Racial problem...God, Anybody, Help Me! - Posted by Kevin

Posted by Shenesa on October 23, 2000 at 10:47:20:

Thanks for the response Dave. Yes I do agree with making people accountable for their IGNORANT actions and making them pay. Sometimes we have to hit them where it hurts and a lot of the times, it’s the pocket that hurts the most.

Shenesa,NY

Racial problem…God, Anybody, Help Me! - Posted by Kevin

Posted by Kevin on October 23, 2000 at 24:41:01:

Sorry in advance for the negative post, but I need help:
I own 3 Mobile Homes in a park and rent them out. Problem according to the park owner…The white single mom has two racially mixed children (2&3 yrs old). The park owner is racist, and has been raising cain over these kids since the mom moved in (1st of Oct). My property manager didn’t know the mom had racially mixed kids (like it should matter) or that the park owner was racist (I’m not…I rent to ANY good tenant, no matter the race…and have done so in the past). The park owner just called my manager tonight and told her if I didn’t evict the mom, he would evict all 3 of my trailers out of his park! I am so mad I could spit! Talk about illegal! The thing is, I don’t know what to do now…I can’t evict this lady for nothing…she doesn’t bother anyone…but if I don’t…the kangaroo court will probably decide in favor of the park owner and evict my 3 trailers…what do I do now??? Right now, I don’t know where else to ask for help…Any suggestions? Can anyone offer some legal advice, or websites, or anything???

Re: Racial problem…God, Anybody, Help Me! - Posted by JamesL

Posted by JamesL on October 23, 2000 at 17:10:08:

Hi, I submit this advice to you…
Please be sure to have a face-to-face meeting with the owner of the property and TAPE RECORD the conversation. While this probably will not be admissable in the event of a lawsuit because he will not be aware of you taping him, it WILL go a long way when you are presenting the situation to ACLU and/or HRC. The tape could help them take on your case faster and with less suspicion.
JamesL

Re: Racial problem…God, Anybody, Help Me! - Posted by Ed Garcia

Posted by Ed Garcia on October 23, 2000 at 10:24:49:

Kevin,

I’m sure you can see that you’ve gotten everyone riled up and rightfully so. My feelings are exactly like everyone else’s, except before you do what has been recommended. I would suggest that you pay a visit to the park manager yourself. You’ve been getting your information second hand. You’ve got a problem here that’s two fold. One, an injustice against your tenant, two, depending on how you deal with it, you could have your other 2 mobile homes removed as well. He will more than like use the excuse that they are rental units, and that it’s in violation with the park rules, something along those lines.

Before you go to war, I suggest that you go over and have a talk with this goof ball manager. Now as dumb as he is, he more than likely will not cop out in writing about his personal prejudices. He more than likely will voice a complaint about the kids being disorderly and destructive. My point being is he will find another reason.

Kevin, I was taught to never back down from a fight. But before I go into battle, I like to know where the bodies lie. I like to know everything I can about the deal and hear it first handed. Kevin after talking to the manager, you may be able to defuse his prejudice attitude and convince him to let the lady stay. I see this as a problem and you must be the problem solver. Go over there and shoot your best shot. If it don’t work, you can always take the action that has been suggest here on this board.

Ed Garcia

Re: Racial problem…God, Anybody, Help Me! - Posted by Hugh James

Posted by Hugh James on October 23, 2000 at 08:53:03:

Most communities have a Human Relations Commission, or something similar. At this point you have nothing in writing, as I understand it, but your local authorities should be notified, in writing, by you, none-the-less. I would certainly confront the park OWNER and make him/her aware of your intentions. And of course to inquire as to whether or not they were ready for two, young, racially mixed partners.

It’s the 21st century (almost). Can you believe it?

Re: Racial problem…God, Anybody, Help Me! - Posted by chris

Posted by chris on October 23, 2000 at 08:39:10:

Kevin- Hope this info helps you out-

Settlement Agreement Against an Erie, PA Mobile Home Park Owner:
http://www.hud.gov/pressrel/pr98-584.html

Chicago-area landlords agree to pay an interracial couple $65,000:
http://www.hud.gov/pressrel/pr98-211.html

Additional cases-
http://www.hud.gov/hsngdisc.html

HUD has an entire section set up at their website to educate on fair housing if you are interested. They even have an online complaint form to fill in if you have run into this crap.
http://www.hud.gov/fairhsg1.html

How about leaving a message with one of these racists asking if there is a problem with any of your tenants to give you a call back. When they call back, let your voice mail pick up to record the reply. Hopefully, they vent with what you mentioned in your post. Keep the recording as evidence. Doing it this way should be easier than telling the other party during a live conversation that you will be taping the call. The voice mail informs them instead and is not quite so obvious as to your intent.

-Good Luck,Chris

Re: Racial problem…God, Anybody, Help Me! - Posted by Rob FL

Posted by Rob FL on October 23, 2000 at 08:24:15:

Tell him in order to do things by the book you need his request in writing along with the reason why he wants her evicted.

Once you have something in writing, simply submit it to HUD and they will clean his clock.

Re: Racial problem…God, Anybody, Help Me! - Posted by Shenesa

Posted by Shenesa on October 23, 2000 at 07:58:26:

Shame, shame, shame on the park manager. Somebody needs to educate him a little and let him know he has too much to loose and absolutley nothing to gain.

I can’t help but feel troubled for the tenant. As a women who is of color, this is a very uncomfortable situation that she is in. There are racist pigs out there who are filled with so much anger and hate that they can make your life a living hell and no one should ever live in that type of environment, especially children.

I would, without question, sue the pants off this guy. However, I would also consider moving my trailors to another location after the law suit or whatever actions you plan on taking is completed. This family will be the one getting the back lash from all of this and that is unfair for her and her children. This by the way is not running away from the problem, but keeping this racist fool from any opportunity of making this family living environment difficult. She will be the one living there and facing this fool day in and out.

Just my thoughts.

Re: Racial problem…God, Anybody, Help Me! - Posted by J.P. Vaughan

Posted by J.P. Vaughan on October 23, 2000 at 06:54:27:

This is so clearly illegal, if it weren’t so sad, it
would be laughable. I would be proactive about this. If
you can afford it, get an injunction against this guy’s
illegal racist housing policies. I would also consider
contacting your local ACLU (American Civil Liberties
Union). I believe this would be the kind of case they
would handle without any cost to you. Contacting the
local media isn’t a bad idea either.

Don’t do it, Kevin. If you play along with this guy and
evict this woman for no reason other than race, you
would also be liable.

JP

Re: Racial problem…God, Anybody, Help Me! - Posted by JohnBoy

Posted by JohnBoy on October 23, 2000 at 06:25:23:

What reason did the owner give your manager for wanting to evict the mom? Being a racist isn’t going to be enough! Sounds like YOU and the MOM may have one heck of a potential lawsuit pending.

Based on what you’re saying, if it were me, I’d tell the SOB to PLEASE try evicting my MH’s over your racist crap! I’ll OWN your park by the time I get through with you, pig!

I’d get my lawyer involved if I were you.

Re: Racial problem…God, Anybody, Help Me! - Posted by keithk2

Posted by keithk2 on October 23, 2000 at 02:02:59:

I can’t believe the property manager can be so dumb as to open him/herself up to such a mess of potential litigation. Perhaps if your lawyer explains how damaging a federal indictment for violation of the Fair Housing laws can be? Perhaps a letter from your attorney outlining the expensive nature of a civil suit for violation of the mom’s civil rights might open the managers and owner’s eyes a little more.

If all else fails, use a tactic I learned from a local activist. Call a local TV station and see what can be stirred up. There’s a saying in business that says: “You know it’s gonna be a bad day when you show up at the office and the 60 Minutes crew is waiting to meet you in the parking lot.”

Just a couple of suggestions Hope they helped a little

All Success
Keith

Re: Racial problem…God, Anybody, Help Me! - Posted by Kevin

Posted by Kevin on October 23, 2000 at 11:19:57:

Ed, Really, the worst case scenario for everyone involved in this whole mess is a lawsuit. Myself and everyone except the tenant are well known members of my hometown, and bringing up a lawsuit WILL go public and would only further deepen racial tensions that already exist in the area. The only real solution aside from the small possibility that the park owner finally accepts the tenant is that my property manager offered to find the tenant comparable housing somewhere else where she won’t be bothered. The tenant has stated to my property manager that she just wants to be left alone and raise her kids in peace. I can tell you one thing…this situation is probably going to get ugly if I can’t keep the park owner at bay. I’d really like to find a true win-win situation.

Re: Racial problem…God, Anybody, Help Me! - Posted by Marbs

Posted by Marbs on October 23, 2000 at 09:40:16:

Hugh,

Excellent suggestion.

If I were in Kevin’s shoes, however, I wouldn’t let the owner know my intentions just yet. I think it would be better to offer him some rope before letting him know it’s going to be used as a noose around his neck. (See my post above.)

I just want Kevin and his tenant to have admissible evidence in hand before this jerk gets his guard up.

Dave

Re: Racial problem…God, Anybody, Help Me! - Posted by Rob FL

Posted by Rob FL on October 23, 2000 at 08:30:44:

I saw a documentary about a year ago on the KKK. In Mississippi, an African-American lady won a lawsuit against the KKK for a hate crime. To collect on her judgment she foreclosed on the KKK’s state headquarters and had it sold to the highest bidder. Sweet revenge.

Re: Racial problem…God, Anybody, Help Me! - Posted by Joseph Hughes

Posted by Joseph Hughes on October 23, 2000 at 11:29:51:

This type of case is also a fee generating case meaning that a successful plaintiff can get attorney fees. There is no need to take it to the ACLU because an attorney in private practice will take such a case because there are deep pockets here. Racists are usually much more sophisticated at coming up with a pretext.

Re: Racial problem…God, Anybody, Help Me! - Posted by JPiper

Posted by JPiper on October 23, 2000 at 20:27:55:

Kevin:

Your property manager has not offered a ?real solution?. Your property manager has simply come up with a solution that enables him to violate federal law. The ONLY solution here is to comply with federal law?that?s what is called ?win-win? in this case.

I can understand that a ?messy lawsuit? might be an embarrassment to well-known members of your town. YOU might not like the publicity. But let me remind you that federal law does not permit discrimination on the basis of race. Would you prefer to seek a ?win-win? solution that perpetuates this blatant racism, so that you may be spared the publicity of a messy lawsuit?

If a lawsuit of this type would ?deepen racial tensions?, then it is undoubtedly time for a lawsuit. Perhaps your area needs to discover the meaning and impact of federal law.

I think you should talk to the owner as Mr. Garcia suggests. I think your conversation should include the concept the park manager is running a risk on behalf of the owner that could cost the owner a VERY large sum of money. In fact, if done correctly I believe that it might not be possible later to have your other units removed from the park (called retaliation). You might want to check with an attorney in your area who would be knowledgeable on this.

But whether you like it or not, you have been thrust into a position that is begging for you to do the RIGHT thing, not the EASY thing. This may create some risk for you?but a refusal to take risk NEVER leads to a reward. I would put aside your feelings of fear, embarrassment, the fear of public knowledge, etc. Talk with the owner, let him know where things stand, and if there is no resolution then move forward legally.

JPiper

Re: Racial problem…God, Anybody, Help Me! - Posted by Ed Garcia

Posted by Ed Garcia on October 23, 2000 at 12:04:44:

Kevin,

I agree with you, keeping the park owner at bay won’t work. You need to meet with the Park owner yourself. To try to have your property manager attempt to relocate the tenant is a cop out and an injustice to the tenant. Besides, she could be perfectly happy there and may not want to move. Stop listening to your property manager Kevin and get involved. Go meet with the park owner and WORK him. You know you haven’t mentioned if there are other minorities in the park. If there are, then you are going to have a problem proving racism. This matter requires your personal attention.

I’m sure that you wouldn’t want to see this thing blown out of per portion because of neglect on your part. I think we both know what happens when you ASSUME. You’re far too intelligent to put yourself in this position. I can’t tell you how important it is for you to meet with the Park owner and work this thing out.

Ed Garcia

Re: Racial problem…God, Anybody, Help Me! - Posted by Shenesa

Posted by Shenesa on October 23, 2000 at 08:44:51:

Yes this is sweet revenge, but when does it stop. You can sue as much as you want but only when a persons heart is changed thats when much gets accomplished. When you are that full of ignorance and hate, only God can change you.

Shenesa,NY

Re: Racial problem…God, Anybody, Help Me! - Posted by Keithk2

Posted by Keithk2 on October 24, 2000 at 24:46:35:

True, they usually come up with some kind of trumped-up reason and can usually find ways to make life sufficiently miserable for their tenant in hopes of making them move out. But I’m betting that our racist owner will have a sense of self preservation that is a good deal stonger than his desire to get rid of a tenant.

If you know you’re in the right, a pre-emptive lawsuit alleging that this racist owner is, indeed, using a pretext to cover an act of racial discrimination in housing is usually sufficiently strong for his attorney to suggest either a pullback or a settlement. This area is a minefield for owners and there is no shortage of attorneys who are perfectly willing to take the case on a contingency fee basis

Just my final two cyber-cents worth
All Success
Keith

Re: Racial problem…God, Anybody, Help Me! - Posted by Kevin

Posted by Kevin on October 26, 2000 at 22:51:45:

JPiper,
You said
"I can understand that a ?messy lawsuit? might be an embarrassment to well-known members of your town. YOU might not like the publicity. But let me remind you that federal law does not permit discrimination on the basis of race. Would you prefer to seek a ?win-win? solution that perpetuates this blatant racism, so that you may be spared the publicity of a messy lawsuit?"

Understand, that I’m not afraid of a lawsuit over racism, nor would it be embarrising to me. My point is that myself, the property manager, and the park owner would receive all the attention in publicity, and NOT the tenant or her plight. Also you need to understand the culture of the area. Race is a BIG issue there, and any time ANYTHING gets brought up in public about race, the powers that be seize upon the issue and try to capitalize on it as much as possible, and try to incite people on both sides of whatever the problem is…therefore FURTHER division instead of reconciliation. As far as a “win-win” situation goes what I was talking about is that I want a situation that EVERYONE will be happy in…can you offer some advice BESIDES A LAWSUIT? It seems that the easy answer would be to sue, but what is the better answer?