Wednesday, January 03, 2007

White Flight Tactic Lands Realtor In Hot Water

The City of Merrillville has filed a complaint with HUD against a local realtor it says used scare tactics in fliers to encourage north Merrillville residents to sell their homes. Deborah Laverty of the Northwest Indiana Times reports those fliers informed the residents there was legislation pending in the legislature in which a portion of Merrillville was to be incorporated by the city of Gary. Mary Ann Winslow, the accused realtor, blames her own inexperience and a person she met with from Gary "who she believed to be a high person of authority" for the erroneous information about the supposed annexation. Her attorney defended the fliers, saying it made no specific reference to "race, creed, ethnicity, sex or religion." He also conceded she "might have used bad judgment." That's an understatement.


Anonymous said...

Nothing like using the "G-Word" in The Region to scare people.

And people down here don't realize the gravity of the situation when we say we're becoming "Gary South".

Gary R. Welsh said...

You missed the point of the post. Our civil rights laws prohibit such tactics--for good reason.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps it's because there's such a low barrier to entry - and because you only get paid when the sale closes - but the mentality of MANY (not all) realtors never ceases to amaze me.

When your defense is "I was too stupid to know it was against the law to scare people," that is a bad sign.

Anonymous said...

9:24, I've dealt with Realtors professionally for over 25 years. The mentality demonstrated in this post is not rare enough, but I'd say it represents maybe 5-10% of all Realtors.

When or if a Realtor behaves in this manner, if reported, sanctions are typically swift.

The profession does police itself well--if it knows about the infractions. I'm afraid this happens quietly too often, and no malfeasance is therefore reported.

If you want to witness more-subtle race-baiting tactics, look at anythinig the Shorewood-Geist folks (Marina Limited Partnership, etc.) did in the 70s and early 80s.

The ads and direct-mail pieces were notoriously anti-inner city (read: black). "Move up north and escape that crap," in so many words.

All this was done regarding land developed around a resevoir your Indpls. Water Co. rate dollars paid for. All of those profits should've gone right back into the company, but no...they went into the pockets of families who set up these real estate companies. With names like Moses. Who (mostly) propmptly funded right-wing politicians like Dan Quayle, who was, frighteningly, a hearbeat away for four years. Yikes. His first House campaign was flush with Geist dollars. His first Senate campaign was ditto. Ironic, because Sen. Bayh fought hard against federal dollars and approval going into the Geist resevoir, fearing exactly what happened: profiteering not directed toward ratepayers.

I can still remember the subtle concern demonstrated when wealthy black professional athletes started buying property and homes up there.

The more things change, ya know?

Anonymous said...

"You missed the point of the post. Our civil rights laws prohibit such tactics--for good reason."

This is why this country will eventually end up burning off. We take away the rights of some to advance the rights of a few. Sorry, but when I am no longer able to hire and fire at rights have been violated.

In this country, the blissninnies want to take the "nice" road. Eventually, every single class will be protected: Fat, poor, bad credit, etc. etc.. It will get so bad that it would not surprise me if a lot of folks decided _not_ to run their own business, rent/sell properties, work for a major corporation where you have to do the hiring/firing. We will see lawsuits flood the courts. "I was fired because I am a person of poundage!" "I was fired because I am poor!" "He would not rent me an apartment because I had bad credit!"

When will this insanity end? What is wrong if I walk into a Realtor's office and ask to see an area of all whites, hispanics, blacks, gays, etc.? Why does we make these silly laws knowing damn well they won't do a damn thing? I visited Chicago once, it was pretty damn clear where the "gay area" was. Something about pink triangles all over the place. Why were these triangles not on the city lights near the ghettos filled with blacks? Maybe in an effort not to hurt anyone's feelings, we should ban the following: All flags except the Stars and Stripes (oh wait, might hurt the feelings of illegals..ban it as well!). We can't have Irish folks, Mexican folks, Greek folks, Malcom X folks, Hillbilly folks, etc. flying their flags. They might offend an innocent person!!

I love it how the CRA demanded banks stop red lining. Basically, poor blacks were not even getting offered loans based on where they live. So the government says "This is wrong!" and demands and end to red-lining. All the while, with a wink and a nood, they say it is ok to use credit score and other factors to determine risk. In other words "You know, we know the vast majority of these people are poor. We know too many will not pay back the loan. However, we need the votes. So since credit score isn't a color or race, use it instead. Oh, and by the way, if one of those people who live in the area do qualify, you can loan the money using a CRA loan. The government will back it for your. Again, we need the votes!"

Civil rights laws will kill this country. You cannot support the rights of one group over another. Individual freedom must be left with the individual. That should extend to their place of business. How can we say the Boy Scounts can ban gays, yet if you own a business in Indy, you can be somewhat forced to hire gays? It makes no damn sense at all.

Anonymous said...

Oh my, Gary.

What can you say to that last post, except:

Mr. Van Winkle, go back to sleep.

Outrageously out of touch. Almost humorous, except, I get the impression this guy mighit be an otherwise-responsible adult.

Wowee zowey.