PONTOTOC CO. MISS. (WCBI) – Erica Dunahoo and her husband Stanley Hoskins,who is a National Guardsman, wanted to get their family back on solid financial ground, so they bought a trailer, to help cut expenses. Then, Dunahoo found out about a small RV park in the Belden Endville community owned by Gene Baker.
“I went over there, real nice, couldn’t ask for no better, he invited me to church, told me about his family,his kids, his grand babies,” Dunahoo said.
The next day, though, Dunahoo says Baker called her.
“He said, ‘ you didn’t tell me you was married to no black man,’ ” I said whoa, who is this?”
“He said, ‘ this is Mr Baker, Gene Baker, that you rented that land for to put that camper on.’
“I said, Mr Baker I didn’t think it was important or a problem.”
“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.’
“I was like, we’re not shacking we’re married,” she said.
But Dunahoo claims Baker told her they could not live at his RV park, and refunded their money. They moved their trailer off Baker’s property, and now their trailer is at a park in Blue Springs. Also, their seven year old daughter had to change schools.
“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,” Dunahoo said.
Under the Fair Housing Act, it is illegal for a landlord to discriminate against anyone because of race. We have made numerous calls to Gene Baker but he has not responded.
We are not the only ones who want to talk to Mr. Baker. The NAACP has launched an investigation, and they want to hear his side of the story.
“What I see that could bring a solution to this problem is this guy coming forward and saying why he feels this way about this situation so maybe we can dialogue together and maybe get solutions out of this and maybe he could say, I was wrong,” said Rev. Chris Traylor, president of the local chapter of the NAACP.
Dunahoo claims she doesn’t want any financial compensation from Baker. Instead, she wants to see a change of heart.
“I want him to fix where he cannot be racist, I want that,” Dunahoo said.
Dunahoo says a woman from out of state has agreed to pay the difference in monthly rent for one year. Also, a Starkville man offered a spot in a local campground to the family.