NYC Gentrification Watch
You know, just as I think that Big Development couldn’t sink any lower, along comes an even worse new low. It’s the type of low that has me now certain that there has got to be a Big Development think tank cooking up talking points and then disseminating them to dopes in the media too dumb to question what they’re told and too eager to virtue signal what wonderful progressives they are.
There’s no question in my mind that this is what’s happening now when it comes to gentrification. I say that because funny how every so often, a talking point having absolutely no basis in reality will seem to have popped up out nowhere and get repeated among several media and social media outlets.
Especially interesting about it is how it never has any clear origins. It’s just this mysterious thing that emerged out of the blue one day, yet keeps getting stated as if it’s this long established, self-evident, indisputable fact that everyone has known for ages.
Take this talking point, for example–single-family houses/single-family house zoning is racist against blacks and therefore should be eliminated for their benefit. This is one that’s been been picking up steam over the past 4-5 years, to the point where now it’s spurring legislation. As of 2018, municipalities across the country have begun pushing for or have actually gone ahead with banning single-family housing in an attempt to “free” po’ black folks from the racial oppression that is single-family home ownership.
Try to do research on where this talking point originated and like every other suspicious talking point of unknown origins, there isn’t a specific person or entity we can trace it back to. It’s as if it came out of thin air just a few years ago. But of course it’s as if it came out of thin air. The reason why is that this “single-family houses are racist” talking point is bullshit–Grade A, top of the line nonsense that was cooked up and then surreptitiously disseminated to the public, courtesy of useful idiots in social and mass media. But before I expose this cynically crafted talking point for the manure that it is, let’s play Devil’s Advocate by explaining the “logic” behind it.
The logic is that single-family houses and single-family house zoning were invented as a form of racist segregation. For example, say the racist white guard in the town of Shelbyville are getting nervous that blacks are beginning to move into middle class, lily white neighborhoods. How to keep the darkies in their place? No problem-o: zone the areas you want to “keep white” by designating certain areas of Shelbyville as exclusively single-family house zones. The idea is that since houses are too cost-prohibitive for blacks but affordable to whites, they will have no choice but to live in segregated neighborhoods outside of these zones.
How do we know that single-family housing is racist? Why, look at the decades of redlining against blacks when they tried buying houses! Look at the decades of all sorts of other chicanery designed to prevent blacks from owning property! Isn’t that more proof than you need that single-family house zones are racist and need to be abolished? Hell, they’re so racist, let’s not even call them “single-family house zones” anymore. Call them what they really are–exclusionary zoning. So, let’s save black people from exclusionary zoning. Let’s get rid of single-family house zones today!
Sounds logical, doesn’t it? Except there’s a problem. The problem is that it’s based on a gross oversimplification of the complex relationship between housing and racism in the United States. It’s about as dumb as claiming that trees are racist because blacks used to be lynched from them.