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Hipsters and Hoodrats
A Woman from Boston and the Color of Gentrification

It was a cookout in Baltimore County. There was some college type yuppie, hipster people there. She was from Boston. A pretty girl, on the thin side, shoulder-length brown hair, dress on. She was pretty, but had a real snarly attitude with me.

This was 2008-10, a function I was at with my wife, people she worked with. We were invited to this cookout. She was real bice but had an instant attitude with me and after a few drinks she asked me, “Why do you talk like a nigger?”

I said, “Sorry to offend you, but I guess it was my Baltimore accent.”

I suppose she thought, in her Bostonian ways that I was trying to talk like that, like I was black. I should of asked her why her titties weren’t two sizes bigger.

She did turn out to be a nice girl and I do give her points for throwing it out like that. She probably had more balls than the men she was there with.

The guy that was there with her was horrified, the blood drained out of his face.

The way black people are with their prejudice is different than what a lot of whites think they are. A lot of their black prejudices are “classism”. They want to hang out with that “cool-ass white boy” or that “bad motherfucker.” If you impress a black person, they want to be your friend. A good black man, like the old guy that had the shoe place on 25th and Harford his best friend is the white man because his own people rip him off, burglarize him, ask for credit—he extends it—and they don’t pay him back. You feel for a guy like that and can understand why a black person doesn’t want to do business with his own.

Years ago, my wife worked as a waitress and the black waitresses that worked there hated waiting on black people. The one black girl would tell the manager, “Please don’t give me all the black tables tonight.”

That shoes you a lot of this is about class, not race, either you got class or you don’t, no matter what color you are.

At that same gathering, I ran into this old hippie fucker who said he wrote that song Crimson and Clover during the ’68 riots and sold it to Tommy James and the Chandels. He was living at Sinclair and Belair and right after the riots those people were moving out.

Obviously a population clearance initiative.

The greatest debt a person can get into is buying a home. And our society is based on real-estate debt and keeping that real estate money flowing, so you want to keep money flowing. Think about the old row homes, dozens of renters—bad renters, destructive hoodrats—and they’re still standing a 120 years later. But these Mcmansions that I built in the late 90s, they aren’t going to be standing for 120 years.

These houses down in the city, where the neighborhood has gone to hell, you can pick up for 5 grand and dump 50K of work in them and then turn around and sell them from 250K to 500. I worked with one electrician who grew up in Canton and bought a home after World War Two for 7 grand, him [the grandson] and his wife went in and renovated this house and he got offers for a quarter million dollars sight unseen, not just a couple. The offers were rolling in all the time. Him and his wife liked it and moved in rather than sell it. But even he couldn’t believe that people wanted to pay this big money to live in a fourteen-foot-wide rowhome.

That is a hell of a mark-up. People are buying these houses up [at auction] and sitting on them, waiting for the market to change. Let the city move out the bad element to go fuck up someone else’s neighborhood and then you’ve got it made in the shade.

You got to keep that money flowing, keep people jumping.

When you have gentrification hit a neighborhood it’s a boom for people like me, getting work. I’m not a fan of gentrification, but I like the work, the contradiction of the whole thing gets to you. You hate to see what happens to some of these neighborhoods. Face it, you either have a bunch of hoodrats and it sucks or a bunch of hipsters that suck, instead of having a white and black community settling in to build a house, working people working, they need a place for the hoodrats to live and a place for the hipsters to play.

Welcome to Harm City, White-Boy

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