I thought for a while there that we as a people have turned a corner in this country and have become more accepting and tolerant of others. But I guess I was wrong. I am troubled by what I see now on the news almost every day. If someone isn't killing a black man then they are killing a blue man and vice versa. Indians still live on reservations for crying out loud! Have any of you even met one I wonder? Jews are still to blame for everything that goes wrong. Hispanics have been blamed for all of our immigration problems, and so on.
What I see today reminds me of the 1960s. It seems so long ago when I watch video, but in reality it was only about 50 years ago. Maybe things have not changed. LBJ is my favorite president because he basically put politics aside in order to pass the civil rights bill, no small feat for its time. Yet this man is only remembered for escalated a war he didn't even start. Let's be real. JFK is revered for doing so many wonderful things for this country, but in the end he did nothing for race relations because in the end he needed to get re-elected. LBJ knew it would cost him the south yet he went forward because it was the right thing to do. Our current president, on the other hand, was supposed to bridge that divide. What happened there? We are more divided than ever.
I realize that as a people we have done some horrible things to other minorities over history, but it is up us and this president to use that as an example to move forward and fix the problem of why we still hate each other. We can still make good on the horrors of slavery, the indignity of a reservation, the degradation of a concentration camp, and the senseless murders of a people simply for their beliefs or gender.
Are we as realtors any different? I wonder sometimes. Do we shy away from a people because of how we perceive them? We may take one look and decide not to help because of their supposed lack of money. Or, I love when a realtor asks me to see a copy of a tenant's drivers license along with an application. What does that have to do with renting? It's because they want to see the color. And realtors avoid Section 8 tenants at all costs because they know the stigma attached.
Now, I am not saying we are all guilty because that certainly is not the case. A lot of times it is simply the landlord telling us what to do and we have to walk a fine line there. In the case of purchase this is not a problem because the owner says goodbye at the closing, so who cares. In either case I look the other way at race, creed, or color because I know it's the right thing to do and just as importantly because I am a minority even if it means a very unhappy landlord or owner. For example, I was fired once on a lease when the tenant I put in place stabbed us in the back paying the rent. This person was black and transgender and everything on paper checked out including background check, credit, and employment. Never mind that it was all a lie and the leasing agent probably knew it. I wasn't about to question it. I trusted what was given to me and could care less about the other stuff. You might know the case. This was the person that was posing as a doctor and giving women butt injections filled with tire slime, concrete, and a host of other bad stuff. Once busted the rent ceased and I was let go. Sometimes doing the right thing ends up biting us on the ass.
My point here is that we don't just have to be honest with others, but with ourselves too. Are you this person? Take a look in the mirror and ask yourself if you are a more tolerant, loving, human being that cares more about people than the almighty dollar. Or better yet, take a ride through the rougher parts of town and get to know some of these people. You will find that they are just like you and I, just poor or lacking opportunity. And don't point they finger at me. I have done so many times. I may not be perfect, but if a man like Harry Truman can change then so too can you. You unjustly perceive what you do not know. Once he took on a Jewish business partner Truman's attitude changed as well.
As a product of the South I have seen how cruel a people can be and that is why I moved to South Florida. Diversity, acceptance, caring, tolerance, and respect are all words that we can live by.