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  • Karen Edmond

Community Beaches + Gentrification = High Parking Prices & Civil Rights Iniquity.

Updated: Jul 18, 2022

Beaches along the shore are becoming not too family-friendly. In Asbury Park, some parking can be as high as $50 a day. Seven Presidents Park in Long Branch parking is as high as $30 a day, plus Long Branch Police are chasing Black citizens off the beach. Moreover, Keansburg Beach, a free accessible seashore, now has signs that no beach chairs are allowed on the premises.

Amid these non-family-friendly issues comes the question of why? Why are we experiencing these hassles in our quaint hamlets by the sea, and who's behind it? Is it the land-grabbing Kushners? Weak local leadership? Outsiders seeking to displace the native population with the help of special interest groups? Or is it just unethical, mentally out-of-touch special interest groups' attempts to implement classism standards that have failed miserably in other countries?

Whatever it is, the dollar driving the demand for higher parking costs is filling some people's pockets with loot! And the formation of a familiar pattern of Jim Crow policies is coming into configuration front and center. Instead of hiding itself under a cloak of discriminatory guidelines that, in the long-term, unless halted, disenfranchise the native Black population primarily. But not only.

(Below Long Branch Police Throw Flash Bang Grenades At Juneteeth 2022 Beach Goers)

Per a fellow blogger who wrote an article titled "The Price of Gentrification: Who Pays?" March 20, 2018, by Cherishe Cumma. Cumma bears witness that, "Over the past five years, as a result of Gentrification, the people who live in my neighborhood have started to disappear into a sea of new and unfamiliar faces. As the invasive nature of Gentrification began to impact people and businesses in my neighborhood, the world that I knew as a child began to change." Stacey Sutton defines the term Gentrification in her 2014 Tedx New York Talk "What we don't understand about gentrification" as "a process in which higher income or higher status people relocate to or invest in low-income urban neighborhoods. These neighborhoods have historically been disinvested by both the public and private sector, and as higher-income people move to these areas, it's typically to capitalize on the low property value. In doing so, they inflate property values, displace low-income people and fundamentally alter the culture and the character of the neighborhood."

(Above Stacey Sutton of Tedx New York Talk: What We Don't Understand About Gentrification.)

Think about that. "These neighborhoods have historically been disinvested by both the public and private sector" - "In doing so, they inflate property values, displace low-income people and fundamentally alter the neighborhood's culture and character." Sounds familiar? Currently, more and more beach goers are experiencing higher parking costs plus beach fares, and all correlate with the influx of property development within our hamlets along the sea. These actions seem to connect with the effort to remove the native Black and working-class residential populations from the shores. By abruptly making the cost of living in the area too expensive by design, I like to call it the other Jim Crow of the North, also known as the petty Betty of the east coast, because the local government allows trivial policies that look innocent initially until you see the outcome of catastrophe in the not too far away future.

The difference with Jim Crow laws of the south was that they were blatant.

  • Lynching laws,

  • Segregation signs,

  • Prominent Black code policies.

Jim Crow of the north used the

  • All mighty dollar,

  • Cradle to prison pipeline strategies,

  • Plus blocked resources such as business grants, loans, and job training opportunities that start individuals with a decent salary of $80,000 per year.

Like America does for specific populations who come to this country. And I got proof.

Case and point: I used to work at a polling establishment as a survey poller in 2011 in West Long Branch, NJ. My call lists had a middle eastern target population. The study was under Dr. Patel in partnership with Monmouth University. My job was to gather the said population's opinion to see if they would vote democratic or republican. (I was shocked that many did not have college degrees.) But they were walking into America having access to $80,000 to $100,000 a year jobs and with their families intact. Unlike Black Americans. Listening to these people's citizenship or work visa journeys here in N.J. were the polar opposite experiences to what Black Americans were experiencing in comparison during 2011 when the country was experiencing an economic malaise.

(Pictured Above is Senator Pat Moynihan former assistant secretary of labor and one of a new class of government social scientists)

The Daniel Pat Moynihan report provided evidence of the planned disenfranchisement faced by Black citizens in the mid-60s. "Moynihan argued that the rise in single-mother families was not due to a lack of jobs but rather to a destructive vein in ghetto culture that could be traced back to slavery and Jim Crow discrimination. Though black sociologist E. Franklin Frazier had already introduced the idea in the 1930s, Moynihan's argument defied conventional social-science wisdom."

I'm pulling these pieces together so that you can better understand the trend of disenfranchisement linkages from warning reports from 1965, 1980, 2014, and 2018 to the cost of living issues people are dealing with today. Can someone shout out that Black people need their REPARATION CHECKS NOW?

A call to action is needed, and the Echo would like to collect your opinions on the above subject matter.

Do you think that Gentrification directly correlates to the high cost of parking at our local beaches?

And if so, do you think long-term community residents should be allowed to go to the beach and park for free on certain days of the week?

To make the change happen, you must be part of the process. And The Echo, NJ's oldest Black-owned Newspaper, is here to help you. I am looking forward to your feedback.

Please remember your communication should not exceed 300 words in length.

Alyse Newhouse shared,

"This is a great article. It def a form of economic classism that has a direct correlation with keeping Blacks and Hispanics out of certain areas. There should be a petition to keep the beach affordable, so the citizens that pay taxes there can enjoy the amenities just as much as the tourist. Maybe even point to other cities as examples that have been able to have a good public/private partnership. Especially when it comes to public areas."

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