Jane H. Hill, The Everyday Language of White Racism
This is like when me and my white soon-to-be husband were looking for places. I’d call up and they’d say, “Come on down! Get an application!”. Because I don’t “sound” black.
Then I’d walk in 2 minutes later and they’d be all, “Oh. Sorry, we just rented it.”
Then I’d send him in and he’d get an application.
The best part? Walking back in while he was completing the application. “Oh, they gave you an application? But they told me it was just rented. ODD. THAT. I’m going to report them so let’s just skip this place, m’kay?” The looks on their faces and the pathetic apologies were just too much fun.
Used to deal with the same thing with road trips. Hotels would tell me that there were no vacancies, but my white roommate would go in and get us a room, usually cheaper than advertised.
But we’re just supposed to *trust* and think everything is an *isolated* incident.
My parents pointed out how this phenomenon worked when we were moving to PA (they’d get steered to crummier neighborhoods and have to insist on being shown others). Housing discrimination is still pretty widespread and the gatekeepers? Tend to either intentionally or due to unchecked bias reinforce the status quo.
It always floors me the things people are surprised at. Meanwhile, every person of color is sitting here like, “Oh. Must be another day that ends in Y, and in other news, water is wet.” Like, really, people are surprised by this, and whenever they show surprise at learning stuff that we go through, I have to poker face, lest I end up giving them the most disbelieving side eye in history because how do you NOT know this? But then, you know. Some people have the privilege of being able to be unaware it because it’s not a problem they have to deal with. :/
My mom and dad tried to move into a house in a mostly white area and the realtor told them they should move somewhere where they would be “more comfortable around their peers”. My mom reported them, the NAACP gave her a free lawyer, and they got the place for some crazy low price. Housing discrimination is real as fuck.
Readabookson has a copy >here<