Realtor Receives Hate Mail From Another Realtor, All Because of a December 2007 ActiveRain Post

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Wayzata Lakes Realty: Eric Kodner Sells Twin Cities Homes

 

Realtor Receives Hate Mail From Another Realtor, All Because of a December 2007 ActiveRain Post

 

On Saturday, I opened the mail at my Madeline Island real estate office, as I would any other day.

To my surprise, I had received an anonymous, one-page typewritten letter from California.  The sender had printed "Winchester, CA" in the upper-left corner of the envelope, but the postmark was from San Bernardino.  My address was printed exactly as it appears on my ActiveRain profile.

This was no ordinary letter.  It was hate mail.

 

 

[Envelope containing anonymous hate letter sent from San Bernardino Post Office on August 30]

The author of this little poison pen letter calls herself "Darlene" (if indeed the letter was written by a female).  Darlene identifies herself as a "realtor".  And Darlene is a hater.

Darlene is irate over the proposal to amend Article Ten of the Realtor Code of Ethics to prohibit discrimination against LGBT consumers.  You see, in Darlene's world, she believes Realtors should be allowed the discretion to selectively discriminate against various groups of consumers.  In other words, this would mean tossing out Article Ten of the Realtor Code of Ethics.

"Darlene" writes, "So we realtors are to be forced to work with those who, in our opinions, are contributing to the rapid decay of America".  She goes on to state that "only the protected classes have rights".

Oddly, there is a good dose of Darlene's own peculiar brand of religion thrown into this hate letter.  Darlene threatens the recipients of her letter with Sodom and Gomorrah.  She lectures on "God's rules" and throws in the not-so-veiled threat that "you will all have to answer for what you are now doing one day".  In whatever Bible Darlene happens to be reading, it is apparently permissible to send anonymous and obscene comments and threats via hate mail to those who don't share your beliefs.

I'm not the only person who received a copy of this letter.  Darlene claims to have mailed copies of her hate-filled rant to NAR General Counsel Laurie Janik, Realtor Magazine, NAR Professional Standards Committee Chair Linda Page and Michigan Representative John Conyers.  Apparently, "Darlene" isn't very smart, as it is a Federal crime to use the U.S. Postal Service to send anonymous hate mails, especially to a member of Congress.  If in fact she did that, I imagine a copy of this letter has already been forwarded to the FBI and perhaps a few other law enforcement agencies.  The enforcement division at HUD probably has a copy by now as well.

What started "Darlene" off on her rant?

Darlene quotes from this July-August 2010 Realtor Magazine article in which I was interviewed by Editor-in-Chief Stacey Moncrieff.  In that article, I made the statement that "The entire process made me proud to be a REALTOR", referring to the NAR committee process by which the proposal to amend Article Ten of the Realtor Code of Ethics was submitted to the NAR Equal Opportunity - Cultural Diversity Committee, then brought before NAR Professional Standards Committee and then to a NAR Board vote.

You see, in Darlene's world, freedom of speech is for her, not for anyone with views that differ from hers.

It's ironic that the sequence of events which triggered all this began, as Stacey Moncrieff mentioned in her Realtor Magazine article, with a December 2007 post on my Madeline Island Real Estate Blog, in which I wrote "Tell NAR It's Time To Rewrite Article 10 of the Code of Ethics".  That ActiveRain post played a part in drafting the proposal which originated in the Wisconsin Realtors Association Equal Opportunity in Housing committee and was then picked up by the NAR Equal Opportunity Committee in November 2009.

Of course, Darlene didn't send out nearly enough copies of her letter.  You see, there were hundreds and hundreds of Realtors from all over the United States who participated in this effort, including the Wisconsin Realtors Association, the NAR Equal Opportunity - Cultural Diversity Committee, the NAR Professional Standards Committee, the NAR Board and the National Association of Gay & Lesbian Real Estate Professionals (NAGLREP).  Darlene would run out of paper and envelopes long before she could send that many hate mails.  A hate-monger's work is never done.

Darlene also writes, "For obvious reasons, I will not be signing my name - I need this work".  Afraid she might be fired by her company, Darlene chooses to remain underground and to nurture her grudges as she practices real estate, at least until someone catches her denying equal housing rights to a consumer.  So Darlene has joined the ranks of intolerant cowards who hide behind anonymous hate letters and who use those hate letters in a vain attempt to bully and intimidate others.

I'm reminded of a great post on ActiveRain by my friend Randy Prothero (July 30, 2010) where he wrote, "If you do not feel you can treat people equally, find another line of work."

So "Darlene" or whatever your real name might be, you may need your job in real estate but the real estate industry doesn't need YOU.  No one in the Realtor community is going to give you the right to pursue your personal grudges and selectively discriminate against others in your practice.  Our job is to serve the public.

 

excerpt from hate mail - image

[Excerpt from anonymous hate mail received at our Wisconsin real estate office]

Posted by

Contact Broker Eric Kodner with Wayzata Lakes Realty about Minneapolis & Saint Paul area properties, including Lake Minnetonka, Edina and the Minneapolis City Lakes area (Lake Calhoun, Lake of the Isles, Lake Harriet). We also sell on the Saint Croix River and on Lake Superior, including Bayfield, Wisconsin and Madeline Island homes.  With sixteen years experience marketing and selling waterfront properties in Minnesota and Wisconsin, we know Lake Minnetonka and Madeline Island real estate.

Wayzata Lakes Realty LLC (Minnesota) and Madeline Island Realty LLC (Wisconsin)

Real Estate Brokerage licensed in Minnesota & Wisconsin

Phone or Text Message 612.670.2539

EMKodner@Gmail.com  or

MadelineIsland@Gmail.com

Wayzata Lakes Realty

 

 

 

 

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Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Darren Kittleson 10/04/2010 08:12 PM
Topic:
ActiveRain Community
Tags:
nar
realtor magazine
wisconsin realtors association
naglrep
stacey moncrieff
madeline island real estate blog
anonymous hate mail

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Rainmaker
331,148
Bruce Swedal
Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate

Wow, not even sure what to say....

Eric, I tend to be a follower of the golden rule. By following the golden rule one never has to worry about violating the Realtor code of ethics or discriminate against anyone.

Sorry that you received that hate filled letter. Sometimes people equate freedom of speech with freedom to be an a--. They are not the same thing.

Remember the Golden Rule?

Oct 05, 2010 09:57 AM #93
Ambassador
1,888,647
Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth

Eric, Darlene totally lost it despite whatever opinions she has. Such viciousness.

Oct 05, 2010 09:57 AM #94
Rainmaker
165,929
Home Design
Alpharetta, GA
Home Design and Real Estate

What a joke........I hope you werent offended!!!

Oct 05, 2010 10:33 AM #95
Rainmaker
531,001
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

It is unfortunate that someone which such strong opinions finds it necessary to make veiled threats anonymously.  There are proper channels for your voice to be heard and for things to be accomplished in a way that is not vulgar.  I am sorry that you were the recipient of such a hateful email but for all we know, she is reading all of our comments and she could target someone else next.  It is better for us to be aware of what happened to you and be prepared.  Good luck to you!

Oct 05, 2010 10:43 AM #96
Rainmaker
490,793
Lorraine or Loretta Kratz
Crescent Moon Realty, Inc. & Land N Sea Auctions. - San Marcos, CA
Certified Negotiation Consultants

Its hard to understand individuals that proclaim their feelings on a subject matter, but do not want to identify who they are. Reminds me of the hecklers that attend public meetings.

Oct 05, 2010 10:49 AM #97
Rainer
17,781
Martine Addison
RE/MAX Professionals - Denver, CO
Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist

I don't believe that she's unknown for her views in her real estate circles. This kind of bigotry surfaces each and every day. The fact that she continues to do business and be licensed is scary. Her associates have a duty to end this by reporting her to their local association at the very least.

Oct 05, 2010 11:00 AM #98
Rainmaker
344,530
Yolanda Hoversten
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties - O'Fallon, IL
Broker - O Fallon, IL Real Estate

Hi, Eric.  No one has to endure anything like Darlene has sent you.  I also feel that no group has to endure statement made at #38 above...

"Ah, yes. Another member of the tea party heard from. They will never sign their letters. In the past those folks paraded around wearing sheets with eyeholes cut in them. They are always in the shadows.

This is the very reason why we have various protected classes in this country."

What does Darlene's hate mail have to do with a movement?  To accuse its members to be KKK members are just as hateful, intolerant, and ignorant, imo.

 

Oct 05, 2010 11:17 AM #99
Rainer
10,509
Carla Reeves
Village Properties - Santa Barbara, CA

I wonder who is interpreting the Bible for her?

Oct 05, 2010 11:21 AM #100
Rainer
86,590
Ron Parise
LocateHomes.com - Cape Coral, FL

Darlene probably feels that this is the right time for her brand of discrimination. The Tea Party and their candidates have shown us that you can say whatever you want, no matter what and get away with it

Oct 05, 2010 12:10 PM #101
Rainmaker
160,164
MeLisa Minter, Realtor
Minter Real Estate Services - Taylor Lake Village, TX
Bay Area Houston Real Estate Agent

Some people are such cowards!  I don't understand how they can bring themselves to rant and rave  about issues while also tryinng to push their opinions and beliefs down other throats; and then have the nerve to remain "anonymous."

I would definitely make sure the higher ups received the letter.

Oct 05, 2010 12:13 PM #102
Rainmaker
223,941
Tricia Jumonville
Bradfield Properties - Georgetown, TX
Texas REALTOR , Agent With Horse Sense

This is appalling, and even more appalling that this person is a real estate agent. Clearly something is not quite right with that person, both in their prejudices, and in their expression of them.

By the way, that's not any of the flags of the Confederacy.  It's the current flag of the State of Mississippi (and you can just see "Mississippi" on the right side under the postmark).  Though I suspect the sender was making the same assumption that some of the other posters did. 

 

 

Oct 05, 2010 12:13 PM #103
Rainmaker
284,916
Tere Rottink
CoastalVa Realty Inc - Virginia Beach, VA

Equal rights for me and nobody else...  Darlene thinks.   I remember the neighbor who called me wet back and told me to go back to the hole where I came from.  It was so offensive, I had to laugh about it.  Which made her even angrier and then she made threats of violence to me.   I had witnesses, so I took her  to court.    I know this doesn't relate much to your post, but it sure broght memories.

Oct 05, 2010 12:53 PM #104
Rainer
325,617
Judy Chapman
Referral Network of Illinois LLC - Chicago, IL

'Darlene' is sick. No one but a sick person would write a hate letter such as the one you describe. A sick person will stop at nothing to get his or her point across ... including violence. Which is why this letter is plain scary. It's got nothing to do with free speech, by the way. Freedom of speech in the First Amendment of the Constitution pertains to the right to voice criticism against the government. Threatening a private person--either directly or indirectly using  intimidating language--has nothing to do with the rights afforded by the First Amendment.

Oct 05, 2010 01:09 PM #105
Rainmaker
346,423
Dawn Maloney
RE/MAX Trinity Northeast Ohio Real Estate Specialist - Hudson, OH
330-990-4236 Hudson & Northeastern Ohio

Eric, I'm sorry this happened to you.

#38 What a ridiculous thing to say! Two wrongs don't make a right.

And...

"Darlene" - Real Christians don't do such things. I don't know what you are, but you are not really a Christian. By birth maybe, but not by life. I'm praying for you.

Oct 05, 2010 01:26 PM #106
Ambassador
1,705,310
Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

When I am conflicted by any issue, I ask myself, "What would Jesus do?"  I can tell you, he wouldn't send hate mail anonymously.

Oct 05, 2010 02:41 PM #108
Rainmaker
600,335
Mitchell J Hall
Compass - Manhattan, NY
Lic Associate RE Broker - Manhattan & Brooklyn

I do agree realtors should have the right to choose with whomever to work with (gays, straight), I am not saying hate on that particular person.. But why should they be forced to work with someone or a particular class they do not like.. I did not know this was a dictatorship...

Johnny Mallert

Because it is the law. A real estate licensee is required by law to sell the house to the gay couple, to the African American, the interacial couple, the Muslim, the Jew, the divorcee, the single etc. etc. Period the end! It is not negotiable!

You don't have the right as a real estate licensee to decide who should live where based on what you like or your opinions. Who are you?

You want free speech get a soap box, stand on the corner, get a microphone, buy a printing press, start a congregation but PLEASE DON'T SELL REAL ESTATE if you don't like or follow the laws.

Blind faith ignorance is no excuse.

 

Oct 06, 2010 02:42 AM #109
Rainmaker
428,499
Eric Kodner
Wayzata Lakes Realty: Eric Kodner Sells Twin Cities Homes - Minnetonka, MN
Wayzata Lakes Realty: Twin Cities, Madeline Island

Well said, Mitchell and let me add that you have expressed this better than I have ever heard it explained before. 

There are some in real estate who confuse themselves with talk radio hosts.  They have apparently developed the impression that the era of "say or do whatever you like, no matter who it defames or harms" somehow automatically entitles them to bring that approach into their real estate practice.

Oct 06, 2010 03:12 AM #110
Rainmaker
4,313,411
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

WOW, too much time on someone's hands?     A little over the top.....

Oct 06, 2010 04:33 AM #111
Rainer
353,160
Jim Cheney
Saint Francis Property Santa Rosa, CA - Santa Rosa, CA
Rincon Valley Realtor 707.494.1055

I'll work for anybody who appreciates me, and wont waste my time.  The money is all green, and the feeling of accomplishment is the same. If you want to disagree with me in the comments section of my post, that's fine but don't be a coward and send an anonymous letter to my work.  That's lame!

Oct 06, 2010 07:24 AM #112
Rainmaker
1,600,478
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg Real Estate

That's a shame that this is going on in 2010. It's a good idea to present these things to all of us on AR to get the word out that the 'haters' are out there.  I wrote a post recently where I flagged 2 posts from people that were saying unbelievably discriminating things here on ActiveRain.  The posts were taken down & removed.

Oct 10, 2010 06:41 AM #113
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Rainmaker
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Eric Kodner

Wayzata Lakes Realty: Twin Cities, Madeline Island
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