Ashby & Graff®, along with the rest of the world, are grieving the loss of life and the consistent devaluation of Black lives in America. The videotaped murder of George Floyd at the hands of those sworn to protect us is the reality of what Black Americans have been up against for generations: systems of racism that are literally taking the lives of Black men, women, and children every day.
Our real estate industry that provides for the creation and preservation of wealth through homeownership has regrettably played a role in the systemic repression of minorities, and for too long, the benefits of homeownership have been intentionally denied to Black Americans.
The origins of this complex issue began over 400-years ago with the arrival of the first enslaved people from Africa and their treatment for the next 200-years as the private property of slave owners. Then by Jim Crow laws, which sought to remove any political and economic clout of newly freed Black Americans and subsequently led to the institution of racist housing policies like redlining, steering, and blockbusting. And now in our present times where the large gap between white and Black homeownership has remained almost unchanged since the enactment of the Fair Housing Act over 50-years ago.
The inequity in housing is but a sliver of the injustices facing minorities in our country, but it is emblematic of the long-lasting impact of programs that were specifically designed to keep a group of people enslaved.
Ashby & Graff is committed to being part of the solution and not part of the problem by silencing our social media accounts this week so that we may lift up and amplify the voices of organizations working on racial equality. We all have the power to speak up in the face of wrong and injustice, and we are challenging businesses across America to stand in solidarity with minorities in our country who are fighting for survival. Our company is and always will be committed to action, and we will be making a donation to the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund to assist in their fight for racial justice.