Honestly after this I need to make a promise to myself to pull the plug on this gluttonous hatereading because this particular thing is really fucking me up. I guess I’ve been lucky enough to not really have had to look at anybody like this before, like, the only Detroit Gentrifiers I really know are people who moved there for college and then left ~quietly or like, punks who at least can manipulate better/know how to not say the wrong things some of the time, ie, had heard/used the word “gentrification” before moving to Detroit to become gentrifiers, I don’t notice them much anymore.
I dunno though I don’t think there is any “easy” (lol I hate that I am saying this and I want to stab myself in the eyeballs) way to work through being a white person on occupied land generally and specifically a white person taking advantage of OK WHATEVER god I cannot even finish that statement but you know what I mean. I do not necessarily think there is any way for a white person to properly “not” gentrify or gentrify “more ethically” or whatever and there is no North American land where a white person is not literally gentrifying and occupying, that being said I really struggle to even apply this statement here because I do think that it is flat-out 100% unethical for an upper-class educated white person to move to Detroit in order to take advantage of relatively cheap property values so they can advance themselves financially and pretend like it is a broad social investment I!!!! I! Do not hesitate to say that a white person moving to Detroit is always more fucked up anyway!!!! Jesus lord ok but there is a reason I am trying to push through this
Having said all of that, this moment made something particularly clear to me about this blah blah blahbhaidf blah blah “how do we gentrify Less Bad?” conversation that never ends. Even if I thought this kind of migration was at all ethical, this is it, this is the thing. If you’re gonna move into some place like Detroit and try to be “more” ethical about it, I mean, first of all you shouldn’t preempt any criticisms by saying “I AM HURTING NONE” but more than anything, this is what it comes down to and I can’t shake it out of my head, if you are going to be a gentrifier and you wanna be less hurtful, you need to, really really need to, educate yourself or whatever, you need to know flat-out why, for example, framing the racial history of Detroit as “division” vs. “unification,” is really really really fucked up in context, and also wrong. Jesus CRHRIST these people sound like what I imagine my dead white trash uaw grandpa to have sounded like when they started the busing in Pontiac schools in 1970 or 1971 I swear to goddd. I mean, would it be nuts to demand of a person making the decision to Revitalize Detroit, to read one book about Detroit’s history? (or like, one which includes black people in it maybe, like, not as villains) I feel like this is something they should think to do but also isn’t a huge demand in this instance because there is a lot of literature about Detroit you know ??? Like ideally not that Scott Martelle book? I dunno maybe it’s not that easy and I know there’s so much bad literature out there about Detroit but also like, liiiike, I dunno I’m really fucked up about this. Detroit I Do Mind Dying!! Thomas Sugrue’s The Origins of the Urban Crisis is pretty old now and I think the framing is sensationalist and not great (perhaps, sensationalist enough to be of interest to a gentrifier, lol) but I think it might be a good start in that iirc it really underlines the economic consequences of pre-sixties white orgs and social mapping, is probably an ok segregation primer, I dunno!! I have not read The Making of Black Detroit in the Age of Henry Ford but actually I’m gonna try to get a copy since I’m doing Disciplined History rn and I had meant to for ages.
Anyway idk I think that’s not even the most fucked up thing happening here and I can’t do this anymore and I don’t think it’s ethical of me to, like, hateread without saying something, but I’m not trying to Fight with someone I haven’t talked to in like six years and I’m not really sure what I should even say
maybe don’t reblog this