Authored By: Elizabeth K.
Dr. Rod Edmond of Edmond, Lindsay, & Atkins, was interviewed by Michael J. Swanson, CEO and Chairman. He discusses how plaintiff attorneys are holding a building company accountable for systemic racism.
A major urban developer lost a case against Dr. Edmond and his clients after a female whistleblower from the company provided recorded evidence of the vice president of sales and vice president of operations instructing their staff not to allow black real estate agents to offer their services in specific communities in the metro Atlanta area. Dr. Edmond explains that this company articulated linear visions in the recording of which local areas were desirable to possess a white population, and which areas they were directed to steer black people toward.
Housing discrimination, particularly redlining, has played a significant role in systematic racism since the 1930s. Many scholars have suggested it's one of the biggest causes of wealth inequality in the United States between black people and white people today. The practice of redlining consisted of federal officials working to maintain white majority populations in certain neighborhoods by excluding black Americans from both mortgage and housing opportunities. The issue was not resolved until decades later in 1968 when rights to protect people of color against lending discrimination were codified on a federal level in the Fair Housing Act. Unfortunately, despite these efforts, Dr. Edmond explains that redlining is prevalent in many cases today, such as the one he won for his clients.
Dr. Edmond expressed in his discussion with Swanson, "You would think these days were long in the past but they're not."
Dr. Edmond believes by shining a light on this practice, other companies will be more hesitant about testing the waters with these egregious acts. Watch the video interview on this important topic below.