Things That Matter

Latino Couple Looking To Buy A Home Found A Clause That Said They Needed To Be “Wholly Of The White Caucasian Race”

Amid recent conversations about the benefits of affinity housing, the topic of housing discrimination remains relevant as ever. The Federal Fair Housing Act of 1968 prohibits discrimination against tenants based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, and family status—and while this legislation aims to protect people all over the country, it doesn’t keep discrimination completely at bay. For a Latinx couple seeking to buy a home in Stockton, California, this reality became uncomfortably clear when they saw their Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, & Restrictions (CC&R), a document that outlines the necessary requirements to inhabit a property.

The CC&R for Yolanda Romero and Esai Manzo’s new home claimed that “no persons other than those wholly of the white Caucasian race shall use, occupy or reside upon any part of or within any building located on the above described real property, except servants or domestics of another race employed by or domiciled with a white Caucasian owner or tenant.” Additionally, according to the document, no person who was not “wholly of the white Caucasian” race could purchase the house. So, naturally, the couple second-guessed whether they should move forward with the contract—not because they don’t identify as “Caucasian,” but because they were concerned that their neighbors willingly signed documents with comparable clauses.

It made us second guess our offer,” said Romero. “We were concerned that people in the neighborhood might have signed documents with similar statements.”

credit: NBCNews.com

Before signing the document, the couple consulted their agent to determine whether this stipulation was actually legal. It turns out that the clause dated back to 1947, and racially restrictive housing covenants were outlawed in 1948 as a result of that year’s Shelley vs. Kraemer Supreme Court case. “People worry that it’s still enforceable, and even though it’s not, covenants like these hold symbolic meaning,” Dean of the Cornell University Law School, Eduardo Peñalver, told NBC News. “They can indicate whether someone feels like they’re welcome in a community and serve as a reminder of how pervasive housing discrimination was.”

And according to Peñalver, the Fair Housing Act technically outlaws covenants like the one the couple encountered in their CC&R. So why hadn’t this racially restrictive language been omitted from the document long before Romero and Manzo came into the picture?

We’ve inherited a segregated residential landscape that’s the result of explicit racial discrimination,” Peñalver said. “Though racial discrimination in housing has been outlawed, it manifests itself in more subtle forms and perpetuates the wealth gap and economic inequality.”

A 2012 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development study revealed that Latinx folks seeking to rent learned about 13 percent fewer homes than equally qualified whites; black people learned about 11 percent fewer homes than equally qualified whites; and Asians learned about 10 percent fewer homes than equally qualified whites. When purchasing property, there was no distinguishable difference between Latinx and white buyers, though this was not the case for black and Asian populations, who were shown nearly 18 percent fewer properties than potential white buyers. And the Latinx home ownership numbers have grown immensely in the past several years.

The 2017 State of Hispanic Ownership report confirms that more than 7 million people of Hispanic/Latinx descent owned houses that year—a number 44 times greater than 2016’s metric.

 

credit: Getty Images

The report cites expansion into areas with high Latinx populations as a source of this extreme growth, though it also highlights certain challenges to Latinx home ownership, from lack of affordable housing to “extreme uncertainty over immigration.” 51% percent of Hispanics believe the economy is on the wrong track, and 56% think it would be difficult to get a home mortgage today, but 88% indicate that they are more likely to own a home in the future than to rent—all of which are statistics that support further growth in the realm of Latinx home ownership.

Yet the issue of subversive housing discrimination remains. Many states use CC&Rs, which are officially recorded and filed with the state, and these documents often include outdated and questionable language. Because these covenants are part of the property records, it can be legally challenging to eliminate them entirely—but Peñalver encourages prospective buyers to file a statement with a county recorder or homeowners association (HOA) if they encounter similar clauses in their paperwork. However, this can prove unnecessarily difficult; in the case of Romero and Manzo’s property, the home does not belong to an HOA, so they would have to obtain “unanimous consent of homeowners in the community signing off on a new set of CC&Rs omitting the offensive language.” Even then, the “wholly of the white Caucasian race” clauses would remain in their property records, though the language would be removed from the revised CC&R document.

In the end, the couple proceeded with the purchase of this property, adding to the ever-growing numbers of Latinx homeowners across the U.S. Yet they remain a bit shocked by the whole process, and remind new homebuyers to always read the fine print.

From J Balvin To Luis Fonsi, To Marc Anthony, And Everyone In-Between: We Rounded Up The Best Latinx Songs Of The Decade

Entertainment

From J Balvin To Luis Fonsi, To Marc Anthony, And Everyone In-Between: We Rounded Up The Best Latinx Songs Of The Decade

In the 2010s, technology and connectivity made creating, distributing and listening to music easier than ever before. Latinos crossed over to worldwide audiences and collaborated with artists from different countries. ‘El género urbano’ reached new horizons and we heard the classic reggaeton beat being sung in lots of different languages. The result was both a blessing and a curse: There was a lot of great music out there, but it was virtually impossible to keep up. So we narrowed it down to the best Latinx songs of the decade. Read on to find out which 13 songs were the most played, memorable and catchy hits of the 2010s.  

‘Mi Gente’ by J Balvin x Willy Williams

Inspired by the French singer Willy William’s, “Voodoo Song”, J Balvin’s ‘Mi Gente’ became the first song in Spanish to reach the ‘Top 50 global’ songs on Spotify with help from Beyonce and her remix. 

‘Despacito’ by Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee ft. Justin Bieber

Despacito was definitely the biggest song of 2017, and arguably the most played Spanish-language song of the decade. The sweltering pop reggaeton-love ballad hybrid was everywhere that summer, playing in cities and suburbs, at house parties and barbecues, at wedding receptions and department stores, in people’s headphones during their commute. “Despacito” was inescapable and inevitable. You couldn’t avoid the song if you tried.

‘Waka Waka’ (This Time For Africa) Shakira

What’s the most beloved, most streamed World Cup song of all time? If your first guesses were Ricky Martin or Pitbull, you’re way off — the honor belongs to Shakira, whose 2010 anthem “Waka Waka (Song for Africa) handily beats them all. The track, recorded with the Cape Town, South Africa fusion band, Freshlyground, went to No. 1 in 15 countries and is one of the best-selling singles of all time

‘Vivir mi Vida’ Marc Anthony

Marc Anthony’s super hit was number 1 in the US Hot Latin Songs, Latin Pop Songs and Tropical Airplay, and peaked at number 92 on the US Billboard Hot 100. ‘Vivir Mi Vida’ was Certified gold in Italy with sales over 15,000 copies and in Spain with sales over 20,000 copies. Vivir Mi Vida’ is a song about life, living happy and forgetting sadness. It’s a happy salsa tune registered Anthony’s return to music after 10 years. Marc said:”I like living with the ideas of a song for a long time before I even go to the studio, but I truly feel that this was the right time, and I’m very happy with the final product.”

‘Danza Kuduro’ Lucenzo ft. Don Omar

With French-Portuguese singer Lucenzo by his side, Don Omar hit the jackpot in 2010 with the one-of-a-kind “Danza Kuduro,” a Spanish/Portuguese-language tribute to an Angolan dance move. In the aftermath of 2000s reggaeton-mania, Don Omar seized an opportunity to innovate, adopting the kuduro 4/4 rhythm and dusting off an accordion sample for good measure. Don Omar’s globetrotting formula earned him his second Number One hit on Billboard‘s Hot Latin Songs chart – as well as Lucenzo’s first – and the single sold over a million digital copies. S.E.

‘Bailando’ Enrique Iglesias ft. Gente de Zona & Sean Paul

The original Spanish-language version was a beast unto itself; it spent a record 41 consecutive weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot Latin Songs chart (four years before “Despacito” surpassed it). The official video, the 11th most-viewed video on YouTube today, was the first Spanish-language music video to reach more than 1 billion views. But it was the Sean Paul-assisted Spanglish remix, however, that helped “Bailando” reach crossover audiences – it peaked at Number 12 on the Hot 100 chart.

‘Ginza’ J Balvin

Si necesitas reggaetón, dale,” sang Balvin in his catchy hit – “If you need reggaeton, get it.” Balvin’s unbothered, melodic flow sets him apart from the aggro reggaeton players of yesteryear. After sitting at the top of the Hot Latin Songs chart for 22 weeks, “Ginza” broke the Guinness World Record for the chart’s longest stay at number one by a solo artist. 

‘Ai Se Eu Te Pego’ Michel Telo

The danceable song, which generated nearly half a billion YouTube hits, upped Brazil’s pop-culture presence its role as host of the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics. The pop song by Brazilian heartthrob Michel Telo was a massive, viral hit —and its probably the most popular song to come out of Brazil since The Girl From Ipanema.

‘La Gozadera’ Gente de Zona ft. Marc Anthony

Following a tropical Latinx music lyric tradition, “La Gozadera” calls out a list of countries from the Spanish-speaking world, inviting everyone to join the party. The happy show of Pan-Latin spirit pretty much guaranteed the song’s international popularity.

‘Felices los 4’ Maluma

The song made it to 48 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and number 2 on the Billboard Hot Latin Song chart. What’s more, it was on the set of the music video that Maluma met his girlfriend Natalia Barulich —the hit was a win-win situation for everyone.

‘Dile que tu me quieres’ Ozuna

Ozuna first rose to stardom with his hit single ‘Dile que tu me quieres’ in 2016. The song earned him a place at 13 on the Billboard Latin chart at the end of that year.

‘Adrenalina’ Wisin ft. Jennifer Lopez & Ricky Martin

This song cemented Wisin’s success as a solo artist and the only remainder of the ‘Extraterrestres Musicales’ duo between him and Yandel —the two have since reunited, but back then, in 2014 ‘Adrenalina’ was one of the top 10 songs in Latin America and the videoclip was the second most streamed video on Youtube in Spain for the whole year.

‘Reggaeton Lento’ (Bailemos) CNCO

After the success of ‘Despacito’, it was no surprise that the Latin boy band’s song quickly scaled the charts. The song, featuring a collaboration with Little Mix, peaked at number 3 on Billboard 200 in 2017.

A Florida Politician Verbally Assaulted A Group Of Latinos But They Recorded The Incident

Things That Matter

A Florida Politician Verbally Assaulted A Group Of Latinos But They Recorded The Incident

@TrendsKey / Twitter

Late last month, a teenage Puerto Rican tennis player was accosted by local politician Martin Hyde at a tennis club in Sarasota, Florida. The tennis player captured the incident on video, which was later posted to social media by Puerto Rican attorney Alvin Couto de Jesus, who had originally gotten the video from the athlete’s uncle, Javier Irizarry.

In the video, Hyde is seated, speaking tersely with the athlete and his peers, before following them as they begin to leave the premises.

According to Irizarry, his 15-year-old nephew was invited to play in the Casely International Tennis Championship, which was hosted last week by Bath & Racquet Club at the Celsius Tennis Academy in Sarasota, Florida. The athlete was practicing for the tournament when, allegedly, Hyde approached him and his friends in an aggressive manner, instructing them to “cut grass” and “get out.” The video’s audio begins with Hyde telling one of the players to “keep [your] mouth shut.” The tennis player and his peers rebuke Hyde’s confrontation, calling him out for making racist comments and demanding that they leave.

“You’re telling me to cut grass because I’m Hispanic,” says one of the players. “That’s racism, man. How can you say something like that?”

The players continue to draw attention to Hyde’s racist comments before turning to leave the scene. Hyde gets up from his seat and follows them, crying, “Out! Out!” all the while.

Before leaving the Tennis Academy, the teens report the incident to Academy staff. Meanwhile, Hyde interrupts and tries to invalidate their story, accusing them of being disruptive and intoxicated.

“I don’t know what drugs they’re on,” he says, insisting that he is a “member of the club” and that he wants the teenagers to leave. The athletes repeat his comment about “cutting grass,” and while some of Hyde’s speech is muffled, his response to the teen is clear as day: “Yes,” he says. “So what?” When a staff member engages in an attempt to solve the conflict, Hyde encourages her to “throw them out,” eventually telling the teens to “shut up” before abruptly walking away.

Latino Rebels reported the story and shared the video on Friday. It has since circulated widely on social media, and as a result, Sarasota’s Bath & Racquet Club has banned Hyde from its premises.

“We have kids from all over the world, Central America, Latin America, who play here and compete to get scholarships for college,” Cary Cohenour, the director of Celsius Tennis Academy, which leases courts to the club, told NBC News. “The whole incident was out of control and though Celsius wasn’t involved, we want people to know that we denounce racism here.”

An active candidate for the District 2 Sarasota City Commission, Hyde planned to quit the race after news of the incident spread. However, he’s since announced that he may continue running. And in spite of the video evidence, Hyde adamantly denies making racist comments to the Puerto Rican tennis players, though he does admit that he acted inappropriately.

“I was rude and I regret that. It was a long day and my kids were being disturbed while they were having their lesson, because the boys were being loud,” Hyde said. “But I simply didn’t say those things, and that’s why they’re not in the video.”

Hyde also denies allegations—made by Twitter user @sergiodilan101, who Latino Rebels have identified as Irizarry’s nephew—that Hyde offered him $50,000 in exchange for the video.

In this Twitter thread, @sergiodilan101 recounts the story in great detail, expressing that before this incident, he and his compañero had never felt so “upset, frustrated, uncomfortable, and sad.” He encourages all Latinos to stand together and support each other in situations like this, and he has received an abundant outpouring of support and affirmation, both from people online, political figures, and family.

“We had a long talk about reality and I explained to him that this guy represents a really small minority and that his behavior wasn’t normal,” Irizarry told NBC News. “I hope by sharing the video we can prevent something like this from happening again.”

Additionally,  Peter Vivaldi, a former Republican candidate for the Florida state Senate—who is also of Puerto Rican descent—responded to the video by saying that “if you’re a public figure . . . you run for everybody, you represent everybody.”

He added, “This is not what we want to represent any party and less do we want that in the state of Florida, where we’re talking about Puerto Ricans that are American citizens. We need to make sure if you’re Republican or Democrat, if you’re saying things that are not appropriate, we need to call you out.”