Besides the Ferguson Missouri replay of Bull Connor v. MLK, we also have a reminder another legacy of American racism in the Chicago area today.
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has brought suit against an Orland Park homeowners' association. The group had allowed owners to rent their units, but then one showed his to African-American or mixed-race potential renters. He got a phone call with the usual racist epithets, and the Association promptly changed its rules. Owners now could not rent to anyone. Just to be safe.
In May of that year, the property owner showed the unit to two sisters who are black and, separately, a multiracial woman, her African-American husband and her multiracial daughter, the lawsuit says.
The suit alleges that a neighbor of the property owner and a member of the homeowners association called the property owner that same day and told him, “I hope you are not doing what we think you are doing because we do not want to live next to (racial slur).”
A few days later, the lawsuit alleges, the property owner received a letter from the homeowners association telling members that a vote was necessary to determine the “amount of control the members have in protecting their privacy.” Members were given the option to vote in favor of allowing renters only if they were limited to families, defined as two parents and their children, and excluded families with foster children.
Note the coded way of excluding African-Americans without using racial categories.
The suburb in question is one of the White Flight Suburbs that sprang up overnight out of cornfields in the aftermath of the end of legal segregation. As I contemplate my city without these people, I can only say: good riddance.