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Friday, June 21, 2024

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News + PoliticsThe violence of wealth-hoarding

The violence of wealth-hoarding

The billionaires have undiagnosed hoarder-clutter disease -- and their greed is killing the rest of us.

Your ambivalence is violence

Your paralysis is more homelessness

Your hoarding creates our 

impoverished life story

I have shared with descendants of wealth-hoarders, land stealers who know that something is wrong — that are uncomfortable with the feeling

But have been lied to for way too long

Your paralysis is our violence 

As you sit and consider

More of Mama Earth is bought and sold by Twitter

These are quiet conversations – 

Don’t include bankkksters 

And philanthro-pimped “givers” 

With so much hoarded money sometimes they don’t even remember

With legacies of enslavement, exploitation and

Colonial terror

So what to do?

Deeply overstand stealing/devil-oping, leeching Mama Earth must end

These silent thieves can’t get away with this unholy war

They can’t trade her, steal her, fix her, sell her like she was an old car

Can’t keep watching as poor/unhoused folks are swept like we dirt on the floor 

Your paralysis is killing us

Please, open your hearts and Listen

“This is a request for ideas, I’m thinking about a philanthropy strategy…”

Jeff Bezos, (richest man in the world) says this before he “gives” $98.5 million “away” — which seems like so much to us poor people but is a mere tiny fraction of his extreme, hoarded,  blood-stained dollars.

“I want to help cure all the diseases in our children’s life-times,” said Mark Zuckerberg, while slapping his name and a new shiny Starbux-like facade onto the front of a poor-people hospital that still charges poor youth of color for teeth extraction.

“I am a conscious billionaire, and I give a lot of my money away,” says another global billionaire.

There are so many wrongnesses with all of these statements. But the first one is that so many people even have all that fucking money in the first damn place.

These people have undiagnosed hoarder/clutterer disease. These kinds of wealth-hoarders have four to 10 luxury cars when they only need one to drive them, three homes and four condominiums, when they only need one to live in.

Empty land is fenced in to keep houseless people out in Oakland.

And please don’t tell me it’s because they have good luck or because they worked hard; all the poor people, families, and folks I know work every day, sometimes three and four jobs like me and my mama did when I was growing up, and still can’t afford rent, bills, etc.. Some of us work just to survive the pain and trauma in our heads and heart from toxic white supremacy, ableism, gentrification, and homelessness, and then a lot of us do both.

But one of the main lies here, that hardly anyone critiques, criminalizes, pathologizes, or truly questions, is the actual accumulation, hoarding, stealing, exploiting of the wealth-hoarders themselves, while us houseless and poor people are criminalized, called names, evicted and “swept” or displaced for the act of hoarding /cluttering things like socks or bags of clothes or paper.

These rich H/C sufferers continue to hoard, fence out, and speculate more and more — rooted in the exploitation of Mama Earth, on indigenous and poor people’s backs, lives, and land.

Is Zuckerberg a healer, scientist, doctor, or even innovator just because he launched Faccrak? Is Bezos a caregiver, therapist, teacher, or any kind of “expert” because he has successfully accumulated billions of blood-stained dollars?

How about the Waltons, the Gateses — these are people who have had endless wealth and race privileges in this occupied land, they had access to even go to a school like Harvard or Stanford, even if they did “drop out,” because they were housed as children and fed and not terrorized by the police, and their families and friends knew people that knew more people and had more stolen wealth and on and on the krapitalist cycle repeats itself.

Why is anyone thanking them for these meager crumbs? They need Hoarder/Clutterer staff to come in with a series of trucks and move that stolen wealth out of their multiple offshore bank accounts and homes.

But I’m not just talking about conspicuous consumptors like these arrogant tech bros – I’m talking about the silent violence of rich trust-funders and wealth-inheritors, comfortable peoples living on this occupied, stolen, lied-to land. People who have been lied to for years about “hoarding” and hiding, keeping, succeeding, and the associated confusion of consumption, krapitalism and toxic wealth-hoarding, so that they are literally paralyzed into inaction even if they have resources to redistribute.

Seeing with their own new eyes the violence, exploitation, terrorism, abuse and murder of their ancestors — and yet unable to activate emergency redistribution.

From the person who won’t give a dollar to an unhoused person because “they don’t know what they are going to do with the dollar” to the wealth-hoarder who would rather “give” to huge nonprofiteers and philanthro-pimped, admin-heavy organizations in times of crisis, because they don’t “trust” the small on-the-ground care-givers and service providers, this dangerous paralysis is all rooted in the lies you have been told about poor people, about resources and about the ability to accumulate wealth and land. About how much you need to feel “safe” and about safety itself.

The success in this occupied indigenous territory is valued by how much of Mama Earth you have stolen, “made” and kept. About the shame you should feel if you haven’t “made” it and how people who have more are implicitly considered “smarter” better, keener, or more strategic.

So many lies, so little time.

These wealth-hoarding and poverty-shaming concepts are also related and entwined with the separation nation I teach on a lot, the ways that we are separated as families, as communities as people to be better consumers, workers, producers, exploiters, bosses, hoarders, etc. But really what’s happening is we are being used without knowing it.

As we leave our communities to go to better schools, jobs, markets we are also leaving our cultures and deep structures and actual safe spaces and are then forced to purchase things, land, and love. We are collectively told the only way to “make it” is to hoard and hide and to never tell the truth. We are encouraged to fly to places we aren’t from and “save” poor people there — and in so doing we displace and do harm to the cultures and communities already there. Colonial lies aren’t done; they are just re-packaged in a 21st Century success model.

Medicine for Mama Earth and all of us 

When a houseless/poor person asks you for a dollar or sells you a street newspaper, if you have it give them a dollar, not a sandwich. And guess what — yes they might be using it for drugs, so what, do you question what Bezos,  Gates, your boss, or your landlord does with the money they make? Similarily, rich wealth-hoarders, trust-funders, inheritors, let your first mind, your heart mind if you will, guide you in your radical redistribution of the resources you have. It is not your place to over-think, to question. The only question you need to ask yourself is what you need for you and your family to survive and thrive, which always has less to do about money and more to do about straight-up accounting and real community work.

And for the stupidly “rich,” please consider that just cause you have all these blood-stained dollars and stolen land that doesn’t make you any better at figuring out where it should go and what should happen to that land and actually you should be asking/checking with poverty, indigenous skolaz who have had to struggle and our entire lives for mere survival, whose lands and lives were long ago stolen and whose everyday struggle to be okay ensues.

And lastly, please carry the “giving spirit” throughout the year. We houseless and poor folks don’t stop living, needing, struggling, being swept after the “holidays” are over.

Scarcity models are a lie, that there isn’t enough for everyone, enough space, enough dollars, enough healthcare, enough service. There is plenty for all of us, we just need to stop believing in the lies we have had shoved down our throats for 527 years and more.

What there is plenty of is psychotic greed, dangerous denial and extreme speculating of Mama Earth — while people die on the street. Yet another POOR Magazine roofLESS radio reporter was being “swept” off the streets in deep east Oakland last week and another one near 3rd Street, both of them right next to huge “empty” lots, fenced in, lay bare, with no people or homes on them so greed-filled realEsnakes basing their business models on the buying and selling of mama earth could wait for the “property” values to rise — read: the gentriFUKation could set in.

On MacArthur Blvd, an intentionally blighted poor peoples of color community where we are working hard to finish a project called Homefulness, there are more than 26 empty lots fenced in, while the devil-opers, speculators and real ESnakkkes lay in wait like the murderous vultures they are, refusing to sell, inhabit or house anyone.

In the end, this is horror and the medicine we teach, share, liberate, and love in the new book Poverty Scholarship- Poor People-led Theory, Art, Words and Tears Across Mama Earth and manifest with young folks with different forms of race, class and/or formal education privilege at POOR Magazine’s Peopleskool and fellow poverty, indigenous skolaz at POOR Magazine who together are building something different we call Homefulness — a homeless peoples solution to homelessness.

The Poverty Scholarship teaching has launched a powerful group of people with race and class privilege who co-created the solidarity family at POOR Magazine and the Bank of Come-Unity Reparations with us poor, indigenous and unhoused poverty skolaz. They learn, listen, activate from us and model decolonial liberation moves and actual radical redistribution with their hoarded wealth, skin privilege, and stolen land.

They ain’t no joke, and all people can learn from them and all us in this model. Already more than10 families have been housed, poor and houseless mamaz and families have had their utilities paid, motel rooms and rent paid. We are currently working really hard to un-sell, un-gate and un-speculate more of Mama Earth in East Oakland for a Homefulness #2 #3 and beyond.

The first fact which they don’t want anyone to believe in krapitalism is there is enough for everyone all the time — and to clear up that trail of tears and lies we have to collectively walk and live a different life, because they paralyze us all into more lies and more hurt, while elders and babies are evicted, while evictions are on the rise and cities from San Francisco to LA continue to activate the violence of sweeps on our unhoused bodies. While more and more of us continue to die from this violent ambivalence.

Tiny aka Lisa Gray-Garcia
Co-madre/Co-editor/Daughter of Dee
POOR Magazine/PoorNewsNetwork(PNN)
Author of Criminal of Poverty: Growing Up Homeless in America
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