Gentrifiers Prefer Blondes: Tribalism and Racism in Los Angeles

Gentrifiers Prefer Blondes: Tribalism and Racism in Los Angeles, by David Cole.

The Boyle Heights neighborhood in East L.A. … is about 95% Latino, and its residents aim to keep it that way. Last year, the Obama administration handed down a federal civil rights indictment against Boyle Heights’ oldest and largest street gangs. The gangs had been using violence and intimidation to keep black people from moving into the neighborhood. Blacks who braved the threats and tried to make a life for themselves in Boyle Heights’ low-cost housing units soon found themselves firebombed into homelessness. The gangs had strong support from the community, and even after the federal indictment, the area is still almost entirely devoid of blacks.

Boyle Heights activists have been in the news once again, and this time, their targets are white. They’ve been waging a relentless campaign to force the closure of any stores that might attract white people to the neighborhood. First to go were the art galleries, which were targeted because art appreciation is apparently a whites-only endeavor (unless you’re Frida Kahlo or a graffiti tagger). “Fuck white art” was painted on gallery doors. Windows were broken, employees harassed. Most of the targeted gallery owners surrendered to the segregationists and fled.

After defeating a bunch of pretentious art sissies, the activists decided that the coffee shops were next. Yes, drinking coffee is now apparently emblematic of white supremacy. Protesters picketed a local coffee shop, holding signs that read “Caffè AmeriKKKano” (because if the Klan was known for anything, it was its love of espresso) and “fuck white coffee” (okay, seriously, that doesn’t even make a lick of sense). Customers trying to enter the store were harassed. Signs were posted around the city depicting a white hipster’s head in the crosshairs of a rifle.

And through it all, at no point did the activists make any attempt to hide the racial nature of their cleansing campaign: “No white people. No white stores.” It’s almost funny reading the reactions of some of the gallery and coffee-shop owners. “But we’re progressive whites! We’re the good guys! We resist Trump!”

They don’t get, or refuse to get, that it’s about race, not politics.

Needless to say, the anti-gentrification campaigners were hailed as heroes by the local press (and by national outlets like Newsweek). …

Leftist identity politics soon leads to PC dishonesty:

The media won’t present the Boyle Heights story honestly, because to do so would expose the ugly and inevitable result of leftist identity politics. It’s a road that doesn’t lead to diversity; it leads to Boyle Heights. …

[When] the press covers anti-diversity protests … it’s always from the perspective of “heroic neighbors fight against gentrification,” not “racist neighbors fight for segregation.” …

Again, it’s a profound dishonesty. The identity-fueled racism of nonwhites is misrepresented as “tolerance” in the pursuit of “diversity.” But I question how long leftists will be able to keep patching the holes in the facade.

In Chicago:

The chef-owner of S.K.Y., Stephen Gillanders, is baffled. His meals start at $7, hardly the stuff of billionaire foodies. So why the resistance from the locals? Well, it turns out that Gillanders is Filipino and his wife is Korean. Media reports that have mentioned Gillanders’ race have suggested that it’s somehow odd that the [Mexican] activists are attacking a fellow minority. “But don’t they know he’s not white? Surely once they find out, they’ll welcome him with open arms.”

I would suggest that Gillanders’ race, far from being a potentially mitigating factor in the protest, is, quite conversely, a prime reason for it. The Pilsen activists speak again and again of keeping Pilsen “Mexican.” Not “diverse,” not “rainbow,” but Mexican. In fact, CBS Chicago reported that it isn’t just Gillanders’ business that’s being targeted. The protesters are “demanding that non-Mexican owners here [at S.K.Y.] and across the street get out of Pilsen.” Viva la Raza!

Racism for all but whites!

There’s your identity politics, leftists. This is the logical conclusion of the race-centered worldview that the left encourages nonwhites to embrace. These “progressive” geniuses thought they could unleash that beast on whites alone. They thought they could feed it, nurture it, grow it big and fat, and still control it.