A new post is up at Rooflines.org asking some difficult questions about the flood of neighborhood data now available online and how it might shape individual behavior:
Individual behavior plays a significant role in perpetuating residential racial and ethnic segregation. Illegal discrimination, including racial steering, and housing affordability both play a role, but neither can fully explain the severe segregation that plagues so many of America’s metropolitan regions. With a large majority of housing seekers now beginning their search online, how Web sites organize and display listings and data is becoming increasingly important.
In the bluntly-titled and disturbing Web Tools Whites Can Use To Avoid Accidentally Moving Into A Black Majority Or Latino Majority Neighborhood In The United States, a white supremacist blogger details precisely how a number of popular Web sites can be used to identify segregated neighborhoods and school districts. As he notes in the post, “You’re the head of a White family. You’re moving to a new city, and you’ve just found a home you think you can afford. What’s the next question you want to ask the estate agent? Yeah, you know what question I’m talking about. The question, “How many of THEM live in this neighborhood.”