Housing ads for Katrina victims violate federal fair housing law

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It is a violation of federal law to publish ads that restrict housing applicants by race, sex, color, religion, or national origin. However, such ads have popped up on several post-Katrina-related websites, including nola.com, the official website of the New Orleans Times-Picayune. Other sites that violate the law are dhronline.org and katrinahousing.org, Katrinahousing.org, in fact, was singled out by FEMA for praise for its contribution in helping with the housing crisis.

People will no doubt use the “this is an emergency” excuse to let the offending websites get by, but if we do not protect people’s rights during an emergency, what is the point of protecting them at all? FEMA is so out of touch that it comes as no surprise it would praise a site without taking a closer look at it. For the Times-Picayune to publish a site that violates federal fair housing laws, however, is inexcusable and a further embarrassment to New Orleans.

The Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center
has filed a complaint, and at least one of the sites has closed down.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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