Our words matter

Dated: May 16 2021

Views: 48

It’s one of those things our parents and teachers tell us growing up that maybe we don’t give much thought to until we get a little older, maybe have children of our own, or begin to have our own world view - our words matter. 

Think about how carefully you consider what to say in an email, a text, a social media post. What we say, the words we choose, give people a window into our minds and hearts. The words we write and speak, however careless or perfectly planned out, are a huge part of our personality and how we represent ourselves to the world. 

 

So my question, as a new real estate agent, is “Why, why, why is the term ‘Master’ still being used in front of bedroom and bathroom?” If you don’t immediately hear the racist implications in that terminology, this NY Times article from August 2020 offers a great snapshot into this issue. Whether the term comes from pre-civil war plantations or from the Sears catalog in the early 20th century (as noted in the NYT article), what it implies and the discomfort it can cause for our fellow citizens is not worth it. How easy is it to simply begin saying “Primary Bedroom” instead? 

As real estate agents, it is our duty to show homes equally to all buyers and renters, to never push a client toward one area of town or another, and that’s a significant responsibility that has not always been (and is not always being) honored. I can’t change the world as a real estate agent, but I can certainly push for small changes like the words we use to describe the homes we are listing. I vow to use the word “primary” in place of “master” in every home I list and sell and to explain why I’m doing so to each and every client. 

 

I know I say this coming from a place of white privilege and I know that it doesn’t make everything better, but our words do matter. If I can help nudge even one person who says they are “not racist” toward being Antiracist, then this one simple thing is worth it. 

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Lindsay Caldwell

Thanks so much for considering me to help you find your new home! I am an Albuquerque native and know the city inside and out. With a background in wedding sales and planning, I value getting to know ....

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