A website called Picket Report marketed as a new online research tool that helps home buyers find their “perfect neighborhood” has been forced to remove a controversial section which apparently racially stereotyped various neighborhoods:
Picket Report offered the section as a way for househunters to discover more about areas they might like to live in, but was quickly accused of insensitivity owing to the race- and class-related descriptions it provided.
The section was later removed from the Detroit-based start-up after an embarrassing article published on real estate website Curbed Detroit.
When the zip code for Detroit’s poorest neighbourhood – 48208 – was plugged into the website, several shocking descriptions popped up.
Neighbours in these areas were labelled things like ‘Soul Survivors – Older, down-scale African-Americans, singles, and single parents established in modest urban homes’ and ‘Cuidad [sic] Strivers – Mid-scale Hispanic families and single parents in gateway communities.’
The word for city in Spanish is actually spelled ‘Ciudad.’
Other social pariahs singled out were ‘Hard Times’ (‘Older, down-scale and ethnically-diverse singles typically concentrated in inner-city apartments’) and ‘Rolling The Dice’ (‘middle-aged, mid-scale income singles and divorced individuals in secondary cities’)
WTF?! And you thought gentrification was bad.