Chicago continues to have record breaking numbers relative to homicides and shootings. We are in a public health and safety crisis.
It's time we looked at another approach. I believe GENTRIFICATION can possibly be a major tool (if used the right way) to foster safe neighborhoods in Chicago.
But why is it every time the word gentrification is used, people get all bent out of shape? What does gentrification mean?
A. the process of renovating and improving a house or district so that it conforms to middle-class taste.
B. the process of making a person or activity more refined or polite.
I'm pretty sure many are saying "Wow! That's the definition of gentrification?" Yes it is. The problem is many African-American and Hispanic leaders have given gentrification a sinister narrative that entails rich White people taking over poor Black and Brown communities while sending poor Black and Brown people into outer space to live on Venus or Mars. It's a false narrative!
As a Black or Brown person complaining about your community not having a full-line grocery store, or your community not having thriving businesses, then maybe you should consider giving gentrification a try?
This is the 21st century, and gone are the days of Little Village and Pilsen being predominately Mexican-American. Gone are the days of Roseland, Englewood, Auburn-Gresham, Lawndale, Austin, Garfield Park, being predominately African-American. Gone are the days of the Northside of Chicago being predominantly White-American.
...as of right now Chicago is a city of racially divided communities and neighborhoods. Chicago, relative to its racially divided communities is the son of segregation. It's racial separation at best. No community in Chicago should be 70% - 100% one race. That's simply unconstitutional and Un-American.
Of course I support culture, but in America we deserve to live, work and play wherever we choose. Chicago should be no different. I believe racially mixed communities is the solution to violence in Chicago.
I say this because it'll give politicians, law enforcement and even Chicagoans more skin in the game relative to keeping certain pockets of Chicago safe.
See, it's easy to discriminate and/or disenfranchise a community based on stats that show said community is predominately African-American or Hispanic. It's easy to allocate more resources and TIF dollars to a community based on stats that show said community is predominately White-American.
Currently it seems like no one cares about the Black and Brown areas of Chicago. It's like "yeah, yeah another murder in Black Chicago. So what else is new?" This seems to be the attitude. I'm convinced this attitude will shift when Chicago's 77 communities and 200 neighborhoods become more racially mixed.
I long for the days to see African-American and White-American residents living in Little Village with businesses on 26th Street (the second wealthiest street) in Chicago. I long for the days to see African-American and White-American businesses in Chinatown.
This is the Chicago our children deserve to grow up in! The way with racially divided neighborhoods and communities. It's time for a new Chicago. It's time for a new start. It's time to make Chicago truly a melting pot! This shall be done through massive gentrification projects around the City of Chicago!