Gentrification Is Cultural Genocide

RECEIVED Mon., May 28, 2012

Dear Editor,
    Re: “The Ghosts of Developers Past” [News, May 25]: In the 1920s, my parents, grandparents, and many other Mexican-Americans were relocated to East Austin from their old neighborhood in west Downtown. In the 1940s, my family moved to Rainey Street, which soon became predominately Mexican. In the 1980s we were cheated out of our property by a greedy, conniving land speculator/developer. He razed our entire block. Then came Smart Growth, and Downtown "renewal" plans to push the poor completely out of the Downtown area. It seems that success and happiness for companies and elitist entrepreneurs has always meant poverty and misery for natives; their dreams came at our expense! Where's the integrity and praiseworthiness in such achievements? Our community is losing its rich, colorful culture, its traditions and family unity. To us, gentrification is cultural genocide!
Anita Quintanilla
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