A Case for Joyful Gentrification in Brooklyn, New York
Photo: Jonathan Grado, Barista Wait
Just as the New World took shape after Native American communities shared their bounty with Christopher Columbus and his men, Brooklyn, New York has blossomed due to families with roots in gentrifying Brooklyn neighborhoods who have been taught the joyful act of sharing.
People who have lived with their families for generations in these neighborhoods just don't realize how lucky they are. Surrounded by the tasteless mom and pop businesses they built on sweat and tears, these people have been spoiled by affordable rent. People from gentrifying neighborhoods just don't realize the amount of potential wealth unknown to them. Similar to Hawaii, the Philippines, the African continent, and throughout the Americas, these communities are simply swarming with untapped riches, and people just need to be shown the way.
With gentrification, every day feels like the sacred holiday of Thanksgiving. Once upon a time, we saved heathens, and now we're saving the rest of the brown people by giving them access to American healthcare. Once upon a time, Columbus strengthened Native Americans' immune systems with the introduction of smallpox. Did a few people die along the way? Sure. But it was a sacrifice that needed to be made so that the fittest people would survive.
Today, gentrification is strengthening the health care system. People who live in poverty are at greater risk of getting illnesses than their wealthy neighbors. More quality health centers than ever before have popped up in gentrified neighborhoods, but how can hardworking gentrifiers use them when they're filled with poor people? The best way to solve this disparity is simply by pushing poor people out of their homes—after all, those people survived for generations without proper health care—wouldn't it be best to not boost their immune systems and make them accustomed to modern medicine?
Without the help of gentrification, food would be scarce. Poverty-rich neighborhoods have food deserts—areas where there aren't supermarkets within miles of a community—but since the arrival of gentrifying developers, or rather, New Age Pilgrims™, nutritious foods, coffee that drips from glass towers through repurposed, gently eroded pipes, and pet food made from prime cuts of Wagyu Rib Eye have been brought to the natives. Is all of this expensive? Sure. But it's time that all people—even poor people—used a little elbow grease to work for the American dream and show what they're made of.
Overall, gentrification is a gift that keeps on giving. It follows the American tradition of sharing started so long ago by Columbus. Never again in our lives will we have the opportunity to see so many overpriced, yet glorious, coffee shops.
Alameda Sky Chapman is a high school junior and is both an athlete on a row team and also a 2016-2017 Advice Project Media intern. She resides in Brooklyn, New York.