Texas Pool Party Incident Exposes McKinney's Housing Segregation Battle

Police officer Eric Casebolt’s violent behavior towards a group of black teenagers at a pool party in McKinney, Texas, became the latest flashpoint in the national debate about police brutality. However, the build-up to the incident touched on another discrimination issue: housing. One of the party’s organizers, Tatiana Rhodes, claimed her friends had been racially abused by a white woman who saw them as intruders. The woman hurled an insult, "“Go back to your Section 8 home.” The slur prompted a fight that led to police being called and Casebolt manhandling a 15-year-old girl and drawing his gun. The alleged comment was a reference to a federal program that provides housing subsidies for the very poor--many of them black. It is easy to see why it might cause offence in the Dallas suburb, where middle-class developments such as the Craig Ranch subdivision--where the pool is located--are predominantly on the west side of the city, while poorer residents live to the east.