“Walking” is discriminatory?

(The opinion expressed below is mine, and does not necessarily represent that of the Virginia Association of REALTORS®.)

Get this: According to the Real Estate Intelligence Report, "walking" is among 200 words the Corcoran Group is banning from its advertising. Because, you see, it might sound like it discriminates against the disabled.

Huh? Isn’t saying that something is "walking distance" simply a point of fact? How can facts be discriminatory? Besides, you’re not even vaguely implying that disabled people aren’t welcome. Does saying "great bike trails nearby" discriminate too? (Apparently so.)

Perhaps "great view" or even "beautiful" should also be off the list so as not to appear to discriminate against the blind. And don’t mention that "great burger place" either — I guess that would be discriminating against vegetarians.

Discrimination, to me (and I’m sure Lem will jump in if I’m wrong) means saying or implying that certain kinds of people aren’t welcome, or treating them differently: "Great place for a traditional Christian family." "All-white complex." "Discount for families with kids." And so on.

Or maybe I’m just not keeping up with the times. Correct me, please.

About Andrew Kantor

Andrew is VAR's editor and information manager, and -- lessee now -- a former reporter for the Roanoke Times, former technology columnist for USA Today, and a former magazine editor for a bunch of places. He hails from New York with stops in Connecticut, New Jersey, Cincinnati, Columbus, and Roanoke.
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3 Responses to “Walking” is discriminatory?

  1. Brian Block says:

    Sometimes this PC stuff just goes too far!

  2. Actually HUD made a decision on words like “water-view” and “walking trails” being included in advertising quite some time ago. After the HUD memorandum debacle of 1994, HUD took a step back and decided that these words or catch phrases merely describe an amenity that can be enjoyed by anyone, even if they have a disability. On top of that, HUD encourages agents to describe disability access that our properties may contain. Well, if you look at the Corcoran Group’s reasoning, wouldn’t the inclusion of these handicap accesible amenities be discriminating against people who are not disabled? Brian Block says it well, sometime PC just goes too far! Take a page from the HUD handbook Corcoran Group – sometimes you just need to let it go!

  3. REALTOR.com forbid me to use “colored” – as in “multi-colored walkway” a short time ago. I was trying to artfully describe the stained concrete driveway made of several SHADES with the big butterfly in the middle. It took me forever to come up with an alternative that didn’;t sound goofy.

    I would hate to offend anyone, but this just gets ridiculous sometimes.

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