This week at a budget meeting in the House Finance, Ways, and Means Committee, Rep. John Deberry Jr (D-Memphis) questioned the need for the Tennessee Human Rights Commission which was established to uphold the rights of Tennessee’s minority and disability communities.
Watch the VIDEO:
The TN Human Rights Commission was represented by Deputy Director Sabrina Hooper, who opened her testimony by defining the commission’s mission:
“The commission is charged with enforcing the Tennessee Human Rights Act and the Tennessee Disability Act, which together prohibit discrimination in housing, employment, and public accommodation on the basis of race, color, creed, national origin, religion, sex, disability, familial status, and age.”
Rep. Johnny Shaw (D-Bolivar) pointed out that housing discrimination is “real” and the work the commission does is important, thanking them for it.
Rep. John Deberry Jr (D-Memphis). on the other hand seemed to question the need for the commission entirely, declaring without evidence that the terms “minority” and “human rights” have become “extremely murky” and implying that discrimination based on race has become nearly impossible to prove:
“If you cannot prove discrimination, as is becoming more and more difficult to do… explain to me the point.”
Deberry would do well to take a look at this recent report by the Housing and Urban Development Department which made it plain as day that housing discrimination still exists, albeit in more subtle ways. The report found that “Blacks, Hispanics, and Asians still face greater struggles to find a place to live compared to equally qualified whites”.
From The Study:
“Despite laws like the Fair Housing Act (part of the Civil Rights Act of 1964), and the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974, and the creation of the Fair Housing Council by President Bill Clinton, all of which worked to criminalize discrimination in the housing market, participants found that sellers and agents still use loopholes to continue to make it harder for people of certain races and ethnicities to find housing. These tactics included not only telling clients about fewer properties or showing them fewer in person, but also what was said during visits, perhaps an attempt to intimidate buyers or renters to keep them from a certain home, condo or apartment.
Overall, the research finds minority renters are told about 1012 percent fewer units than whites and are shown 47 percent fewer places by agents. Among potential homeowners, Blacks are most discriminated against.”
Hopefully someone will send this to Rep. Deberry.
As a reminder, Deberry also recently expressed his support for public school-harming vouchers because of “unraised” students and parents who couldn’t care less, and he also voted for the Heartbeat Bill, which would force raped women to carry their rapist’s baby to term, because women need to take some “personal responsibility”.
If you have anything to say to Rep. Deberry, holler at him HERE.
2020 primary, anyone?
Thanks for reading! We’re an independent, reader-supported site that depends entirely on you to help us keep holding our public officials accountable and “Yelling the Truth”, so please consider chipping in a $3, $5, or $10 monthly and we’ll keep telling the stories nobody else will: