It’s not young, upwardly mobile college grads.
By Jerusalem Demsas, June 16, 2022
About the author: Jerusalem Demsas is a staff writer at The Atlantic.
One of the worst labels that can be applied to an upwardly mobile urban dweller is that of gentrifier. The word implies a lot—for one, that culpability in the broad phenomenon of neighborhood change can be assigned to individuals.
But given that the insult is often slung back and forth among members of the same yuppie class living in the same formerly affordable neighborhoods, it sometimes serves less to suggest that one’s housing choices have led to displacement of minority or low-income residents, and more to insinuate that one is insufficiently progressive.
On Twitter recently, quips by a couple of large accounts about how San Francisco had been ruined by tech millionaires spiraled into a fight among people of various shades of political opinion, from “extremely left wing” all the way to “very liberal,” about the evils of gentrification.
Inevitably, it devolved into a familiar argument over who really gets to speak for low-income people of color.