It’s been more than 50 years since President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Fair Housing Act into law, yet many Americans still live in racially segregated neighborhoods.
Understanding why requires going back to the real estate industry of the early 1900s and following it forward as detailed in the book “Freedom to Discriminate: How Realtors Conspired to Segregate Housing and Divide America” by Gene Slater. That “freedom” argument is not unlike the language heard in the pandemic and issues of abortion and guns, he said.
The Bay Area-based author of the book has served as a senior adviser on housing for federal, state and local agencies for more than 40 years. In his book, Slater has…