Neighborhoods Matter, People Matter

I, personally, have grown up moving around San Francisco’s districts. It is absolutely outrageous how communities have changed over the past 5 years. Valencia went from a mostly populated by Latinos neighborhood to being completely invaded by techies, coffee shops, art studios etc., rather than family-owned bakeries, restaurants and Latin-influenced art such as murals.

Today, we can see how American history continues to hunt people of color both economically and racially. They both go hand in hand, poverty is the heart of American color problems. As technology booms through San Francisco’s streets, gentrification rapidly unfolds. Thousands of residents and family-owned businesses, (specifically people of color) who have lived and served San Francisco for decades are being evicted -particularly in the Mission, Mid Market, Castro, and Dog Patch. However, San Francisco is not alone, evictions are heavy on low income Americans across the states. In a world of economic inequality and racial injustice, the government and its influence on society is to blame.

Many may argue that people of color are to blame for their own poverty issues. As Bill Cosby states, “Brown versus the Board of Education is no longer the white person’s problem. We have got to take the neighborhood back. They are standing on the corner and they can’t speak English”” Here Cosby argues personal responsibly within low income communities and stresses parents should take control and start parenting correctly. However, these families are victims of the system, struggling every morning waking to work 2-3 jobs a day and are barely scheming by the poverty level. While the children receive barely enough to cover basic material needs, they lack a great deal of love and support which their parents’ jobs have stolen from them.

Although Cosby may have a point in taking responsibility rather than pointing finger, Cosby fails to mention where the power lies. “State power is great in the hands of the right people, the right class, in the right service of the right thing: Bring about an end to exploitation, oppression, and social inequality.” People of color are constantly being hashed by the system which tells them it’s their fault they are in poverty, when in reality, the so-called system’s job is to help support the people financially which leads to better education (leaders, World revolutionaries, doctors), emotionally leading to a good mental state of mind, and medically leading to health etc. This is an ongoing cycle which seems to never end. The fight for equality in this nation seems to slip through the American people’s hands like sand.

As a result of inequality, children are being pushed into prison. Revolution Newspaper – The Oppression of Black People, the Crimes of this System and the Need for Revolution reports, “the violent situation in many black and Latino neighborhoods all over the country – where parents watch young children shot down in crossfires and kids growing up haunted by nightmares of gunfire, sure they won’t make it past 18.” It’s horrible the things our communities, our people are facing on a daily basis. Community Coalition, an organization that helps push towards a social and economic equality in South LA, states that 40% of students expelled from US schools each year are black and 30% of foster care youth entering the juvenile justice system are related to behavior problems that may be a result of unstable homes.

Then again, I ask what is the system doing for these families? What is the system doing to form the next generation of leaders? Evictions and poverty should not be viewed lightly. Eviction has turned into a very familiar sight in poor neighborhoods. Tents are left outside with their belongings, while the people do not not know their family’s next step as they are left in debt. These are the lives American people are living. It is absolutely absurd. Poverty should not be a problem.