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Monday, December 06, 2021

NYT publishes a racist screed

Erin Aubry Kaplan is a journalist and author who grew up in the South Central section of Los Angeles and nearby Inglewood. She doesn't want any white people moving to Inglewood. She is OK with Latinos moving in.

But white people, stay out.

She doesn't want white people coming into her neighborhood with their white people ways and their white people's food and their white people smell.

In a column in the New York Times, Kaplan wrote of building "one of those little free-standing library boxes that dot lawns in bedroom communities around the country."

Her reasoning behind the friendly library was rather unfriendly.

She wrote, "Why not? A library is not so much a marker of wealth and whiteness as it is an affirmation of community and cozy, small-town camaraderie that Inglewood, a mostly black and Latino city in southwestern Los Angeles County, has plenty of. We deserved no less.

"Pre-pandemic, Inglewood was gentrifying, another reason I’d been inspired to do the library: I wanted to signal to my longtime neighbors that we had our own ideas about improvement, and could carry them out in our own way."

Gentrification means white people moving in.

Liberals never quite say that, but it is what they mean.

Stick to your own kind.

She wrote, "one morning, glancing out my front window, I saw a young white couple stopped at the library. Instantly, I was flooded with emotions — astonishment, and then resentment, and then astonishment at my resentment. It all converged into a silent scream in my head of, Get off my lawn!

"The moment jolted me into realizing some things I’m not especially proud of. I had set out this library for all who lived here, and even for those who didn’t, in theory. I would not want to restrict anyone from looking at it or taking books, based on race or anything else. But while I had seen white newcomers to the neighborhood here and there, the truth was, I hadn’t set it out to appeal to white residents."

She is like a Klansman putting up a basketball hoop and watching a black player show up.

Oh the horror!

She wrote, "By bringing this modern cultural artifact here from white neighborhoods, had I set myself up, set up the neighborhood? Was I contributing to gentrification and sending the wrong message about how I wanted the neighborhood to be?

"What I resented was not this specific couple. It was their whiteness, and my feelings of helplessness at not knowing how to maintain the integrity of a black space that I had created. I was seeing up close how fragile that space can be, how its meaning can be changed in my mind, even by people who have no conscious intention to change it. That library was on my lawn, but for that moment it became theirs. I built it and drove it into the ground because I love books and always have. But I suddenly felt that I could not own even this, something that was clearly and intimately mine."

Black space.

A lending library that is clearly and intimately hers.

She may be a nice lady, but she (or at least this column) is racist. I know, some of her best friends are white. 

Kaplan used long ago sins by long dead people against equally dead people to rationalize the hatred of white people she described in her column.

She wrote, "As the couple wandered on, no books in hand, I thought about how fragile my feeling of being settled is. It didn’t matter that I own my house, as many of my neighbors do. Generations of racism, Jim Crow, disinvestment and redlining have meant that we don’t really control our own spaces. In that moment, I had been overwhelmed by a kind of fear, one that’s connected to the historical reality of black people being run off the land they lived on, expelled by force, high prices or some whim of white people.

"One of the most famous examples of that displacement happened several miles south of Inglewood. Bruce’s Beach, a black-owned resort, once thrived along the coast of tony Manhattan Beach, until it was seized by eminent domain in 1924 by white city officials." 

Kaplan was not around 97 years ago.

Her hatred of white people is remarkably sad for a woman who is so accomplished in life.

I kept hoping for a happy ending, where she comes to grips with the fact that she views white people as a monolithic group whose sole purpose is to make her life miserable.

But she just kept on a-hating.

As I read her piece, I started hearing the Temptations singing, ""Ball of Confusion (That's What the World Is Today)."

People moving out, people moving in

Why, because of the color of their skin

Run, run, run but you sure can't hide

Kaplan ended her piece, "My little library, affirming as it is, is also an illusion; it can’t save our neighborhood. Still, in 2021, it has become increasingly important to maintain and grow black space, on its own terms. As I watched the white couple peruse my little library, the most complicated feeling of all was the brief, bittersweet satisfaction I took in watching them drawn to my lawn, and to my idea. It felt empowering and hopeful on the one hand, defeating on the other.

"So what message do I hope they took from my library? The same message I wanted to send to the rest of my neighbors, my community: Black presence has value — in every sense of the word, and on its own terms.

"That value should make the casual displacement of black people untenable, even immoral. And that will take much more than a little library to rectify." 

If you cannot handle having a white couple using a little library you set up, then maybe you have not matured as a person. Maybe you are the female black Archie Bunker who is hellbent on not living next door to a person of another color.

Whether she meant to or not, she made the segregationist's argument.