White Americans have long found comfort believing that racial discrimination is a thing of the past.
Black Americans feel they know better, and a three-year investigation of Long Island real estate agents by the local newspaper Newsday provides the latest depressing evidence that they are right.
More than half a century after the great civil rights battles to end discrimination, the newspaper found that black home buyers are being steered to black neighborhoods and more closely scrutinized by brokers.
Newsday sent white investigators posing as buyers to meet with 93 real estate agents about 5,763 listings across Long Island. Then, they sent a second buyer — either black, Hispanic or Asian — to meet with the same agents. The practice is a gold-standard methodology known as “paired testing,” in which real estate agents are contacted by pairs of prospective clients with similar financial profiles.