I live where yuppies party.
Where people come to escape from the burbs, from trust funds, from the startup, from whatever. Or to get a cheap high from the obvious fact that they are commingling with people much poorer than they.
It might not even be intentional, but these outsiders (or yuppies) bring that arrogant stink with them every time they stumble in. Like eau de bougie.
There is an interesting polemic at stake here, let me make that clear: If one earns a living, is it in their rights to also determine their living situation? That is, if I work for Google, and I’ve earned all these opportunities and money, should I not, then, feel that I’ve earned the right to live somewhere that is available and appealing to me?
On the one hand, we have the families and other dudes and dudettes that have lived here for a long time. Some for generations, some only for years. We all understand the feeling of territorialism that comes from protecting the neighborhood, or hood in this case. So we can sympathize with evictee families. But there are also, you know, non-ethnic people being evicted. Case in point, Twitter recently bought the building my former coworker is, or was, living in. She has, for all intents and purposes, been evicted; another, albeit uncommon, victim of gentrification.
So we have cases ranging from poor income families, to mid-income non-ethnic individuals (or whatever we really want to call white people) who have succumbed to tech-driven manifest destiny.
What I’m trying to establish here is this: If I work hard for what I have, and I’ve earned my living space, should I feel guilty about the fact that, poor or not poor, my right to live where I want to live is negatively affecting ALL PEOPLE of San Francisco?
I think it’s a powerful interpretation of the situation.
When people take the gentrification issue as a racist issue, my instinct is to tell those people to think about all victims, not just your second cousin. It’s not a racial issue, this is equal opportunity formal colonialism.
Of course, on the other hand we have kids who have gone to school for years, learned a trendy trade and paid their dues. All respectable achievements, by my accounts. All kinds of kids have gone through the same process. Not just white kids, black kids, asian kids, etc. Fastfoward, they’re making dough and can afford anything. Twice over.
Say you’re working at Google, and you want to live somewhere that appeals to you. It’s within your rights to have that desire. Moving into the Mission, for example, is gonna piss people off. Piss a lot of people off. Especially those who are so curtly told to find a new place to live. Is it your fault you’re doing what makes you happy, cashing in your hard work for a cool spot? Sometimes.
The problem here comes is in the form of misinformation and/or lack of communication.
I don’t think most people (on both sides) are fully aware of the the big picture. One side cites racism (or something resembling racism) and the other side, to my knowledge, really hasn’t said much in defense (probably due to incontinence).
Personally, I believe that, if the defense understood the case, or if those yuppie homies knew what they were actually doing, they’d think twice about pillaging these neighborhoods.
There are cases of sympathetic outsiders who do work in the community and support the neighborhood in ways that make sense (cause buying 5 burritos in one night doesn’t count). I know a few startups or similar type companies that do actually contribute to the city. But on the individual level, I don’t know that there are a majority of yuppies who have learned, or have been privately told, about what is going on. I don’t blame someone for not knowing something, cause sometimes it’s hard to learn obvious things. Like how some misspell Dolores (Delores, Dolorez, etc.).
If there could be some less hostile way to have a discussion with people, on an individual level, not necessarily these admittedly negative rallys (mostly shouting, lot’s of f-bombs), maybe more people would “get it”. So talk to your drinking buddy yuppie friend and help them actually really become somewhat cultured (cause that Aztec pattern beanie doesn’t count).
But who am I kidding. Let’s face it, the real problem here isn’t those outsiders who have the potential to learn and become our friends. It’s those who reek of bougie and who are the ones ok with antagonizing the hoods.
The fuckers that laugh as the lesser than fortunate load up their cars and move to Antioch, Oakland, San Mateo and the other outskirt towns. I’m convinced these cats are just trying to feel like the bully who took their lunch money and their homework. If not bullying, then it’s certainly classism. That’s the shit that’s most foul. So I have no problem when I see someone stand their ground and reply in kind.
But as it stands, that’s all we can do. Talk back. Either talk and help others understand the issue, or talk back and give em shit. Because there is no law against someone moving into a new location (there is rent control and unit limits, but that’s besides the point). Those with enough cash can ride right in, lay claim to our homes, our food and our women without guilt. Modern, formal colonialism.
So until then, cuss them out of every bar you see em. They don’t deserve to be drunk around here.