Legalized Racism Alive and Well

This is a recent CNN news report about the Gulla-Geechee people of Georgia’s Sapelo Island, where descendants of African -Slaves are being forced off their ancestral home (by means of new property assessments and increased taxes).  This situation is a good example of how institutionalized racism ‘works’ and how our political system and the legal system work together to support those who already have the power and privilege at the expense of those who do not.  Racism not only works through overt bigotry, but rather it is likely to be covertly embedded into systems that continually work to further advantage those who are already privileged at the expense of those who are not.

Property tax avalanche threatens homeowners on historic coastal island

By Rich Phillips, CNN
updated 3:21 PM EDT, Wed October 30, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Fewer than 50 of the Gullah-Geechee people remain on Georgia’s coastal Sapelo Island
  • After property taxes were increased by as much as 600%, many fear they will have to sell
  • The community “is a part of history. It will be a shame not to preserve” it, a resident says
  • “We have to follow the law, and assess at fair market value,” the county attorney says

Sapelo Island, Georgia (CNN) — It’s a culture struggling to survive. Fewer than 50 people — all descendants of slaves — fear they may soon be taxed out of the property their families have owned since the days of slavery.

They are the Gullah-Geechee people of Sapelo Island off Georgia’s coast, near Savannah. This small, simple community is finding itself embroiled in a feud with local officials over a sudden, huge increase in property assessments that are raising property taxes as much as 600% for some.

Many say the increase could force them to sell their ancestral properties.

“That’s part of the American history. That’s part of what built this country,” said Charles Hall, 79, a retired U.S. Air Force colonel who was born under a midwife’s care in the same home he lives in today.

“Sapelo being the only intact Gullah-Geechee community in the country that’s left, that is a part of history. It will be a shame not to preserve” it, he told CNN.

McIntosh County’s decision to reappraise homes on the island sparked the problem.

Continue reading article here:

News Source:  http://www.cnn.com/2013/10/26/living/georgia-island-tax-avalanche/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

© Nancy Babbitt and Just Desserts Blog, 2013-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Nancy Babbitt and Just Desserts Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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