The art of turning fair housing into unfair housing.
I posted a shorter version of this blog on the Naples, Florida Facebook page a few days ago and received mixed responses. Some were confused as to how a crime map that reports actual crimes could be racist, while a small faction of people complained about how appalling the white privilege was to be calling crimes, well, crimes. I first learned Realtor.com removed the racist crime map earlier this week when I wanted to quickly check what a certain neighborhood’s crime level was as my wife and I are looking to buy a home. Now everyone must know that Realtor.com didn’t just arbitrarily mark neighborhoods based on their opinion. No, they used Corelogic data, which is widely used and accepted across multiple real estate related programs by shading areas of higher and more frequent crime in darker levels of orange.
This is straight from Corelogic’s website:
Our products use hundreds of sophisticated spatial algorithms to process 9 million+ reported crimes into nationally comparable crime data. With complete coverage for every neighborhood, school district, municipality, and state across the nation, businesses can:
• Know the crime risk—including murder, rape, robbery, assault, burglary, theft, and motor vehicle theft—for every location.
•Easily compare crime rates across locations.
• Unlock crime trends and forecasts to see if any location is declining or rising.
Realtor.com stated in a recent interview that “it was removing its crime map from search results in order to “level the playing field”. It said it is reassessing what safety means to buyers and renters and what information it should share about it on its listings, going forward.” Huh…? So is the plan here to re-educate people on what a crime is in order to normalize violence? I don’t know about you, but I thought murder, rape, robbery, assualt, burglary, theft and vehicle theft was widely accepted as bad. And why would anyone, including Realtor.com, just assume that those dark orange areas on the crime map are neighborhoods full of brown people? Back in the 80’s, I lived in a pretty bad, mostly white, neighborhood where my Mom was robbed at gunpoint, among some other horrific events. I remember watching from atop my fence in the backyard dozens of law enforcement storm the neighborhood due to a guy holding a gun to his mothers head. A persons race doesn’t pre-position them to be a criminial or not. Their charactor does. And don’t give me the line about white collar crime. I would feel safer living next to a guy who cheated on his taxes than a guy who murdered an elderly person or molested a kid.
The point here is not to point out that there are many other ways for home buyers to investigate the quality of neighborhoods before they buy their dream home. When Realtor.com removed the racist crime map, they dropped their pants by labeling all bad neighborhoods as black and brown neighborhoods. Anyone disagree with me? Lol, that is a trick question. If this blog gets the reaction that group post on Facebook got, I will be getting hate mail for pointing out this hypocrisy. While hypocrisy is a moral crime, maybe it should be a common law crime. But then again, all maps would be a certain shade of orange everywhere.
For transparent leadership and representation in the Naples real estate market, give me a call.