Appalled at anarchy column
I'm appalled at how willing your columnist Jason Combs was to admit he didn't give much insight when writing, “Gentrification, Part 3: The Anarchist.” He says “Never having ever given much serious thought to anarchism,” as if it isn't obvious by the state of the article he still hasn't tried.
The least he could have done was provide readers some genuine education on the topics at hand, but decided instead to quote Wikipedia, make vague and irrelevant pop culture references, and assert half-baked claims regarding anarchy and anarchists’ work to combat gentrification. Please, allow me to provide what Jason so egregiously and willingly excluded.
Anarchy does not inherently imply a lack of organization, rather, organization methods that promote autonomy and non-hierarchical methods of action and decentralized leadership through voluntary associations. These subgroups are often referred to within collectives as affinity groups. Subsidiary is specifically used to refer to businesses that operate top-down, where a parent business owns a company, corporation, or limited liability company. So YEAH, “words and their meanings ARE important.”
Resident associations do not generally facilitate the will of all the people in their neighborhood. Their associations are not inherently repressive, but the way they facilitate investment in their neighborhood to (ultimately) assert class power IS repressive. Using your power as a neighborhood association to bring in in outside investors who have the financial “freedom” to buy a home in a neighborhood they’re developing and call that being a local is repressive. But how could we expect any less from a writer discussing gentrification who’s also a member of the board of the neighborhood in question being gentrified as well as a landlord?
Combs asserted “The state is bad and should be dismantled,” with the uninformed, generalizing irony one would expect from a self-identified capitalist. If anything, government should exist to provide social services to minorities most affected by white supremacist capitalist society. Queer anarchy is intersectional, and anarchists who do not include the needs of their comrades who rely on social services are not working intersectionality to revolutionize our society.
Most non governmental social organizations work to provide what resources the government doesn’t—with the intent to build alternative support networks that operate without oppressive policing structures and state violence. The effects of gentrification, such as displacement, are just one of the many negative parts of capitalist society that anarchists have to combat by providing mutual aid.
“I believe caring for the marginalized and disadvantaged is something that a great society does, so the state should do that.” So I’d like to ask Jason: What are the public institutions and works of a great society? Reifying the white privatization of wealth with ethnic cleansing? Neglecting the basic needs of our communities to open hipster sock businesses? Incentivizing and taxing human decency? Do you really believe the state ultimately defines society? And in that case, what’s the point of anything we’re doing here? Oh, right. Making money.
In closing, I would like to thank your staff writer for all the work he put into channeling our three plus hours of dialogue into a poorly organized and shoddily construed propaganda piece. I guess that’s why he’s an opinion columnist and not a journalist.
Urbanist column appalls
I am writing to you today because after following the current series Jason Combs has been writing for Connect since November on Gentrification, I feel it is absolutely disgraceful Connect Savannah continues to associate with this person professionally.
Jason's gentrification series is abbrasive and shortcoming of any valid point of opinion other than he feels his degree gives him the wherewithal to subjugate large portions of this city's population.
His series also showcases misogyny through micro-aggression in his viewpoints of the people he is writing about. His writing also indicates he has no understanding of viewpoint other than his own and that those he is interviewing are less than in his own experience.
It is appalling to me that someone of this caliber has been given a platform to write and discuss city matters and opinion and uses it only to bash and ridicule and label and further marginalize the people of Savannah.
I can respect difference of opinion. What I do not respect is total blanketing of opinion because Jason has not adequately done his research.