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In American society today, concepts of social class, race and real estate are tangled together. One cannot have a sincere discussion regarding race without putting into consideration equally important concept of class because the two are related closely. Bell Hooks analyzed and discussed the American’s dirt little secret of race and class despite the fact that discussions of class and race usually shunned due to the fact that these kinds of issues render people uncomfortable. Although people usually avoid speaking these issues in public, there are quite a number of individuals in American society today who are incapable of escaping the double of risks of being born African Americans and poor.
For instance, when Bell was seeking to buy a real estate in Greenwich Village in New York City, and told white agents that he wanted to be in a racially miscellaneous building because he didn’t he himself or folks coming to see him to be subjected to racism, the agents insisted that the issue was not in regard to race but class (Hooks 131). They said that buildings and neighborhoods will be more concerned with white supremacy suppose they were all occupied by whites. Bell says that any property that was available before he showed up was sold mysteriously by the time he arrived, thus, explanations regarding class wore thin.
However, it is apparent that none of the white agents were willing to name the truth of racism or white supremacy. Bell lastly found a building in the West Village with a place owned by a black lady who had been living there for over 50 years (Hooks 131). Bell asked her if the concept of race had emerged at the meeting where his application was checked since one cannot by into co-ops without board approval. She accepted but she said that she dismissed that concept saying that Bell was like whites and he had money (Hooks 132).
Hooks (132) asserts that a white dominated real estate market has maintained and institutionalized racial apartheid in US. For instance, New York City is one of the most ethnically diverse cities across the globe, yet racial and ethnic separation goes on to inform housing practices both in terms of the neighborhoods people choose to stay in, who landlords rent properties to, and who is capable of buying. For instance, Bell was not astonished to realize developing close relationship with a white female real estate agent that agents at first tend to share information regarding select properties verbally, instead of ads in newspaper or listings available to the public (Hooks 132). An easy context for racial discrimination to occur with no one the wiser is therefore, developed by this behind-the scene sharing.
When you are in New York City and you are looking to purchase a flat in co-ops or condos, you will realize that it is a market shaped by white realtors and white residents who are similarly invested in what is commonly referred to as undesirable elements out of their building (Hooks 132). People of color, native born, and immigrant nonwhites are the ones referred to repeatedly as undesirable. When it comes to permitting people of color/blacks in their buildings, white residents who might observe themselves commonly as liberal when regarding the issue of race, acted in a conservative manner (Hooks 132).
According to Niemonen (83), class is evoked by liberals and conservatives a like to justify racism, contrary to the concept that class power permits one to transcend race in the arena of real estate. For instance, folks will be adamant they are not racist, and then argue simultaneously that everyone knows that suppose a lot of black people enter the neighborhood, property values will reduce (Hooks 133). They may even articulate that they conspire in maintenance this policy to maintain property values even though they disagree with it.
Laws prohibiting racial discrimination in housing have had little or even no effect in some circumstances. For instance, it is indicated by studies that most white people prefer segregated neighborhoods or accept racial integration suppose it means one black person or family stays in their region while an devastating majority of black people would prefer to stay in mixed neighborhoods (Hacker 67). In addition, hardly any white folks choose to stay in an area where a half or majority of the residents are blacks. And if presence of black people exceeds 8%, whites usually leave and no new white people move in the cases where black people move into a predominantly white people (Hacker 73). The fact that very few whites will accept even a racial composition depicting the general national proportion of 12 or 13% is what makes integration difficult if not impossible. Nearly all white people support segregation in practice but support racial integration in principle.
According to Hacker (81), discrimination in housing usually has a lot to do with class or culture. Whites move out of neighborhoods when the proportion of blacks reaches somewhere between 10 and 20%, even if the black people moving in have similar economic and social standing or higher. Numerous white people still evoke fear of crime to describe their class-based racism when it comes to the issue of housing regardless of the number of times that white people are old that they are more probable to be robbed or assaulted by an individual of their own race.
In general, real estate agents in Florida are usually willing to show individuals where the cost is already inflated. And white owners with an objective of making excessive profits are quite eager to sell to nonwhite buyers. Actually, real estate speculation has done a lot to transform the racial make ups of neighborhoods compared to laws prohibiting racial discrimination or anti-racist housing practices (Hooks 136). Inflated prices have made it difficult for white flight to occur with as much ease as it was initially. White people and other groups with class privilege are really shifting into regions that were populated once exclusively by poor and working-class groups, usually nonwhites, from major cities.
Rents, taxes, the cost of housing in manners that need the poor and working class to vacate are raised by their class power. The poor are forced out by a class mobility that they cannot intervene on without overt expressions of class antagonism or racial conflict. This takes place in small towns as well. The small town where Bell bought his house for instance has a huge population of black people and had a thoroughly racially integrated community initially. However, as more white individuals with money came to the region raising both property taxes and the housing cost, better neighborhoods became more and more all white (Niemonen 113). This kind of change usually takes place in college towns where there is a liberal white constituency who wish to find reasonable housing and to stay in racially or ethnically integrated environment.
Poor communities are usually colonized in a state where there is land scarcity by upwardly mobile unconventional young whites from privileged-class background who are eager to shift into regions that whites avoided initially. In major cities, where the regions that were once poor and nonwhites are currently infiltrated by nonconventional whites from privileged-class backgrounds, one can document change easily in real estate.