AN ARGUMENT AGAINST POLITENESS
I love being kind, generous,helpful, understanding, and forgiving, WHEN APPLICABLE. Even to snobby, Monied newcomers to the East bay.
But is this applicable?
– Only four home loans given by companies to black applicants in Oakland in 2015
– Local recycling center, the last way for hundreds of Oakland homeless to make any kind of money, shut down.
– Oakland Evicitions at an all time high, for long term residents.
Of late, there has been too much smiling acquiescence to the hoards of wealthy newcomers, buying up all the property and evicting elderly, shutting down recycling centers, (a lifeline for the community for over 4 decades), and attempting to create ordinances that silence, set back, and disempower the long time residents of the East Bay, while smiling in our faces, and then acting vastly offended at the mere mention of their active assault on the the working class here.
It’s real. It’s serious. it is time to openly address who and what these people are, how they operate, and their part in the East Bay’s future.
No. I shall not smile at such people. I’d like to go on record as someone who argued, and called them on it, talked about it. Someone looked it in face for what it actually was (Class and racial warfare disguised as free market capitalism), and who at some point said: “No. fuck off. Learn how to be a part of the community, and help people here, or get out of the East Bay”
Class warfare against working and lower class people and people of color, is the new Imperialism. Why should I be their guide and waiter?
And I can FEEL it. the condescension, the air of power and superiority, on the part of mostly White tech hipsters, moved here to engage in whatever business it is they have come for. The downtown and other new Oakland and Berkeley Enclaves is rife with it. Everyone who has lived here more than 20 years knows of what I speak.
Make no mistake, be as happy and as light as you want, but this is class warfare pure and simple, and either you are working on solutions, or you are part of the problem. Membership in a nonprofit, or donation to the many commercially available guilt removal-businesses posing as activists movements, does not automatically give you a pass, thought they will aggressively market themselves as such. It’s like going to Disney World and saying you “know Florida”.
NO. I do not think I will smile and go along with this, and as such, (as usual) might sometimes be branded a a “troublemaker”
It has been, and will continue to be, my sincere honor to even be considered such, in such a toothless, namby-pamby, time where so many has lost the ability to speak.
(Disclaimer for those actually in need of one: This is a “shoe fits” op-ed, regarding the force of incoming financial power, and racial, social, and class disparities, and it’s effect on what is widely considered to be one of the most innovative places on earth. If you think it is “mean” or “Impolite”, I suggest you take a look at your own part, (or lack of one) in this massive problem, that ruins the lives of children and breaks up families that have been here for nearly 100 years)
Immediate solutions for those who actually seek them include:
– Actively engaging locals in conversation about local problems.
– Strongly supporting local businesses, and entertainment venues
– Respecting the natural environment here, which includes respect for homeless, recycling centers, local food programs, and a big push for RENT CONTROL.
– Understanding which large businesses, and local corporations are applying pressure to construct new businesses, bring things like chain stores, restaurants and high-rises to Oakland
– Respecting the culture that brought people the nation’s first declared wildlife refuge, one of the highest per capita concentrations of artists in the US, the largest Asian Cultural Center in north America, The first politically progressive free Breakfast program for children and elderly, (BPP), Three successful sports franchises, one of the largest container ports in North America, the Popcicle, the Mai Tai, Rocky Road ice cream, and one of the first areas in the northern United States, to embrace African culture, dance, science, and religion.
There is a lot of good here.
Enough to be occasionally impolite for.
And there it is.
©Piero Amadeo Infante, 2016