There were many good pieces out there in the blog world for 2014. There was one that really stuck out and kept me coming back to read. It was the gentrification article on social matter. It was a truly fantastic article on the issue of gentrification that gets plenty of publicity and coverage elsewhere. Wes at Theden had written about gentrification previously, and that was a joy to read. This new article really dug into gentrification as a form of warfare. It is warfare with code words, but a tremendous read. Please go read it.
It is full of great bits on the history of American cities. How did US cities get to that point? How did the cities of the strongest nation turn into dumps? The article ties in white flight, gun laws, bad governance, zoning laws and the entire toolbox that goes into reclaiming a city. The article goes to show how MARTA might move blacks through Atlanta to terrorize neighborhoods, but it could also be used in the future for gentrification. I loved this article. It was a reinforcement to me how the progressives screamed at apartheid with full force, but in the end, they use financial and regulatory apartheid to segregate American cities.
A big reason it stuck with me is that as part of the white college graduate class living in metropolitan areas, I have friends doing the gentrification route. Some are pioneers. Some are later arrivals. One works on the public side of fixing up ruined homes to hook up with struggling families (stop laughing). Another works in development. They are scattered across big cities on the east coast and midwest. They all see things just as the Social matter article lays out, and they even talk in code words about architectural features, historical code windows, restoration rules, X Park Society memberships and other things. These are all the weapons of the gentrifier to push out the riff raff that will not keep a place to code. They all know the problem, but they cannot admit it.
I kept going back to the article because I keep looking for the Indiana Jones relic. What will be the key to getting all of these people to go from unconsciously or consciously but denying it real talk action to outright "F*ck this sh*t, we're not tolerating disorder anymore, GTFO". A couple of years ago, the NY Times article on marriage being the class divide was the closest I have seen the Times outright say "get married idiots". The realization that the order and welfare state social democrats expected to be there and functioning may not be there because of social dysfunction may be the only way to get to them. Nothing motivates people like a threat to kith and kin. It is a shame that it takes that. Let that heat burn at their feet. Maybe then they'll come around. When the light bulb goes on for my gentrifying friends, I'll be sure to have that Social matter article on hand to let them know they have finally come around in word to what their real estate decision making deeds have been implying for years.