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Without Scum, There Are Still Yuppies

Jose 2 Comments

A short note on yuppies:

Yes we get it. Young Urban Professionals. Upward mobility for (mostly) young white people wanting the best of everything. We get it: yuppies are more Wall Street conscious while hipsters are more charity conscious. We get it: they’re often the most biggest investors in urban art forms, including rap, slam poetry, and art. We also understand that the characteristics of a yuppie are broad enough that it’s far too ambiguous but any combination of yuppie / hipster characteristics will be met with disdain and spray paint against developing edifices all across any given metropolis. We don’t want them to die (well, most of us don’t). We understand; they’re people, too.

The rest of us urbanites aren’t letting up on yuppies and hipsters, though, and here’s why:

1) Yuppie-ism often invites more police and law enforcement to certain areas. Not that we hate the police per se, but why are poor communities only allowed to have better police enforcement when yuppies come in? Did we not pay taxes before or work hard enough for us to get real protection until we let developers gentrify our neighborhoods?

2) Yuppie-ism often means that mom-and-pop shops have to compete with multi-million (and billion) dollar corporations, which usually leads to …

3) Yuppie-ism often means that the flavor and unique characteristics of different neighborhoods get extricated in exchange for the safe, the sterile, and the monotonous, even when hipsters may preach about how they love the neighborhood and its flavor.

4) Yuppie-ism often drives the natives out of the neighborhood implicitly and not-so-indirectly with rent hikes, new buildings, and higher costs for groceries.

5) Yuppie-ism spends more time on Darfur than the South Bronx. It’s easier when people only look at some country as a distant problem than a train ride away.

6) Yuppie-ism, when confronted with said issue, is about preferring the “save the world” mentality as a measure of some guilt, but sometimes exacerbating the problem.

7) Yuppie-ism is when we see people jogging right across our neighborhoods that we helped build with our culture and and watching as the metaphor for this government-aided invasion punctures holes in us, deflating any possibility that we can have a nice neighborhood without it changing too much.

So the beef isn’t with yuppies / hipsters themselves. It’s with what they bring with them. They don’t really care to look at their shadows, where some of these evils lurk.

jose, who definitely read that New York Magazine article, and wondered this aloud …

About Jose Vilson

José Luis Vilson is a math educator, blogger, speaker, and activist. For more of my writing, buy my book This Is Not A Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education, on sale now.

Jose VilsonWithout Scum, There Are Still Yuppies

Comments 2

  1. e.

    i feel this. having just moved to bedstuy and slowly but surely seeing more white kids (let’s drop the code for now) on skateboard and white babies, which is the sign that gentrification is well on it’s way. it’s funny my friend was asking something similar the other day. we are young, well educated and financially stable (i mean as stable as you can be these days), why is it when we move into the neighborhood it doesn’t improve but when out white peers move in, the neighborhood becomes starbucks central? whomp whomp.

    e.s last blog post..No Help for Single Fathers

  2. John

    The anti-yuppie thing is just racism at its worst. whites move in and there is a backlash because the area is SAFER and the real estate is worth MORE? Maybe the natives need to grow up and get better jobs (like the rest of the world) and quit robbing and selling drugs, so you don’t have to live on the edge, waiting for things to “improve” so it screws you over. if you hate it when it’s safer than the ghetto, you love the ghetto and should never complain. get it?

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