Scott Woods: The Monopoly Version of Gentrification

Scott Woods
Monopoly board

Any time I mention gentrification in a public space, someone invariably pops up wanting to start an argument vis-à-vis a seemingly rhetorical question, offering dandelion observations like, “Why are you applying the label of gentrification to an area like Franklinton when all of the people had already moved out?” or something equally obtuse.

Most of the time, such retorts have an air of willful ignorance about them; the speaker knows something is off, but they don’t really want to know how it all works because they have Gallery Hop plans and who needs that baggage on a Saturday night?

Others don’t argue that gentrification hasn’t happened, so much as they don’t see what’s so bad about it. There are plenty of people who flip the term into self-deprecating “oh well”-isms, like white people who make fun of their whiteness over craft beers and oversized Jenga blocks at the local watering hole. I’d like to believe that somewhere in there is a person who genuinely wants to know what the heck it’s all about, and what’s the difference between gentrification and development, but the truth is that person usually just stays quiet for fear of being run over by strangers on social media typing in all caps about their privilege.

Continue reading Scott Woods' column on Columbus Alive.