colored People. At Tougaloo, she is an HBCU–up scholar, Jackson Heart Study Scholar, and Presiden_al I scholar. This summer she par_cipated in the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) HBCU prostate cancer training program which prepares undergraduates for graduate level research.

Tougaloo College students (from left) Ansley Scott, Joshua Agee and Diva Whalen are among six undergraduates who just completed a 10-week program at the University of Mississippi Medical Center that focuses on eradicating prostate cancer. The collaborative effort between UMMC, Tougaloo and Jackson State University gave student researchers the chance to search for a prostate cancer cure by working on specific projects alongside faculty mentors from UMMC’s Cancer Institute. Each presented their findings July 30 during the annual Prostate Cancer Research Mini–Symposium on the UMMC campus. Their work is much needed; prostate cancer is most often found in African–American men, and they typically have its most aggressive form. The program also seeks to train students from historically black colleges and universities so that they canpursue doctorates and medical degrees and increase diversity in biomedical and cancer research.

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