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Racist Attitudes in Rental Housing

November 25, 2001

So, it turns out that white landlords are not the only people who do not want to rent to people who do not look like them ("Mi Casa No Es Su Casa," Nov. 21). Even Mexicans from different states in the same country will discriminate in leasing homes or rooms. Jews turn down Latinos, Latinos turn away blacks, Armenians refuse to rent to non-Armenians--yet with all that, Shanna Smith, the executive director of the National Fair Housing Alliance, still has the gall to say that this is nothing like the "malicious kind of white racism we see against people of color."

What sort of chip on her shoulder does this woman have against white people? A Latino evicting only blacks is not malicious? A Latino owner refusing to even come to the door to greet a black woman (and later chatting amiably in Spanish with a Latino woman) is not malicious? Why does she excuse their behavior as "preference" but assumes that when a white person does the same thing it is "malicious"? Who's the racist here?

Jennifer Smith

Corona

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