The tenant and property owner of a home listed on Craigslist as hosting a “high end” estate sale this weekend for “Caucasians only” will both file charges against the person they believe is responsible for the post, a former tenant who lived in the home for only four months before she moved out.
Todd Mallette, who purchased the historic home at 1312 Dauphin St. in 2001 as a private residence, said he began renting it out seven or eight years ago. Early this year, a lessee allegedly posted racist and inflammatory signs on the property, which Mallette asked her to remove.
When the tenant did not get the job she applied for, Mallette found another tenant, he said. But before she moved out, the previous tenant harassed the new tenant by not cooperating with the transition and allegedly “stole everything she could get her hands on.”
Today, a post appeared on the free classified ads website advertising a weekend estate sale at the house, complete with “Tiffany lamps, Roseville pottery … antique English furniture, Nazi relics and many oil paintings.”
Photos accompanying the listing showed swastikas and paintings of African-Americans as slaves, while the post itself noted the sale was at a “high end house and neighborhood” and so, “no African Americans/Negros” would be allowed. (See the post below this story).
The post was swiftly shared via text and social media, where some commenters vowed to attend and protest.
“I think [the former tenant] is trying to get back at the tenant and me,” said Mallette, an attorney who lives in Louisiana but still practices in Mobile weekly. “It’s racist, it’s ugly and there is no place for it on Craigslist or anywhere.”
Before Mallette’s call, Lagniappe visited the address and spoke to an elderly resident who lives at the house with his son and daughter-in-law. He expressed surprise and disgust with the post, and said he did not recognize the objects listed for sale.
Later, his son called and said he was filing a felony complaint against the former tenant, who he described as “completely uncooperative” during the move.
“We had some words at the time, but this was a surprise to us,” the current tenant said, who asked to remain unnamed. “I was in the military my whole life, so it’s contrary to all my beliefs.”
He added he is white and his wife is Hispanic.
“It’s really unfortunate someone would ever do something like that — especially in this day and age. It’s a safety issue with the way things have been …”
The tenant said he had contacted the Mobile Police Department about the post, and officers would be closely patrolling the address and ready to respond quickly if needed.
“But I hope it doesn’t come to that,” he said. “I’d be willing to talk to anyone who comes, and anyone who is talking about organizing a protest or anything and I think it would be clear that’s not us — we’re not those kind of people.”
Both Mallette and the tenant expressed disappointment that Craigslist would allow the language in the post or the address to be posted without verification. The post was removed from Craigslist, but not before it was widely shared.
“It’s a terrible injustice for the tenant and just an ugly, cruel thing to do,” Mallette concluded.