North Carolina Newspapers

    8A
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Thursday, August 3, 2006
Linguistics before benefits
Continued from page 1A
repeated bias in a number of areas,'inciudii^
Black testers not gettii^ return phone calls,
and beir^ quoted higher rent prices and secu
rity deposits.
“In Birmii^ham, a White tester was told that
a $150 security deposit and $25 per adult
application fee would be waived for her as a
Hurricane Katrina victim. She was also told
she needed to make 2.5 times the rent to qual
ify for the apartment. The Afiican-American
tester was told that she would have to pay
$150 for the security deposit and a $25 appli
cation fee for each applicant. The Afiican-
American hurricane survivor was also told
that she would have to make three times the
rent to qualify for the apartment,” the report
stated.
The testing took place in Alabama, Florida,
Georgia, Ifennessee and Tfexas, and showed
instances of White testers being offered fiee
televisions and partially refunded security
deposits. But those offers were not esrtended to
Black testers, who were often saddled with,
additional administrative fees that were non-
refundable.
“It’s a different kind of behavior in discrimi
nation fixim the 70s until now where they
would just simply say we don’t have anything
available. Now they try not to tr^er suspicion
so they may say when do you need it or I won’t
know imtil the end of the month, when in fact,
they may have three or four apartments avail
able right now. But if you’re the caller that
sounds reasonable,” Smith said.
Smith, whose organization has worked with
Baugh since the 1990s, said another tactic is
asking a potential renter or buyer for their
name to be put on a waiting list and “names
that didn’t sound middle America white, they
didn’t get the return emafis about availability”
Paugb has logged thousands of caUs, since
1987, using testers of different races and back
grounds, including himself. Bar^h, an
Afiican-Amerrcan man, started studying the
practice of linguistic profiling after his own per
sonal experience whai he was looking for an
apartment in the San Francisco Bay Area.
“I was calling vaiious landlords to go look at
apartments and in about two or three cases, I
got there and they told me there had been
some mistake and the apartments had already
been rented. And it just didn’t seem ri^t to me
and I speculated that they didn’t realize I was
Afiican-American when they made the
appointment with me.”
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ReotoNAL Cmes
City
Aiken, SC
Augusta, CA
Charleston, SC
Coiumbia, SC
Durham, NC
Grewistjoro, NC
Greenviile, SC
Knoxville, TN
Lynchburg, VA
Thursday
Hi Lo W
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Myrtle Beach, SC 93 78 pc
Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Norfolk, V
Raleigh, NC
Richmond, VA
Roanoke, VA
Savannah, GA
Wilmington, NC
too 79
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Wnston-Salem, NC 96 76
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