Gentrification in Harlem might well be likened to the progress of the British Raj, where the most that “civilizing” interlopers could muster was a patronizing interest in token elements of local culture. Thus: Yes to the hip Afro-fusion restaurant, but complaints to 311 over Sundae Sermon dances, barbecues and ball games in parks or church choir rehearsals.
These are people who, in saying “I don’t see color,” treat the neighborhood like a blank slate. They have no idea how insulting they are being, denying us our heritage and our stake in Harlem’s future. And, far from government intervention to keep us in our homes, houses of worship and schools, to protect buildings emblematic of black history, we see policies like destructive zoning, with false “trickle down” affordability, changes that incentivize yet more gentrification, sure to transfigure our Harlem forever.
Saturday, May 28, 2016
Gentrification is a deliberate policy choice
And so called inclusionary zoning is a tool of that scam