Here’s a screen capture from today’s Microsoft news feed:
To an educated person, the link between these two stories is obvious: Blacks are responsible for most homicides in the US, landlords are (at some level) aware of this and act accordingly. Hispanics also have higher crime rates, but not as high as blacks. From the Salon article:
Using a software bot, the economists sent inquiries from fake renters to 8,476 property managers in the 50 largest US metropolitan housing markets. The bot assigned names to fictitious renters that would indicate whether the race of the inquirer was white, Black, or Hispanic.
The bot found that names perceived to be white got a response 5.6 percentage points more than Black-sounding names, and 2.8 percentage points more than Hispanic-sounding names.
If the landlords were interrogated, we can rest assured that they wouldn’t say, “The reason we’re less keen on renting to blacks than Hispanics is that their skin is darker.” No, instead, they’d say, “Blacks are more dangerous than Hispanics” or something to that effect.
The article goes on to say:
The researchers find that for Black would-be renters, the most discriminatory region is the Midwest and the most discriminatory individual cities are Chicago, Los Angeles, and Louisville. For Hispanic would-be renters, the most discriminatory region is the Northeast and the most discriminatory individual cities are Louisville, Houston, and Providence.
I’m not going to claim that there’s always a direct correlation between black crime rates, in specific cities, and the rates of discrimination – but it is noteworthy that the three most discriminatory cities are Chicago (constantly in the news for black shootings), Los Angeles (constantly in the news for black “smash and grab” robberies) and Louisville (also with extremely high crime rates, and high concentrations of blacks in certain areas). All of these cities are Diverse, with neither Chicago nor Los Angeles being known for their large white redneck populations.
The ABC article lists the worst US cities for homicides, with Chicago at the top of the list:
Chicago, the nation’s third-largest city, leads the nation with 739 homicides as of the end of November, up 3% from 2020, according to Chicago Police Department crime data.
Regarding the Vox article, I couldn’t help but notice that there is no mention of the race of prospective landlords/property managers. The focus is entirely on renters. This omission exists in the original research paper as well.
Obviously, the authors were looking for racism, and a reasonable person would ask if the “racist landlords” are, indeed, of a different race than the victims. Is it possible that the authors simply overlooked this factor? Perhaps they believe that non-whites discriminate against other non-whites as a form of “internalized racism.” If so, then they should have stated as much. Either way, such an omission is inexcusable; it makes me suspect that we’re not dealing with honest people.
The American public is bombarded with articles showing the existence of anti-black/anti-Hispanic housing discrimination – and not one of them delves into the actual REASONS for such discrimination; it’s assumed that it’s white landlords discriminating against black/Hispanic renters for nothing more than the color of their skin.
We need to challenge these studies. We need to demand a more holistic approach, and a willingness to ask the more difficult questions. Quantity cannot serve as a substitute for quality if the goal is a more harmonious society.