A home that looks perfect, until bigotry rears its ugly head
Islamophobic attacks and other hate crimes are spiking sharply in the United States, especially since Donald Trump began suggesting that America ban all Muslims.A real estate agent found that when he showed houses to Muslim couples, neighbors yelled insults at them. When he posted on an online forum for real estate agents about it...
Data from the FBI said that in past years, there have been a little more than a dozen suspected hate crimes against Muslims reported every month.
But since the attacks in Paris and the ramp-up of American nationalist rhetoric, including Trump’s suggestion that we create a nationwide registry of Muslims, that rate has roughly tripled.
What he heard back, he said, was “disheartening.”It is critically important that Trump not just be defeated, but utterly crushed. We may be at the most important political crossroads we will see in our lifetimes. We cannot fuck this up.
“My post somehow gave my colleagues in real estate permission to reach out to me with hateful comments about my Hispanic heritage,” said Herboso, who was born in Bolivia. “I never experienced that before. I arrived to the U.S. in 1977 and have been a proud American since 1982.”
In 25 years in real estate, many running his own company, he never felt discriminated against. He shut anyone down with hard work and his effusive love for America.
And suddenly, he was being attacked by agents he saw as his peers. Guys who bantered MLS listings with him fired off nasty emails and even made phone calls urging him to go back to his country.
“I don’t even know what Hispanic means. Are you from Spain, Mexico, Argentina, Guatemala, Cuba? Does it really matter?” a fellow Realtor lashed out at Herboso. “I have to assume that it refers to some culture that you relate with that is different than the American culture. But what do you put first, Hispanic or American?”
It felt, he said, “like they were wearing masks all these years. And they just took them off.”
He got private emails, too, suggesting it was fine for neighbors to want to keep Muslims off their blocks.