House for Rent: Not you, you're Native

by anthonyamato on September 4, 2015 - 1:34pm

House for Rent: Not you, you’re Native

            CBC News stated in ‘No natives please’: Kijiji pulls apartment ad for Prince Albert, Sask. after complaint on August 25th, 2015, that an ad posted on Kijiji (a marketplace similar to Ebay) was recently removed by the company. The advertisement was published in hopes of renting out a three bedroom, 1000 square foot home in Saskatoon. However, the title says it all: “3 bedroom east flat house, no natives please”. The author of the ad also stated that renters must be working and not stay-at-home mothers. Due to complaints, Kijiji agreed to remove the ad since it was deemed against the law. Another Native family also gave commentary to CBC experiencing similar discriminatory actions, as described in the article, where the landlord lied and denied vacancy to the mother yet when the younger daughter called (with no audible accent), a spot in the apartment suddenly appeared. The article concluded with Kimberly Jonathan, interim chief of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations, stating that the reaction following this advertisement may be a turning point for the region since the idea of race is being spoken.

 

            To start, the fact that the advertisement denies native people a chance at renting a home is not just, despite being highly discriminatory. These first nation people should not be discriminated against merely because of societal stereotypes inferring negative traits to natives. A specific ethnicity or “race” does not have traits. Humans have traits, not “races”, which differ from person to person. Traits are determined by instilled values and morals of a person, and thus the owner of the advertisement should not make racial assumptions. This logic follows for the other landlord mentioned as well. We should not be basing our decisions or denying a specific “race” equal opportunities merely because of skin color or any other arbitrary and subjective process especially because skin color, for instance, as mentioned by Jablonski, in the article Human Skin Pigmentation as an Example of Adaptive Evolution, is essential for evolution by natural selection and should not be used as a classification label.  

 

CBC. (2015, August 25). ‘No natives please’: Kijiji pulls apartment ad for Prince Albert, Sask. after complaint. CBC News. Retrieved from http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatoon/no-natives-please-kijiji- pulls-apartment-ad-for-prince-albert-sask-after-complaint-1.3202505 

Comments

I felt the need to comment on your article because it is unfair to deny someone a basic necessity simply because of his or her ethnicity. I definitely agree with your point of view on this subject. It is troubling how some people still think that one “race” is inferior to another. Even though it has already been established that there is no such thing as “race” to begin with. Why should it matter whom the people who are renting are and whether they have a job or not? The lender should be happy with the fact that he is receiving money at the end of the equation. If the family who is renting has trouble paying for the home, that would be a completely different situation. With the number of immigrants needing a home as quick as possible, how would the lender assure that his house will fall in the hands of a “race” he prefers? Wouldn’t it be more logical to rent it to whoever is in need because either way the outcome is the same? My family also owns a condo that we are renting-out to those who need a place to stay. Although the last family who rented it for a year was a negative experience and left everything a mess when they moved out, we did not start discriminating and refusing certain ethnicities because of them. Just like Chief Kimberly Jonathan, I am glad that there is such a big response to this ad because it shows that people are aware of the injustice that is still present and that we still need to fight to end racism for good. It’s a large project but someday; there will be a time where everyone will agree that we are all equal. Although I wonder what pushed the person to post the ad to discriminate against natives. Is he simply racist? Is it in his culture? His experiences? Maybe, it has something to do with the neighborhood in which the house is in.

I decided to respond to this post because right after I read the title, I knew I was going to have something to say about it and be able to relate. I agree one hundred percent with what you had to say about this because being a First Nations Mohawk I know first had what it is like to be not given the same opportunities based on racial assumptions. I had already known about this article because a lot of people from my community were sharing it on Facebook and my family talked about it over the dinner table one night. My sister was a housing worker in Toronto and this was an issue that came up when trying to find housing for First Nations people that were at risk or experiencing homelessness, they were denied solely because they were Native. Even though discriminating or denying someone housing because of their “race” is against the law, many tenants got away with it because there was no written proof of it, unlike the post on Kijiji. When first hearing about this add on Kijiji denying Natives, I was not surprised because too often society discriminates against groups of people based on the stereotypes of their “race”, which we discussed in class is just a social construct. The way I seen this and personally felt that it was as if they were putting Native people on the same level as animals, like how people put “no pets allowed” in their advertisements. Do you agree?

I agree with every aspect of this post!
Discrimination goes on everywhere at anytime, and the fact that racism is present on Kijiji kind of proves that. Denying anyone the right to a vital need, such as a shelter, just on the basis of their skin colour or accent is unacceptable. In the first apartment ad posted on August 25th, I would like to maybe share an aspect that you may not have thought about. Notice how the author of the ad states that the renters must be working and not stay-at-home mothers. I would just like to draw your attention to the “stay-at-home mothers” part of that statement. Behind all the racial discrimination going on in this add, the author is not only degrading women that take care of the family, but she/he is also insinuating that women who take care of the family can’t possibly generate an income. Our generation is a product of assumptions passed down to us through a patriarchal world view, hence the favouritism for men and the expectation that women that have children just plain can’t work. This brings up the topic of intersectionality. Basically, the author renting out the house is not only holding race against the potential renter, but if said person is a woman, in the lower class, they will have less and less possibility of being able to rent. It is extremely wrong to take something as basic as housing away from people just because of their race, sex or class. You did a very good job pointing this out, I just wanted to raise awareness to the fact that sexism doesn't necessarily run alongside racism, but rather it piles up on top of it.
Hope you like my insight! I also posted an interesting link on the stereotype of “stay at home mothers”, and thought that you may want to take a look!

http://www.todaysparent.com/blogs/run-at-home-mom/princess-culture-stay-...

I chose this post "House for Rent: Not you, you're native" because the title really intrigued me. It's very surprising to see that race and ethnicity are still big problems to some. I feel that it is extremely cruel and unreasonable to refuse someone that is native from renting a home. Discriminating someone for such a thing is wrong. Also I find it rather shocking that the landlords would feel so comfortable with stating in their rental post that they will reject natives. It's sad that the First Nations are being discriminated against based on negative stereotypes. To further prove your point that discrimination is wrong it may be interesting to add a gender lens to this post. For instance Harvard University recently did a experiment based on how women are often discriminated against when applying for a job. Harvard University sent the exact same job application letters to numerous companies however one had the name Jack and the other Jill and 40% more often Jack was considered the most qualified rather than Jill. Men seem to get the position rather then women because they are seen as ambitious, confident and outspoken and women are seen as timid, shy and passive however that may not always be the case although it does lead the employer to pick the male. In conclusion I believe that we shouldn't be discriminated against based on negative stereotypes.