"We have staked the whole of all our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government, upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God." James Madison

Monday, July 24, 2006

Harlem to Clinton: you're ruining us

Gentrification since former president moved in sees rents rise by 100 per cent, forcing poor black families out.

By Nicholas Wapshott in New York
Published: 23 July 2006

the process of renewal and rebuilding accompanying the influx of middle-class or affluent people into deteriorating areas that often displaces earlier usually poorer residents).
(I had to look it up).

Bill Clinton's decision to site his office in the largely black Manhattan neighbourhood of Harlem, as a gesture of solidarity with African-Americans, appears to have backfired.

Dozens of angry blacks demonstrated last week outside the building that houses the former president's staff, claiming that his move had led to the gentrification of the area and increased the price of homes beyond their reach.

Mr Clinton's empathy with black Americans is well known. His humble family circumstances, as a penniless white boy raised among poor blacks in rural Arkansas, gave him a rare insight into the African-American community. It led to his being dubbed "Bubba", a term of affection among impoverished Southerners, and, without irony, "America's first black President".

But his move to Harlem, known as the Black Capital of America, has had unintended consequences. The protest march by 40 mainly elderly people to 125th Street was organised by the Harlem Tenants Council to protest at property prices, which have rocketed since Mr Clinton moved in.

Bubba was offered Monica's old flat when she went to Oxford, but he declined, saying he couldn't bare the memory of all the cigars she ruined, and she didn't even smoke!

Hat Tip: Jake