ESSAYS

THE LAND CALLS TO US: A Word Against Gentrification

BY DEMITRI ADDERLEY


“I look at the world’s animals. I look at the world’s natural resources, the forest, the ocean, all in decline. Now is the time for the children of the earth to ask themselves when enough is enough.”


I’ve always thought that the idea to pay to live on Mother Earth was one of humanity’s greatest crimes against itself. Clearly a supremacist philosophy– controlling grids, metering energy, suppressing fact, and dispensing taxes. These gentrifiers are dangerous! Buying communities out of their own land…foreign invaders from the shadowlands of the capitalist regime. Snaking deals from the pockets of Babylon merchants – leveraging your land, your children’s future over the strength of a failing dollar. It’s happening in East Los, it’s happening is West LA, it’s happening in Downtown LA, it’s happening in South Central– it’s happening near you! People very soon are going to have to face the realization that they are going to be priced out of their homes. Out of their businesses. Out of their communities. What is going to happen when you can’t afford to live where you live anymore?

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“Mariachi Crossing:” A cultural experience packaged and sold shamelessly for the amount of $1500 in Boyle Heights across the street from Mariachi Plaza . (Screenshot of the website)

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Mariachi Plaza in Boyle Heights: “Our home base…the womb of all mariachis in the US,” as described by Mexican vihuela player Victor Garcia (LA Times). (Photo Credit: mariachiplaza.org)

 

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15-year-old Eastside Cafe in El Sereno recently secured ownership of their beloved autonomous space and sanctuary through the solidarity of residents, artists, activists, educators, and donators who are directly invested in seeing the culture of their communities thrive. (Photo Credit: Gofundme)

Gentrification is the act of devaluing land for the sole purpose of buying it at a later date and making it profitable. The media has classified these neighborhoods at one point or another as dangerous, violent, crime ridden, desperate lands with desperate people living desperate lives. When the entire time the desperate ones were the developers. Buying lands they don’t understand from people that have lived there their entire lives. Is this justice in the new millennium? Is nothing sacred? Will the future generations behold a corporate takeover so final and complete they will be devoid of anything representing natural life in natural time? I look at the world’s animals. I look at the world’s natural resources, the forest, the ocean, all in decline. Now is the time for the children of the earth to ask themselves when enough is enough.

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How gentrification will impact Leimert Park is yet to be seen with the 2019 opening of a Metro stop in the village.  (Photo Credit: leimertparkplaza.org)

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The historically marginalized South Central is also under threat of being gentrified with the 2019 opening of the “Rail to River” Metro light rail that will run alongside Slauson Avenue.  (Photo Credit: LAist)

It is always the art that is sacrificed. It is always culture that is sacrificed. There is never enough money for art, never enough money for life, but there is always enough money for war. We people of color are constantly, by this very system, given the means to destroy ourselves while our community programs and options are taken away due to budget concerns or lack of proper resources. The short end of the stick is our running explanation for our mismanagement by the powers that be. The lands in which we’ve lived are now viewed as prime real estate for a market of bourgeois consumers, ignorant of their own trespasses. I will not let these predatory tactics go unnoticed and unobserved. I speak on it now, in witness of you all. As much as they may try to separate us from the lands that we have served and that have served us, The Land Calls To Us. Alien forces may tax the land, but The Land Calls To Us. They may send the law with their tanks, and their guns, and their tear gas, and their militia, but The Land Calls to Us because the artist, the activist, the lovers, the dreamers, the people of the light…we were the ones the land was meant for. The Land Calls to Us because we were the ones it was meant for. Tierra Para La Gente.


Demitri Adderley. The Bass Lord Cometh.


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