The endless life-sucking loop of urban displacement is more powerful than skin color
It is time to talk about gentrification and the impact it has had on our communities. Gentrification disproportionately affects minorities and displacement continues to fuel the fire of systemic racism.
We must admit that these displaced urban communities are so powerful that they control the lives of every person who lives there. This is true regardless of skin color. I do not highlight this to prove that all colors suffer but to demonstrate the power of gentrification.
The endless life-sucking loop of urban displacement is more powerful than skin color.
If we do not address the socio-economic problem that displaces mostly minorities, because we are distracted by surface issues, change will not come.
Most of you have never lived or worked in these communities. If you did, maybe more of us would be focusing on saving the people who survive in them.
Perhaps if you knew, the new syrup bottle would no longer be enough to soothe your conscience at night. I will share a glimpse with you of what most of the world doesn’t see.
While we are cancelling Dr. Seuss
The hungry babies are still crying. They are crying right now of starvation as you likely read my words from the comfort of your well-fed life.
Some are crying from dumpsters and alleys — abandoned. Some are crying as their mother locks herself in the other room to shoot dope. A few are likely screaming in terror right now, sitting next to their dead parent’s body. They will be there until someone notices and finally comes to find the scene of an overdose — leaving a tiny baby alone next to a corpse.
The legions of black men whose lives have been consumed by a rigged society were not released from prison. They are there, in prison, right now. Most of them will spend the rest of their lives in complete degradation while their families remain in the streets, struggling to survive.
Their children will live without a father, and their mothers face the inevitable cycle of raising children in urban communities. Very few of those children will be lucky enough to have a mother who, in the face of all adversity, finds a way to pull them out of this deadly pit — alive. But most will not be that lucky, and they will go on to the same fate that was insidiously and inevitably placed upon their parents.
The displaced single mothers are still counting change to buy a case of Ramon noodles, a loaf of bread, and a jar of peanut butter. It would be barely enough to fill the bellies of their children until the 1st. They work jobs making poverty wages that are barely enough to live in poverty. Their lives and the lives of their children are at risk every day.
Some of them will sell themselves in a desperate effort to survive in the system. Some will sell drugs, and some will send their 12-year-old child to the block to sell them at 7 AM — hoping that they can make enough to pay the car note by noon. Some of them won’t make enough. Some will get repoed on the way home from the grocery store, with all their food in the car — left on the street with bags of food that they have no way to get home. And there is not more where those groceries came from.
There are still 8-year-old kids helping their parents shoot dope because their veins are so destroyed that they can no longer do it alone. People in crackhouses are shooting dope into the bodies of children for fun. Grade school children are participating in mob violence and beating people with crowbars. Women are being raped and beaten in communities where the law doesn’t go.
The core of systemic racism is largely untouched. People are still dying, and many more would gladly invite death if only they had the courage.
I am not discounting the impact of consumption, symbolism, propaganda, community enthusiasm, or creative expression. But changes in this regard are only half measures until we address the foundation of systemic racism.
Surface measures are not enough and when we make everything into racism, real racism goes unaddressed.
Written by Holly Kellums
Originally published on Medium.com