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    Boston’s War of Gentrification and Homelessness is an Extension of War on the World

    by Danny Haiphong

    Boston, like most U.S. cities, is attempting to banish its homeless population. “Working class and poor people, especially Boston's Black residents, are being forced outside” the city. Dedicated activists have mobilized to “address the criminalizatiorica:n of the nation's most oppressed section of the working class, US imperialism's own wretched of the earth.”

    Deon Haywood: “Nine years after Katrina, it’s all about the takeover.”

    An Interview by Jordan Flaherty

    The meaning of urban recovery is subject to great debate. If the standard of progress celebrates expulsion of the Black and poor and welcoming of the affluent and white, then New Orleans is “recovering” from Katrina. But, “that would be a white supremacist framework, now wouldn’t it?”

    The New Urban Regime: In Atlanta Gentrification Wears A Black Face

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Bruce A. Dixon

    Black city hall, black police chief and mostly black cops, and black-landlords colluding to push working class African Americans out in favor of newer, whiter, more affluent residents? Sound familiar? You might be living under the new urban regime....

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    Non Profit Organizations & the Privatization of Public Housing

    An Against the Grain Interview with Prof. Jay Arena

    In this Against the Grain interview, about 50 minutes, Jay Arena outlines the process of destroying public housing in New Orleans and more broadly across the country, with particular attention to the roles played by not for profit organizations and black elites carrying out the neoliberal agenda of gentrification.

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    Will Black Mecca Bail Out Its Gentrifiers and Their Jim Crow BeltLine Streetcars?

    By BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    Hailed by “smart growth” advocates around the country, the Atlanta BeltLine, is a massive & racist gentrification scheme funded by diverting billions out of Atlanta's Public School budget to banksters and crooked developers. But those billions aren't enough. To bail out the BeltLine, the governor and Atlanta's black mayor want to levy a one-cent sales tax on Atlanta for streetcars and light rail most of black Atlanta will never ride, for Jim Crow streetcars, when black Atlanta neighborhoods don't even get 24 hour bus or train service. Can the black misleadership class really pull this off?

    Not a Word About Gentrification as Black Urban Population Declines

     

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

    In the media euphoria at news that Blacks were leaving the cities en mass for the suburbs and the South, corporate media seemed to make a collective decision to eliminate gentrification from the equation. A huge reverse migration and suburban exodus was depicted as wholly voluntary, having nothing to do with a crescendo of Black push-out from the whitening inner cities. “It is no wonder that 17 percent of Blacks that relocated to the South in the past decade were New Yorkers, far more than from any other state.”

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    Black Unemployment in the Multiracial Small Business Industry

    by Tamara K. Nopper

    Do small, immigrant businesses get a “pass” when it comes to racial discrimination in employment? “There is a good deal of literature examining how employers prefer non-Black people of color over Black workers and use this diversity to conceal and defend their anti-Black racism.” However, most academic studies “do not discuss hiring discrimination among immigrant (of color) entrepreneurs.”

    The Whitening of Chocolate City

    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    Before the next U.S. Census, several great American cities will lose their Black majorities, an historical development welcomed by some as encouraging racial integration. The author believes otherwise: that Black urban dislocation has created a false impression of fading residential segregation in America, but is “actually a snapshot of a phenomenon in transition towards the unknown.” There is nothing progressive about gentrification, which devalues and expels Black population concentrations as unfit for the “new” city. The great shame of it all is, “Black urban mis-leadership has for decades been attempting to dis-empower their own constituents.”

    Obama's Scheme to Kill Public Housing and Give the Land to Banks

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

    For the Obama administration, every bit of public space and property is "on the table" - subject to privatization.  Transfer of public wealth to private hands seems a White House obsession. Next on the auction block: the nation's public housing stock. "This is gentrification and urban displacement on a gargantuan scale."

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    Taking Back Homes from the Banks: Exercising the Human Right to Housing

    by Bill Quigley
    The United States has a surplus of housing, especially after the artificial boom that preceded the Big Bust. There are “very real contradictions in the way we provide housing – massive surpluses in the market that led to a collapse in credit and simultaneously people without shelter and permanent affordable housing.” May is the month to begin to balance the scales, and take back the land.

    Take Back the Land: May 2010 Month of Action

    taking it backby Max Rameau
    There is no scarcity of housing in the United States, yet millions are deprived of adequate shelter through a system designed solely for private profit. “Federal and local governments are actively vacating, boarding up and demolishing public housing and underfunding rent subsidy programs in order to free up monies for bank bailouts and sports facilities.”

    Black Business Class Leadership and the Crisis of Gentrification

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    Why is the only model of inner city economic development that anybody has tried in living memory amount to moving poorer urban residents out, and wealthier ones in? What happens to the people who are moved out, and why does our black business class leadership quietly ignore, or openly collaborate in the dispersal of the very communities which made many of their careers possible?

    Gentrification, Demolishing the Projects and the Dispersal of Poor Urban Black Communities.

    A Black Agenda Interview by Bruce A. Dixon

    In urban Black America, stable communities are the exception rather than the rule. It's a fact of black life in the US that our urban communities, especially poorer ones are rarely allowed to exist more than a couple generations. Low and moderate income black communities, especially renters are not valued, either by our black elite or by the larger society. Portrayed in the media as desparate sinkholes of despair they are inevitably slated for gentrification, displacement and dispersal. Communities of public housing residents have been conspicious targets of this model of urban redevelopment.  Last summer, Black Agenda Report talked to USF's Dr. Susan D. Grreenbaum, one of the few scholars studying the outcome of the national policy of demolishing and dispersing public housing communities.  It's a question most scholars and our black elite seldom ask.  For too much of our black business class leadership, gentrification isn't a question of economic justice.  It's just another way to get paid.

     

    The Twilight of Black Harlem

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
    Greater Harlem is now less Black “than at any time since the 1920s,” with African Americans making up only 4 in 10 residents. Galloping gentrification is a “racial as well as economic crime,” predicated on the historical devaluation of Black life, nationwide. “Poor Blacks are considered the human equivalent of blight, while affluent whites are treated as precious resources.”

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    The End of Black Politics As We Knew It: Will Atlanta's Next Mayor Be White? Should We Even Care?

    By BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    36 years of black Atlanta mayors have given birth to a thriving and empowered class of black managers, attorneys and contractors. But even after moving tens of thousands of poor blacks who once lived in public housing to areas beyond the city limits, fully one third of black Atlanta remains below the poverty level, making Atlanta number 5 in black poverty among the 40 largest US cities, according to current US Census data. So have the generation of black mayors and the crew that brought them in really done African Americans that much good?

    The Olympics and Rio's Black Poor

    the real rioA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

    The gentry-pursued Black and poor population of Chicago got a reprieve from the Olympic committee last week. Now it's Rio de Janeiro's turn to invent clever ways to clear out the shantytowns so the games may begin without the distractions of poverty. Walls are already going up around the favelas, to keep the dark hordes from spoiling the sports.

    Katrina’s Legacy: Poor Blacks Have No Right to “Be”

    post-Katrinaby BAR executive editor Glen Ford
    Barack Obama's Katrina anniversary remarks reveal a president who rails against bureaucracy while ignoring the savage race and class warfare at the heart of the (ongoing) disaster. The right of the Black poor to exist is at issue, but that's way outside Obama's radar.

    Holding on in East Harlem and Points West, North and South

    don't sell da barrioby BAR executive editor Glen Ford
    Neoliberalism is the root cause of rampaging gentrification and displacement, from New York to New Orleans to Atenco, Mexico.” Keen observers of political-economy would agree with this assessment from Zapatista-inspired community activists in Spanish Harlem, who recently organized an “encuentro” with similar minded Black and Asian activists. All concluded that the issue is bigger than Harlem: “This displacement is created by the greed, ambition and violence of a global empire of money that seeks to take total control of all the land, labor and life on earth.”

    Meltdown Stalls Whitening of Harlem: Gentrifiers Go Bust

    harlemMarket Meltdown Stalls Whitening of Harlem: Gentrifiers Go Bust

    A Black Agenda Radio interview with Nellie Hester-Bailey, executive director, Harlem Tenants Council by BAR Executive Editor Glen Ford

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    The financial crisis has at least temporarily stalled the ethnic cleansing of Harlem by predatory developers and the investment banksters that back them. However, the gentrifiers’ champion, billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg, seeks to win another term in office in order to finish the racial and class makeover of Harlem and other non-white communities. He is abetted by a host of “supine” Black office-holders ever eager to displace their own people.

    Locked Outside the Gates: The Struggle for Affordable Housing in New Orleans

     

    Locked Outside the Gates: The Struggle for Affordable Housing in New Orleans
    by Bill Quigley

    "Some young men were tasered right in front of the speaker's podium."

    HUD Sends New Orleans Bulldozers and $400,000 Apartments for the Holidays

    NOLADemoPubHousingGOODby Bill Quigley

    The criminal conspiracy against Black New Orleans unfolds without pause, as the federal government prepares to demolish public housing in the city before Christmas. Gentrification proceeds at breakneck speed, fueled by millions of public dollars in giveaways to well-connected developers and other corporate vampires. The Bush administration is bent on ensuring that no place of shelter remain for the Black and poor - not just in New Orleans, but wherever capital covets the land. New Orleans is just a fast-forwarding of the national Big Business block-buster, an ethnic and class urban cleansing on a vast scale.

    Criminal Justice Meltdown in New Orleans?

    The criminal justice system of New Orleans can hardly claim to be a system, at all. Thousands of prisoners are released because no one can figure out what to charge them with, while huge numbers of others languish behind bars because they can't make even relatively low bail. The city's murder rate has climbed to seven times the national average. Hundreds of National Guardsmen in combat gear patrol the streets. Every social support mechanism is broken, feeding urban mayhem. More than two years after the deluge, only a little more than half the population has returned, and institutional structures remain dysfunctional.

    New Orleans’ Failed Education Experiment: Privatization Runs Amok

    by Ralph Adamo  

    Almost as soon as the levees were breached, the predators that infest American business and government structures smelled a new opportunity: to reshape the educational system of New Orleans according to their own diabolical, profit-oriented, non-union, sink or swim vision. They have visited yet another horror on the city, putting the poor and unorganized beyond the reach of quality education. New Orleans has become the laboratory for privatization of education - an obscene experiment by the mad social scientists of Big Capital. That the experiment has failed is no problem for the privatizers, since massive failure is an expectation of the hellish system. Only the profitable survive.

    Katrina: The Rich Folks' Opportunity and Our Dismal Failure

    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford
    Katrina laid bare the racism of the class that rules the United States. Their goal is to eliminate Black power in the great cities, to sweep the urban landscape clean for white habitation. The hurricane was a godsend for the corporate nation-planners, and they jumped to the opportunity to exile hundreds of thousands, and create the conditions that made return to New Orleans impossible. Apologists claim the fault lies in "incompetence." Bullshit. The Diaspora exists, so the killers of New Orleans have accomplished their goal. We have been collectively betrayed by assumed allies and a Black misleadership that is afraid to tackle capital. They want money, more than freedom.

    Fighting for the Right to Learn: The Public Education Experiment in New Orleans

    NOLASchoolsKidsby Bill Quigley

    Corporate America saw opportunity in the death of 1,000 or more people in New Orleans, and the exile of hundreds of thousands. Entrenched in the Bush administration was a private school lobby that was itching to find an urban environment to try out their experiment. It was New Orleans, cleansed of its Black majority by the storm. State and federal authorities are determined to prove that charter schools are a better idea than public schools, because they can keep out the "bad" students who don't need educating. The city will be rebuilt with a trash bin of schools to contain the unwanted students who don't fit into the new design. Charter schools are private schools with public financing. That will be the face of the "new city."

    How to Destroy an African-American City in Thirty-Three Steps – Lessons from Katrina

    by Bill Quigley

    How can we destroy a Black city? -  let us count the ways. Federal, state and local officials appear to have compiled a comprehensive list of destructive acts of commission and omission -  and pursued every possible tactic to permanently de-Blacken New Orleans.  The author is just as thorough in compiling a 33-count indictment of the city-killers, with the Bush Gang as chief conspirators.  The crimes against Black New Orleans are so malevolent, so unremitting, and on such a grand scale, they cannot have been the result of mere incompetence. The crime is premeditated attempted murder, motivated by pure racism and greed.

    ‘Less Meeting, More Fighting!’: Lessons Learned by Grassroots Katrina and Tsunami Social Activists

    TsunamiPraisefulWomanby Bill Quigley

    American activists were startled to find that Indians could not comprehend the passivity of the U.S. public to the ejection of Katrina survivors from their home city and state, in the wake of the flood. "If this happened in India, there would be a revolution," said one Indian community organizer. TheTsunamiGirlAndChildNOLA Christmas Tsunami that claimed hundreds of thousands of lives along the coasts of the Indian Ocean did not destroy the people's will to rebuild on land that was their birthright. But "disaster capitalism" has apparently triumphed in the United States, where rights can be washed away with no trace.

    Letter from New Orleans: Unstable Foundations

    by Rebecca Solnit

    New Orleans represents what Republicans promise when they call for shrinking down government. Residents struggling to remain in the stricken city or return home find little assistance - but rather, great resistance - from government at all levels. Still, the author sees hope among people who "are doing it for themselves" with assistance from thousands of volunteers from all across the nation. Katrina, writes the author, "is not even half over."

    New Orleans: The Right to Return Eighteen Months after Katrina

    NOLASmallFlagWomanby Bill Quigley

     

    A year and a half after Katrina, much of New Orleans remains in ruins, with government at all levels actively preventing reconstruction that would allow hundreds of thousands of exiles to return. Locals refer to the devastation as having "the Grand Canyon effect" - when you see it in person it can take your breath away. Yet amidst official cruelty and callous neglect, volunteers feed hundreds of thousands of meals to their neighbors, and thousands of non-Louisianans donate their time and skills in the struggle to resurrect a city that was left to die.

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