Hard work or Hardly Working? How White People Got So Rich Part 3

By the Historical Research Department of the Nation of Islam | Last updated: Jun 21, 2011 - 9:39:21 AM

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* Hard Work or Hardly Working? How White People Got So Rich Part 1
* Hard Work or Hardly Working? How White People Got So Rich Part 2
* Hard Work or Hardly Working? How White People Got So Rich Part 3
* Hard Work or Hardly Working? How White People Got So Rich Part 4

“The enemies of God today are the same as they were thousands of years ago, thinking that they will be the winner against Him. America, for her evil done to me and my people, shall be isolated and deceived by her friends. The heavens shall withhold their blessing until America is brought to a disgraceful ruin.
—The Messenger of Allah, The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad


There is nothing mystical or mysterious about how White people established their superior position in America and the world—and it had absolutely nothing to do with either merit or “hard work.” The list of benefits that Whites granted to themselves—mostly by gangster force and wily deception—is the untold reality behind the building of their vast portfolios of plunder. Within this four-part Final Call series, we see every sector of American society implementing profoundly racist policies and programs that are respected and enforced by every other sector. The executive, judicial, and legislative branches of government, private industry, the media, the labor movement, religious institutions, and the corporate world—ALL have agreed on one thing: White supremacy must prevail.

Here is how they do it:

Building of American Cities

Hundreds of thousands of jobs were created by the massive public works projects launched throughout America, such as the building of New York City, the largest construction project since the building of the Great Wall of China (to protect the Chinese people from marauding Whites, by the way). Racist officials like New York city planner Robert Moses (a Jew) conspired with American labor unions to deny Blacks and Latinos these construction jobs. White ethnic immigrants got the lion's share of the jobs and learned the skills in these publicly funded projects that catapulted them into control of the construction trades today.

Public Housing

The U.S. government created massive racially segregated cities within cities that became known as “the projects.” Many of these developments were built as temporary housing for returning World War II veterans, until the G.I. Bill and other veteran benefit programs allowed Whites to move into single-family homes in racially exclusive suburbs. Black vets—with many fewer employment, education, and housing options than even the immigrants—were locked in these projects that became multi-generational Black slum sub-cultures.

The National Interstate and Defense Highways Act opened up the suburbs for White flight, while simultaneously providing millions of Whites-only construction jobs.

Sundown Towns

Hundreds of American towns (many of them in the North) passed ordinances prohibiting Blacks from living in them, or from being in the town after sundown (maids, gardeners, and sanitation workers were given time to leave at night). Some towns actually had bells or horns that would signal when Blacks were to leave. The largest builder of these segregated towns in the post–World War II era was William Levitt (a Jew), whose leases for his massive Levittown cities in the North forbade the very presence of “any person other than members of the Caucasian race.”

Social Security

Social Security was created in 1935 to send support payments to Americans in their senior years, yet its benefits were specifically denied to agricultural and domestic workers because the vast majority of those jobs were held by “non-Whites.” Racial legislation often targets its victims by occupation and not explicitly by race, though the effect is the same. Social Security benefits for the White elderly allow their working-age children to pay for college for their children, and to pass more money down through inheritance, down payments on cars and houses, et cetera. Meanwhile, Blacks who were prevented from receiving this government benefit had to use their already depressed wages to support their elderly parents and had far fewer resources to help their own children. White families and communities were strengthened and stabilized through this program.

Unemployment Insurance

Unemployment insurance, which gives workers an income bridge between jobs, originally did not apply to domestic workers or farm workers, the vast majority of whom were “non-White.”

National Recovery Act (NRA)

The NRA was enacted in 1933 and set American wages at $12 a week, but most jobs Blacks held were not covered by the law, so employers reduced Blacks' wages in order to raise the pay of White workers to meet the NRA wage requirement. Blacks covered by the higher wage laws were often fired and replaced with Whites. Some called the NRA the “Negro Removal Act.” According to Georgia peanut farmer and U.S. president Jimmy Carter: “By law, the average black family got only $8 [a week] because the presumption was that they could live more cheaply.”

Minimum Wage Law

The 1938 Minimum Wage law originally did not extend to workers in laundries, hotels, hairdressing shops, restaurants, domestic service, or farm work, where, again, Blacks were concentrated. At least half of all Black workers in the South were excluded. It outlawed child labor for White, but not Black, children. By 1943 the average Black family in the rural South made only a third of what POOR White families made. In the city Blacks made $635 a year, while Whites made $2,019. (The basic cost of subsistence was $1,200.)

Home Owners' Loan Corporation (HOLC)

After the Great Depression of 1929, approximately one million loans were made to help homeowners retain their homes. Not a single penny intentionally went to a Black person, even though a greater proportion of Blacks lost their homes in the Depression.

Veterans Administration (VA) Mortgages

The VA mortgage program allowed five million White men to buy their first home. Between 1930 and 1960 only one percent of all these mortgages went to Blacks, and collateral was sometimes required for Blacks but not for Whites. In 1947, of 3,229 VA loans in Mississippi, only two went to Blacks.

The private market was just as atrocious with its unrestrained discrimination in the form of restrictive covenants and mortgage restrictions against “Negroes, Africans, and Ethiopians.” A publication of the National Association of Real Estate Boards advised realtors to be on guard against “a colored man of means who was giving his children a college education and thought they were entitled to live among Whites,” and it compared such a Black man to a bootlegger or pimp who wanted to hide his criminal activity by living in a better neighborhood.

The development of the suburbs was an almost entirely White phenomenon. One-fifth of the country went from renters to homeowners in the 15 years after World War II. Massive suburban home building projects like Levittown built homes at a rate of 30 a day, but Jewish developer William Levitt actually went to court to keep Blacks out. That WWII generation of homeowners is now willing their assets to their children in what is called the greatest transfer of wealth in history.

Federal Housing Administration (FHA)

Private American banks teamed up with the government, sat in front of a map, and drew big red lines around Black communities and refused mortgages, home insurance, financing, and loans to everyone inside—a practice called “red-lining.” This kept Blacks from the wealth-building benefits of home ownership and made them vulnerable to loan sharks, who, in many cases, were the predatory agents of the redlining banks.

In 1962, Pres. John F. Kennedy banned racial discrimination in federally owned or funded housing but less than 1 percent of all housing was covered. The 1964 Civil Rights Act banned discrimination but less than 20 percent of new housing was covered. It specifically exempted federal mortgage insurance programs from anti-discrimination laws. The Housing Act of 1968 (passed less than a week after Whites murdered Martin Luther King) covered over 80 percent of housing but provided little enforcement power and offered virtually no protection against the private discriminatory practices of realtors, banks, and zoning boards.

U.S. Housing Act (Urban Renewal)

Also known as “Negro Removal,” this series of federal laws destroyed 400,000 homes by 1960, but only 11,000 lower-rent replacement units were built. The Act allowed segregation and discrimination to intensify in outlying areas, forcing Blacks and Latinos into geographically concentrated areas in the “inner cities.” It also destroyed many Black businesses by the displacement of customers and the rerouting of traffic.

Aid to Families With Dependent Children (AFDC)

Originally designed for White women, AFDC became stigmatized as a program for unmarried, lazy, “loose” Black mothers. It was the only program with a “morals test” for recipients, terminating women with husbands (“men living in their homes”), effectively destroying Black families. In Georgia, one study found that 14 percent of eligible White families received benefits, but only 1.5 percent of eligible Black families did.

G.I. (Veterans) Bill— Job Placement

$95 billion was spent on the G.I. Bill from 1944 to 1971. But various methods were used to discriminate against Blacks. Those Blacks who could qualify were steered into menial jobs. In 1946, 86 percent of White vets were referred to professional jobs and 92 percent of Black vets were referred to unskilled service jobs. Refusing these jobs was grounds for denial of other benefits like unemployment insurance. [Note: To avoid using the language of racism, the federal government put the operation of these programs in the hands of local governments, which meant that racist White Southern officials determined who received the benefits—just as they determined who could and could not vote.]

G.I. Bill—Education

Two million WWII veterans attended college under the G.I. Bill, but eligible Blacks were excluded from White universities and the few small underfunded Black schools were swamped with tens of thousands more applicants than they were able to admit—55 percent were turned away. Whites obtained education and moved rapidly into the upper middle classes. Blacks who believed their military service would give them better opportunities were frustrated yet again.

Next: Continuing the list of White affirmative action programs and policies that deceptively “earned” the White man his “superiority.”

(The Historical Research Department of the Nation of Islam was established by The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan to support and bear witness to the teachings of the Messiah, The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad.)