FORCED OUT: WHAT IS COMING OF MOSTLY BLACK NEIGHBORHOODS BECAUSE OF GENTRIFICATION

Image result for gentrification

“We’re moving out, they’re moving in.”


a harsh reality

For me growing up in a predominantly Black neighborhood, I have seen over the recent years a lot of major changes. And the most obvious shift has been the demographics of people moving in as we are moving out. The Black community has taken a shift where I was at a McDonald’s the other night and saw two teenage White girls who lived up the street. And this was deep into my Harlem community. It’s a sight that you wouldn’t have seen ten years ago. But now you are starting to see the shift. And more and more Black families are moving higher up in Manhattan. And with the shift you are noticing a lot of us moving out because of affordability not because of the ethnic move into Harlem.

we’re hurt as well

We observe the Black gentrification move, but there is a White shift in mostly White neighborhoods as well. When looking at Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, which at one point was mainly Italian families now a major Chinese American community. So you think to yourself, are these White men and women being pushed out, coming to Black areas, where we are now being pushed out. Because our communities are environments where you would never see White men and women. Now their teenage children walk around as late as midnight and 2:00 a.m. So there is a silent moving out of White community as well. But as Black people, it’s hard to focus on that aspect of another communities life hen your own community is taking on a different look.

it ain’t your color is cash

Is it about the skin color or is it about how much you got in the bank? Because living in Harlem, the families moving in are middle class white men and women, in addition to some upper middle class as well. So basically, I’m saying that even if upper middle class Black people moved into Black neighborhoods, it would force other Black people out the community. It’s just that in the case of now, the people are mostly White. But this isn’t a trend that’s stopping because the cost of living is cheaper in the Black neighborhoods.


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WHITE PRIVILEGE: WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN REALLY

apple, boss, business

“Living the lap of what, really.”


ideology

In the United States of social issues in America we are constantly inundated with terminology that shapes our society. And one of those terms is, “White Privilege.” But what does it truly mean here in America? Does it mean White people are afforded thew ability to do things no one else does? Does it mean White men and women are given a benefit of the doubt over other groups? Because I come from the Midwest, surrounded by poor, middle, and upper class White men and women. Men and women who grew up worse off than myself as an African American man. So lets observe what this all means.

laws

White man, not guilty; black guy, oh I know he did it. This arbitrary prevailing theory that anytime an African American is in court he/she will most likely go to jail than a White man for the same crime. And when you look statistically, it is true; Black men are far more likely to go to jail for the exact crime on average longer than his/her White male/female counterpart. Is that an aspect of the privilege argument? Well let’s see the two sides before we go any further, From the Black side I may add that court systems are comprised of mainly White judge, White Jury, and White prosecutor. So how does a Black male/female stand a chance, I should just confess even in innocence. The White individuals in the court are more likely to give the benefit of doubt to their own versus the decision to choose my fate. The White side would say, I am taking into consideration regarding his/her criminal record. I (White men and women) will give the benefit of doubt if you have a clean record. But if your rap sheet stretches around the block, you have proven you are not a productive member of society. So why would I let you off the hook.

finances

Is there a financial theory behind the White privilege argument? It doesn’t seem like it when you observe the lives of professional athletes. Who by the way are predominantly Black (NFL and NBA) and Latino (MLB). Yet these men are nowhere near a reflection of what it really is to be a member of a minority group. Because if you breakdown the average wealth of the American household, it’s nearly $50,000 for Whites, and around $10,000 for Blacks and Latinos. Could it be that White men and women have it easier? Or is there an underlying reasoning as to why Whites are holding an average number this high?

realities in all the fiction

There are realities of America, and then there are the fictional existences of our country. And yes, there are situations that exist where you have seen decision swayed to fit an agenda that has benefited the majority White community. But like I said earlier, coming from my small Midwest city, I see struggling families, not well-off families. And the reality behind White privilege is that there are people who are privileged. And for the most part they are White, but they aren’t even in the best interest of other White men and women. We all a whole community of Black and White are wrapped up in these agendas that create binds. When in reality we are in the same boat, but made to “feel” we are more different than similar.


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RACIAL DISCOMFORT: WHY BLACK AND WHITE PEOPLE FEEL UNCOMFORTABLE IN EACH OTHER’S SPACES

Two Men Talking While Sitting Beside Table

“Still discomfort after a few hundred years.”


so so uncomfortable

Black and White, the two constructs that have kept America in social strife for the past few hundred years. And still to this day there is this discomfort within both communities. But when you look at the time-frame you can’t help but feel more discomfort at how long it’s been going on. And what is the real discomfort because for two groups to be sharing a nation and living so close, you would think by now these conversations would be an after-thought. Well, let’s also put into perspective the Civil Rights Movement was only 50 years ago. So even though we have been in this country a few hundred years, the first 80%-90% were treacherous times.

so so different

When you observe the cultural differences between the two communities there are so many differences, but even similarities. Yet, we behave is such a discomforting manner when we are in each other’s “arena.” And when I say that arena, I mean someone Black walk into a predominantly White establishments or vice verse, we immediately become aware. And from that point forward, we are not ourselves. We shift our behavior to appease wherever we are in the moment. Now, a lot of people would say that’s normal considering we always act different when around culture not our own. But these are not actions of curiosity, but more so actions of fear. Actions where one knows they are behind enemy lines rather than knowing you’re in a different than your own.

connection to life

We are both humans, as with any other group of people. Carbon based life forms that took hundreds of thousands of years to evolve into our selves today. And our relationship with each other is a reaction to our experiences with other. The culture we both have that has been created and cultivated is an American culture that was created in both our communities from direct relationships with country (ex. Black people music, food, and clothing style). And the reality is that we share a lot more than we are different. Both want our children to live in safe neighborhoods, fight for education, want employment to sustain ourselves, yearn for companionship so we don’t have to live alone, and considering we’re Americans, we share our love of sports and food.


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BLACK DOLLARS LOST: WHY THE BLACK COMMUNITY MAY BE FINANCIALLY POOR

black-and-white, close-up, face

“A few trillion, yet broke.”


the community

The African American community has is a financial base that constitutes roughly $2.5 trillion dollars of the American economy. But when you look as a whole, there is still a high level of poverty that exist within the communities throughout the country. And what are some of the driving forces behind the poverty. There are skeptics that will have a wide range of feelings. Views like Black people being shut out of business ownership to we as a community spending our money on things not making us better. So in my opinion, I have a few things that I have noticed from our end that can be done. Because the expectations of the system is not going to happen.

goods #1 (cars)

Walking home from a long day, I come across two neighborhoods here in New York City. One of them is the Upper Eat Side and the other being Harlem. The Upper East Side is a more expensive side of Manhattan which consists of highly priced brownstones and penthouse apartments. Both property types sharing the community with high end stores that can only be described as the Rodeo drive of New York City. Then there is Harlem, which is a large neighborhood stretching from 100th street all the up into the high 160’s. This is where you start to see more working class and poor families. A historic region of the borough, you instantly notice two aspects of both communities. There is that the Upper East Side is mostly White and Harlem is mostly Black. But the other is the money spent on goods and services.

I can’t help but notice walking past a housing project to see Mercedes Benz, BMW, Lexus, and Jaguar in the parking lot. Yet the upscale Upper East Side I see Toyota, Dodge, Nissan, and Ford. Why the stark difference in vehicles considering the community poor should be driving what the wealthy drive, and the wealthy should be driving what the poor drive. And here lies an underlying problem. Why is one living in the housing projects, yet driving a luxury vehicle? There are some really nice Chryslers, GM’s, Honda, Lincolns, and Audi’s. A car that has a price tag of a luxury vehicle when living in public housing has no real value because it’s not a real investment.

goods part 2 (clothing)

I know for myself growing up in a poor Black community, that carrying yourself in a certain manner in respect to how you dress is emphasized. But there is a clear difference between dressing to be presentable and dressing far outside what you are able to afford. Growing up in my community was like a runaway fashion show of every latest trend you can imagine. But I on the other hand attended predominantly White schools. And the dressing style was vastly different. It was nice and presentable, yet parents were not going too deep into their wallets. And these were children who could easily afford to wear expensive clothing. So when you have a closet that is easily mistaken for a high end fashion showroom and you’re poor, this can be a contributor to the problem as well.

education

Within our community there is still a high rate of a lack of education. I am not just talking about going to school education. I am also referring to the literacy when looking at money. Because in order to remove yourself from poverty you have to clean your mind and reintroduce new information. And from there. build for years off the new information until you get to the next level. And having financial literacy will aid you trying to build toward something stable. Interestingly enough, you will not learn that in college. It comes with years of at times making mistakes until you get the hang of it.


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THE LOGIC AGAINST THE EMOTION: WHY THE PUSH AGAINST IMMIGRATION WON’T WORK

barbed wire, barrier, blur

“Build it longer, stronger, still won’t help.”


immigration

Since the presidential run of Donald Trump, the sentiment of protecting our borders and removing illegal immigrants from the country have been a topic of discussion. And for the most part, these immigrants have come from countries south of the United States borders. Not too many from Canada, throughout Europe, Africa, or Asia; but from Mexico and Central America. And my criticism of the removal is not because mainly the separation of families and protecting borders. It’s about the sentiment; this held belief of immigrants taking jobs. We need to breakdown the thought of what it is to take a “job” and what are those “jobs” that are really being taken away. LET’S OBSERVE.

the job of the American born

In the United States, since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, we have held on strong because of the work coming from manufacturing. And over time, we have seen a lot of those jobs removed and taken to overseas nations where the cost of manufacturing is cheaper. This way, by the time it (the product) hits the U.S. soil, we are seeing a price that is a direction relationship of architecture, building, businessthe business conducted by the corporations themselves with outside country’s manufacturing. Now, here in the United States, with so many factories closing, you have a lot of small cities and towns throughout the country shutting down as well because they cannot afford to compete. If you’re an American manufacturer making televisions selling for $500 how do you compete with a better quality flat screen for $275 – $300. Eventually you have to shut down.

the job of the illegal immigrant

Coming to the United States to seek out a better way of life. That is the main goal for so many trying to gain access to our country. And for those who go through the rigorous process that can take years, they feel it was worth the wait. And then there are the people who take it upon themselves to risk breaking the laws of the land in crossing over the borders by land or by sea in Image result for mexican flagsearch of a better life. Many have known to come from the Dominican Republic, Cuba, and Haiti, being that they are so close to the state of Florida. And the bulk of the group that come through America’s borders do so through Mexico.

the jobs they have

In the United States today, there is a held belief that the jobs are being taken by illegals in America. Well, let’s observe what that means. Since Trump has taken office, illegal immigrants have been detained throughout the country and forced back to their homelands. A move that has directly challenged policies like that of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival) created by the Obama administration put forth in the summer of 2012. And Americans have both praised and protested the push to remove and separate families. And the idea of jobs being preserved for the hard working American who are losing out to illegals has an underlying problem. Fast Food industries consisting of delivery drivers, servers, busboys, cooks, and cleaners; the hospitality industry of maids, bellboys, and other cleaning crew make up the majority of the jobs worked by illegal immigrants. What’s interesting, is since removing these families, the Americans finding fault with illegal immigration have not shown interests in those jobs. Why because they find it hard to raise a family on the income from working those jobs. So if the reason for removing illegals for the “most part” is preserving jobs and the jobs they are working you don’t want, what is the real threat?

evolution tech-solution

We say, we need to protect our borders from drugs, never works. Let’s protect our borders from violent crime, but the majority of the real threat are American born citizens. And the big one, we need to protect American jobs. But see, the real killer of American employment is technological innovation. The work that could provide for your families are or have become obsolete. That’s why you must have a more specialized skill to earn a living. The jobs like factory repetitive assembly work is not like it used to be. You now have more engineers working the machines that would in the past take multiple people for the processing of goods. And if you’re fighting technological innovation,you’re in a losing battle. Because the country, our continent, with world will not stop evolving through means of innovation and invention simply because you and I can’t keep up. We’re in a game today; a game of either evolve or get left behind.


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THE ILLUSION OF HARDSHIP: ARE RACE RELATIONS WORSE OR DO WE SEE MORE NOW

adult, african american woman, business

“Bad or getting better?”


a history of segregation

For the past few centuries, America has had this relationship that still until today has gripped the country. And now you look at the landscape of America and you wonder how far have we really come. Are things better or are the worse? Do we have to continue to fight, or is there less being fed to us more often that causes the problems we have in society? Because if you are an avid user of social media, you would think that America is still this hotbed of racism. So what is the true story behind all of the agendas?

social media

If you are a daily user of the internet, you are going to constantly be inundated with a lot of crazy information. But as it pertains to this topic of race relations, we have a plethora of videos out there in the world. Anything you want to see that pertains to race you’re going to see it. And everyday, there is a video of someone fighting a social issue. One of those things is police shootings that are on videos that are posted everyday. And if you didn’t know any better, you would think America is the scariest place on Earth. Only difference between now and the past is that we didn’t see everything that took place. But what role does mass media on television play in this craziness.

the news

When watching the news, you would think that the news has their own agenda when it comes to racial relations. They love to throw out there the slightest inkling of a a racial situation. It’s a long standing issue and people will bite on the story a lot more than the run-of-the-mile story on the news. And it is because of this type of reporting that can drive people crazy. Or the fact that they don’t accurately portray the story for what happened. Almost as if the people in society need to be spoon fed little tid-bits of information.

reality

As I said before, we just see more and more than in the past. Trust and believe things were a lot worse in the past. The only difference is the exposure. We weren’t privy to a 24 hour news cycle. My mother remember channels were so few and far between that the radio was the best medium. Television was for people who had some form of financial means. Now everyone has a television or some access to news on some mobile device.


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MINORITY SELECTION: WHO WILL BE THE NEXT MINORITY PRESIDENT

achievement, adult, african

“Whose next?”


2020 and beyond

The presidential election run of Barack Obama left a door open for the next president either Black or any other ethnic group. But the question still stands, who next? Because in my opinion, there will be a White female before anyone else. There aren’t any prominent East Asian politicians or Indians that are strong candidates. The closest Hispanic/Latino candidates would be Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz. And the only African American next that’s remotely a force would be Kamala Harris. Now, do I think this will happen in 2020, no. Because in my opinion, just observing the landscape of America, Donald J. Trump will be back in the White House in 2020.

importance

What is the real significance in having a president that is of another ethnic group. Doesn’t mean much to the group who has always seen a president that looks like them. Even now with young Black kids growing up. They didn’t understand why older Black people, typically middle aged and above, were in enamored with Barack Obama. Yet, for someone who has never seen themselves in that position it means a lot. Let’s look at something on a much smaller scale. The former New York Knicks basketball player Jeremy Lin was an anomaly in the NBA. He was an Chinese American basketball player, who not only played in the NBA, but played well for New York. The interest from the entire East Asian community created a massive following for the Knicks. So I’m thinking, what would happen if there was a “Lin” for president.

what is a minority really

We always look at the word minority and say to ourselves, ethnicity. But what about the first White female president and a member of the LGBT community of any ethnic group. We will in our lifetime see a president that is one of the two mentioned in the previous sentence. The questions are who and when will it take place. Because from the looks of America right now, Donald Trump, or another like him (White male, older conservative), will be president if not him. Does it matter if we do have another president of a minority group? Does it have to be another African American? How about Hispanic? What about Native American? How about a White person, but a female? East Asian? Or is America going to stick with what has been in history which is White males? Because we all say pick the most qualified candidate, but I am intrigued to know when these historic moments occur, who really votes from the job or the historical image.


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