(ThyBlackMan.com) Gentrification: The restoration of run-down urban areas by the middle class (resulting in the displacement of low-income residents)
When the permanent man made engineered storm called Gentrification rears its ugly head to touch down on a neighborhood considered undesirable by an elite segment of the population, there is pretty much nothing that can be done once their intrusive game plan has been revealed for the world to see.
These power mongers see great value and profit in an entire neighborhood that have real people in it that have called it home for such a very long time but care not about their sentimental attachment to it once the profit margins contained therein begin to titillate their hearts of stone.
It wouldn’t be so bad if a way was made for these usually powerless individuals to continue on with their lives somewhere else but in a sense when you’ve been somewhere for so long, no where else will suffice as the original fabric of a beloved community can never be replaced or moved elsewhere like an inanimate object that possesses no feelings whatsoever.
When I see the signs of Gentrification taking place, I’ve often noticed how it creeps in like an unwanted fungus in a garden where the owner was too busy or preoccupied to notice that a destructive enemy has crept up in its midst.
The method in most cases of Gentrification is that you must move in on the targeted neighborhood under the radar unbeknownst to those who dwell there.
For a group of movers and shakers who really don’t seem to have any consideration to those who were already living there, they have enough of an awareness to know that something is wrong about their actions otherwise they would announce it publicly far well in advance for the entire world to see.
But like the peaceful animals in the wild who bother no one as they go about their business of living before a nearby covert hunter kills them all off for sport, these rapists of entire neighborhoods are the predators who peer through their murderous rifle scope with the intentions of killing off generations of community roots that under gird the culture of an entire people.
Is this considered merely survival of the fittest or is it simply taking advantage of a people who are ill equipped for a no holds barred takeover?
This seems to the case all over the country and the same exact script is played out in a predictable fashion to say the least.
The media who works along with whoever pays their bills will first demonize the targeted area a bit more in the minds of the population who don’t live there with tales of never ending crime and murder as a smear tactic to subconsciously set them up everyone to see them as subhuman and a blight to the city in which they live.
This will go on for several years and cause the manipulated citizens of that town to accept that this is an area that must be cleaned up.
While terrible things happen all over every city, any travesties that transpire in the targeted area will be showcased above and beyond any other news in an amplified manner so that others will get sick and tired of the problem area even though most have never even visited there.
Bring in the police to harass, bully and railroad into a higher arrest rate because the people of that downtrodden area do not have the resources to hire a lawyer and must depend on an ineffective and usually disinterested public defender to represent them into a predetermined decision that leaves them in a sorry state of affairs.
This area targeted for Gentrification is usually ignored and scorned by the rest of the city as they justify their feelings because of the low representation of those Gentrified citizens at town meetings which shows a lack of interest. The real deal is that those absent citizens being as poor as they are don’t attend because of their mindset of survival as they must first concern themselves with their next meal or paying the rent.
With jobs and money flow at an all time low, they cannot indulge their precious time with town hall meetings when they have hungry children at home to feed off of the low pay earned.
So they are in a sense shut out from knowing what is planned for their neighborhood because they have in the eyes of their neighbors, forfeited any right to complain when things happen in a way in which they do not agree.
So the strategic moves begin to be executed and it’s always done in a way that makes the city and political leaders appear as though they are doing something good and progressive for the poor people who live in the targeted area.
You will see many architectural upgrades on the historic buildings that were once the victim of decay and neglect.
You will see drastic improvement in the parks and areas of leisure that were once a feared ground to tread upon because of the former reputation for drug sales and the crimes that go along with them.
Businesses will sprout up that specialize in items that the original community never seemed to have interest in or could even afford to patronize. This in itself should raise more than a few eyebrows of those who dwell there but often go unnoticed and is taken as a sign of a much needed progress.
But who would think that it makes great business sense to open a German Bakery Shop with high priced pastries in the ‘Hood?
…….or a Vitamin Shop in a place where bad food rules and the poor health that stems from the ignorance of how to maintain ones well being is the norm? Surely they are not putting these establishments there for the local residents who are targeted to be banished from there.
Like a strategic chess match these changes are made slowly over time and as the residents age and are unable to leave what little resources they possess in the form of property to their offspring, it is quickly lost due to the inability of their children being equipped financially to hold on to them because of their gross financial illiteracy.
So now the set up has been completed and an entire community begins to catch onto the game being played on them as it appears to be too late to fight back.
Their emotional pleas to understand the attachment to their so called neighborhood go unheard as “Imminent Domain” is the order of the day to tear down the majority of the homes that were rented by these upset residents as they never knew that the property was sold right from under their feet be a profit minded landlord who never wanted to be bother by his “low life” renters in the first place! She he views the sale as a win/win situation for himself.
You see, we who live in these places have to understand that in the United States Of America it’s all about money and power. If you don’t have that then you better have a whole lot of knowledge, self discipline and unity.
The reason why I say this is that the power brokers of these cities across the land KNOW that most of us are ignorant to what is really going down on a long term planning level in these targeted areas.
The government will surely walk all over anyone or community who doesn’t have their acts together. Do you think that they will attempt to scheme the Jewish community in the same wayward manner that they do our poor Black communities? Heck no!
But again, while we may not have all of the money that other communities do, most of the time we are taken advantage of because we are bankrupt in self discipline, knowledge and unity. Any community that doesn’t have those important attributes will surely perish at the first sign of a takeover from the outside. We are poorly informed and do not seem to have a desire to keep up with the important news and information in our beloved neighborhoods but always seem to be up on the latest gossip of who is screwing who and who got locked up last night.
This has got to stop but it seriously doesn’t seem to be able to!
If you are a community that wants to remain intact so that your children as well as their great grand children can have a place in your city that you can call your own, there are several mandatory things that must be done in order to ensure that your legacy will live beyond one brief generation before being put up for auction.
One of the reasons why part of me cannot feel sorrow for those who are targeted for Gentrification is that the loudest individuals crying are the ones who lived in their neighborhood for twenty and thirty years and never thought about owning the roof over their heads.
Renting an apartment for the time that it took to pay off a mortgage gives you no stake in that neighborhood except a shallow sense of a meaningless connection as well as a few glowing memories that will quickly fade when that eviction notice arrives.
Becoming a presence at your local community planning boards as well as petitioning to your local government officials on anything that doesn’t sit well with you is a great way to make anyone think twice about doing anything underhanded to destroy the community in which you live in.
…….imagine if EVERYONE had that attitude and held their public servants accountable on every single detail of what they do?
We need to go into business and support those who are from our community in those businesses wholeheartedly even if their prices must go up to survive for a season or two. We must keep our neighborhood businesses afloat and keep our hard earned dollars in the community for as long as we can to benefit all who call the neighborhood home.
Those who own the neighborhood businesses MUST make a point of staying in that community to live and invest in property that they will call home. This is important because what good is it to support a business of someone who used to live there but now has moved out and takes the precious dollars of support given elsewhere to benefit somewhere else?
We must elect officials into the various political offices who we KNOW and trust. The areas that are usually targeted for Gentrification oftentimes have leaders who have no deep interest in maintaining the community or serving the best interests of the people who live there and are easily compromise and bought out by the outside entities who care not about the people who live there.
We must have our own local press that can spread the news of what is going on in our communities in a manner that is direct and spoken by one who lives their. I’ve never understood why many of us depend on a news source that slants the news against us and we allow it because we feel as though we have no other options.
If you do not agree with the oppressors news distribution platforms then become the media that will serve your best needs! It’s a total nightmare for those who have become comfortable in the control that they have on the minds of a people who have cut the ties of support and formed something of their own to build for themselves independently. Never EVER underestimate the power of the press, whether it be an old fashioned newspaper or an online news site that’s accessible to that community via the computer or smartphone.
Strong communities don’t fall very easily and are resistant to the smallpox sent in the blankets of Gentrification. We’ll have nothing to worry about if we first concern ourselves with doing the right thing by ourselves to create an impenetrable armor that will cause the financial opportunists that don’t give a damn about where we live to move on to another place from which to drop their poison of communal death!
At the end of the day if WE fall victim to Gentrification then we have no one else to blame except ourselves.
Remember: Self discipline, Knowledge and Unity!
Self discipline to see beyond the smokescreen of the trickery of the oppressor and the where with all to carry out a well made plan, the knowledge to understand what must be done and to not create the cracks in our armor that only ignorance can manifest and the unity to focus our collective strength against those who seek to take advantage of the self hate that we have for each other!
This article is a start but if we utilize some of what was shared here we will make it terribly hard for anyone to simply come on in to turn our beloved communities into the high priced swanky downtown areas that shut us out merely because our status and social pedigree doesn’t match that of those arrogant strangers who just arrived there.
Staff Writer; Lance Scurvin