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Education of an Urban Farmer: Novella Carpenter

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LJHarper Avatar
Posted: 03.07.10, 04:40 PM
This woman represents everything that's wrong with the flood of gentrifying upper-middle class professionals that see West Oakland as the next 'It' place. She is not a part of the neighborhood; she came down from the Hills to where all the colorful poor people lived and thought she'd try her hand at playing among the great unwashed, in the process raising property values and changing the character of the area. The very fact she WILLFULLY CHOSE to move down to the Bottoms from the Hills shows she doesn't belong there. The traditional and long-standing poor residents of the Bottoms didn't choose to live there; they were segregated and confined by decades of exclusionary red-lining practices. The Black Panther Party was founded in West Oakland to fight this injustice, and now years later, after decades of neglect and oppression, these bougie hipsters think they can forget about all that brutal history and go wherever they please on the heels of generations of White privelage. When will these people understand that being a do-gooder liberal multiculturalist with a college degree does not give you social license to go wherever they hell you want? Would this nice pretty blonde woman have moved to West Oakland before the Cypress Freeway collapsed, when the murder rate was one of the highest in the nation, before developers built all those new fancy apartments that local residents couldn't afford? Living among ACTUAL poor people when you are not of their social station DOES NOT make you authentic or progressive. In fact, it makes you a tourist and a gentrifier, just as bad as the police and politicians. Shameful.

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