Gentrification is a hot button topic neighborhoods across the country are dealing with. Cultural misunderstandings, lack of communication and, sometimes, blatant disrespect often make a potentially positive example of diversity in neighborhoods, a bad one.
According to the East Bay Express, White residents who have gentrified East Oakland, California have reportedly been calling the police on Black residents at an alarming rate. A local gospel choir from Pleasant Grove Baptist Church was hit with a $3,500 nuisance fee by the city and a $500 per-day fine, unless they quiet down choir practice. They believe the noise complaints are coming from people new to the neighborhood.
“Kind of hard to believe because we’ve been here about 65 years in the community and all of a sudden we get some concerns about the noise,” said Thomas A Harris III, the pastor at Pleasant Grove.
Using data from neighborhood messaging board Nextdoor.com, East Bay Express found that White residents have called the police on Black residents for walking down the street, knocking on a door and not cleaning up after dogs among other things. Oakland Police Department members have even shared that they are being forced to respond to baseless 911 calls.
From well-known neighborhoods in New York like Bedford-Stuyvesant and Harlem, to Washington, D.C. and San Fransisco, original residents of established neighborhoods are being pushed out of their homes and these areas are being infiltrated by new residents. In most cases the new entrants don’t take the time to learn the neighborhoods and its inhabitants, causing a huge rift.
Has your neighborhood been affected by gentrification? How so? Has it been a positive or negative experience? Share your story below.