Apparently, The People Of St. George Are Guilty Of “White Fortressing”

We should have long ceased to be amazed at all of the different ways ordinary people could be disparaged by the communist Left, but we just can’t help ourselves. The new terms are just plain impressive.

For example, take “white fortressing,” which is the supposed outrage that the people of the newly-created St. George, Louisiana are guilty of…

The Louisiana Supreme Court last month cleared a path for the creation of a new city, St. George, after a prolonged legal battle over the feasibility of the city and its implications for tax revenue.

St. George would take almost 100,000 residents away from East Baton Rouge Parish, and critics say it will deplete the parish of the resources from this wealthier, whiter community.

As researchers on racial equity, we have been studying moves like this to create new cities. What we’ve found is that these secessions perpetuate modern-day segregation and limit opportunity for left-behind communities, a form of opportunity hoarding that we call “white fortressing.”

That’s from a piece which appeared at Bloomberg on Tuesday. It’s written by Luisa Godinez-Puig and Brian D. Smedley, who are “researchers” at the far-left, Soros-funded Urban Institute, Godinez-Puig, who is Mexican – we can’t figure out if she’s an American citizen or not – came to the Urban Institute from – get this – the Center for Antiracist Research at Boston University. If that doesn’t ring a bell, it’s the think tank established by one Ibram X. Kendi to push DEI idiocy which is actually beginning to collapse as people are finally realizing what a grift the whole thing is. Kendi had to lay off half the staff last September.

So yes, these are crackpot communists whose opinions are of zero value. Still, it’s important to correct the record.

Because virtually every point these two well-educated imbeciles are making is dead wrong.

First, St. George is now a city in East Baton Rouge Parish which is not part of Baton Rouge. It was an unincorporated area in East Baton Rouge Parish which was not part of Baton Rouge. What has not changed is that St. George is in East Baton Rouge Parish. So in the second paragraph Godinez-Puig and Smedley tell their first lie. The people in St. George haven’t been “taken away” from the parish at all.

Nor has the parish been “depleted of the resources” of the wealthier, whiter St. George folks. The city-parish government may have been, because there will now be a St. George city government using those resources to provide some governmental functions to people in St. George. But other governmental functions will remain the province of the government of East Baton Rouge Parish.

What’s depleting is the city-parish government’s ability to redistribute resources from St. George residents to poor areas inside the city of Baton Rouge.

Most people would say that having your tax dollars used to benefit other areas against your will is, if not theft, at the very least a pretty bad deal for you. But not these two. From the very beginning they’re out front demanding that redistribution as fundamental to urban governance.

And if you don’t agree to it you’re “limiting opportunity” for poor people.

Which brings up an interesting question: if the kinds of redistributive policies Godinez-Puig and Smedley advocate were effective in creating opportunities for poor people on a grand scale, then why are there still poor people? Haven’t we spent more than $20 trillion on Great Society programs since 1965?

This thing gets more comical as it goes along…

St. George’s demographics are quite different from the parish it is part of: Only 12% of the proposed new city’s residents would be Black, while nearly half of the remaining population in East Baton Rouge Parish would be African-American.

White fortressing, and other kinds of opportunity hoarding, concentrates resources — such as well-funded public schools, access to local revenue and zoning control — among white communities that are already economically and politically advantaged. Meanwhile, they also constrain access to opportunity among people of color.

But East Baton Rouge Parish’s schools are already well-funded. We spend more per student in East Baton Rouge than practically anywhere else in the state. The results generally aren’t all that good, but the money is absolutely there.

Interestingly enough, there are very, very few public school campuses in St. George. The East Baton Rouge Parish school system for a long time didn’t bother building any in the southern reaches of the parish, because it didn’t give a damn about those “wealthier, whiter” people in St. George. And as it happens, the movement to create St. George grew out of a desire for an independent school district to remedy that inattention.

So that’s another lie.

Then there is this business of “constraining access to opportunity among people of color.” What the hell does that mean?

Nobody is stopping black people from moving to St. George and taking advantage of this illicit bounty the “white fortressers” are arrogating to themselves. It’s almost assured that lots of black people will do just that.

One of the hidden truths leftists like Luisa Godinez-Puig and Brian Smedley won’t let you know is that when a suburb or growing urban area takes off and adds population, it will inevitably see an increase in its population of racial minorities. For example, as Ascension and Livingston Parishes, the two big suburban parishes adjoining East Baton Rouge, have exploded in population over the past two decades they’ve also seen a sizable and noticeable growth in the percentage of black people among their populations.

Why? Because middle-class black people are more or less identical to middle-class white people in terms of the things they want from government. They want potholes filled, cops who catch bad guys, schools that don’t suck, a business-friendly economy and not so much local government corruption. And when the cities are run by people who believe the bullshit that Godinez-Puig and Smedley believe, none of those functions are capably performed – but the suburbs are run differently, function acceptably, and therefore attract middle-class families.


And nobody in St. George, or at least nobody who matters, cares what color their neighbors are so long as their kids aren’t violent thugs, they aren’t running crackhouses or growhouses, they’re not burning rubber on the streets, they don’t store indoor appliances and car parts on their front lawn and they’re not breeding pit bulls for illegal dogfights.

And that’s not racial. If what they’re saying is it’s unjust that the people in St. George will likely uphold better standards than the city-parish government will, they might be right. But that’s not much of a case for them “restricting opportunity” for People of Color.

When white communities fortress themselves, they siphon away resources from the larger region, including communities of color. In Louisiana, it is estimated that St. George’s secession would take away $48.3 million in annual tax revenue from East Baton Rouge Parish — nearly 8% of the parish’s total tax revenue.

Again, St. George didn’t secede from East Baton Rouge Parish. It incorporated. As such, that $48.3 million in sales tax revenue will now be used inside the city limits of St. George.

The real outrage is that it wasn’t already used there. Like we said above, it’s theft.

Racial segregation and the unequal allocation of resources have long shaped American cities, through a history of both overt and subtle racist policies and practices, including racially restrictive covenants, violent resistance to integration and White flight from desegregating communities.

The answer to this, if we’re going to accept it as a real thing, comes courtesy of Kendi, Godinez-Puig’s mentor, who says that you must remedy past “racist” discrimination with current and future “antiracist” discrimination.

And the honkies in St. George just have to bend over and take it. Because “white flight” is racist, even when People of Color are doing it, too.

The impact of these practices is well known. They perpetuate inequities in crucial ways, by limiting the quality and types of services that already-underserved communities receive, which adversely affects the health and wealth-building potential of people in marginalized communities for generations. In addition, having more governments in a geographical area — for example municipalities or school districts — has been shown to negatively affect health outcomes for Black Americans, but not for whites.

Oh, OK. So St. George is going to make black people sick in Baton Rouge.

Somebody pays these two cranks to publish this bullshit.

We could go on with this, but we won’t. You can read the whole thing; it doesn’t get any better. But it’s astonishing how obnoxious this line of inquiry is, and in particular the expectation that as an area declines, the people being treated as suckers and sugar-daddies for crooked and ineffective politicians have to go on putting up with all of the things forcing the decline.

The minute they choose to do something about it, along come race-hustling communists like Brian Smedley and Luisa Godinez-Puig to call them names and declare they’re bad people for resisting garbage policies which multiply misery among Democrat constituencies.

Hopefully nobody is persuaded by this abjectly imbecilic Bloomberg piece defaming the people of St. George. And hopefully nobody from the communist, Soros-funded Urban Institute is welcomed in the new city.



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