Comparing and Contrasting Gentrification vs. Colonialism

August 13, 2014 8 3181 Uncategorized

As much as people–even self-loathing white people–love to hate what gentrifiers are “doing to the neighborhood,” you can rest assured that at least their behavior isn’t as atrocious as that of the colonialists. Sure, gentrifiers are helping to increase price points across the board, including rent and alcohol, but al least they’re not raping and pillaging the indigenous population, right? Yes, gentrifiers came in out of nowhere and without warning, but they would never stab you or anything like that.

Is it, though?

Is it, though?

The Burning Bush spoke to both sides regarding the issue, starting with aboriginal resident Heretu Stae, a 53-year-old man who’s been “self-employed” since 1996. Stae bloviated, “These people who keep coming in all seem to have one thing in common: their skin tone. We have to keep these imperialist whites out or we’re going to lose the neighborhood for good.”

Even Roberta's isn't immune to being dubbed a "colonialist"

Even Roberta’s isn’t immune to being dubbed a “colonialist”

On the other side of the spectrum, one of Bushwick’s very own Rich Kids of Bushwick, Spencer Dilday, who scoffed at the notion of gentrification, asserted, “I just happen to like overpriced neighborhoods that look shitty and unkempt. I’m not trying to step on anyone’s toes…though I often do with my Sperry Top-Siders.” Spike Lee might have Dilday’s head for that comment. Then again, we’re pretty sure he’s secretly the one responsible for the “Gentrification is the new colonialism” tag throughout the neighborhood.

Written by Genna Rivieccio