Predatory Cities: Replenishing the Public Purse Through Racist Policy

Monday, Apr 11, 2022 | 12:45 pm - 2:00 pm

VIRTUAL - Zoom Webinar

04.11 | 12:45 – 2 PM PT | CRG Co-sponsor Event
CSLS Speaker Series
Predatory Cities: Replenishing the Public Purse Through Racist Policy (forthcoming in 2023)
with Bernadette Atuahene (Professor of Law, Chicago-Kent College of Law)
Zoom Webinar – Click here to register.

Writing in first person, the author describes how she discovered the problem of illegally inflated property tax assessments in Detroit, how this phenomenon began, and why it persisted. Since the resulting illegally inflated property taxes and property tax foreclosure crisis most severely disadvantage Wayne County’s predominately African American cities—Detroit, Inkster, and Highland Park— the author investigates the following riddle: How does a majority Black city run primarily by Black politicians and administrators perpetrate a racialized housing crime? While many want to attribute the rampant illegality to corruption or incompetent politicians and administrators, these are not the primary drivers here. The chief culprit is structural racism, otherwise known as racist policy. That is, the true villain is an invisible structure and not a visible individual, but the dominant culture rejects this, instead demanding an easily digestible good/bad, black/white narrative. Predatory Cities pushes beyond these over simplifying strictures to uncover more complicated truths. Learn more.

Hosted by the Center for the Study of Law and Society.  Co-sponsored by the Center for Race & Gender. 

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