The successor to the infamous Thomas Perez at the US Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, Vanita Gupta, has served fair warning that (as we predicted) the folks who run Justice intend to use the recent SCOTUS decision that validated "disparate impact" in the fair housing arena to pursue the statistically-proven racist scum in the quest to ensure that every one who wants one can get a home loan. She thinks that disparate impact discrimination is part and parcel with much broader abuses, like cops killing racial minorities and otherwise profiling minorities for disparate law enforcement abuse. America is racist, and Gupta's gonna root out racism wherever she can find the statistics to make her case.
“High-profile incidents across the country have thrust us into a national dialogue over the use of excessive force, racial profiling and stereotyping, officer and public safety and a festering lack of trust between police departments and the communities they service, particularly low-income communities of color,” said Gupta.
“But underneath so much of the unrest that we’ve seen in Ferguson, Missouri; Baltimore; New York; and cities across America," she said, "lies a foundation of systemic inequalities and discriminatory biases, built up over decades, not days."
She specifically pointed to lack of credit in affected communities as a root cause of this year’s troubles.
“To break down barriers to opportunity we must protect the rights of people to borrow money without bias or discrimination,” said Gupta. “Discrimination is a multiplying force. It can have a devastating domino effect on a person’s future economic prospects. And that is why equal access to credit is a fundamental part of our work. Credit provides the means for families to own a home, to buy cars so they can get to work, and to increase their earnings so they can invest in their own future.”
“Credit enables people to uplift their lives and build a brighter future,” said Gupta.
That's right: systemic racism in American society is rooted in a lack of credit availability for racial minorities, according to Gupta. If the federal government can ensure that every citizen can get credit, this country can overcome more serious problems which are the result of the "multiplying force" of that credit discrimination. How do they plan to do that? Suing banks on the basis of statistical analyses founded on flawed assumptions and squeezing cash out of them is only the tip of the enforcement iceberg. Gupta has much more "robust" remedies in mind.
“Whether mandating that a bank open a branch in a neighborhood neglected for years or requiring an auto lender to limit the discretion of its dealers, we recognize the value of resolutions that extend beyond the distribution of dollars,” said Gupta.
Of course, at the same time, Justice will use Operation Choke Point to drive payday lenders, auto title lenders, and other "high risk/high reward" lenders out of the market. That will leave all those great "small loan" programs that the FDIC tried to "encourage" banks to make a few years ago and that never gained traction because banks couldn't charge enough (most programs had a maximum APR of 36%) to justify the cost of administration and the serious problem of nonpayment. You can bet your life that they'll be resurrected, along with more creative solutions in the great game of credit redistribution.
And, of course, two guys named Guido and Louis (The Lip) will always be available on local the street corner to take care of the needs of the needy in an extra-judicial manner.
Are we having fun yet?