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News ::
Racist Landlords (english)
10 May 2003
Modified: 12 May 2003
A reality check about a few of the ways that racism manifests in the housing market.
I posted an article a few weeks back about my current landlord's horrible actions after I had two black men in my apartment. She came up to my door when they were gone and said "I am particular about the kind of people I let into my home."

So after that, I couldn't stand to be around here anymore. It was the last straw after many other subtle ways of controlling me and limiting my life, a privilege for which my housemate and I paid her $1000 a month for years... and we decided we had to leave.

So we found another apartment, in Roslindale, and one of the good points about it was that we could have a roommate if we wanted. This would help out with the rent and it would allow us the "privilege" of helping out someone in need if we wanted. That's something that the old landlord didn't allow.

So we paid half the rent to hold the place and were were planning to move in soon. A friend of mine, who is African, is in need of a room, and he is having a hard time finding a room through the regular channels. (Guess why.)

So I told him that he could possibly be my roommate. I like him a lot. He would be a great roommate, and since we sometimes work together and he doesn't have a car, it would help him out with transportation too. I enjoy his company. It would be a good situation.

But the new landlord doesn't want to be the first one on his block to rent to a black person. So he said I'm sorry but no.

Fuck that. Just FUCK that.

Yeah, we know it's illegal, so what, it still happens and here it is happening right now.

So what should I do?

Should I demand the $650 I paid him back, and find yet another place and this time ask them straight out if I could have a black roommate or other person of color as a roommate? Why should I even have to ask that kind of question?

Or should I rent this apartment and have this man move in, and then put him in the awkward and potentially harmful situation of living in a house where the landlord doesn't want him there?
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What You Should DO... (english)
11 May 2003
What should you do?

It seems pretty clear-cut to me.

Why don't you call the local chapter of the ACLU? Or the NAACP? Or a lawyer from the Natl. Lawyers' Guild?

How can your landlord allow you to have a roommate, but disallow certain people based on race?

Good luck!
Love and Solidarity,
See also:
thanks, i will (english)
12 May 2003
For others' reference...

Springfield NAACP office (I have found no Boston one yet):

Massachusetts ACLU: