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The Parallels Between Climate, Gentrification and Genocide




Gentrification is genocide. Gentrification is when you move to Oakland for its rich culture, then push the people out who created said culture! “People think that climate change or environmental things is not like a Black peoples’ issue, but one thing I learned about climate: It affects us in the worst ways,” Valencia Gunder (Climate Activist)



First they came to rob, colonize and enslave the nearby Alkebulan /Afrika and its nations, civilizations and abundant natural resources and high levels of spiritual, human, intellectual and physical development on our Mother-Father continent. Next, they came for, and used the most vicious means, to almost completely wipe out the Indigenous nations and cultures of Turtle Island. To add insult to their terrorism they re-named these lands the “Americas” after one of their own (the Italian Amerigo Vespucci), “Jamestown,” “Washington,” “Oakland,” “San Francisco,” “new Amsterdam,” “New York,” “Georgia,” “Port-au-Prince,” etc.


Then, they (The Colonizers) sought to dominate the entire planet with themes like “from sea to shining sea,” “our back-yard,” “exceptionalism” and “the sun never sets on the empire(s).” In their wake, WE can chronicle deadly wave after deadly wave of destruction: of billons of human lives destroyed; of accumulated wisdom, cultural literacy and critical rites of passage evolved over millennia lost forever; of properly maintained documentation and artifacts stolen and/or damaged; and, of nature, species and our precious environment wiped out and never to return. This, Sisters and Brothers, is GENOCIDE!!!


Therefore, WE must see the current rising crises of mass homelessness, lack of shelter, forced displacement and relocation – which was called “extremely cruel” by Leilani Farha (the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing) after her unannounced visit to Oakland last month – in this context. In addition, it is the removal of long-time residents which will signal the loss of long-standing community institutions, churches, businesses and sacred traditions by those who built and supported them. So, in conclusion, the goal of the oppressive class is not only to continue wiping out our mostly Black, Brown and impoverished residents. It is to remove the memories that they ever existed. That brings us to CLIMATE GENTRIFICATION.


What’s climate gentrification, you ask? In short, it refers to the ways a changing climate causes shifts in the makeup of a community — with the potential displacement of disadvantaged residents who get priced out of their neighborhoods due to rising property values, taxes, rents and other economic factors.


Climate gentrification is seen as further disadvantaging communities of color and low income communities because it is borne out of the legacy of policies and practices such as redlining and racial segregation. Back in the day, redlining efforts forced Black and Latin communities to less-desirable areas at high elevations, 8 to 18 feet above sea level, which is “like the Rocky Mountains,” said Caroline Lewis, founder of the CLEO Institute, which promotes climate literacy.


But now, those once less-desirable neighborhoods are suddenly very desirable to outsiders.

“Everyone now sees that the coastal areas have that elevation issue — that’s going to be underwater soon,” said Nelida Jean-Baptiste Pellot, who became an affordable housing activist after a fire destroyed their home, leaving them homeless, and they could not afford to stay in the Miami neighborhood they grew up in. Now, Pellot said, house hunters “want to move into places they didn’t want to move into before.”


But real estate agents and the like disagree that gentrification is being driven by climate change.They don't want the general public and especially wealthy homeowners to know their seaside properties will soon be worthless as marketable in fact many are actively trying to sell to newly arrived immigrants to offload these properties especial;y in areas like Miami, Boston, New Orleans and Houston Instead, they spin the story that the new interest in neighborhoods like Liberty City (Miami) is caused by other factors such as employment opportunities — even though they acknowledge both climate change and gentrification are happening.

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