Central District’s shrinking black community wonders what’s next
The vibrant Central District was more than 70 percent black in the 1960s and early ’70s. Today, African Americans represent less than a fifth of the neighborhood’s population as the city’s tech boom raises the cost of living.Seattle is already a very white city, and yet they are in the downhill phase of ethnically cleansing the Central District, with the last fifth to be pushed out amid the final wave of gentrification.
No rednecks waving Confederate flags have cleaned out Seattle's CBD, nor Twitter Nazis. Instead it was the Amazon employees who removed the Confederate flag from the site who played a starring role.
Whites, by contrast, saw their median household incomes shoot from $45,700 to $70,200 in that time.
In NYC, progressive Mayor Bill DeBlasio only needs to draw a red circle on a map to signal the next target of cultural extermination.
The End of Black Harlem
Which Neighborhoods Will de Blasio’s Rezonings Target Next?
Two of the criteria—room for development and good access to transportation—are fairly obvious, she says. And others note that the administration will have the most success when they choose neighborhoods where the local councilmember is strongly supportive of a rezoning. But many advocates wonder why the administration has focused mostly on rezoning low-income communities of color, where it risks catalyzing displacement. In contrast, rezoning a high-income neighborhood would allow rents to cross-subsidize low-income apartments, allowing developers to provide the affordable units required under the city's new mandatory inclusionary housing policy but without the use of city subsidy.A mayor supported by white progressives is clearing out minorities to make room for more white progressives, what more is there to understand?
One writer tries to understand: WHY CAN’T HARLEM STOP GENTRIFICATION?
But as I was reading his argument that Harlem’s upscale transformation is inescapable, I could not help but ask, why? Why has Harlem not enacted the critical protections that have prevented gentrification in other communities?It's eerie how progressive speak about gentrification the same way they talk about demographic displacement via immigration. The strategies are doomed to failure though, as it cites a victory in San Francisco, but that city has become far whiter over time.
For example, Adams asserts that while Harlem has “miles of apartments,” they are “ripe for destruction and displacement by gleaming glass-cube condos.” Why are these apartments vulnerable? Did Harlem activists attempt to pass anti-demolition laws to protect the neighborhood’s rental housing stock long ago? If past efforts failed, what is stopping such laws from passing now?
I ask these questions because too often the gentrification of working class neighborhoods is deemed “inevitable” when it is not. Just as gentrification is often promoted by upzoning and other city laws, communities can pass measures to prevent or at least slow this process.
Adams believes race prevents Harlem back from winning preservation protections. Adams also sees race as underlying the drive for gentrification, and quotes historian Horace Carter that “Harlem is too well placed. The white man is ready to take it back.” But this dynamic makes it even more imperative that Harlem utilize more of the type of aggressive, proactive community organizing that has long been seen in the Northwest Bronx and other communities of color in New York City.One cannot defeat the progressives with progressive tactics.
Considering de Blasio was elected on the strength of African-American support, and shouldn’t that mean that he will protect Harlem?The community groups only managed only 10% of the city council. vote. They are toothless opposition.
Adams says no. He feels black New Yorkers “were wrong” about de Blasio, who he accuses of supporting “trickle down affordability” and other changes that facilitate Harlem’s upscale transformation. Adams is referring to a recent mayor-backed housing plan that passed the City Council 42-5 in March despite strong opposition from community groups throughout New York City.