Do you ever wonder if you are a gentrifier?
Answer these questions to find out…
When you moved to your current city was it because you were forced out of your native city due to sky rocketing rental prices or did you “choose” to move to your current city because you “liked the people, food and culture”?
if you picked the second response, that doesn’t necessarily mean you are a gentrifier BUT KEEP ANSWERING QUESTIONS….
When you moved to the neighborhood you currently lived in was it a priority to learn more about the community that was established before you got there and who the community leaders were on your block –or did it never cross your mind because “it doesn’t matter, you’re barely going to be at home”?
When you got to your community did you get to know why things were the way they were before you moved in or did you start to think of all the things that needed to be “fixed” ?
When you got to your new community did you ask community leaders what issues the community was already working on, attended community meetings and then decided to support those issues instead of/in addition to beautifying your neighborhood or did you get all fired up about addressing community issues like “beautifying” the neighborhood because it “needed foliage”?
Have you got to know the names of the youth that use your street as a playground or do you shake your head and question why they are “in the streets” playing?
Do you consider EVERYONE your neighbors (the homeless, drug dealers and sex workers too) or do you only call the people you have deemed “suitable” as neighbors?
Do you check your privilege when seeing your drug-addicted or “down on their luck” neighbors and acknowledge that poverty and addiction are the result of systemic oppression, or do you shake your head and wonder why they “just don’t get their shit together”?
Do you patronize mom and pop stores and small, local businesses when you look for restaurants to go to or places to shop or do you immediately head to the swanky new boutique?
Do you think of calling the cops on your neighbors for things you wouldn’t call the cops for if it was you, like double parking in the street while you caught up with an old friend who flagged you down, or getting together with your friends from college to drink some cocktails or beers on your front steps?
Do you give to local organizations and groups trying to improve your City and community by fighting for the City’s most disenfranchised community members to have their basic needs met and justice– or do you save your money for big charities that get thousands of dollars and do half the work most local community groups do?
If you answered the latter for most of these questions, there is a 99.9% chance you are a gentrifier.
(I leave that sliver of percentage for you to make excuses why you are not, although, don’t make excuses to me).
Editor’s Note: This piece reflects an individual opinion and is not a reported story from Oakland Local. Oakland Local invites community residents to share their views about events and issues in Oakland.
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