How to Gentrify. (Sort of)

Though I would prefer it to never happen at all. People move away from home, I’m going to do it someday and I know damn well I’m going to check and see how to live somewhere else without displacing a family, and treating people with respect.

Educational post of the day: There is no reverse gentrification. Don’t play the victim. Saying you left home because you wanted to explore the big wide world and you moved into a cultural area where people have probably been displaced, and you just wanted out of your moms suburban household, and you wanted to meet the natives of the land and you treat them poorly and you wonder why you got mugged last week and you drink nitro beer and you claim we make stereotypes as you continuously neo liberally stereotype black and brown folks and refuse to check your privilege. Seriously, I would prefer you admit you are acting out of your white American desire to colonize land than your bullshit excuses of why you can openly make critique of your decisions.

Here’s how to live and not gentrify (almost) acceptably since a lot of y’all don’t understand.

1) Don’t treat homeless people living in said area like trash. Ever.

2) Talk to your landlord about where your moving do some research. See if you are kicking someone out of their home by moving there.

3) Bite the bullet and take that home that costs $5000 a month in semi suburbia and get your friends to chip in and co-op together. Don’t do it in the house of someone that you knew had to give it up for financial reasons.

4) Worship at the feet of people that are from said city. Treat them like kings and queens. You are a peasant in a foreign land not a visiting dignitary.

5) Ask how can I help? Don’t just build a fucking yoga studio in the place of a something that kinnnnda looks like a family owned liquor store. Don’t just assume you’re helping.

6) Don’t be trash. Genuinely if you see these yoga studios don’t frequent them. Go to ones that were already there. Go to local coffee shops. Ask questions. Don’t make friends who have intense colonial ideologies because they will rub off on you. Don’t wanna be a “gentrifying stereotype” don’t act like one.

I’m only super touchy about this because I have lost two homes in Oakland due to gentrification and I’ve had to move further and further out. I’ve been homeless and living on my aunts floor out of college and I felt the sting of this firsthand. I have slept with a gentrifier. Knowing full and well he was living in a house which used to belong to someone who is now homeless. I let him touch me and I cried and threw up every time. I’ve been through this shit, and I’m trying to be empathetic, but I have yet to meet a gentrifier who is actively doing so who hasn’t fetishized me and treated me like garbage. I’m looking for “the good” in this, as I do with police, as I do with white feminism but I cannot find a damn thing. Take my advice if you can. I hope this finds you in a place where you can (regardless of race.) understand the importance of home. Of taking someone’s home. People lived there. Families thrived there. You are building on the lives of memories that are not your own.

Love and Peace

-Morgan(a)

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