Editorial: Palm Springs bulldozed a Black neighborhood. Compensate survivors and victims now.
The latest news out of Palm Springs demonstrates that the Trump administration’s attack on immigrant communities is not only about white privilege, but also a racist effort to turn what was once a predominantly white resort into an immigrant-free zone.
While I am a white woman who was brought to Palm Springs because there were no decent housing options in the city and my parents were struggling to afford housing in the area, the city’s policy of attacking the Black community—along with destroying historic or culturally significant structures—is a direct attack on the very people who most people on the left care about. Black people, particularly those who lived in Palm Springs who were displaced from their homes and whose properties were bulldozed, are the very people who are most likely to see the destruction of their historical properties.
In the first weeks of 2016, I went with my mom to visit with friends. We went to the former home of the Palm Springs Star News, which was a significant gathering point for the Black community, that is now a crime scene strewn area of trash, broken glass and abandoned cars on the street.
Then we went to the site of the Sun Valley Resort Hotel, which was once a white man’s haven to come play golf and drink and party with his friends. Over time, it also became a gathering place for people of color to meet for socializing, with art and hip-hop.
When the community decided it was time for the site to be redeveloped, local officials bulldozed it. The developers, at the time led by a former city council member and a billionaire who was friends with Trump, planned on tearing down a portion of the site.
At the time, I was a college student and worked as a full-time professional writing for a political candidate’s campaign. I was deeply disturbed and outraged, and I felt powerless to do anything about it.
However, my mom went to the site and spoke with the developer, who was there to look at the property and to negotiate the potential development. They made some promises that, in the end, were the cause of significant conflict between the Palm Springs