Black Leftists Angry: Black College GENTRIFIED by White Neighbors
Black Leftists hate gentrification.
They hate when white people move in and the neighborhood improves. Remember when Spike Lee complained that Whole Foods wanted to move into a black neighborhood? He complained of “hipsters,” thus:
“I grew up here in New York. It’s changed,” Lee said at Brooklyn’s Pratt Institute, an art, design, and architecture school. “And why does it take an influx of white New Yorkers in the South Bronx, in Harlem, in Bed Stuy, in Crown Heights for the facilities to get better? The garbage wasn’t picked up every mother******* day when I was living in 165 Washington Park. … The police weren’t around. When you see white mothers pushing their babies in strollers, three o’clock in the morning on 125th Street, that must tell you something.”
Blacks are used to chasing whites out, then ruining neighborhoods, cities and ultimately states.
Look at the towns built by whites and what they looked like decades ago. Then compare those cities to what they look like now.
And now a new encroachment occurs that threatens the wrath of Spike Lee. As NPR reported,
Howard University, one of the nation’s top historically black colleges, has seen the neighborhood around it change drastically over the years.
The area, located just a couple of miles north of Capitol Hill, was once working class and black. But, as hundreds of new residents move to D.C. each month, more nonblack residents move into Howard’s neighborhood, and property values rise, the university is trying to capitalize on the hot real estate market.
Back when the area was predominantly black and working class there was little interaction between the residents of the neighborhood and the middle class students and faculty of the university. At times, the relationship wasn’t always harmonious, despite a shared cultural experience.
I went to Howard and have awesome memories about my time at “the Mecca.” I met my wife there and I even saw Jay-Z perform at homecoming in 2000.
But something else happened while I was there.
One night I was with 10 of my friends walking home to our dorm, when two men from the neighborhood popped out of the shadows with guns and robbed all of us. Another time, at an off-campus frat party, a football player got stabbed in an altercation with some guys from the area.
The neighborhood around the university’s campus then felt much rougher than it does today.
That’s because the neighborhood is being gentrified.
Gentrification is evolution. And ironically, the people doing most of the gentrification are Leftists. Mitchell Moss, a professor of urban policy and planning at New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service commented:
“Cities don’t stand still, and the cities that stand still are Detroit,” Moss said. “So if Spike Lee wants to see a place where there is no gentrification, he’ll also find a place where there are no investments. Obviously, he’s someone who knows how to make a movie but doesn’t know anything about cities.”He added: “Brooklyn has become more attractive to more people. Of course, that means some people are going to have to find other places to live, but that’s the magic of New York. We create new places. Today, Bushwick, which was an area that people were afraid to go to, now has some of the best restaurants in the city.”
As for Howard University, who could complain, given the stats.
Further, the eyesores that normally dot black communities are mostly gone. Bike shares and coffees shops replace liquor stores, bail bondsmen, check-cashing places and run-down properties.
At one of those newer coffee shops, with a large black and white painting of Albert Einstein on the back wall, I met Jocelyn Lederman. She talked about what her neighborhood was like when she bought her condo just a few blocks from Howard University in 2010.“Catching a cab was nonexistent when I came here. I had a lot of cabdrivers ask me if I was single and that I shouldn’t live over here and that I should move,” Lederman said with a slight chuckle before adding: “Oh, thank you for your opinion, I don’t care.”She is white, a real estate agent and in her early 30s. Originally drawn to the area around Howard for its proximity to public transportation — and her condo’s rooftop deck from which she can see much of residential Washington — Lederman said she didn’t know much about the neighborhood before she arrived.
The fact is gentrification forces Howard to clean up its act.
The director of Howard University’s Community Association explains:
But unlike Howard’s band, residents and the university have not always been in lockstep, according to Maybelle Bennett, who is the director of the Howard University Community Association.
“The relationships with the community had been relatively schizophrenic,” Bennett said.
On the one hand, Bennett said, residents were proud of the university’s academic accomplishments, but on the other hand, they viewed Howard as insular and at times a lousy neighbor.
Bennett, who has been at Howard since 1991, remembers getting earfuls from residents back in the day about the university being “cavalier” about the upkeep of properties it purchased in the 1970s and ’80s outside the main campus. Those purchases were made as part of a planned expansion of the campus — in particular the Howard University Hospital — but never fully materialized.
“Howard needs to clean up its own backyard, Howard needs to fix up these properties. Before I even got here, I had heard the same complaints,” Bennett said, thinking about what she heard at community meetings in years past.
Gentrification around Howard helps everybody.