It happened again yesterday, and this time it involved a former President of the United States.
What is “it”? “It” is an unjustified, baseless and utterly foolish charge of racism. This time, it came from former President Jimmy Carter, who decided to attempt to use a charge of racism to impugn the reputation of a congressman (Joe Wilson) who criticized Barack Obama’s health care sales presentation. While the style of Wilson’s criticism was certainly tasteless, it remains true that tastelessness and racism aren’t the same thing. Yet it’s fashionable among our leadership and citizenry alike to level charges of racism when it’s entirely inappropriate and baseless.
Which leads me to the real estate business.
What I’m about to describe to you really happened. This is not a hypothetical story.
Recently, a wealthy home buyer contacted a real estate broker for assistance with finding a home to purchase. After a few weeks of exchanging telephone calls and emails, the broker and buyer met each other to view about 10 different properties in several neighborhoods.
At the end of the day, the broker and buyer had a quick meeting to discuss the events of the day. At this time, the buyer says to the broker: “Which of these houses are in a ___________ neighborhood?” (In the blank, the buyer inserted his racial preference.)
The broker refused to provide that information. The buyer accused the broker of racism and fired her on the spot.
In this case, the buyer was looking to purchase a property around $900,000, so the commission lost on this deal due to this charge of racism was probably around $54,000 (6%) – a significant amount of money, to be sure.
So here’s the question for today’s anonymous survey:
What do you think? I’d really appreciate your feedback on this issue. Clearly, I’ve not specified the races or ethnicities of any of the people in this event, which reflects my belief that there must be a consistent standard of judgment when accusations of racism are in play. What do you think? Please leave your comments below, and thank you for reading http://realestate.BryanEllis.com!