22 | adopted | ♏♏♏
@9 months ago with 407 notes
[in response to this article][originally posted on fb 11/11/13]
i’ve been frustrated with how oakland is trampled on by activists and queers and out-of-towners and this article sort of just threw me over the edge.
first of all, hooray for places that people can feel free to b queer! ~hurrah~
calling oakland “an affordable alternative to San Francisco” is totally overlooking the reasons WHY oakland is “affordable” and toward whom that affordability is directed.
quick stats on oakland:
-one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the country
-also one of the most racially integrated cities in the country (in selective neighborhoods)
-most same-sex couples per capita
-city with one of the highest homicide rates in the country (131 homicides in 2012)
-18.5% of the population is below the poverty line (1 in 5)
-white is a minority race (to black)
-location of city slicker farms, the book that launched urban ag activists into west oakland
and, for those of us in college:
-48/100 students will graduate from high school (http://www.sfgate.com/education/article/Study-puts-Oakland-dropout-rate-at-52-Mayor-2687984.php)
-african american males are “almost as likely to be killed as they are to graduate [high school]” (http://www.sfchronicle.com/local/bayarea/item/Even-Odds-Day-2-23198.php)
let’s be real right now. oakland is an arts & culture city, broke, with more crime than college graduates. it is a city of struggle and strife and that’s what makes it beautiful.
so many oakland residents are being displaced by the academic transplants that have the privilege of a college diploma (which is, like, 100x the privilege of a high school diploma). queer, environmental justice, economic justice, and art activists have unconsciously gentrified oakland. this means having the privilege of affording what generations of residents have struggled to afford. this means a neocolonialist movement into a city that is akin to the colonialist history of movement in other countries where activism is the sword from which the locals fall. this means having the privilege of vocabulary like ‘privilege’ and ‘gentrification’ and ‘heteronormativity’ etc etc without the accountability of practicing that vocabulary or understanding that these words grant transplants a privilege that is not as accessible to a lot of people in oakland. this means appropriating the struggle (i.e. activism) of others whose history is unique to its location where transplants have not experienced first-hand the actual, non-academically portrayed, real-fucking-life struggles of the residents.
before you move somewhere because it’s cool to be a part of a struggle, please please please be conscious of whose place you are taking in that struggle.