(American Conservative) -- Erin Aubry Kaplan is a black woman who lives in Inglewood, a black neighborhood in Los Angeles that is gentrifying. You might say “diversifying,” but it’s not “diversity” when white people relocate into black neighborhoods, apparently. She is not happy with the white folks moving in. Kaplan writes in the LA Times about how a new white neighbor remarking that she “likes it here” ticked her off. Yes, a compliment about the neighborhood, and how the newcomer felt at home there, made Kaplan mad. Excerpt:
“Space” and “place” encompass something complex — community, which is our capital and always has been. In lieu of economic wealth, we lay down roots, we build social cohesion out of the vacuum created by white flight, avoidance and indifference. Our neighborhoods are our strength, our visibility. Leimert Park — a flashpoint of gentrification now — put Afrocentric culture on the map, literally, and has long been a hub of black civic and political organization. Inglewood isn’t Leimert Park, but it’s a significantly black city and distinct simply for that reason. Such a base is the source of our forward motion, especially in L.A., where black enclaves were never very numerous. At most, blacks have made up only 20% of the population.
The pattern of shrinking black space is hardly new, by the way: Over the years, immigration and Latino growth remade traditionally black areas like South Central and Compton and Inglewood too. But today’s white influx feels particularly ominous, like the worst of our bad history looping back on itself. Once again our places are tethered to what white people want, what they decide is acceptable, valuable.
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