‘White hipsters get out of Pilsen’

So, you think this whole anti-gentrification thing is unique to the Mission? Think again. It’s happening in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago, as you can see in this found racist rant accusing a loosely-defined group of people of being racist.

i don’t know, man astutely points out:

Pilsen is named for the Czech town of Plzen — Pilsner, a delicious type of lager beer is, too — because it was populated mainly by Czech immigrants in the early part of last century. As Czechs made a better life for themselves and probably moved out of the city to the suburbs, Chicago’s growing Latino population moved in.

What we have here is a chicken-or-the-egg problem. Who’s the most entitled to live anywhere? Amoebas floating in primordial soup, I reckon.

Anyway, I’m glad Asian hipsters are off the hook (not that I am one).

[chicagoist via beerandrap]

35 Responses to “‘White hipsters get out of Pilsen’”

  1. Ah well, racists will be racists. Some of my best friends are white. Some of my rest friends are other. People who rant about ‘gentrifying communities’ eventually come back to some kind of race or cultural hatred. Easy to identify and ignore.

    • Natalie says:

      It’s funny (though probably a typo), you wrote “best friends” and then “rest friends.” Which echos the whole West vs. Rest attitude, which is inherently supremacist and racist.

      Seeing that you’re seemingly decrying racists/racism, you might want to be careful with that.

      • Actually, it was deliberate. It’s called “word play” — a difficult concept, I know, for ponderous, one-track minds.

        • Natalie says:

          Don’t be mistaken. There’s no need for personal attacks. I was just pointing out the irony that you were so deliberately trying to express.

          However, the reason I had my doubts about your intention to create that irony was because “some of my rest friends” doesn’t work linguistically. I guess my mind is so ponderous that I couldn’t get over that haltingly crass use of adjective, while you are most eloquent with your poetic license and word play. On second thought, that is demonstrably wrong.

          • Drew says:

            Funny, I thought it meant friends that he slept with; which I thought was clever, but maybe not intended, either.

            Anyway, the whole thing is about classism, not racism.

  2. Kevin says:

    What to do? If I don’t want to live near people of color, I’m racist. And if I do want to live near them (or am even indifferent) I am also racist. Oh well, move to Pilsen and burn my cross.

  3. rod says:

    this is just plain racism. would there really be any back-and-forth if the flyer told Latinos or African Americans people to stay out of a white community? it’s amazing that there are still segregationists.

  4. Jonboywalton says:

    The irony is lost on them, playing the race card here is in itself racist. The sooner we all recognize that race does not exist outside of our heads the better, much of the USA is 30 years or more behind the rest of the world on this issue.

    • HajjaCajja says:

      Wait…I think you need to clarify.
      Some of my personal experience is that yes, the US is pretty close-minded and slow-for-change.
      However, have you ever talked to some people from other countries with more homogenous populations?
      Some of the most outright bigoted individuals I’ve ever met in my life.

      • Jonboywalton says:

        I am a person from another country with a much more homogeneous population, the UK. But to say they we don’t have racism would be a big lie. As an English guy in the USA I am regularly amazed at how segregated the cities are here and how normal that feels, I can’t cite any studies but it feels much less so in many comparable countries. A person’t “race” is an issue that gets talked about in the USA when it is irrelevant elsewhere, for example here I here talk about a political candidate’s “race” whereby elsewhere it is a non-issue for the vast majority of voters and therefore not talked about.

  5. SCUM says:

    Trash comes in all colors.

  6. Corpus Nerd says:

    Why are people so threatened by art students and cyclist vegans? It’s not like neo-nazis or crack dealers are moving in to take over.

  7. Hardcore Stalker says:

    Tell me who to hate

  8. Hardcore Stalker says:

    People dont like art students and cyclist vegans because they are the most self indulgent pieces of shit out there. No offense bro.

  9. RealLee says:

    This is probably a joke, but I understand the sentiment having grown up in chicago and now living in sf and its not really about race but the socioeconomic factors that an influx of wealthier residents into poor neighborhoods cause: rising rents, influx of pricier stores, etc. basically making the neighborhood too costly for long time residents. In Chicago, its pushed residents into the far suburbs from downtown and the south side and in San Francisco across a bridge into Oakland and more recently out of Oakland.

    It destroys neighborhoods for existing residents and uproots families to create young “hip” urban enclaves who then move on when the neighborhood becomes completely gentrified.

    but everyone wants to make a profit so its a difficult train to stop…

  10. DrElitist says:

    I love racism! AND gentrification!! It’s so hot right now.

  11. nickman says:

    I’m half Czech and bump Pilzn! Obviously the person who made the sign is artistic educated about the ‘matter’ so probs are part of the thing they hate. Budvar is the original Czech beer aka budweiser, and beers are labeled as pilsners and are not from Pilzn, CZ. How bout that!? Can’t we all just get along?
    Nick —>

  12. nickman says:

    i think that girl is hot in the flyer

  13. kusfwtf says:

    I was always under the impression that it was only white people who complained about gentrification, like it’s only hipsters who complain about hipsters, or fat dudes with that “no fat chicks” bumper sticker. I second Kevin’s sentiments, fuck white guilt.

  14. sproutseven says:

    Gentrification of the Pilsen Neighborhood has been happening heavily for the last 8 or 9 years. It’s the truth that UIC has exploded and spread its legs much further south than the Italian Village I recollect from my undergrad days like an American near Middle Eastern oil. I hear from Chi sources that there’s a WFM on Roosevelt St, weird, but no so weird. I used to buy socks from homeless men on the corner of Roosevelt + Taylor, and now I can buy organic produce + Dr. Haushcka. Whatever. Judgement day is not so far away and those Chi-town gentrifiers are happily enjoying their elotes (PS. I don’t really believe in judgement day).

  15. Zouaf says:

    I think it’s time for people to stop blaming each other for market forces no one can control. Why is the Mission cheap? Because it’s full of working-class Latinos and Asians with a nice smattering of homeless guys and hookers. I live in the Mission not because I’m bent on wickedly gentrifying their neighborhood but because I’m not that well-off myself, it’s close to work and I happened to find a nice, cheapish studio there. The idea that anyone could have a moral obligation to NOT live in a given neighborhood, or do what’s in their own best interest, is ridiculous. It’s even stupider to make it about race.

  16. T.C. says:

    If you don’t like what’s happening in your neighborhood, change it.

    If you can’t change it and it bothers you that much, then leave.

    If you don’t want to leave, shut the hell up and deal with it.


    After growing up in the silverlake/echo park in L.A. in the late 80′s/ early 90′s, i have seen this firsthand, it’s NOT THAT BAD. I’m sick of these whiny pussies who AREN’T from the area the’re trying to “protect”, you moved in before it was “cool” and now your entitled to pull bullshit like this? People are always going to need a place to live, white, black, hip, square, chzech, russian, latino, WHATEVER, people will move into a neighborhood always with opposition first. Get over it, this is the way of the world. You whiny fucks.

  18. SFitall says:

    I’m always “Knee Deep” in PBR. totes.

  19. HajjaCajja says:

    Poor people always get pushed around, sometimes it involves race. End of ugly story.

  20. jummy says:

    there was several years back a similar missive posted around pilsen; fliers which said “gringos no, gringas si” and “whites out of pilsen”. would you be surprised to learn that these were the work of a white anarchist collective calling itself ASAP (anarchist skins and punks)?

  21. someone says:

    The people they should be protesting are wealthy developers and city officials who raise property values. Not cheap white people who want to live in cheap housing. Targetting individuals will just result in race riots. Hate begets hate.

  22. pilsen native says:

    this is an idea presented by someone very bad at saying what they mean. because they dont quite know what they mean, its hard to define, but the issue exists. because its so hard to pin point, all i can say is how i feel. these people, not all white, but from originally somewhat privileged backgrounds, at least more privileged than pilsenites, have taken this community and accessorized themselves with it. they preach about the hollowness of yuppies, often times their own parents, and go on to tell me about the rawness of my neighborhood. they feel like theyre back down to the earth their parents kept them from. the graffiti, the ruckus…the cheap apartments. everything they love about it is everything I cannot stand. we WANT the privileges theyre running from. we want a clean, gang-free, flourishing community. what that sign should have been saying for years is get out, gangbangers and lowlives. but no, i dont take these people wearing our community like a new pair of thick rimmed glasses, or skinny jeans, lightly.

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  24. violetsareblue says:

    I’ve been though the gentrification of many neighborhoods and the problem is when you fix up a cheap place and then some rich jerk comes along and steals your place from you for higher rent.

    The problem is the rent.



  25. PrincessandtheWarrior says:

    Since this point hasn’t yet been brought up, I thought I’d add it to the discussion … One of the major reasons that artists, art students, and the like move to these neighborhoods is because they themselves are poor. Unfortunately, it’s quite difficult to make a living wage as an artist – especially a young and/or studying artist … So artists find these communities that are cheap to live in and are also usually quite interesting – culturally and visually. The problems then begin when landlords start to take notice, start raising rents and then use that money to start fixing up the buildings and the neighborhood (businesses and such) also starts to change to cater to it’s new residents (health-food stores, vegetarian restaurants, quirky shops, etc open up). This would all be a fine thing until the rents start to get so high that first they push out all of the original residents and then they eventually push out most of the young and poor artists … All of the people who helped to make the neighborhood a “cool” place to live in and then they have to find new places to live, so it happens all over again in the next “poor” neighborhood. Just look at NYC – it happened to Manhattan in the late 80′s and now is spreading out into the other boroughs. It’s really not the artists who are to blame – it’s the landlords and the lack of helpful laws that would serve to allow these sorts of neighborhoods to flourish, grow, and be revitalized WITHOUT pricing most people out of their homes – something like rent-control or grandfather-type clauses or subsidies for people who have rented/owned for a specific amount of years before prices went up. I don’t know THAT much about renter’s laws and rights, but I think that that is wherein these problems should be fixed. It’s really not about racism or discrimination so much as it is about money. In the interest of full disclosure, I’m an artist and I’ve lived in a few neighborhoods (in NYC and Boston) in which this was happening. In Boston, things seemed to work out much more peacefully and the rents, although raised to reflect the renovation, didn’t exclude everyone who isn’t making at least $70k a year. In NYC, things get completely out of hand and there is no longer a section 8 program to help out … It’s really a shame, I had to leave NYC (I was living in Williamsburg) because with a job that paid $40k/year I simply couldn’t afford it anymore. So, just remember – the “hipster” artists get screwed in the end as well – perhaps we are screwing ourselves but it’s really only in an honest attempt to find affordable housing, just like everyone else is looking for (and we don’t have the benefit of being eligible for welfare, food stamps, section 8 or similar programs, Medicaid or anything like that – many of us have no insurance and less money than the average poor person who is eligible for government assistance). The point of all of this being, blame the correct people … Vote wisely and in every election, write letters, petitions, get out there and do something instead of just complaining, better yet complain to the people in charge – that’s the best we can do.