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Comment Archives: stories: News & Opinion: Seven Days

Re: “Oakland's Culture Clash

Libby Schaaf is ridiculed for good reason: "secret sauce" is a lame expression for dealing with the complex reality that is Oakland.

"Secret" on the other hand is a perfect word for Schaaf's administration which has offered no plans for dealing with Oakland's real problems taking care of our most deprived citizens. Those are not the people who participate in the art or culture scene or who dine at expensive, trendy restaurants.

They are people who are subject to violence on a daily basis, whether from their neighbors or the police, whose children don't do well in school and whose needs for family support are not recognized in any meaningful way by city hall.

Oakland has no plans or other programmatic approaches to improving public safety, for providing the ten or fifteen thousand jobs required for adequate employment for the now-unemployed or -underemployed, for dealing with the downsides of gentrification or for providing affordable housing for those who are being displaced.

"Secret sauce" indeed.

Posted by Hobart Johnson on 10/15/2015 at 11:17 AM

Re: “Oakland's Culture Clash

How do you plan on forcing us out Cynthia? You're obviously a very hate filled person. I honestly feel bad for you.

People like Cynthia are examples of how the hyperbole and rhetoric in Oakland has gotten out of control. You know how you avoid so called "displacement" in Oakland? Encourage your city council members to provide incentives for real estate development. We don't have enough housing inventory in the city, that is why the existing supply is being stretched and rents are going up. If you want to be mad at somebody, be mad at your elected officials for not doing their part to add to housing inventory in Oakland. In addition to that Cynthia, maybe learn a little bit about real estate and economics and leave your hatred at the door. The things you say and your hateful attitude makes you just as bad of a neighbor as those that you seem to hate so much.

Posted by Jack Fitz on 10/15/2015 at 9:11 AM

Re: “Oakland's Culture Clash

Cynthia Cornelius sums it all up for me.

I read an assumption that all gentrifiers are white. What a loose term - is it the land buyer, the builder, the regulator, the new home buyer, the new renter? All of the above?

If they "display" white privilege then they will be "forced" to return to where they came from.

Exactly how will they be forced to go back to where they came from? Who will force them?

That is on the edge of a threat of violence. A new kind of welcome mat to use in Oakland when people you don't like (or behave in a way you don't like) come to town.

Posted by Michael Good on 10/15/2015 at 8:12 AM

Re: “Oakland's Culture Clash


Hands-on Design Workshop
Monday, October 19, 2015
The Rotunda Building @ 6 PM 300 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza Oakland, CA 94612

Open Design Studio
October 20-27, 2015
@ 1544 Broadway, Oakland CA
SPUR Offices
9 AM – 8 PM (Tues. & Thurs.)
9 AM – 6 PM (all other days)
To request interpretation services, a sign language interpreter, or any disability accommodation, please contact us 5 days prior to the meeting date. Alicia Park
er: 510-238-3362 or aparker@oaklandnet.
Para solicitar servicios de interpretación, póngase en contacto 5 días
antes del evento.
無須預先留座。若要求英語以外的其他語 言口譯服務,請至少於會議日期之前五天聯絡。
Share your ideas online:…

Posted by Lonnie Lee on 10/15/2015 at 7:20 AM

Re: “Oakland's Culture Clash

Please patron the arts. SHOW UP, bring your neighbors/friends/co-workers to the Plan Downtown Oakland charrettes next week! Make some noise, be heard loud and clear. Tell the City of Oakland how important cultural arts and social diversity is to the fabric and identity of our city. Be firm, be committed to creating policies that protect affordable housing, rent control, cultural art institutions and art businesses, youth advocacy institutions, libraries, churches, job training programs amidst managed limits on development. Read details here:…

Posted by Lonnie Lee on 10/15/2015 at 7:10 AM

Re: “Oakland's Culture Clash

Thank you for this article. If the gentrifiers do not stop their blatant and arrogant display of white privilege and entitlement, they will be forced to return to SF OR WHEREVER THEY CAME FROM! #wewillnotberanoutofoakland

Posted by Cynthia Cornelius on 10/15/2015 at 5:27 AM

Re: “Oakland's Culture Clash

I would like to point out that the only folks engaging in "race baiting" and who are actually, playing the so called, "race card" also appear to be anti, someone who is more likely anti-gentrification then anti, anti-gentrification, I would like to say that white people moving to Oakland is not the "issue," despite what new Oakland commenters on this thread are charging. Victim much? White people moving to Oakland is the symptom of the problem. It may seem like a small nuance to the newcomers reading this thread but there is actually a huge difference between an issue and its symptom. And I'm sorry, I know no one likes being singled out as symptom... Real Oaklanders know, color may matter but the color that matters the most, especially in the new Oakland is please can we all now just get along and figure out where all these new people... White, Purple or otherwise are supposed to go and where we are going to put the current Oaklanders, whatever their color, that want to stay...and find a spot for another Wholefoods close to Steve's place.

Posted by Chanty Nok on 10/14/2015 at 6:25 PM

Re: “Oakland's Culture Clash

Michael Good: It is hypocritical to complain about Jihan McDonald's syntax and credibility while misquoting her. If you're going to allegedly repeat what someone says or writes using quotation marks, which you twice do, the text contained between those marks needs to actually contain something the person said or wrote.

Posted by Tommy Katz on 10/14/2015 at 5:42 PM

Re: “Oakland's Culture Clash

Jihan McDonald comments make it seem as if McDonald is a little mixed up between "Cause and Effect."

McDonald states the the gentrifiers " are white precisely because they are able to access an unequitable amount of the resources available to everybody, because politicians prioritize their success....."

Magic! Now we know how they became white!

Notwithstanding the syntax, the writer gets to it - "we don't like the white people coming to town because they bring unfairly obtained resources and power."

Thank you for making my point better than I could. Painting all of these terrible gentrifiers with a broad brush of bad intent and ill gotten gains. "We don't want their dirty money in this town and we know their money is dirty because they are white........"

It is not terribly credible for the current members of the community to express pride in the cultural and ethnic diversity and progressiveness of the community with this type of attitude of no change and no one is welcome unless they pass the skin test. We are all individuals and this type of typecasting of each one of the people that move to town reeks of bigotry.

Posted by Michael Good on 10/14/2015 at 5:16 PM

Re: “Oakland's Culture Clash

Moby Dick, Jihan is right. Your response is degrading. I'm white, moved here 21 years ago, but I know my history.

Posted by Ann Barnett on 10/14/2015 at 5:12 PM

Re: “Oakland's Culture Clash

Just a observation from someone who has lived in East Oakland for over 60 years.
It would appear to me that the large and continuing replacement of African American residents in Oakland by "newcomers", is according to the census, more attributable to newly arriving people of color than it is to new techies who are mostly white.
I think any study of the US census figures will bear that out.
North Oakland isn't the only place changing.
It seems that when highlighting the situation, that everyone leaves out the entire swath of Oakland from Lake Merritt to the San Leandro border.
I guess it isn't politically correct to observe that type of "newcomer" and the impact it is having.
More narrow band journalism...seeing and reporting only that which fits the chosen story line.
And lets not even begin to talk about employee/job replacement, which leads to housing re-population.

Posted by Dan de'Data on 10/14/2015 at 5:10 PM

Re: “Oakland's Culture Clash

I wish the author and subsequent commenters would just be honest about what they really mean. "Newcomer" = white person. It doesn't matter whether that white person was born and raised in Oakland, or moved here yesterday. The coded language is a misguided attempt to camouflage a race issue as something else. Let's just get it all out in the open, people.

I suppose I am one of these so-called "newcomers" because I am white. And I've only lived in Oakland for a decade. So let me tell you what this "newcomer" thinks about your assessment: I have never once called in a noise complaint; I call the police only when I hear gun shots, witness an actual crime, or have had my house broken into; I use nextdoor to connect with neighbors and have never reported a black person acting suspicious in any case other than the one who was standing uninvited in my kitchen after climbing through the window; I moved here because it was the only place in the Bay Area I wanted to live - and it was the combination of attitude/vibe, affordability, weather, size that appealed to me. I have never lived in San Francisco and never wanted to.

I am one of those horrid tech people that theoretically don't exist in Oakland - according to the commentaries on recent Uber articles, tech companies moving to Oakland couldn't possibly be providing jobs for people like me who already live here, so they'll just attract more newcomers (i.e. white people) to come in and destroy Oakland. Oh, and while we're talking about destroying Oakland, I would say that yes I am hell bent on remaking Oakland, and have been since I moved here. That takes the form of: patronizing pretty much every new restaurant that opens within a 10 mile radius of Lake Merritt; voting for leaders that are pragmatic and results-oriented; voting in favor of parcel taxes and other funding initiatives for schools and other neighborhood improvements; paying the city for permits so that I can improve my home; picking up trash; attending street fairs and First Friday and other cultural events; visiting the parks AND ACTUALLY PAYING for parking to support them; shopping Oakland first whenever possible. I want this city to thrive. I know some people think a thriving Oakland means there will be no more room or resources for the poorest among us. I fervently hope this isn't true, and believe that it's possible to improve Oakland for everyone, not just the wealthy.

Thank you East Bay Express for presuming to speak for me (because I know you and all the other anti-gentrification ranters are talking about me and my ilk when you talk about newcomers) and then insulting me repeatedly. Funny, I don't remember anyone complaining about us newcomers back when I actually WAS a new Oaklander.

Posted by Lovica Callisti on 10/14/2015 at 4:16 PM

Re: “Oakland's Culture Clash

Looks like I hit a nerve. Someone doesn't like being reminded of their history. Big surprise. Lets just go back all the way, and call it what it really is, Huichin.

Posted by Chanty Nok on 10/14/2015 at 3:37 PM

Re: “Oakland's Culture Clash

Looks like Chanty has a little crush on me and is following everything I say. Sorry- I already have a partner but you are free to keep your crush on me. While we are on the topic of history- yes my neighborhood is Clinton, any Google search of my address brings up a map showing that name of my neighborhood. And if you want to go back further in time the entire area east of Lake Merritt was called the Brooklyn Township, before it was annexed by Oakland. It's why there is a Brooklyn Basin and the Brooklyn Basin Project that is starting to be developed. Everything else you rambled on about is your issues. To read more about The Brooklyn Township -

Posted by Steve Kopff on 10/14/2015 at 3:10 PM

Re: “Oakland's Culture Clash

Steve, Its hard to take you seriously especially, regarding advice on not being "mistaken." In August in the Wine & Bowties comments section, you insisted that you lived in the "Clinton" neighborhood and further insisted that there is no Funktown. Even more arrogant, you insisted that Funktown is a derogatory term. Maybe if you're a real estate agent. To the people who survived the era living and working in said neighborhood its a badge of honor for residents who survived the deliberate government neglect and historical consequences of being stuck on the wrong end of the red lining, colonizing, social justice stick but whatev you're here now and here to stay. What is history anyways??? You also said that your neighborhood was a food dessert when you arrived there. It wasn't! You also said International Ave and all of the associated Asian & Latino grocers are not in "your neighborhood" despite the fact that Clinton Park, from whence the name came, is located, you guessed it, on International Blvd. Me thinks it has more to do with you wanting a Whole Foods and your feelings of being above shopping at an ethnic grocer. Have long held bigoted views led you believe that the grocer's foods, like their patrons are inferior and beneath you in some way? Steve I don't think you can be trusted to know the difference between "our children" and a "horde of invading foreigners" so let me help you. Our children are the ones being displaced and whose use of public spaces is being overly regulated for the benefit of the few, your children would appear to be the displacers with urban homesteading dreams and parental financing to boot. If the two groups of "children" were equal, then ours wouldn't be being displaced to make room for yours. Socially fragile and neglected folks fleeing government and social disenfranchisement and those seeking freedom from the rule of the financial elites and corporate entities in their home communities are still welcome in the Town! And to Moby Dick, who says poor people don't work hard? Word on the street is that they not only work but in most cases work 2-3 jobs but are guess, what? Still poor! Guess you just moved here. You know what working all the time and still needing "handouts" used to be called. Slavery was it, and in nicer instances involuntary servitude and today we call it American peonage???

Posted by Chanty Nok on 10/14/2015 at 2:45 PM

Re: “Oakland's Culture Clash

This comment was removed because it violates our policy against anonymous comments. It will be reposted if the commenter chooses to use his or her real name.

Posted by Editor on 10/14/2015 at 2:27 PM

Re: “Oakland's Culture Clash

michael good "They just happen to be able to afford more." is part of the problem, its actually really THE problem. the problem is that there's no "happen" about it. its not a coincidence, its the predictable outcome of a social sructure that prioritizes whiteness and the well being of white people over that of others. the majority of gentrifiers, gentrifiers being people moving into the city with economic gain in mind, are white precisely because they are able to access an unequitable amount of the resources available to everybody, because politicians prioritize their success while neglecting black & brown people and our "justice" system plays its part by criminalizing non-white people for the same kinds of behaviors the average white person can expect to get away with. to say this just "happens" is to not understand the full socio-political force that is gentrification whether it has racial implications or not. any scholar would tell you that gentrification is an outcome of socio-economic policy and nothing remotely close to a coincidence.

Posted by Jihan McDonald on 10/14/2015 at 1:51 PM

Re: “Oakland's Culture Clash

The real tragedy is that a very high number of suspects in Oakland crimes are described as Black (this figure remains even for crimes committed in mostly White neighborhoods).

Since the housing crisis is not limited to Oakland, a more pragmatic approach would be to develop a regional solution. Why people think City leaders have the power to reverse a trend experienced in the entire Bay Area is beyond me...

Posted by John Blankenship on 10/14/2015 at 1:11 PM

Re: “Oakland's Culture Clash

The struggles of a changing city are nothing new to the Bay Area or other cities. We seem to forget history and repeat it.

"It appears to me that you are in danger of making a very fundamental mistake concerning both your own identity and that of the young people who are coming to us. They are not some horde of invading foreigners. They are our children, yours and mine, exercising their right to move freely about a country which will soon be very much their own.

You for your part are not some select group of medieval chieftains who can, at will, close up your town and withdraw behind the walls of your own closed society. The City of St. Francis deserves better from you. Whether we like or dislike, agree or disagree with the 'Hip' community is not the issue here. The issue is whether you can by fiat declare a minority unwelcome in our community. If you declare against these young people today, what minority is going to bear the brunt of your discrimination tomorrow?"

– Haight Ashbury Assemblyman Willie Brown, 1967…

Posted by Steve Kopff on 10/14/2015 at 1:04 PM

Re: “Oakland's Culture Clash

Thanks Bob for this and I wish all the folks who are moving in would take the energy to VOLUNTEER somewhere in our community. Every school, rec center, arts non-profit, food bank who has been working for years to make Oakland better can use your help by donating $ and/or better yet your time. This blog still is the best on the theme I think:…

Posted by Karen Hester on 10/14/2015 at 11:59 AM

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