'Peace' Of Land - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1827192

'Peace' Of Land

There are many benefits to owning land. First, land ownership gives the owner peace of mind. Land ownership can be a great investment, as long as you enter the deal with awareness of all of the risks and pitfalls — an investment that one can eye up to take advantage of low property prices and purchase land that will be worth much more down the road. A smart investment, I’m sure we all agree.

We can also all agree that in the early colonial period, there were sometimes treaties entered into or token payments made for use or purchase of Native people’s land. But, predominantly, outright theft, enforced by violence, was the method of colonial land control.

I know this is hard for some to read. And some would rather erase and just move on, or you will now scroll or scan to the next letter.

But, wait, let me ask you one thing: Do you know it’s true? Of course you do.

But the cold reality is, as is said, “History repeats itself,” or, better yet, another saying, “Some things never change.”

Those of us born and raised here have obviously seen many changes. Another quote comes to mind: “Nothing stays the same” (smile and look in the mirror!). The history that repeats itself and the things that stay the same can be one and the same fight in regards to landownership.

Let’s look at the definition of “redlining.” Redlining is the practice of denying a credit-worthy applicant a loan for housing in a certain neighborhood, even though the applicant may otherwise be eligible for the loan. To make it more significant, redlining is the discriminatory practice of denying services (typically financial) to residents of certain areas based on their race or ethnicity.

Next, is there a connection between redlining and gentrification? Yes. Redlining creates conditions for gentrification, which results in changes to the characteristics of neighborhoods and, ultimately, has mixed effects on the health of residents. Which can result in the “takeover” of a once harmonious community of color, with the threat of a restricted private “gated community.”

There is so much more to add, but I will end by saying, I know that you know that investors have taken and are taking advantage of the manipulation of a person in financial desperation or in a family dispute over the land.

We are, unfortunately, seeing a divided country, not living in a land of peace, but definitely in a land of greed for a piece.

Are you part of the problem or part of the solution?

Brenda Simmons