Most Whites find it easy to ignore residential segregation. I experienced a good example of this inattention when I told a lunch-table’s worth of White colleagues at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences about the linguist John Baugh’s project on “linguistic profiling” (Baugh 2003). Baugh has developed a matched-guise test in which a single speaker uses a “White professional,” a “Latino,” or a “Black” voice in making telephone inquiries about the availability of advertised rentals in the San Francisco Bay area. The “White professional” voice is much more likely to yield an invitation to make an appointment to look at the property, while the other accents are more likely to result in a response that the rental is no longer available. My colleagues, all sophisticated scholars, were genuinely surprised at this result; several mentioned that they had thought that this sort of discrimination had long since disappeared.
Jane H. Hill, The Everyday Language of White Racism (via wretchedoftheearth)
This is like when me and my white soon-to-be husband were looking for places. I’d call up and they’d say, “Come on down! Get an application!”. Because I don’t “sound” black.
Then I’d walk in 2 minutes later and they’d be all, “Oh. Sorry, we just rented it.”
Then I’d send him in and he’d get an application.
The best part? Walking back in while he was completing the application. “Oh, they gave you an application? But they told me it was just rented. ODD. THAT. I’m going to report them so let’s just skip this place, m’kay?” The looks on their faces and the pathetic apologies were just too much fun.
Used to deal with the same thing with road trips. Hotels would tell me that there were no vacancies, but my white roommate would go in and get us a room, usually cheaper than advertised.
I do similar stuff at restauants and other places of business with my white bf. At least it makes it easier to know where not to go!
Reblogging again for the commentary
But we’re just supposed to *trust* and think everything is an *isolated* incident.
Not so sophisticated scholars, were they? I mean this really, really shouldn’t be all that surprising.
It shouldn’t be surprising, but I guarantee that most white people find it unbelievable
I’m going to reblog this every time I see it on my dash. My parents pointed out how this phenomenon worked when we were moving to PA (they’d get steered to crummier neighborhoods and have to insist on being shown others). Housing discrimination is still pretty widespread and the gatekeepers? Tend to either intentionally or due to unchecked bias reinforce the status quo.