Someday Black and Latino (NOT Latinx!) Angelenos Will Enjoy a Better Future...But Not Today!

THE DOCTOR IS IN - For the past 20 years I sought to meet the needs of all L.A. City and County residents with respect to transportation, affordable housing, jobs, and just plain being HEARD.

But with THIS L.A. Times, and with THIS L.A. City Council, and with THIS L.A. County Board of Supervisors, I doubt that black and Latino Angelenos--or, for that matter--Asian or White Angelenos, have had most of their needs met. 

In fact, they're probably farther away than ever...and for the same reasons that Latinos (once called Hispanics), who mostly do NOT use the term "Latinx" and really HATE that term, are treated differently than from other human beings.

Ditto for so many black and Asian residents in our region, who with an increasing desire to get rid of the damned hyphenations than define who they are simply because of their past ethnicity (and which is becoming ever more irrelevant with the increasing number of mixed marriages) want to just focus on the basics of life.

Worsening housing, utility, transportation and food/grocery costs are what are on the minds of every human being I've worked with in the realm of neighborhood councils, mass transit/transportation activism, and everyday care of my patients.

Not their ethnicity, and not their classifications--just the same issues that White Americans have faced for decades, and the same issues that every doggoned American has focused on just the same. 

Everyone is hurting because of the rent costs that gobble up by far too much of our paychecks (and all of us without homes are miserable in that regard). 

But the reason why the rent burden falls harder among black and Hispanic (is THAT a better word than that damned "Latinx" term?) Angelenos is that the SAME creepshow clowns decrying the plight of those individuals are the ones who promote overdevelopment, overburdening of our infrastructure, and rising everyday costs of living and who are gentrifying the Mid-City, traditionally Black neighborhoods.

Everyone of all ethnicities are paying over the 30% of their paychecks they're supposed to budget for rent. But if Sacramento and Downtown L.A. are the ones CAUSING the rents to go up whilst they decry the the very things THEY did...

...then NO ONE, including and especially Black and Hispanic Angelenos, will get ANYWHERE unless they flee to regions that are more affordable. 

As for the trope that Black and Latino renters are facing eviction and exclusion amid police crackdowns in California, the L.A. Times adds to the false narrative that Black and Latinos are fleeing high-crime neighborhoods as much as Whites and Asians.

And, of course, this crime issue leads to new individuals with a LOT of money taking over and gentrifying the traditionally Black neighborhoods because "making them more livable leads to pushing out the lower/middle income residents who want a safe neighborhood as much as anyone.

And as for gentrification in South L.A., during an era where ALL neighborhoods are seeing homes gobbled by folks with more money than God?

Well, it's the real estate trusts and foreign investors who are doing all that, and with NO comments about who the heck are coming into neighborhoods willing to make house sellers rich while making those houses unaffordable to everyday Joe/Jane Americans.

And it's all over the nation--and it's NOT a supply/demand issue...but the Times just won't talk about that.

So it's worthwhile to ask what the devil is going on with buying up homes with ridiculous offers in South L.A...

...but distracting ourselves from the issues at hand by our obsession about race and race identity.

We're all people, and we're all suffering...but the oversight and ultimate sources of the distraction of our region and nation are presiding over a nation who is being collectively told to "look over there!" while they stick their stilettos between our collective ribs just to gain more power and riches at our expense.


(Kenneth S. Alpern, M.D, is a dermatologist who has served in clinics in Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside Counties, and is a proud husband and father to two cherished children and a wonderful wife. He was termed out of the Mar Vista Community Council (MVCC) twice after two stints as a Board member for 8-9 years and is also a Board member of the Westside Village Homeowners Association. He previously co-chaired the MVCC Outreach, Planning, and Transportation/Infrastructure Committees. He was previously co-chair of the CD11 Transportation Advisory Committee, the grassroots Friends of the Green Line (which focused on a Green Line/LAX connection), and the nonprofit Transit Coalition, and can be reached at [email protected]. The views expressed in this article are solely those of Dr. Alpern.)