This is how it happens

When my Uber driver –an older white dude from Orange County- left the freeway to hit W Adams Blvd four years ago, he said “not a lot of white people ‘round here huh?” to which I answered “nope”. The goal was to find a place with more diversity than Silver Lake and also cheaper. Turns out, both things go together pretty well.

According to Wikipedia my old neighborhood was 2% black. I was now in a 2% white neighborhood.

Next thing I know, a hip place is being built on my block. White folks.

Next thing I know, black businesses are booted out. One, a vintage clothes shop had a 30 days notice to get the fuck out. The other, a beauty salon, well I saw the entire thing unfold from anger to tears to moving out furniture and handing paperwork over to white folks.

Next thing I know, the few homeless folks –all black- around start disappearing.

Next thing I know, I see groups of white people roaming the streets, looking at properties.

Next thing I know, luxury cars are parking around.

Next thing I know, joggers. Fucking joggers.

Next thing I know, I have white neighbors all around. Next thing I see, they raise gates and fences. They also all wear sunglasses all the time which makes eye contact impossible. One month I say hi to Mexicans and shout a “’ALRIGHT!” to black folks and the next one I smile awkwardly at apparently soulless people. A place selling $17 sandwiches is being built not far from me, while the mom and pop burger joint closed unexpectedly.

All that change in three years. It’s fucking weird. It feels like an invasion.

There’s more. I have read a lot about the history of south LA. I have biked all the streets around, I have friends and acquaintances living here. I see realtors flipping houses at indecent prices. White folks at neighborhood councils imposing their views even though they lived here for less than six months. It’s unreal.

I know what’s up: Hollywood is crowded, the silicon beach is extending through Culver City. South LA is between those two and being squeezed. People used to be scared to get shot south the 10, ridesharing services proved that it wasn’t happening that often. That gave people ideas and we know white folks have on average ten times more money than black and brown folks so, boom. They buy houses like we buy candy.

It’s wild. It needs to stop.

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