The musician schooled his Twitter followers about the realities of housing descrimination

By Georgia Slater
July 02, 2020 01:47 PM
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John Legend is speaking out about the issue of discrimination in the real estate industry.

After news surfaced this week that Houston realtors would stop using the word "master" to describe bedrooms and bathrooms because of its ties to slavery, the musician reacted on Twitter calling them out for giving attention to the phrase instead of trying to fix a much more significant problem in their industry.

"Real problem: realtors don't show Black people all the properties they qualify for. Fake problem: calling the master bedroom the master bedroom," the Bigger Love singer wrote.

"Fix the real problem, realtors," he suggested.

After some real estate agents replied that they don't show different properties to clients depending on their race, Legend elaborated on his statement.

"Me saying this is a real problem doesn't mean that you, offended real estate agent, do it," the singer said. "It doesn't mean 100% of you do it. It means it's widespread and well-documented enough to be an actual issue."

The 41-year-old thanked the real estate professionals not exacerbating the problem but said that those agents  "should show some leadership by recognizing that it's real and encouraging your colleagues to do better."

He went on to joke, "As for terminology, all MTV Cribs viewers know that 'this is where the magic happens' is the only acceptable name for where the homeowner sleeps."

In a follow-up tweet, Legend shared a link to an investigation examining the practices of Long Island, New York, real estate agents that illustrated the unequal treatment of different groups when house hunting.

On Wednesday, the singer shared a similar article on Twitter showing a study of housing discrimination taking place in Boston.

"But I was assured by many realtors that this couldn't possibly be happening," Legend sarcastically wrote. "So obviously this is fake news, @BostonGlobe."

This isn't the first time Legend has publicly advocated for racial equality.

In this week's issue, Legend opens up to PEOPLE readers about his thoughts on racial injustice in America.

CHRIS DELMAS/AFP/Getty Images

"We really do need change and that’s something I've been focused on for a long time in my philanthropic and political work," he says. "When moments like George Floyd's killing happen, it makes it even more urgent that change is needed."

Adding, "I'm doing fine, but too many people in our country aren’t doing well and for too long we've put up with a system that doesn't treat people of color equally and that needs to change."

To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:

  • Campaign Zero (joincampaignzero.org) which works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.
  • ColorofChange.org works to make the government more responsive to racial disparities.
  • National Cares Mentoring Movement (caresmentoring.org) provides social and academic support to help Black youth succeed in college and beyond.