October 11, 2017

STOP THEM BEFORE THEY PAINT AGAIN: Destroying the Neighborhood to Save It.  When whites leave for the suburbs, it’s racist “white flight.” When they return, it’s racist too, even if they’re fellow lefties whose art promotes the correct social-justice themes. In the finest tradition of the Cultural Revolution, activists are driving art galleries out of the Boyle Heights district near downtown Los Angeles because they might actually improve the Latino neighborhood. They’ve have been harassing the owners with protests, racial taunts, boycotts and vandalism. One gallery was spray-painted with the lovely inclusive message of “Fuck White Art.” Latino artists at the galleries are denounced as “coconuts” — brown on the outside, white on the inside.

In City Journal, Kay Hymowitz reports on the horrible crime of converting a vacant building, formerly a piano warehouse, into a gallery and performance space named 356 Mission:

The artists and gallery owners suddenly found themselves in the same enemy camp as destroyer billionaires like Starbucks founder Howard Schultz, or even President Trump. (One protest flyer read: “Donald Trump is a Developer and so is 356 Mission.”) For the anti-gentrification protestors, art galleries are by definition capitalist enterprises, and thus enemies of “the community.”

One of the major local activist groups calls itself The Boyle Heights Alliance Against Artwashing and Displacement (BHAAD). “Artwashing” refers to artists, arts organizations, and their corporate sponsors who, unwittingly or not, rebrand and upscale—i.e., gentrify—low-income neighborhoods. (The related term“pinkwashing” refers to gay newcomers to those neighborhoods, who cause wine bars and dog groomers to come snooping for real estate.)  BHAAAD was not interested in compromise with their presumptive political comrades. “[A]ll new art galleries [should] immediately leave Boyle Heights,” the group announced on Facebook.“Those buildings should be utilized by our community members the ways we best see fit which may be converting them into emergency housing, shelters, or centers for job training.”

So it’s basically a bunch of thugs making a real-estate grab.


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