Gentrification 101: A Practical Guide

SFFrom the introduction to the fabulous resource “How To Be A Less Shitty Gentrifier,” compiled specifically for the Bay Area, but applicable in just about every city in North America.

This document is for you if you are planning to be a new renter in the SF Bay Area and you have race and/or class privilege, or recently became one. This document is for you if you are moving by choice, and have the means to support yourself in the Bay. Maybe you are moving for a job, or for school. Maybe you’re escaping a hellish situation and you hope here will be less hellish. Maybe you grew up here, but you’re ready to live on your own. You know that there’s a housing crisis. You understand that your moving will exacerbate an already dire situation. This is not a “how to move to the bay” guide, but a “so you’re moving to the bay, nothing will stop you, here are some tips on how to be a less shitty gentrifier.”

I am a wealthy white person who moved to Berkeley by choice in 2014. This document is the sum total of what I’ve learned from people of color (queer women esp.), orgs like Causa Justa Just Cause, born and raised bay area folks, and the internet. Here you will find information on how the housing crisis came to be, and how to play your part to fight back against the rampant forces that are, and have been, killing or forcing out black, brown, and indigenous residents of Ohlone Land/ the San Francisco Bay Area since 1542.

For more click HERE.

 

Backpacking With Hope

Ruby SalesBy Ruby Sales, Another Love Letter From The Front Porch, August 31, 2018)

Have you ever had to navigate the waters of systemic trauma of White supremacy and find ways to swim without drowning? How do we name the trauma that we endure from White supremacy without becoming the trauma that we endure? How do we speak the truth of our lives without being silenced or demonized by the tyranny of White denial? How do you stand tall as a European American without being pulled down by the seductive drug of Whiteness? Continue reading

Instead of Calling the Police

Vigil2From “What To Do Instead of Calling the Police,” a living document (last updated July 15, 2018) compiled by Aaron Rose.

We’ve all been there. Your neighbor is setting off fireworks at 3am. Or there’s a couple fighting outside your window and it’s getting physical. Or you see someone hit their child in public. What do you do? Your first instinct might be: call 911. That’s what many people are trained to do in the United States when we see something dangerous or threatening happening.

At this point, most of us understand that, in the U.S., the police often reinforce a system of racialized violence and white supremacy, in which black people are at least three times more likely to be killed by the police. For years now, we’ve heard the nearly daily news of another unarmed person of color being shot by the police. When the police get involved, black people, Latinx people, Native Americans, people of color, LGBTQ people, sex workers, women, undocumented immigrants, and people living with disabilities and mental health diagnoses are usually in more danger, even if they are the victims of the crime being reported. Police frequently violently escalate peaceful interactions, often without repercussions. In 2017, the police killed over 1,100 people in the U.S. Continue reading

The Data on Militarized Policing

FergusonAn excerpt from The Washington Post (8/22/18), reporting on what the data is saying about police militarization.

A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has found that there’s little upside to militarized policing. The study looked at data from Maryland, where a state law required that police agencies in the state submit biannual reports on how and how often they used their SWAT teams. The law was in effect from 2010 through 2014, after which the legislature allowed it to expire. Author Jonathan Mummolo performed a statistical analysis of the Maryland data and crime rates, officer safety data, and race. Continue reading

Liberation

RubyFrom the prophetic front porch of Ruby Sales–a re-post from social media August 11, 2018.

What is liberation for people of color around the globe?

What should be the goals of our movements for liberation?

Should we imagine liberation as the right to exist and live in the world like the guardians of Empire power? Is liberation the right to sit at the Empire’s table and become an envoy for them and their interests? If the answers are no then how should our resistance and movements reflect no? How does no determine how we speak about liberation and how do we speak about our mission and common struggle and destination.

Finally what does liberation mean for White people? Does it mean the right to keep ownership of the table and maintain the power to put a few more seats at it for people of color who meet your requirements and with whom you feel comfortable? Does liberation mean the right to stay in the small and perverse space of Whiteness or does it mean the right to live fully in the world without a shriveled humanity that is constantly poised for battle and wallowing in inferiority and meaningless? If the answers are no then what should be the mission of your liberation struggles and how should it change your discourse, common struggle and destination?

The Immigrants’ Creed

ImmigrationBy Jose Luis Casal, excerpted from The Book of Common Worship: 2018 Edition. © 2018 Westminster John Knox Press.

I believe in Almighty God,
who guided the people in exile and in exodus,
the God of Joseph in Egypt and Daniel in Babylon,
the God of foreigners and immigrants.

I believe in Jesus Christ, a displaced Galilean,
who was born away from his people and his home, who fled
his country with his parents when his life was in danger.
When he returned to his own country he suffered under the oppression of Pontius Pilate,
the servant of a foreign power. Jesus was persecuted, beaten, tortured, and unjustly
condemned to death.
But on the third day Jesus rose from the dead,
not as a scorned foreigner but to offer us citizenship in God’s kingdom. Continue reading

The Antithesis of Activism

bellAn excerpt from Killing Rage: Ending Racism (1995) by bell hooks:

Confronting my rage, witnessing the way it moved me to grow and change, I understood intimately that it had the potential not only to destroy but also to construct.  Then and now I understand rage to be a necessary aspect of resistance struggle.  Rage can act as a catalyst inspiring courageous action.  By demanding that black people repress and annihilate our rage to assimilate, to reap the benefits of material privilege in white supremacist capitalist patriarchal culture, white folks urge us to remain complicit with their efforts to colonize, oppress and exploit.  Those of us black people who have the opportunity to further our economic status willingly surrender our rage.  Many of us have no rage.  As individual black people increase their class power, live in comfort, with money mediating the viciousness of racist assault, we can come to see both the society and white people differently.  We experience the world as infinitely less hostile to blackness than it actually is.  This shift happens particularly as we buy into liberal individualism and see our individual fate as black people in no way linked to collective fate.  it is that link that sustains full awareness of the daily impact of racism on black people, particularly its hostile and brutal assaults… Continue reading