Tuesday, June 09, 2009

This banking ripoff is PERFECT for a black person...OR a white person!

You've all seen this by now, I assume...

...and yes, if you haven't figured it out, Red House is a real place, even if the ad didn't actually run on TV.

One of the recurring snide comments I've read in connection with this video is "Only in North Carolina would they even consider running something like this." Because self-awareness is against the law in the southeast, right? Because once you get to Virginia, irony is what you use on your shirts-ony, right? Because the rest of the country is sooooo much more progressive, right? Riiiiiiight?

Let me help you out with something ripped screaming and afraid from the headlines. Like our buddy Ten Gauge, the fine people at the Baltimore branches of Wells Fargo (the banking behemoth that recently ate home-grown Wachovia alive) liked extending credit to everybody. But unlike our buddy Ten Gauge, if the pending lawsuit is to be believed, certain types of now-infamous credit ripoffs were aimed very heavily at minority customers. The declarations of ex-employees claim that African American and other minority communities were targeted for subprime mortgages ("ghetto loans," they called them), and in fact told all kinds of fanciful lies to people who qualified for prime loans to get them on the subprime train.

They focused on African-American churches. Churches, people. I don't know how different it is in the streets of Baltimore, but here in Red House country (where, if you'll remember, black people AND white people buy furniture), the church community is still considered Quite Worthy. They didn't call the game plan "riding the stagecoach to hell" for nothing.

Now consider this: the company that does credit pre-qualifying for Red House claims to offer a non-discriminatory assessment of all applicants, and not following up on what would seem to be a commonsense "play fair" rule is a surefire way to have your name immortalized in an 800+ page legal complaint...as Wells Fargo Baltimore has found out.

So really, who's the chump now? And can't we all just get along? I know of a place where we can, but you'll have to figure out where it is yourself. It's down the road from the Cuban gynecologist who sells cars.