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Meek Mill, Gentrification And How Racism Soon Follows

Rapper Meek Mill believes vandalism of his Grandmother’s home is indicative of gentrification-fueled racism. 

Rapper Meek Mill has had his ups and downs on the streets and in the music industry. But he appears to have emerged from his most recent prison stint, over a conviction that was later deemed as unconstitutional and even vengeful by some, with a new take on race relations and prison reform in America.

The renowned psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud was once quoted as saying ‘Sometimes, a cigar is just a cigar’ when asked to consider the conscious and unconscious thoughts that lead to a particular action.

On Tuesday, Meek Mill took to Twitter to speak about an incident in which a white male was caught on video spray painting graffiti Meek believes is “referencing white privileged” words or phrasing.

Curiously, the very first comment below Meek’s initial tweet was from a white dude “correcting” the emcee saying South Philly was Italian then, only to be corrected by a brother who reminds the first commenter that Graduate Hospital was actually in Southwest Philly.  That part is apropos to demonstrate how whenever a black person in this country wants to speak out on their experiences, here comes a white dude trying to “correct” them. Dear white people who might be reading this, WE DON’T LIKE THAT.

Meek Mill on Twitter

A white man sprayed a racial remarks on my Grandmom’s house last night in south philly referencing white Privileged…. the crazy part is this was a all black neighborhood 20 years ago It was gentrified and now this! Just don’t let us catch you coward! T… https://t.co/ieIA61NUyY

The word “ACORN” was discovered to have been spray-painted on various other buildings in the Graduate Hospital section of Philadelphia according to CBS News in Philly.

In the works of Paul Laurence Dunbar, Billie Holiday and Jean Toomer, trees used for lynchings were horrifyingly constant reminders to survivors of their station in society.

According to multiple sources, the oak tree is held in high regard among adherents to white supremacists who lionize the failed rebellion of the Confederate South. The connection? Acorns grow into trees for lynching if allowed to do so.

Meek stated in his initial Twitter response to the vandalism reflects how the demographics of his neighborhood have changed over the past 20 years, with gentrification and the incoming of more white folks to the area.

Though it’s impossible to tell for certain whether or not the instance was racist, I’ve also learned not to take it lightly when a brother says something is racist. That goes especially so in the instance of Meek, who it appears has had a harsh awakening as to the realities of racism during his most recent stint in corrections.

The world itself seems rather innocuous, but black folks be knowin’, even when we think we don’t, we do!

So the term ACORN might signify something totally different than what Meek and others are saying it means. But, with the manner in which the country is divided by current political mechanisms, there’s certainly a probability that this white male spray painting homes in a historically black neighborhood are a mere vandal.

Back to Freud, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. Back to reality, sometimes it isn’t. I understand the consternation being exhibited by Meek and like-minded individuals but it’s also necessary to avoid reactionary verbiage and behavior.

However, like it or not, where white folks go, racism tends to follow. Only time will tell if that’s the case in this particular paradigm.

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