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Obama Administration Warns Landlords They Can’t Decline Renting to Criminals Because It’s Racist

Do Democrats in any way shape or form think people should be held accountable for their actions? Are they incapable of viewing criminals on a case by case basis as opposed to lumping them into a racial demographic?

Judging by the Obama administration’s latest actions, we’re thinking no.

The White House issued a notice to landlords telling them that refusing to rent on the basis of past criminal record can be considered racist.

No, seriously.

Via the Daily Caller:

The Obama administration released a warning Monday telling the nation’s landlords that it may be discriminatory for them to refuse to rent to those with criminal records.

The Fair Housing Act doesn’t include criminals as a protected class, but the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) says refusing to rent based on a criminal record is a form of racial discrimination, due to racial imbalances in the U.S. justice system.

“The Fair Housing Act prohibits both intentional housing discrimination and housing practices that have an unjustified discriminatory effect because of race, national origin, or other protected characteristics,” say HUD’s newly-released guidelines. “Because of widespread racial and ethnic disparities in the U.S. criminal justice system, criminal history-based restrictions on access to housing are likely disproportionately to burden African-Americans and Hispanics. While the Act does not prohibit housing providers from appropriately considering criminal history information when making housing decisions, arbitrary and overbroad criminal history-related bans are likely to lack a legally sufficient justification.”

Pro-tip: Want to know the best way to not be “discriminated” against because of your criminal background?

Stop breaking the law.

The Obama regime’s attack on personal responsibility for life choices is hardly a new liberal concept here in New York.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman forced colleges to stop asking about criminal history on their entrance applications, citing the same statistics to argue that even asking about a person’s past legal troubles is racist.

Of course, people arguing the racial imbalance of arrests never look at other shared factors for those arrested. Socio-economic factors such as poverty, limited access to education, growing up in single-parent homes, etc., have more to do with a person’s arrest than skin color.

Meanwhile, liberals claim that the question of whether one has been arrested or convicted of a crime can serve only to discourage people from applying.

Applications that ask the question always include a section for remarks, in which the applicant can explain what happened.  Therefore, an arrest that may not have led to an actual conviction could be covered and discussed. Or a detailed description of the surrounding events may be laid out. Something the reasonable landlord could take into account.

It is an important piece of information that might discourage landlords from bringing people with drug or violent backgrounds onto their properties.

Is there anything more racist than assuming a question on an application about criminal history is meant solely for minorities?

Rusty Weiss

Rusty Weiss is a freelance journalist focusing on the conservative movement and its political agenda. He has been writing conservatively charged articles for several years in the upstate New York area, and his writings have appeared in the Daily Caller, American Thinker,, Big Government, the Times Union, and the Troy Record. He is also Editor of one of the top conservative blogs of 2012, the Mental Recession.

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