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Speak out against unfair housing

Perspective: Victims of discrimination deserve a louder voice

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Fifteen years ago a then-next-door-neighbor of mine told me he intended to put his house on the market, but he wanted to assure me that he would make sure no one in a certain racial group, which he clearly identified with a derogatory epithet, would move into our neighborhood. I was so stunned by his remark and the casual, but kind of whispery tone in which he delivered it, that I kept silent even though I should have told him I was offended by what he had said. I've always regretted that I didn't speak up. Discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, family status or disability in the sale or rental of housing is illegal throughout the United States. And yet it still goes on even though victims shouldn't have to suffer from it. Most prejudices die hard, but housing discrimination has been particularly difficult to end because it was so deeply imbedded in the way housing was sold and rented in the nation prior to the 1960s. Consider that in 1937 a distri...