We keep satirizing this, but now a Washington Post news story really is headlined
“Minority homeowners have been disproportionately affected by the foreclosure crisis and stand to lose homes at a faster pace than white borrowers in the future, according to a report released Friday by a nonprofit research group. … The ‘analysis suggests dramatic differences in how the foreclosure crisis has affected racial and ethnic groups,’ the report said. ‘African American and Latino borrowers have borne and will continue to disproportionately bear the burden of foreclosures.’ "
(By Renae Merle, Saturday, June 19, 2010)
If you translate this out of the evasive passive voice and into the active voice, you come up with something more informative, namely:
AFRICAN AMERICAN AND LATINO BORROWERS DEFAULTED AND WILL CONTINUE TO DEFAULT DISPROPORTIONATELY.
But defaults couldn’t possibly be the fault of the defaulters, if the defaulters are minorities, could they? So instead, Felix Salmon of Reuters asks Are foreclosures racists? June 18, 2010:
“If you’re a high-income Latino with a mortgage, you’re almost twice as likely to be facing foreclosure than a high-income non-Hispanic white person. And in general, the foreclosure crisis is hitting blacks and Latinos much harder than it is whites, according to a startling new report from the Center for Responsible Lending.”
Now, you might think that foreclosure rate has something to do with, say, blacks and Hispanics having remarkably fewer financial assets to use as safety cushions in case housing prices don’t continue to rise. After all, a 2007 Federal Reserve Board report to Congress (PDF) noted:
“Black and Hispanic families are less likely than non-Hispanic white families to have any financial assets, so the disparity in median financial assets for all families (rather than just those with financial assets) is even larger, with the overall medians for black and Hispanic families roughly 5 percent to 7 percent of the non-Hispanic white median.”
Moreover, African-Americans and Latinos are less likely than whites to have prosperous relatives who can help them out with a loan if they are in danger of defaulting.
You might think that, but being aware of those facts just shows you are a racist. Salmon [Email him] writes:
“I’ll hazard a guess and say that this probably has something to do with a lot of middle- and high-income Latinos in California and Arizona being sold subprime mortgages, even when they qualified for a prime loan.”
The Washington Post’s Merle agrees that discrimination is the cause:
-The Rest Here