By the Editorial Board  May 1, 2014

Politicians’ bitterly defying the federal government over racial desegregation is an old American story, but not a dead one. You can find it in 50-year-old black-and-white newsreel clips. Or you can go to YouTube and see an angry campaign video posted this week by the Westchester County executive, Rob Astorino.

Mr. Astorino, a Republican who is running to unseat Gov. Andrew Cuomo, talks about “defending our communities against arbitrary federal interference” and “neighborhoods the federal government is attacking.” He is referring to a battle to bring integrated housing to the leafy glades of his wealthy, highly segregated suburban county. The ad bitterly rebuts Mr. Cuomo’s own attack ads, which accuse Mr. Astorino of refusing to comply with a landmark fair-housing court decree, and link this resistance to the Jim Crow South.

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