Monday, December 20, 2010

#43. The Reality of Prince George's County

In the United States, one city is known as the Black Mecca – Atlanta. Though the demographics are changing rapidly, the rampant corruption found throughout Hotlanta won’t go away anytime soon. A massive scandal in the city school system – led by Black principals – is threatening the accreditation of that district.
Once you go Black...
What other county in Georgia recently lost its accreditation? Clayton County, a once thriving suburb that is now the mortgage default capital of the United States:
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s analysis of hundreds of thousands of county tax appraisals across metro Atlanta, compared with actual home sales prices, turned up an extraordinary phenomenon in Clayton: Of the 1,302 sales last year, 581 were “bank sales” — transactions in which a lender has taken back a home and resold it.

The county’s chief appraiser, Rodney McDaniel, said the declines in Clayton’s 2010 property valuations surprised even him.

“I didn’t think we could go much lower than we did last year,” McDaniel said. “But the foreclosure sales are really driving the assessments this year.”

For property owners, the plague of foreclosures has injected even more uncertainty into an uncertain market, particularly when it comes to county tax appraisals.
 Clayton County is a Black county, run by Black people, who – upon taking power- fired all of the white police and had snipers on the roof of the police precinct as they were being escorted out. This was in 2007, an updated look at what Jim Crow must have been like only in reverse.

Atlanta is home to what many people claim to be the top county for Black people to live in, in all of America – DeKalb County. We have covered the status of that county before and, well, it’s not exactly a shining example of a thriving community.

Other majority Black areas (here is Wikipedia’s list of cities with the largest percentages of Black residents) fair about the same, with the sad news of Camden highlighting the growing problem of Black people relying on the government for jobs and what happens when the money runs out:
His family was a sample of the bloody consequences being felt in the Black and Hispanic families in minority communities throughout New Jersey as a result of the scorched earth policies of the Republican governor, and former New Jersey U.S. attorney.

Christie had suddenly transformed the streets and corridors of cities like Camden, Newark and Trenton into killing fields of minority dreams. Through his brutal programs Christie was rapidly shaping himself into a Republican and tea party presidential contender as well as a feared governor in New Jersey. He was considered by some in Camden to be a “bully,” using the weak to ram through his budget cuts.

The impoverished city of Camden, located in one of the wealthiest states in the nation, has long been a subject of futile revitalization efforts by a long line of Democratic and Republican governors before Christie. But now its head was on the chopping block along with the necks of numerous other urban areas.

Council President Frank Moran argues that the governor should give Camden authorization to implement a wage tax for the thousands of outside workers who come into the city each day to work at the numerous state, county, religious and nonprofit institutions. He said because of these facilities that are tenants in Camden, close to 56 percent of the city’s real estate is tax exempt, leaving the city with no way to expand its revenue income.

To make matters worse, much of the city’s shortfall resulted because Camden’s political establishment miscalculated pension obligations.

Moran points out Newark and other larger municipalities than Camden have wage taxes and that a special exception should be made for Camden because of all the governmental, religious and nonprofit facilities it hosts…

Moran suggested that Delgado and other Camden residents direct their protests to Gov. Christie. The price tag is $69 million in so-called “transitional aid.”

Williamson, leader of the rank and file of the police department, FOP said that the city as well as minorities were being made whipping boys by the Christie administration to make it appear that they are taking aggressive action and resorting to austere measures.

He said the cuts will only make the city’s plight worse by making outsiders afraid to come into the city to do business or set up business.

“The attack on public safety and the educational system will not make anyone more comfortable to move into the city to help jumpstart the city’s economy ... It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that most of the cities hit are Black, Hispanic and Asian.”
 It is sad that Camden is forced to make these cuts and that, like DeKalb and Clayton County, the citizens of the city have few businesses capable of squeezing taxes out of and few employment opportunities (save the post office, government and barber shops).

Perhaps Detroit provides the best glimpse of the future for these three areas with the city beginning a complete rollback of all government services (with a 25 percent graduation rate, the city schools long ago stopped providing academic services). A town without a major chain grocery store is being allowed to go back to the wild.

We’ve discussed Newark - a town that cherishes the celebrity of its mayor to bring in donations to keep that city solvent - but one area that has escaped an honest look at SBPDL is the penultimate Black place to live in America: Prince George's County.

Prince George's County epitomizes the problems that are obvious in the aforementioned cities (and ones found in the archives), but the primary problem afflicting the county is a reliance on high-paying government jobs to fund their version of the American dream. What happens when those jobs go away?

Sadly, the majority of residents in this thriving Black area rely on high interest home loans to fund their dream. These loans mean a lot of these residents are saddled with debt:
Residents of majority-black Prince George's County are much more likely to be saddled with high-interest home loans than residents of predominantly white areas in the rest of the region, placing them at greater risk of financial distress and foreclosure. 

About 43 percent of Prince George's County residents who refinanced their homes in 2005 received high-cost loans, compared with 24 percent of homeowners regionwide, according to Federal Reserve data compiled for The Washington Post by the Consumer Federation of America. Similarly, 43 percent of people buying homes in the county in 2005 financed their purchases with high-cost loans, compared with 20 percent regionally. 

High-cost loans are a large slice of the subprime mortgage market, called such because the loans' terms are less desirable. Fears about escalating problems in the subprime market have shaken broader financial markets in recent days and raised concerns that if foreclosures rise significantly, it could hamper economic growth. The government defines high-cost loans as those with interest rates 3 percentage points or more above a certain market rate…

Housing and civil rights advocates have long said that blacks are pushed to costly loans by mortgage brokers who mislead them into believing those are the only loans they can qualify for. 

"It's sad, but I'm not surprised," Hilary Shelton, director of the Washington bureau of the NAACP, said of the Prince George's data. "It's the same issue all over the country." 

Lending industry trade groups deny race is the only reason for high rates. Doug Duncan, chief economist at the Mortgage Bankers Association, said people pay more for loans if they have poor credit, large student loans or want to make a lower down payment. Wright Andrews, a lobbyist for subprime lenders, has acknowledged differences between loan rates but has blamed them on underlying "economic disparities."
Industry officials have acknowledged that predatory lending exists and have urged uniform national lending laws. 

People can find themselves with high-cost loans for many reasons. Prince George's County is the nation's wealthiest majority-black jurisdiction, and housing costs there are high. If homeowners also have high car payments, student loans or credit card balances, that could raise their debt-to-income ratio, forcing them into costly loans. Overspending or paying bills late can also hurt people's credit. 
Credit and credit standards are both included in SBPDL (along with paying back student loans, both upcoming entries) and maintaining good credit to ensure that home loan rates will be low is a risky, acting white proposition. Paying bills in a timely manner is a move that only the token Black dares make, thus why the mortgage crisis has been a minority fueled meltdown.

In a country governed by the rules of Black Run America (BRA), forcing Black people to take riskier loans because they have, on average, worse credit scores and represent a higher probability of defaulting on loans is merely perpetuating racism:
“Federal officials launched an investigation Wednesday to determine whether 22 mortgage lenders have been discriminating against qualified African-American and Latino borrowers by denying them government-insured loans.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development said the inquiry is in response to complaints filed Tuesday by the National Community Reinvestment Coalition accusing 22 banks nationwide of violating fair housing laws.

The coalition said the lenders denied Federal Housing Administration-insured loans to borrowers with credit scores that met the federal standard of 580 to be eligible for the insurance against default, but the lenders set higher credit score thresholds.

The Washington-based NCRC claims those requirements disproportionately harm black and Hispanic communities, since many minority borrowers’ credit scores fall between the federal threshold of 580 and the higher benchmarks set by the banks.”
 We have seen the future and it will be. The mortgage crisis brought on by aggressive attempts to increase home ownership to Black people and the subsequent failure of these same Black people to pay the mortgages (many times with no down payments, low interest rates and small monthly payments) is actually the fault of evil white male bankers, who were secretly plotting to bring down AIG, Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers.

Now these banks are being sued by Black people, whose poor credit regrettably made them ineligible for low-risk loans.

Tea Party enthusiasts must understand that the principles they promote run directly anathema to those of BRA. There is a reason the Tea Party is monochromatic; a lot of Black people rely on the state for their well being. Cutting that off, as we see in Camden, is grounds for nothing but nasty words toward the Republican governor of the state.

Prince George's County, long the destination of mobile Black people, relies on a steady supply of government jobs to maintain the growth and keep its citizens employed. Even this isn’t enough:
“Back in the 1970s, Woodley Timberlake was part of the mass migration of black Washingtonians to Prince George's County, an exodus fueled by the quest for the American dream -- a home with a back yard, quality schools and a safe neighborhood.

Timberlake, now 65 and a retired federal worker, felt proud as blacks captured political and economic power in the once-majority-white county. But two years ago, when his daughter and her husband planned to return to the area with their baby girl, Timberlake urged them to move to a safe community with good public schools -- not Prince George's. His daughter chose Fairfax County. 

A generation ago, civic leaders and scholars cast Prince George's as a rising mecca for middle-class African Americans, a place where they could pursue an affluent suburban lifestyle that had long been the province of whites…

Prince George's is also recovering from a recession that has driven foreclosures to the highest levels in Maryland. Although county leaders are hopeful about rising math and reading test scores and last year's dramatic decrease in crime, Prince George's public schools remain among the worst-performing in Maryland, and the number of homicides, robberies and car thefts rank near the top in the state.”
Cities rise and fall. They can be burned to the ground, rebuilt and a mighty conflagration can bring ruin yet again. But once a city changes hands from the population that built and sustained it, and turned over to a different population, the results are simply as outlined above.

Mall envy exists for a reason. Public transportation is failing for a reason. And a lack of retailers in predominately Black areas happens for a reason:
Prince George’s County – sometimes derisively abbreviated as “PG” – is the undisputed Mecca of the Black middle class.  It holds the largest concentration of affluent and educated African Americans in the nation, well ahead of Black cultural hot spots like Atlanta, Philadelphia or Chicago.  Income is high due to a settled federal workforce in a Washington, D.C. suburb and countless government contractors with job stability.  In recent years, before recession took hold, Prince George’s County was in the midst of economic revival from the explosion of town centers showing off name brand retailers to the ambitious development of an awe-inspiring National Harbor on the Potomac.  It is where many professional Black folks move.

Most recently, Prince George’s finally got its wish: the opening of a brand new, fully-stocked Wegmans grocery store.  Residents had, understandably, complained for years about the lack of prominent, organic food retailers in the county, citing a pattern of racial redlining that forced the county’s majority Black population to travel miles into predominantly White counties to shop at spots like Whole Foods, Wegmans and others.

When the County seemed to move forward, even as unemployment and foreclosures gripped it, news of an unfolding political scandal took it two steps backward.  Federal prosecutors accuse County Executive Jack Johnson of engineering sophisticated kickback schemes with various developers and businesses in the county.  It got worse when Johnson and his wife were caught on wiretap allegedly flushing a $100,000 check down the toilet when FBI agents knocked on the door of their Mitchellville home.  Leslie Johnson, federal court documents allege, stuffed nearly $80,000 in her bra.
It tells you all you need to know about the state of Black America when the top county for Black people (Prince George's) can't even get a major retailer to set up shop within its borders. It tells you something about the state of Black America when the top Black county has a population with such poor overall credit that special loans had to be made in an effort to ensure home ownership in the first place.

It tells you all you need to know about the state of Black America when Prince George's has schools that consistently put up poor marks and ranks as one of the worst academically in all of Maryland. 

Poverty isn't the cause of crime, though conversely, a cities well-being does reflect its demographics.With segregation at a purported all-time low, one would expect a nation living in harmony. Such is not the case. Stuff White People Like (SWPL) white people live highly segregated lives far away from Black people.

Here is an awesome Web site that breaks down the top cities for SWPL white people and points out how few Black people are to be found

Black areas - as we have learned today - aren't a hotbed for thriving economies. 

In many cities, Black people rarely live in areas with white people.

So here is the ultimate question we can ask from the information available to us: does a majority Black city or county exist that is thriving? If not, is this why cities or counties that see massive white flight eventually turn into facsimiles of Clayton County?

As the nation becomes increasingly brown, white people surreptitiously look for areas with little diversity. Mobile Black people look for safe places to raise families and frequently select former whitopia's.

In time, those whitopia's become just as unappealing as the cities those mobile and economically viable Black people escaped from, only perpetuating the cycle of ruination.

Perhaps this is why that joke from The Boondock Saints resonates so deeply...

Stuff Black People Don't Like includes the reality of Prince George's County. If the best county for Black people in America isn't that different from a place like Clayton County, then what does that truly mean?

Watch a video on Prince George's County here.


Anonymous said...

It's hard to say where to start.

Anyplace blacks comprise more than a handful of residents, crime/uncivilized behavior, follows. It is understandable, sort of, that blacks like the two who comment here, want to deny this - or, excuse it.

But how? And why?

The "how" is only possible by being intellectually dishonest. You see reality, and you say "No not!" Makes them feel smart, but seriously?

The "why" is more understandable. They know that blacks have done NOTHING but sing and dance, as far as world history is concerned (Where are the airplanes? The computers? The cars? The medicines?), and they are shamed. They KNOW. DWL's give them cover, but they know.

Oh sure, they cry "The Man" kept us down in America, so how could we? Fair enough. But how about Africa? They are still pissing in their drinking water, and killing each other by the millions over there, no? They have had thousands of years to discover electricity, or, hell, ANYTHING. And what? Nothing is what.

blacks haven't, ANYWHERE, because they can't. Oh, they toss down a mean slam dunk, and bust out wit some phat free-style rap (And let's not forget their contribution to communication - ebonics!! fo' shizzel!!)

But reality, and history, don't lie. They have done nothing because they can't. And when given the opportunity, they not only can't, but refuse to (see: Uncle Tom)

Don said...

@ Ano. 5:46 pm.

Insightful post brother. It is positively mind blowing that someone can look at the state of the world. Can look at the absolutely gargantuan disparity in the levels in human accomplishment (esp. if one compares negroes/aboriginies to say Europeans & east Asians). Can look at the vast disparities in rates of crime, Std's, test scores, promiscuity etc, etc, etc. Can look at all of this & still think "we are all the same"!.

Let's look at prowess in the sciences. Tiny Austria has 8.3 million people (less than Lagos Nigeria). It has won 21 Nobel prizes in science (& thats just one small European Country! The real powerhouses are the US, Germany, Britain, France). How many have blacks won?=ZERO!. Even if you took the more than one billion blacks in all the worlds nations combined=zero (in the science's).

I won't EVEN go into accomplishment disparities in the fields of innovation/invention, literature, painting, sculpture, music, architecture, philosophy, etc,etc.....I mean seriously. Does any SANE mind REALLY beleive that negroes could ever put a man on the moon?. Or create something as sublime as Beethoven's 7th symphony?. Or build something as magnificent as Cologne cathedral?...Of course not, no SANE mind does!.

NC17 said...

i was raised in Baltimore, and it's funny reading this because i have come into contact with a lot of people from PG county and the verdict has always been that the guys are pretend to be overly gangster so they can compensate for the fact that they live in a house that has a two car garage and the girls try their best to emulate hood rats from DC because god forbid they get called out for "acting white" because their parents worked to to eliminate ebonics from their speech.

These neighborhoods will always crumble. We live in a society where Black youth will go out of their way to underachieve and royally fuck up everything their parents worked for just so they can achieve this ignorant status of street credibility.

Anonymous said...


You know what? Thank God for Africa. It's like our control subject. Or proof.

It's ALL black.

So when they BS everyone with the "slavery" nonsense, and how slavery is THE reason they can't seem to get with the program (2010? Really??), you hit them with Africa.

Your proud, culturally rich, land of purity, had no racist George Washington's running loose. Yet they couldn't even get together a KITE to accidently discover ee-lek-trizdy.

Enough. Ignore them. Do not hire them. Do not hobnob with them. Stop going to football and basketball games, etc, etc. Leave them alone so that their incredible intelligence can get on with discovering, uh, clouds?

Anonymous said...

At Don:


What makes the global achievement gap, between whites and blacks, even more glaring, is the fact that whites are a global minority and nearly the ENTIRE cannon of human accomplishment, from Stonehenge to the Apollo moon walk, can be found in each strand of Caucasian DNA.

Blacks can cuff their ears and close their eyes as tight as possible, and howl 'oppression' - and, 'not fair' - 'til they lose consciousness - but before they pass-out, they should try to explain the financial, cultural, moral and intellectual poverty found in their ancestral homeland: Africa - a continent whose very DNA resides in their genetic make-up, regardless of the hue of his/her skin.

Is the decay of that continent the white man's fault? Of course not - it is completely black run which is exactly why they are centuries behind the standards of western civilization, i.e., white civilization.

Our cultural, biological and genetic heritage is under assault by the third world. What DWLs need to understand is that, we, white people, cannot have a first-world nation with a third-world population.

If this country loses its European character, then it will become Mexico. If Mexicans don't want to live in Mexico, whites sure as hell don't.

Blacks have a vested interest in keeping the Mexican invaders out of this country, too. Mexicans hate blacks - see L.A.

-White Guy

Anonymous said...

"So here is the ultimate question we can ask from the information available to us: does a majority Black city or county exist that is thriving?"

Does a majority Black *anything* exist that is thriving?

Don said: "Does any SANE mind REALLY beleive that negroes could ever put a man on the moon?"

Well, Don, the Negro has already put a man on the moon.


Anonymous said...

"the Negro has already put a man on the moon"

You know that isn't true. Their lips explode at 10,000 feet. If you will, if I might, that is to say

Anonymous said...

Don, if blacks had gone to the moon they would have looted it.

Anonymous said...

In a college sociology class I was forced to watch a documentary about PG County. The entire film was a Michael Moore style lie about prosperous black suburbia and the black middle class. Growing up in Northern Virginia I knew the truth about PG but speaking out in a college class is a waste of time especially when discussing race.

If PG is the best black people can achieve than they can truly achieve nothing. The entire county is a laughing stock here and no one with any means would choose to live there. Just as any black community rises the regression to the mean through the children will destroy the community as an earlier poster pointed out.

Anonymous said...

Lawrence Auster said it best:

"... blacks are in fact less endowed with the qualities that make civilization possible, particularly Western civilization. What distinguishes Western from non-Western cultures is the capacity for objectivity, the ability to recognize a truth beyond one’s own immediate impulses or family and tribal loyalties."

Anonymous said...

I am white and familiar with the black middle class. Most of the families I know through my profession are slowly regressing back to the ghetto in a big way. Any education and wealth obtained by the black grandparents in the 1950s or by the parents in the 1980s is being quickly pissed away by the younger generations. All that hard work and affirmative action for nothing!

Grandparents and parents were married, now parents are divorced. Any married children are divorcing, the black women are OK living without men, and the grandchildren have no interest in education or college, have sold or lost all family assets including homes and property and are now renting apartments, purchasing items like rims and electronic games instead of retirement investments and live paycheck to paycheck. Some are having illegitimate children and living on welfare. A full circle moment and a failed experiment in the black community. I think that we will see much more of this failure in the years to come.

Blacks are unable to sustain a white middle-class existence. They tried to build something back in the 50s, but the younger generations want to get back to the hood were they feel most comfortable. Too much pressure I guess.

Anonymous said...

I attended Crossland High School in Prince George's County in the mid to late 60's. That's right, I'm an irrelevant old white lady of 60 now. It sure was different from the Crossland of today. Do remember an ugly incident though in which a white boy tormented a black girl, saying "you have sh-- all over you" and so on, and she was cowering in the stairwell outside the girl's locker room. A group returning from gym class tried to comfort her; we were all pretty appalled by his behavior but never knew the cause of the eruption.

While it's wrong to treat people like that, I have to say that a lot that was good has been lost. During the beautiful Fall weather we girls would wear a large yellow Crysanthemum pinned to our jackets at the Cavalier football games. The school was much safer. I think around the last of the 60's the white military families moved away and the black influx started in earnest.

SBPDL -- good website.

Anonymous said...

Wegmans is a very nice chain that is slowly spreading from the company's upstate NY base. They have tended to be very PC, although they don't hire too many black employees, or at least cashiers. They really promote Black History Month, and when I lived in areas with their stores I tried to avoid them during February.
Even in some rural areas where the blacks are running things, they still can't get their act together. Even my "starter" wife of 31 years no longer will attend a church that has more than one or two blacks attending, no matter how middle class they appear to be.

Anonymous said...

Outstanding piece. I'm stationed at the Pentagon and the residents of PG county are known as "Shufflers". Shufflers because dey jus shuffle down the halls of the the Pentagon with no particular place to go and block all the military folks from moving. It's so typical on any given work day. Recently a giant black woman and I mean giant as in NASA wanting to name her as the 10th planet, tried to walk up the inner A ring staircase. People back in the 40s were musch smaller then and she became trapped in the 24inch wide stairwell. She was yelling "Oh lordy, hep me, hep me". Finally the building engineers came and dismantled the handrials to get her fat PG butt out of the way. It's always the same story, black women in their 40s, 5'2" or so but 180lbs+ with legs joined at the knee. In their cubicles they have the endless pictures of numerous illegitimate grandchildren and children with the MLK crap all over the place. I kindly remind them that he was a Republican and they go nuts! Keep up the great work.

Anonymous said...

"In their cubicles they have the endless pictures of numerous illegitimate grandchildren and children with the MLK crap all over the place."


Desiree said...

In their cubicles they have the endless pictures of numerous illegitimate grandchildren and children with the MLK crap all over the place. I kindly remind them that he was a Republican and they go nuts!

Martin Luther King was not a Republican, at least not in the modern sense of the word. He was against the Vietnam war, the same war Republican Billo the Clown says we won.

Anonymous said...

"the same war Republican Billo the Clown says we won"

LOLOL You're an idiot, you light-skinded, dumb fucking whore.

Anonymous said...

"Martin Luther King was not a Republican, at least not in the modern sense of the word..."

This sound like just a weak opinion, and also seems like you are reaching too far on this one. Desiree, please try to keep focused.

We still need for you to comment on all of those other pesky hate facts that we have posted here. For example:

"...blacks have done NOTHING but sing and dance, as far as world history is concerned (Where are the airplanes? The computers? The cars? The medicines?), and they are shamed. They KNOW. DWL's give them cover, but they know."

Anonymous said...

This is a scary statement... I moved to PG County from NY without first doing a little research and tried to start an Investment Advisory firm with the hope of acquiring the six figure African American population as clients. I was told by an African American carpenter that I was wasting my time. Unfortunately he was right. It is amazing how people can live in $500,000+ homes and not acquire the funds necessary to begin an investment portfolio. As disheartening as the previous statements above are I have given up on most of the black race myself, and I am one of them.