Ye hits new low with personally delivered hateful message to Black residents in Skid Row: Skid Row Responds
Kanyè came to the most economically deprived and abandoned corner of LA to dump his trash and tell a community of unhoused and marginally housed, as well as heavily-policed, Black people that White Lives Matter. Skid Row residents may not have the burgeoning bank book Ye holds but they have love for Black people, dignity and enough sense to run his WLM propagandist, littering crew, out.
Kanyè, Yè, or whatever you’re calling yourself today, please keep your uninformed, misguided, attention-seeking rhetoric and actions out of our community. We are incensed that you continue to make a mockery and political prop of Black Angelenos—you should know better. In other words, keep Skid Row out of your mouth!
Nowhere in this country does Black Lives Matter less than in Skid Row. In 1976 Skid Row was created as a containment zone to ensure housing and services for poor, predominantly Black Angelenos were sealed off from the rest of Los Angeles. In other words, a place to hide the violent outcomes of racialized segregation, redlining, racial covenants, de-industrialization, welfare reform, the introduction and devastation caused by crack cocaine, and the building of the world’s largest prison industrial complex to cage Black bodies. A place where no expectation of human rights, dignity, and respect was fully warranted.
The community, by state design, was meant to be a refugee camp or open-air carceral destination used to insinuate “personal choice” while evading structural and systemic responsibility. Amidst long-standing organized abandonment and, more recently, gentrification by largely well-heeled white people, leading to our banishment by death (1 in 5 houseless deaths per day), criminalization, or legislation like 41.18 an ordinance used to make illegal the act of existing while Black and houseless in Los Angeles. There is no more prominent example of white lives mattering at all costs at the expense of their Black neighbors.
Skid Row is a contemporary version of the “Tale of Two Cities,” playing out in real time, with borders erected by brute force and militarization and a more subtle surveillance infrastructure used to create what we’ve coined the “Dirty Divide.” Where the response to Black lives is lip-service, death and banishment, while white lives receive services, housing, and opportunity.
Amidst the sustained attempt to erase Black Skid Row, we’re still here. As our ancestors had to do, we’ve made the best out of absolutely nothing and have built a community like none other in Los Angeles. A place where arts and culture seed the resistance; where community creatively resource and prioritize health and wellness checks for the apparent gaps that come with organized abandonment; where power building and community organizing have exacted victories, led by Black people, that have made the entire city better; where Black women hold healing circles for Black women; and where our love for Black people can be lifted for all to see. Yes, Black Lives Matter here!
Hear Ye, Hear me: STAY OUT OF SKID ROW.