News :: [none]

Federal Government's Attack on Minority Preservation

"With the proposed amendments agencies and businesses will only have to consider those properties listed on the national register. The majority of properties on the national register were financed by the wealthy and those providing political favors. It is mostly comprised of mansions, high style buildings, and plantations. Especially in our state of Virginia to be deemed significant the property will have to be linked to the elite founding fathers of our country. In other words the wealthy white populations that have ruled are the only histories which will be saved. The Section 106 process forced business and agencies to look beyond this overwhelmingly white history and consult to the local population as to what is significant. This encouraged minority, ethnic, and the poor communities’ rights. Businesses have been complaining about this policy ever since it’s introduction in 1906."
The National Parks subcommittee of the Natural Resources Committee of the U.S. Congress is considering a substantive change to Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. The proposed change will mean that only those historic properties already on the National Register of Historic Places, and those already formally determined as Eligible by the Secretary of the Interior, will be considered by federal agencies when carrying out or licensing undertakings.


This will remove thousands of unknown and uninventoried historic places from protection under the National Historic Preservation Act. There will no longer be any requirement to identify and evaluate properties under the Section 106 provisions. Cultural resources of untold significance will be impacted by this change if it is implemented.


In layman terms this means that previous regulations forced federal agencies, big business with federal contracts, and any other state or local agencies who’s development plans are financed with federal money to consider all properties, structures, and cultural beliefs that may be affected by the proposed development. With the proposed amendments agencies and businesses will only have to consider those properties listed on the national register. The majority of properties on the national register were financed by the wealthy and those providing political favors. It is mostly comprised of mansions, high style buildings, and plantations. Especially in our state of Virginia to be deemed significant the property will have to be linked to the elite founding fathers of our country. In other words the wealthy white populations that have ruled are the only histories which will be saved. The Section 106 process forced business and agencies to look beyond this overwhelmingly white history and consult to the local population as to what is significant. This encouraged minority, ethnic, and the poor communities’ rights. Businesses have been complaining about this policy ever since it’s introduction in 1906. They deem this law as costing too much money and time. Because of this they have lobbied hard to abolish it.


This is where the people must take a stand and voice their opinions, the only opinion that matters, that of the citizen. We can not allow our government to say it is ok to destroy and displace the only link many of these individuals have to their heritage, a heritage which for the most part is a subjugated one. I hope that everyone will stand up to those congressmen they elected into office and declare that the public are who they should be lobbying for, not businesses whom they owe political favors. Our president and republic government has efficiently created a nation of hypocrisy. In this day and time he stresses the heritage of our nation and nationalism but allows government to take away the heritage and history which the majority, ethnic and poor communities, has created. We are becoming a mockery in the global gaze. Most countries have much stricter policies towards preservation and strive to uphold them. Here in a country who says they put the public’s interests first are in actuality only putting business interests first.


Please contact your representative concerning this amendment. Review hearings began today so immediate action is needed. You can visit this site www.apva.org/apva/issues.php , scroll to the bottom of the page, and find all the contact information you will need.