Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Multiculturalism Run Amok: "Mormon Temple" On Lists Of Forbidden Words And Phrases Maintained By Real Estate Brokers And Newspaper Publishers

The 1968 federal Fair Housing Act was enacted to prohibit discrimination against buyers and renters based on race and religion, and was subsequently supplemented by a 1988 amendment which added families with children and people with disabilities as protected classes. The original intent seemed to be commendable.

However, additional state and city fair housing laws create a confusing environment which has been a magnet for litigation. Enforcement isn't merely complaint-driven; it's also preemptive. This means that fair housing agencies don't merely accept and investigate complaints; they also send out "testers" to respond to housing ads containing what are best described as "trigger words" symptomatic of a possible desire to discriminate. If the testers determine that there is even a hint of a desire to discriminate by landlords or real estate agents, they sue. Furthermore, newspapers and similar entities which publish ads deemed to be "discriminatory" are also pursued. And since "racism" has been transformed from a mere legal issue into a full-blown moral issue, the presumption of innocence has been watered down.

While no official, HUD-approved roster of good and bad words and phrases exists, most brokerages and newspapers, including the New York Times, keep some kind of list, often a version that has been distributed for more than 15 years by the Oregon Newspaper Publishers. Some of these lists can be quite extensive; David Schlamm, president of City Connections in New York City, maintains a list of 203 terms and categorizes them as “acceptable”, “caution” or “not acceptable.” The purpose of these lists is to deter "testing" and subsequent litigation (even a successful defense can be costly both financially and in negative public perception). The New York Times has published a short version of this list -- and among the forbidden terms is the phrase "Mormon temple". Here's their list (after the jump):

-- Traditional neighborhood
-- Mormon Temple
-- Crippled, no
-- Restricted
-- Country club
-- Family
-- Play area, no
-- Church near
-- African
-- Executive building
-- AIDS, no
-- Newlyweds
-- English only
-- Employed
-- One child
-- Couples only
-- Retarded, no
-- Section 8, no
-- Shrine
-- Empty nesters (considered discriminatory against children)
-- White
-- Handicapped
-- Healthy only
-- Sophisticated
-- Wheelchairs, no
-- Fisherman’s retreat

While the inclusion of a few of these terms may be logical, most of them are simply descriptive in nature, intended to help prospective buyers and tenants better screen properties in advance to prevent unnecessarily wasting the time of estate brokers and landlords.

But why is "Mormon temple" on the list? And why is it singled out for special attention? You don't see phrases like "Roman Catholic cathedral" or "Jewish synagogue" or "Muslim mosque" on the list. The New York Times does not explain why "Mormon temple" is singled out. But a March 2009 New York Post article reveals that real-estate giant Corcoran officially banned more than 200 potentially "offensive" words and even installed new software that makes it impossible for brokers to type them into their ads. However, Corcoran's list didn't just single out Mormon worship facilities; it considers mention of any nearby churches and synagogues as sinful.

The larger issue here is that why does such a list exist in a so-called "free society" that supposedly values free speech? These lists are symptomatic of measures taken in authoritarian and totalitarian societies. The elite who control the United States learned from the Soviet example; instead of maintaining armies of professional enforcers like the KGB to impose political orthodoxy, they've co-opted the private sector and use them as proxy enforcers of political correctness. The threat of loss of employment and social standing can compel many people to toe the line.

Who are the "elite"? They are not the Jews. They are not the Illuminati. They are not the Masons. They are a fairly diverse group of insiders who can be considered a modern version of the secret combinations referred to in the Book of Mormon. Modern-day prophets such as Ezra Taft Benson warned us of secret combinations in our time; many of the specific attributes are spelled out on LDS Liberty. While President Benson focused on Communism, more recently Elder M. Russell Ballard described secret combinations as including gangs, drug cartels, and organized crime families, with secret signs and code words. But what's really possible is that the elite behind the scenes didn't really abandon Communism, but merely discarded the class aspect while retaining many of its methods. While Russia has become less Soviet, America has become more Soviet, with KGB-style thugs infesting our airports and groping people in the name of "homeland security". They have seized on multiculturalism and weaponized it as the ideological foundation to divide and conquer the United States. On February 5th, 2011, the courageous Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, David Cameron, delivered a speech warning against the abuses and excesses of multiculturalism; will we be smart enough to heed his warning?

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