Real Estate Ad Stirs Racial Controversy

by James McClister


When local Martha Turner Sotheby’s International Realty Broker Associate Ashton Martini, who heads the Ashton Martini Group, ran an ad in Houstonia’s June issue featuring an interracial couple and their three biracial children, he didn’t expect the image to incite a controversy. But it did.

“The family in my ad were my actual clients who became friends,” Martini said in an email.

News of the backlash was first broken when Houstonia editor-in-chief Scott Vogel used his editor’s note as a platform to address complaints from two readers regarding the ad. One reader reacted with “disgust” and another criticized the ad for “racial mixing” and pointed to specific concerns that children would see the ad and “get it into their heads that this is okay.”

In his response, Vogel wrote, “Houstonia’s championing of diversity does not extend to bigots….”

Martini, who said he wanted the ad only to be “something different and fun,” supports Vogel and Houstonia’s response entirely.

“Houston is a diverse city and therefore, so is my clientele,” he said. “While I never intended for (the ad) to be controversial, the response has started a conversation and I am happy to be part of it. I applaud Scott Vogel and Houstonia for their stand, and I can only hope that we are fostering a more accepting and tolerant younger generation.”

Read More Related to This Post


  • Janet Escobar says:

    It is sad that some people are still so opposed to biracial marriages. These people are obviously not Christians. God created all of us and Heaven is going to be all races. Not just white Caucasian or people of one color. I thought we were pretty much past all this as a nation but I guess not! I applaud you for a defense that should not have been necessary

Join the conversation

Oops! We could not locate your form.