All of us at Lauer Realty Group stand in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and the black community as a whole. The recent murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and others by the police have emphasized our painful and abusive history of racism and how it is ingrained in and underlies every aspect of our culture. Say these names and hold yourself accountable for staying silent: Tony Robinson, Philando Castile, Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, Eric Garner, this goes on. We demand justice and we know that we are neither innocent nor enlightened. It will take hard work, and we must stand committed and ready to educate ourselves, be uncomfortable, and be ready to continue past our mistakes and missteps in this process – but we can and we will. For there to be equality, all hands need to be on deck, we cannot stand by, silence is not an option and the time for action is now.
Real estate has played an insidious role in institutionalized racism in the US and needs reform. From the beginning of Wisconsin’s planning of land and residential neighborhoods, redlining was used to create inequality in our communities. If you aren’t aware of what this is, redlining is excluding services or access to a specific community based on race. Many neighborhoods had racist exclusions in deed restrictions that restricted land purchases based on race, and some still have not removed these exclusions even though they are not legal or enforceable, they have not been removed and acknowledged. Madison cannot say this is history and we are beyond it, not when we have examples from just the last few years of modern day redlining by calling the police on people of color simply because they are present. This includes individuals calling police or attacking people of color for campaigning (Shelia Stubbs), for jogging (Ahmed Arbery), for birdwatching (Christian Cooper), or for sitting on a front porch. There are other racist practices that need to be questioned such as how we place and fund our schools, and how race seems to be an unspoken factor in how we award real estate financing and approve proposed residential and commercial developments.
As Realtors and more importantly, as human beings we have an obligation to get back to building community and working for a more just future for all. We are listening, we hear you and we stand with you. We are committed to doing the hard work now and each day in the future.
A small first step – we are raising funds for Freedom Inc and their work to effect positive, lasting change. LRG is offering dollar-for-dollar matching grants up to a total of $5,000. Head to our Facebook page HERE to find the donation link pinned to the top of the page!