In gentrification, a wide view of the contradiction of liberals can be viewed. While decrying the damage we do to the environment, they amass in larger urban areas where a significant amount of waste is produced; while decrying republicans for not caring about the poor, they coalesce in neighborhoods where the poor have been pushed out; while complaining that we ought to house the homeless and take care of immigrants, they live in places that were once affordable enough for them; while bemoaning a history of colonialism, they have invested in the pecuniary enrichment of modern colonizers; while saying minorities are unjustly punished for crimes they only commit because of systemic oppression, they help ensure that oppression will continue as minorities are forced to find other places where there is an influx of poverty and crime. And so on.
I read an article from LA Weekly today. It gave me some hope, along with an article LA Times published on (here I fawn a little over the p-word being a pejorative) how “‘Progress’ is wrecking LA Neighborhoods”. This is what needs to come out more: news outlets which Liberals are likely to read need to put this fact plainly into the face of Liberals. The latter is one I find especially bonafied because it may be some rosy-eyed Liberal’s first taste of skepticism about “progress”. Maybe it will just pass from their mind. Maybe not. I can hope.
Either way, take a look at them. One cannot, I believe, seriously contend that they care for the poor and vulnerable people when they have moved to a big city to live in the remnants of what was once the very homes of the poor. Here’s the most important part of the first article:
“Gentrification is a process — it’s not a single person,” said one of the marchers, Melissa Castro, a recent graduate of Mills College who lives at her parents’ home in the neighborhood. “How do we get our public officials to come out in person publicly and say they do not support what is happening?
“We all want to see Boyle Heights become a more beautiful place,” she continues. “The problem is they haven’t done that for us in the last 50 years. So now we have to wonder who they’re making it pretty for, and will we be here in five or 10 years to enjoy it.”
Earnestly, Castro briefly offers a glimpse of the real harm and deceit of gentrification. It of course harms the people who are being forced out by raised rent, but it also raises a question that can only be answered once Liberals realize they are being deceived. Who is the community being improved for? If we are to celebrate lower crime rates in certain areas, how can we truly believe this is a gain when the people who experienced it for so much of their lives won’t even be there to enjoy the absence?
This points to a larger point I’d like to draw out some day: not only are Liberals doing much of the harm to the very people they want to help, but they’re benefiting rather grandly from that exploitation.