When I first entered the real estate industry fair housing was an integral part of my foundational education. I learned about the ways in which, mostly people of color, had been purposely discriminated against in order to maintain racism and bias. Every year since then, these issues continue to abound and evolve at a disturbing pace.
The issue comes up far too often in statements from clients, peers, and service providers. In the last year or so, I have heard or seen instances of bias against: students, people with children, LGBTQ individuals, people of different races, people with handicaps or disabilities, and people of faith.
We are often told that if clients or potential clients make a racist statement that we are to state that "we cannot have this discussion" and move on.
I don't think this is enough.
Going forward, I am convinced that it is critical to go beyond dismissing racial, prejudicial, and bias statements. They must be confronted. And while this can be done professionally and with a calm demeanor, yes, it may cost me a client, a sale, a referral, or a peer relationship. So be it.
Therefore, I commit to calling out racism, prejudice, and implicit bias as I see it and when I hear it. This is the only way out of the muck and mire of a system that breeds and favors division as opposed to unity.
In the big picture, this is barely a fraction of a drop in the proverbial bucket. But in my life, in my daily picture, this is the least I can do.