“Gentrification is not magic…”

But when we talk about gentrification, understand that we really are talking about the result of actual policies endorsed, not simply by shadowy interests group, but by actual Americans, erected with the explicit intent of making sure that another group of Americans remain a permanent peon class. This is not the lens to view all of black America, but in terms of that portion that really is being priced out, that really can’t experience a functioning neighborhood, this is a start. Gentrification is not magic. It’s what our forefathers intended to happen.

Ta-Nehisi Coates on the long history that leads to gentrification.

Weekend Reading

  • Lauren sent me this article, “Jesus is Not Post-Racial,” in which the author describes the challenges of finding a church home faced by interracial couples.  So even in a faith community that holds diversity and multi-culturalism in high regard as a core value, and boasts a congregation made up from every tribe, race, nation, and tongue, Jesus does not simply become a panacea for the racist thoughts and behavior to which we are all susceptible.
  • From her experience of relocating to Washington D.C., Shani O. Hilton writes about the complexities of being a “Black Gentrifier.” But now, living in the city is cool again, thanks in no small part to development incentivized by government investment. And because we live in a “nation of cowards” (as U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder put it) where perhaps the only thing harder to talk about than race is class, it’s unsurprising that worries about gentrification boil down to white versus black, instead of educated and privileged versus uneducated and underserved.
  • The Atlantic has a theory on why Mumford and Sons have become so popular on this side of the Atlantic.  “They’ve been instilled with the old-fashioned, upper-middle-class British values of politeness, respect for others and hard work,” says Will Hodgkinson, head music critic at The Times newspaper. “Those values are the bedrock of American culture; but they’re not the bedrock of British culture: they’re an arcane aspect of British culture that has somehow survived in the States.