A campaign by the municipality and anti-discrimination agency RADAR caused a stir on social media this week. The campaign was meant to denounce discrimination in the housing market, but the text was not well appreciated by everyone. “I think it’s unfortunate. It is precisely discriminatory.”
Earlier, opposition parties in the Eindhoven City Council also expressed their dissatisfaction with the campaigns.
Advertising columns throughout the city showed a comparison between Erik and Annemarie getting the keys to their new house while Omar and Samira did not.
It was soon apparent in the Eindhoven city centre that people were not happy with the text on the poster. A woman said, “It’s unnecessary, why do those names have to be there?” Her friend adds: “Everyone deserves a roof over their heads. Just by this kind of text, you increase the discrimination gap.”
“The core of the campaign is that everyone deserves an equal, fair chance on the housing market, regardless of origin, sexual orientation or religion,” a spokesperson for the municipality reveals. RADAR spokesperson Wilke Martens says he still stands behind the intention of the message. “Some people criticize the text, but others actually recognize themselves in the story.”
The fact that attention is drawn to eradicating discrimination in the housing market in the first place, however, is considered a good action. “You keep coming across it,” says one student. “I think people get a familiar feeling faster with a Dutch last name. It’s unfair.”
Translation: Chaitali Sengupta. She also gives online INBURGERING classes.