A Mississippi woman said her family was evicted from a trailer park in late February because her husband is black.
Erica Dunahoo, 40, who is Hispanic and Native American, and her husband Stanley Hoskins, 37, who is African American, recently bought a trailer to cut back on expenses and get their family back on track financially.
Dunahoo said the landlord, Gene Baker, seemed “real nice” about renting the property to the couple.
“Couldn’t ask for no better,” Dunahoo said to WCBI News about Baker when she first met him. “He invited me to church, told me about his family, his kids [and] his grandbabies.”
However, it was a phone call Dunahoo received the following day from Baker that upset her.
“He said, ‘You didn’t tell me you was married to no black man,’” Dunahoo recalled to WCBI. “I said, ‘Mr. Baker, I didn’t think it was important or a problem.’”
According to Dunahoo, the colour of her husband’s skin was a dilemma for Baker.
“He said, ‘Oh, it’s a big problem, the people at my church, the community, my mother-in-law, they won’t have that black and white shacking,”’ said Dunahoo. “I was like, ‘We’re not shacking, we’re married.’”
She says that’s when the landlord evicted the couple and refunded the $275 rent they paid.
USA Today spoke to Baker who said he didn’t have a problem with mixed-race couples, but that the neighbours did.
“The neighbours were giving me such a problem,” said Baker to USA Today. “The best thing you can do is what the neighbours want to do.”
Dunahoo said not only did her family have to find a new place to live, they also had to switch one of their children – a seven-year-old girl – to a new school.
“It’s hard to explain to her. Her daddy’s good enough to serve this country, but not good enough to rent a piece of property,” said Dunahoo.
Hoskins has been with the National Guard for 13 years and is a sergeant.
Dunahoo told the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People about the incident. The organization has launched an investigation because under the Fair Housing Act, it’s illegal for a landlord to discriminate against a person based on their skin colour.
But all Dunahoo wants is for Baker to do the right thing.
“I want him to [not] be racist,” Dunahoo said.