Minorities Given a Disadvantage in the Housing Department

by Wilson La on October 28, 2014 - 5:16am

          The article "Discrimination in Housing Against Nonwhites Persists Quietly, U.S. Study Finds" written by Shaila Dewan in The New York Times from June 11th, 2013 argues that racism against "nonwhites" is still apparent even in today's modern day U.S. society. Although the results gained from study done by the Department of Housing and Urban Development did not show that these "nonwhites" were unable to obtain appointments to view the houses the methods used to perform racism were more subtle and hidden as these racial minorities were more likely to be shown a smaller quantity of houses. Results obtained from the test that had approximately 8000 tests, individuals of different race, but of equal economical background were shown the identical quantity of homes, but the whites were generally favored compared to the racial minority. There were many specific cases where the whites were favored over the minorities such as the whites getting more options and getting lower costs. The article finishes off by stating that whites are more likely to obtain special treatment compared to those of minority races in the housing department in the United States.

            In my opinion, this article written by Shaila Dewan has a very clear message/argument as she is able to give evidence towards this injustice in the housing department of the United States. I do agree with her as it has happened to my family once before as we found out that somebody we knew had sold their house for a lower price to a customer of the same race instead of the person who had offered a higher price, but was of a different race. Obviously this is a problem as people are being denied the equal chances of acquiring a house, thus making it a harder scenario for people of racial minorities. Also these "New Racism" tactics are very subtle and hard to catch onto as in these cases, people would not have known that they were given a disadvantage at buying an estate due to the fact that these kinds of information are not usually divulged. As we can see even though these forms of "New Racism" are more hidden it does not mean that it is less harmful as people of minority status are still being given an unfair disadvantage.

 

References

 

Dewan, S. (2013, June 11). Discrimination in Housing Against Nonwhites Persists Quietly, U.S.     Study Finds. The New York Times. Retrieved   September 23, 2014, Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/12/business/economy/discrimination-in-hou...

Comments

We do not hear a lot about inequalities and discrimination in the housing department and this is why I decided to comment on your post. I was interested to learn more about this topic.

I agree with you, it is harder for people from racial minorities to acquire a house. According me, by saying that this kind of discrimination is “very subtle and hard to catch", you gave the most plausible reason why this phenomenon still exist today. In my opinion, it is a form of white privilege that white people can enjoy because they do not have to worry about being targeted as racist since nobody knows about it. Tim Wise once said: "... it pays to be a member of the dominant racial group. It doesn't mean that a white person will get everything they want in life, or win every competition, but it does mean that there are general advantages that we receive". This issue in housing department is unfortunately not as much reported in the media than some other forms of discrimination or racism. I think that many white people denounce racism only to be "politically correct". But do they really mean it? Just by looking at this situation in the housing department, we can conclude that a lot of white people do not really advocate against racism. To add to your argumentation, I would say that many people use discourses of democratic racism such as denial and blaming the victim to justify these inequalities. While some people simply deny that this situation exists, others might say that it’s the fault of racial minorities if they cannot access to housing as easily as white people.

I invite you to take a look at the following link. It’s an interview that demonstrates that still to this day, many people deny the existence of white privilege even if their are evidences to support it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-KBFuobhDk

I have chosen to comment on your post due to the content and the subject that is being discussed. I do agree with you when you say that minorities are given a disadvantage in the housing department. This situation is very similar to the inequality in the workforce. If you're of a minority and are applying for a job you are of more of a disadvantage if you are running for the job against someone who is white. Race is always taken into consideration when looking for new employees. Those of the more dominant race don't have to be worrying as much about getting the job as much as someone of a racial minority. This is just another factor of white privilege. As you discussed, many people of the racial minorities may not even realize that it is due to their race that they did not get the house they have wished for since it is very subtle. The same thing goes for the job force unless the boss who is hiring isn't afraid to express his racial views. The link below represents this idea of inequality in the workforce. So maybe it's not just in the housing department but maybe in many other aspects of the economy as well?

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/queens-bakery-hit-25-000-fines-penal...

Your post drew my attention because instead of talking about the dominant groups having advantages you focused on the minority groups. The personal experience you have witnessed is an example of white privilege. I agree that white people have the opportunity to get more advantages than the minority group. However, it does not mean white people always get what they want. It simply means that non-whites have fewer advantages than white people do. Not only has the white privilege been present in housing department but also in career opportunities, public services, etc. People are using democratic attitudes like denial or equality opportunities towards non-whites and put the blame of the issue on the back of official and legal policies. Like you said, they are using implicit and systematic arguments to deny that there is anything being racist in their attitudes. I wonder if the minority people act the same way towards white people. I mean think about it, if someone of the minority group is in position of hiring white people or selling a house to a white family, do they use “non-white” privileges? Would they rather be in favor of hiring someone from their own race or selling a house to a non-white family than white people?

Your post drew my attention because instead of talking about the dominant groups having advantages you focused on the minority groups. The personal experience you have witnessed is an example of white privilege. I agree that white people have the opportunity to get more advantages than the minority group. However, it does not mean white people always get what they want. It simply means that non-whites have fewer advantages than white people do. Not only has the white privilege been present in housing department but also in career opportunities, public services, etc. People are using democratic attitudes like denial or equality opportunities towards non-whites and put the blame of the issue on the back of official and legal policies. Like you said, they are using implicit and systematic arguments to deny that there is anything being racist in their attitudes. I wonder if the minority people act the same way towards white people. I mean think about it, if someone of the minority group is in position of hiring white people or selling a house to a white family, do they use “non-white” privileges? Would they rather be in favor of hiring someone from their own race or selling a house to a non-white family than white people?

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