Investing while Black

3 Replies

The following article appeared in the Washington Post today:

I'm wondering if any African-American investors here have faced similar harassment while looking for properties as this gentleman? It looks like the police here handled he situation appropriately. The reason I ask is that I am a 62 year-old white lady who routinely pokes around properties that are for sale in predominantly black neighborhoods, without any of the paperwork this man had. I go with a real estate lady  only after I've checked out the property for signs of foundation problems, etc. Technically someone could accuse me of trespassing, but no one but the neighbors' dogs have ever objected.    

Its very unfortunate, but a fact of life that some people have crummy thoughts. It is no surprise to me that a black man "poking around" seemingly random houses will eventually attract a higher amount of attention then a white lady would. Unfortunately, not much can be done to change the mind of people who hold onto older mindsets. Especially in the situation described.

I like to follow the Crime & Safety posts on Nextdoor to track neighborhood trends. But racial profiling has been an issue in many places:

People in some neighborhoods are suspicious of anything. After California banned using a cellphone while driving in 2009, for example, people would park on a side street to make their calls. The Crime & Safety posts (which did not involve racial profiling) would flag these activities as someone casing the neighborhood.

Some incidents were real. People would post porch cam video showing a (white) middle-age woman pushing a baby stroller down someone's walkway in the middle of the day and stealing the mail out of their mailboxes.

Warning, I dont care if you're white, pink, blue, green, or any other color in the rainbow.... If you are sitting in a car in front of my house, for any length of time, I am going to walk up to you say hello, ask you if I can assist you. I will probably have a couple bottles of cold water to give you... Maybe a Rainbow white bread, Baloney and American cheese sandwich, miracle whip not mayonnaise, with a couple or three butter pickle chips, not those damn tangy pepperchinies. And before any of you call me a raciest or that I have white privilege for leaving off the mustard, okay you got me.... I leave mustard for french fries.

I will however ask you the reason for being there, if I am given an appropriate response I will be fine. Hell, I am made many a phone call sitting in my Rolls Royce in front of a home I wasn't invited to park in front of. 

If you are parked for an extended period of time i will definitely ask you to move on... The front of my home is my personal space so anything longer than an hour is just not smart. You wont disagree long.