Integration Faces a New Test in the Suburbs - NYTimes.com
It felt like a return to the ’60s a week ago — a sweeping call for social justice, a frontal assault on the comforts of the status quo, the resurrection of issues and rallying cries from the distant past.
We speak not of that famous concert in the mud, which now seems as threatening as an eccentric uncle, but of a desegregation agreement that would compel Westchester County to create hundreds of housing units for moderate-income people in some of the most affluent and least racially diverse communities in the country.
The agreement is a result of a 2007 lawsuit arguing that Westchester had made false claims to the government when it applied for federal housing money and asserted it was furthering fair housing. A federal judge ruled that Westchester had, in fact, “utterly failed” to meet its obligations, particularly in its most affluent and least integrated communities.
Of the many fault lines in American life — school desegregation, Social Security, guns, immigration, health care policy, abortion — residential desegregation has been so charged it has all but disappeared from view. It’s not a third rail — it’s off the tracks. So exactly how one defines “a fully integrated society” and how aggressively the government pursues it will determine whether this is an isolated settlement with limited goals or something with the potential to make the uproar over health care policy seem like a sedate ripple.