Zoë Donnellycolt was raised in an activist family in rural Connecticut; her parents run a 43-year-old company that distributes antiwar and anti-racist bumper stickers and paraphernalia. They taught her that diversity is the lifeblood and strength of the country. It was mostly an abstract lesson, as almost everybody Donnellycolt knew growing up was white. Moving to a three-bedroom duplex in West Oakland forced her “to figure out how to be a strong anti-racist ally,” which can be a messy, confusing process.
>“I’m not going to be like, ‘Hey Annette, let’s be friends!,’ because that’s fake,” she says, sitting across the table from Miller on a spring morning. “You don’t know me, you don’t need to trust me. Especially because I’m white. I’m like, ‘No, don’t trust me. People like me do bad things.’”
>Donnellycolt, a dancer who cobbles together her $703 rent by working seven different part-time jobs, has had long conversations with her roommates about their complicated role in the neighborhood. “We’re the first round of gentrifiers,” she says. “We aren’t the people building the developments, but we are the people who are paving the path for other white people to come into this neighborhood.” It’s not a particularly comfortable role for Donnellycolt to assume, but she does take solace in knowing that her building is owned by an African American whose parents bought it in 1963.
>She would like to be more active in the neighborhood, perhaps by teaching dance classes, but with all those jobs it’s hard to find any extra time. “My schedule looks like a fucking mess,” she says. The community she has found is with the broader dance scene in the Bay Area, filled with risk takers and explorers. “My queer identity—it makes sense that I came out here in the Bay and not back in the country.”
Lisa Bird had lived in Oakland for three decades—first Rockridge, then the hills of Redwood Heights, where the schools were solid, the streets quiet. But after her kids moved out and she separated from her husband, Bird was looking for a change. Her daughter hung out with a crew of skaters that often went to the skate park in de Fremery Park, which had once served as a grocery distribution spot for the Black Panthers. “Mom, you should really go check out West Oakland,” she said. “It’s really cool—you would like it.”
>Bird had put in offers for homes elsewhere but always got beat, so in the summer of 2015, she drove around the neighborhood. “The first time through, I didn’t know if I could live here,” she says. But after spending a few days checking it out, she noticed that people had a way of hanging around in their front yards, chatting and relaxing. Neighbors seemed to know each other. Folks said hi when they passed her on the street. There was a vibrancy, and variety, that was lacking in the hills.
>A few days after closing on the house, she visited the property with her ex-husband, a masonry contractor, to see what work needed to be done. As they stood out front, three young men walked up, and one of them “pulled out a big-ass, scarier-than-shit gun.” The man pressed it to the neck of Bird’s ex while another held a gun on Bird. “For half a second I thought they were going to kill him,” she says. Then she realized the men only wanted their stuff. They handed over their keys and wallets, and the men departed.
>“My family just flipped,” she says. They tried to convince her to move, but Bird stayed put. “The gun in the head was like, ‘This is our neighborhood, lady. All you white people who are moving in here are taking over, but right now this is still our neighborhood.’ It was just a welcome to the neighborhood.”
>welcome to the neighborhood
Alright look I have lived in the Bay Area for my entire life, went to college here and got my first job. There is a strong misunderstanding for why the Bay is so fucked.
People born in the Bay Area either fall into the black hole of leftism, or like me become jaded and try to find a way out. The key word here is try. Much like other major cities (New York, LA, Atlanta, Boston), "the Bay" is infested with liberals and is staunchly run by democrats who enable niggers, spics and Gay people. The thing is the bay area actually has a problem no one else in america (maybe Seattle) has: water problems.
Here's what I mean. In bay area there is the fucking bay in the middle of the landscape, which forces all of the major cities, companies and HOUSING to pick a side of the bay to locate. What this does is that it creates a geographic limitation for everyone who lives there. You can't just "move away" from the problem without ruining your personal life and free time.
If you work in San Francisco, you can't live there as it has the highest rent in the US, the most gays and is leftism heaven. The solution in the 70s was to live in Daly City for affordable living and christian values. Then more nigs and leftists showed up and raised housing prices due to demand. So your next option was to move to Palo Alto in the south bay. Then the tech world started in Mountain View, so now Santa Clara County (the county that houses Apple, Google, Facebook, Adobe, and all the tech giants) has the second highest average rent in the US.
So where do you go? The east bay (where I live). Now with the H1B visa system and tech constantly expanding, Alameda county (which houses oakland and other tech giants like workday, Kaiser permanente, abbott, clorox, etc) is now the 5th highest average rent in the US and is infested with poo in loos.
So where do you go now? You can't go to the north bay, thats where all the rich people fled too. Places like Marin county have an insanely high house value and is the only strong white stronghold left in the bay. Across the bay but in the northern areas is richmond, oakland, berkeley and el cerrito. I don't think I need to describe how hellish these places are.
So now where do you go? Tracy or Napa? Have fun with the farmers, gang violence or fires that burnt down one of the last remaining affordable white places in the bay.
So where do you go now? YOU CAN'T. BEYOND THIS YOU HAVE A 2 HOUR ONE-WAY DRIVE TO WORK AND YOU WILL BE WORKING 10 HOURS A DAY TO PAY RENT. THIS MEANS THAT YOU CAN'T DO ANYTHING BESIDES WORK, DRIVE AND SLEEP. If you want to actually rent without roommates or, fuck, BUY YOUR OWN HOUSE anywhere near the bay: you can't.
The thing with this gentrification is that it removes one problem but exacerbates another. It removes niggers and spics, but leaves rich daddy's girls and asians. It creates a liberal hell-hole with unaffordable rent prices and housing prices. You can't afford it unless you're a sorority girl who rode the cock carousel in college and now lives off daddy's trust fund, or you're a chink that can buy anything because you work in tech and your parents live with you. That isn't a joke. The indians and asians who come to the bay actually share a house with their entire family. I live next to an indian family who's mom and dad work in tech, their grandparents live in the house, the cousins live in the house, and who's children trash my yard near daily. There's 16 of them in a 3 bedroom house. This happens all the time with every asian family.
So you can't escape the leftism and minorities here. There is a giant body of water in the middle that prevents more buildings and a potential escape from the horrors. Because of the economy here, housing is scarce and rent prices are crazy high due to the concentration of all the tech and bio-tech companies.
As rent prices keep rising (gentrification), minorities get priced out and move onto the white folk in the outskirts of the bay. This divides us whites: either you get rich and find a rich white neighborhood in the north bay, or your run away from the bay for white areas that still have affordable housing. But there is a physical limit to the amount you can run away. Traffic is horrible, public transport is shit, and zoning laws prevent more high rises that are budget-focused. You just have to keep running.