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Shine the Light


I grew up in Los Angeles and watched as the real estate industry controlled housing availability by refusing to show homes in “white” neighborhoods to blacks and others. The demarcation line in south L.A. was Alameda on the east and Figueroa on the west. Slowly these lines were moved out further west, but the Inglewood “Realtors” held out for years and kept Inglewood a white enclave. (Similarly so in South Gate.)

Perhaps I am conflating the Santa Barbara Rental Property Association with the real estate sales and rental industry as a whole, but they should be reminded (as the author of “How Racism Has Shaped the Housing Market” does) that they have been able to use private agreements for racist purposes for centuries. For them to now complain that they are being required to subdue their greed for the public good is only more of the same — inherited privilege cannot reflect on its own lack of validity.

I applaud the author for noting his perks of birth.



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