- AP Photo/M. Spencer Green
- President Obama speaking in Chicago last Friday. Bias against blacks has increased since his election in 2008.
I sometimes hear from readers that discrimination against blacks, though lamentable, is largely a thing of the past. The readers who say this inevitably are white.
It’s true that bias against African-Americans is less overt now than 40 years ago, when blacks moving into white neighborhoods were greeted with bricks through their picture windows. But studies indicate that prejudice today is swimming below the placid surface. And it’s a short step from bias to discrimination.
In February, a fair housing group reported the results of its testing of real estate practices in Westchester County, a sprawling, affluent area in New York. The county, which is racially diverse but deeply segregated, signed a desegregation settlement three years ago. The fair housing group sent trained “testers”—black, white, and Hispanic—to real estate offices in search of housing. The black and Hispanic testers were discriminated against in 40 percent of the 90 tests and treated equally in 48 percent; 12 percent of the tests were inconclusive.