The Link Between Race And Gentrification

Since Gentrification has been coined as a term in 1964 by Ruth Glass, it has meant various meanings. In today’s terms, this is a damaging process that occurs in western cities and begun in other large cities all around the world. This process directly effects longtime residents of historically poorer neighborhoods. Families that are usually in the working class, are forced to move from these rich cultured neighborhoods due to the development and planning in the city. This renovation of a city has the effect of an increase in prices including rent because of the investments in the previously reinvestment in these cities. This process also tends to remove a native culture that formed over the years from oppression from earlier. These individuals that made a home with what they were given are then displaced, these residents typically are over 3rd generation immigrant families. When families are displaced there is an effect of isolation, increase of expense in transportation and desolation.

It seems America was founded on this aged idea of class and power, for this reason that inequality still exists in subtle and not so subtle ways. Today it is still very common to see low income neighborhoods, that in almost in its entirety has African American and/or Latino backgrounds, to be driven out of their self-made cultured neighborhoods. This process of gentrification often tales place to cities that are overseen by governments and appear as letting the groups to fend for themselves. These minority groups of these neighborhoods historically would fight back through organizing. Though, throughout the years there has been development away from the process of gentrification through activists of human rights. This idea seems to persist that has affected the development in demographics in the city. Inequalities still exists that are not always as visible compared earlier times in the past. Although, these inequalities were not as visible as once before, today they are less visible. The inequalities that exists now instead through infrastructure, marketing techniques and other processes by the government. Although gentrification is a broad term covering many things, this term has changed in specific meanings. Overall, gentrification has caused an effect of displacing those of lower incomes and expanding a middle class. Historically the process of gentrification has been used as tool to control minority communities in America and still exists today but, not in plain view. This control includes over income, monopoly over business and homes, standard of living, and overall quality of life.

In Philip Hanson’s article, The Politics of Inner-City Identity in ‘Do the Right Thing’, He writes on the history of control over minority working class communities that was controlled in neighborhoods such as a ‘ghetto’. Historically, money of the communities has been taken from the communities but never put money back into the communities. Such as giving jobs or things of this nature to people of this community. This further drove poverty into the communities causing more areas to be abandon and later refurbished into places with higher rents. As the cost of living went up, this would push out lower income families displacing them to another area that is poorer. This issue has grown in media coverage due to the growing issue gentrification has caused. More areas are being affected in displacing families from their homes and neighborhoods passed from one generation to the next. The areas growing in expenses from marketing strategies, red lining in the past and buying and renovating of properties. Redlining historically described as a process that removes services out neighborhoods that have been based on ethnicity and race. Most of these services are things such as homeowner’s denial of mortgages, insurance, other kinds of loans

New York has had a large amount of people be affected by gentrification. Many agree it has a large impact of those of minority races. In areas such as Highland Park, this is very real happening. Most individuals are now moving into 4th generation Latinos. These individuals have lived in this neighborhood for so long their very own cultures have rooted itself there and evolved into something new. This evolved culture of this community is a close-knit group that have a nature of watching one another’s back. When silent gentrification enters into a neighborhood it picks off residence one by one. Wealthy tenets move into the newly renovated properties for living. Seeking entrepreneurs come in as well looking to participate in a rising market. Property owners decide to raise rent in price to gain more money. This raise in price forces out lower income families, that more often are families of color, because they cannot afford ridiculous rent rates that come this these renovated neighborhoods.

In Iris Marion Youngs piece, City Life and Difference, Young has a logic. “The ideal community expresses a longing for harmony among persons, for consensus and mutual understanding…,’ (Young 254). In todays cities, is can be obvious that some communities seem to not fit well, were not organically formed and didn’t make an ideal community that Young references, this is due to the effects of politics in earlier years. This pushed of all backgrounds into poorer neighborhoods, that typically were of color. These communities that all had different backgrounds using racial slurs, such as in the movie Do the Right Thing, shows tension among races and that were all struggling similarly but did not have this community feeling. The individuals with various backgrounds seemed to always have a line that existed separating themselves from other of different backgrounds. Cities are often seen to do this same separation of community lines, with the mentality of “them and us”. The Concept of community, although, difficult to define, as Young points, the term is loosely used with the idea of borders of separation. Many companies and properties renovators often use tension different racial communities to later only push out these residences and take down the mom and pop shops that often would reside in these neighborhoods.

As the expansion of gentrification continues, New York has more families being displaced. In an article written based off their research, Kathe Newman and Elvin K. Wyly in “The Right to Stay Put, Revisited: Gentrification and Resistance to Displacement in New York City”, findings from the research are quite perplexing. The research is to explain the effects on people of low income from being displaced. Newman and Wyly write, “The main buffers against gentrification-induced displacement of the poor, in public housing and rent regulation, are precisely those kinds of market interventions that are being challenged.” (Newman and Wyly). The research concluded that from the effects of gentrification that has a forcefulness aspect may have a deeper involvement with aspects of race of the families and may also include other factors such as class and ethnicity.

Another interesting aspect which has been a common piece of gentrification in lower income neighborhoods is the first wave of artist to move into the neighborhoods. In research done by Rosalyn Deutshe and Cara Gendel Ryan, it was found, “time New York’s two-billion-dollar art business has invaded one of the city’s poorest neighborhood. The representation of the Lower East Side as an ‘adventurous avant-garde setting’, however, conceals a brutal reality. For the site of this brave new art scene is also a strategic urban arena where the city, financed by big capital, wages its wars of position against an impoverished and increasingly isolated local population.” (Deutshe and Ryan). This finding is a great example of how a representation of a neighborhood can negatively affect the residents. These small strategies, as Deutshe further explains, are small steps and strategies that are driving forces of the expansion of gentrification. Many young artists move into these neighborhoods due to their low income, but it brings on series of more individuals. This counterculture that wants to move away from suburbia where many have grown up and move into cities that have been gentrified. These cities are also hot spots for young professionals to move before they settle with a family in suburbia.

Although, many conclude gentrification is related to lack of diversification from red lining in neighborhoods. The effects of redlining through gentrification can still be seen today in prominent, or what was once so, African-American and Latino neighborhoods. In these neighborhoods are evidence from patterns of economic and radical residential segregation. It is through gentrification that lays over these parts of cities to strengthen class and by extension race segregation in cities throughout world that are experiencing the effects of gentrification. Though, some argue the positive outcomes from this process, it is greatly outweighed by the effects on a group of individuals that face many struggles based on these old outdated principles that seem to still persist.