Monday, April 13, 2009

Gentrification re: Loaded

Frozen Tropics mentioned it first. Sankofa Video and Books up on Georgia Avenue will be 'exploring' the issue of gentrification this week. According to them:
The panel discussions will allow the community to thoroughly examine the implications of gentrification, gentrification and racism, the institutionalized gentrification, the economic implication of gentrification, the implication of culture gentrification, the appropriation of African American cultural icons for the benefits of the 'gentrifiers', and the following questions will be addressed:

Have they come to live with us or displace us?
Who owns the planet?
Gentrification: Latest stage of colonial power - or - it's relationship to colonialism?

I see a bunch of loaded questions and statements. Yes, the word gentrification is loaded, but you can additionally pack it with more explosives and how you pair it with other loaded statements.
I'm going to take a wild guess and say the answer to question one will be displacement. Maybe the idea of living with people you're implying are colonial oppressors may be batted around for a minute. But seriously, colonialist oppressor is not a nice title and you damage your radical whatever cred by coddling 'those people'. Does one become a colonial oppresser by virtue of simply living east of 16th St NW? Is this an opportunity to rail against the Fair Housing Act, which allows people to legally live wherever the heck they want.
Here's a question, is the ideal located in places in DC (parts of NE & SE) where gentrification is not occurring and probably will never even bubble slightly in the next decade or two?



At 4/14/2009 1:16 PM, Anonymous Ned Beatty said...

A woman sometimes lives in a Section 8 rental near my owner-occupied home has a new *high-end* Mercedes Benz that is easily closer to $100,000 in retail price than it is to $50,000.

It has MD tags on it. The occupants of the house clearly despise white people.

I've grown weary of all this.

At 4/14/2009 3:21 PM, Blogger Mari said...

Not owning a car since 1993, I didn't realize you could pay that much for a car. Heck you can buy a house in NE for less than that.

At 4/14/2009 6:15 PM, Anonymous HU said...

"A woman sometimes lives in a Section 8 rental near my owner-occupied home has a new *high-end* Mercedes Benz that is easily closer to $100,000 in retail price than it is to $50,000."

What does the fact that the car has MD tags have to do with anything.

And you said sometimes she lives there, maybe she is visiting a boyfriend or a grandmother. I really don't care as long as she is not selling dope or killing people its none of my business. Some people are so nosy.

I've grown weary of all this!!

Pretentiousness that is

At 4/14/2009 6:16 PM, Anonymous HU said...

And how do the owners clearly despise white people. Maybe I am missing something here?

At 4/14/2009 7:08 PM, Anonymous Ned Beatty said...

"And how do the owners clearly despise white people. Maybe I am missing something here?"

Saying things like "What the F#CK ARE YOU LOOKING AT, WHITE BITCH?! You better stop F#UCKING LOOKING AT ME LIKE THAT!" while I walk down the street as I do every day gives rational people a clue as to her biases.

Did I mention that I've been in this neighborhood longer than her?

Be real; go check out the housing projects in the TC and count all the $50+K cars parked outside.

Know what else is a problem in the 'hood? PG County residents coming back to Gramma's neighborhood and expecting to own it, even though Moms got out a generation ago.

Nah, there's no pretentiousness at HU. None at all.....

At 4/14/2009 7:15 PM, Anonymous Lasagna Eater said...

HU, reality can be offensive, especially to the uninitiated.

I suggest you read the comments over at Frozen Tropics Racism is alive and well in DC, and in this town, whitey is not "The Man".

At 4/14/2009 10:02 PM, Anonymous M@ said...

This video sums up DC fairly well.

Kermit Sings

At 4/16/2009 5:36 PM, Blogger M@ said...

Oh boy. My gay stalker continues to post fake comments from "M@."

Good job, guy.

At 4/19/2009 3:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My (now wife) and I used to live in the 1300 block of 1st st nw from 2002-2003. A realtor convinced us to purchase that house 3 months out of college. We got a no money down loan at 5%. Due to a terrible incident in her family as well as career related issues, we sold in 2003 and left DC. We just came back for the 1st time in 6 years and took a walk through the neighborhood. I was shocked there is a coffee shop now at 1st and Florida, Temple Court is gone, there are new govt buildings on NY Ave and Florida,there are CCTV cameras, the guy that sold hubcaps from a lot on North Capitol and NY Ave is gone, and that building next to the Dunbar high school is no longer abandoned.
Looking back, I probably think we looked pretty silly- a couple of babies right out of college at the age of 22 buying their first house. We were also so immature at the time- keeping the Penn State tradition, we used to sit outside at night and drink beer in the front yard. Occasionally a transvestite would make his or her way up the street and a nervous hello would be exchanged. After consuming many beverages we would walk over to the Wendy's on the other side of North Capitol and wait in line for 30 minutes to chow down on some grub at 1am.

One other thing is that its really interesting to see the dichotomy between old and new (which didn't necessarily exist much during our time). I recall going to a few ANC meetings and many of the long time residents were concerned about the oncoming gentrification. Hopefully everyone has found ways to benefit from the investment that has occured in the area.
All I can say to everyone that lives in Truxton Circle is be thankful that people are putting money into the area. I live in Northeast Ohio now and Cleveland is seeing the opposite- widespread mortgage fraud and job losses has resulted in a very high rate of foreclosure and rapid depopulation of many of Cleveland and yes- suburban- Cleveland neighborhoods (3rd in country for population loss). The result is a terrible feedback loop of poverty, abandonment, and decline in tax base that becomes near impossible to irreverse.
Ciao for now and see you maybe in a few years.


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