Shitpost Letters Now In Print
It began innocently enough with this letter from an upset black resident of Brewerytown who is sick of all the whites around her.
Whites taking over Brewerytown
As a longtime resident of the Brewerytown section of Philadelphia, I have seen the changes in the neighborhood due to gentrification (“Bitterness brewing,” Tuesday).
All of those changes have not been positive. I have no real issue with whites moving into urban areas, except for two things.
First, these folks are given tax abatements to live in lofts and townhouses, while long-term residents’ property taxes steadily increase. I could care less about Caucasians living in the “hood,” but I don’t wish to pay for their existence.
Second, the influx of whites has resulted in bitterness because the whites have shown no respect to those who have lived in the community long before most of them were even born. They prance around the neighborhood as if they OWN it and look upon the African Americans as if we are the interlopers.
— Linda D. Bryant, Philadelphia
Today the Inquirer found a done-teaf response to Linda Bryant, with this:
Whites make Brewerytown better
In response to the letter, “Whites taking over Brewerytown” (Friday), these “Caucasians” moving in are the best thing that could happen to any “hood.” They are certainly not moving in to start drug-dealing, gang-operated businesses. Also, I guarantee they won’t be terrorizing or praying on the elderly to rob them.
Are residents not looking forward to property values increasing and a cleaner and safer neighborhood?
But what made me chuckle the most, is the ridiculous statement that the whites’ existence should not be funded through tax abatements. These law-abiding Caucasians have been funding the black community since their existence. It’s people who dislike change who cause a racial divide. Nobody does more prancing in the neighborhood as though they own it than members of the black community.
— Vito D’Agotino, Blackwood, firstname.lastname@example.org
I like how the Inquirer took care to print Vito’s email address so everyone can flame him with hate mail.
When I covered zoning meetings in Point Breeze, which the Inquirer never cared about, the tensions and the insane things people would say at those meetings were many magnitudes worse than what was printed here. A few long-term residents would complain about “the Mexicans” taking the construction jobs. And the weird pitbull phobia, and of course the anti-Semitism. Accompanied with those stories I wrote over the years covering those zoning cases were some of the most inane community flyers I have ever seen.
Apparently the Inquirer has decided to go down the Philadelinquency route and try my tack in Brewerytown, where the speed of redevelopment it at a snail’s pace compared to the Breeze.
As far as meta-commentary goes—what is there to say? Some people are going to be racist about real-estate investing and that’s never going to change. Linda Bryant’s comments focusing solely on the race of her new neighbors aren’t helpful to her own gripes or inspirational as lessons to take for others. Neither is Vito’s response. I’ve seen more differences of opinion coming together in the grandstands at Flyers games.
Hats off to the Inquirer’s OpEd team who’s picking these baited letters to run for the click-share and CPCs. Just remember this: Philadelinquency did this better and did it first. Have fun, kids.