Yesterday, as our nation celebrated Martin Luther King Jr., I couldn’t help but be reminded how much things have changed since 1968. I was only seven years old when The Civil Rights Act became law, but I remember visions on our black and white TV of vicious barking dogs, firehoses, protest signs and screams.
I know it took more than just one person to stand up to inequality, but for better or worse, MLK Jr. became the face of the civil rights movement. He and so many others peacefully refused to be silent in the face of inequality, and today, other generations reap the benefits. In 1979, the student council officers at Enid High School were made up of three persons of different ethnic backgrounds and 2 caucasians; one of which was me. Twelve years before, this diversified group wouldn’t have been able to lead a high school together. Today, in the immortal words of Dr. King, “we judge people not by the color of their skin, but by the context of their character.”
When President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1968 it became illegal to discriminate on the basis or race, color, religion or national origin when selling or leasing a residential property. The Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 added sex as a protected class and in 1988, disability and family status were added as amendments to the Fair Housing Act.
What does that mean to you? It means real estate agents can’t come into a neighborhood and Blockbust or “panic peddle”… a way of frightening homeowners into selling because minorities are moving into the neighborhood.
These laws also make it illegal for real estate agents to “steer” home buyers to a particular area to maintain the “sameness” of an area.
These laws hold real estate agents accountable for equal treatment of all clients…. guarantee our advertising will be fair and just… and allow us to continue to promote fair and equal treatment to all humans.
Today, when so much of what comes from our televisions is anger, frustration and discord, I’m proud that Eagle Mountain Realty has a chance to promote fairness to all. May we take a page out of Dr. King’s book and “have a dream… of peace.”
— Gwen Gibbons, Broker, Eagle Mountain Realty