Racism in real estate

By SEAN FLYNN  |  May 13, 2009

"Granted, they're between a rock and a hard place," says one former city official, "but the issue is between right and wrong&ldots;.They have a moral obligation to uphold the law, and nine times out of 10, they'll duck it." And if a broker loses listings because he or she refuses to screen out minorities, so be it, he says. "At least that broker will be able to go home and sleep at night." And the explanation that it's better to keep minorities out of neighborhoods in which they're not welcome for their own safety and well-being carries little weight with the activists. "That's bullshit," says MHFA's Henderson. "No one should set himself up as judge and jury and protector of my rights while he's letting someone else violate them."

"We, as a generation, went through a civil-rights movement and thought we'd dealt with this problem, and we haven't," says MCAD's Allen. "And we're not going to solve these problems in our lifetime. So the question is 'Where can we effect change?' The answer is 'We have the tools to effect change in housing.'"

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