Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Citations Needed, Episode 15: The Real Estate Page as Colonial Dispatch

Real Estate sections of local papers and magazines feature mostly fun, breezy profiles of the super rich buying up apartments, buildings, and houses or remodeling the ones they already own. Harmless escapist fun? Maybe. But how we write about real estate often reveals casually racist and colonial attitudes that are rarely, if ever, examined.

Gentrification of American cities is often, if not always, accompanied by telling language. Newly-arrived, often wealthy, residents in neighborhoods long populated by primarily Black and brown families are routinely referred to as "urban pioneers." These "settlers" are said to bravely venture into the "concrete jungle" - discovering and taming the "diverse," "funky," and "rough" and (guess what?) affordable "frontiers" that have been all too neglected by the savage natives.

In this episode, we talk about why the way we talk about the real estate business matters and how the white civilizing mission seems never to have gone away.


The Show


The Guest

Aaron Miguel Cantú writes for the Santa Fe Reporter. He is a senior editor for The New Inquiry and has contributed to VICE, The Intercept, The Nation, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, Al Jazeera, and elsewhere.


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Citations Needed is a media criticism podcast, hosted by Adam Johnson and Nima Shirazi, political commentators and media analysts working to call bullshit on (usually corporate) media’s ubiquitous reliance on and regurgitation of false and destructive narratives, tropes and stereotypes.

Citations Needed is produced by Florence Barrau-Adams. Our Production Consultant is Josh Kross. The theme is ‘Nonphenomenal Lineage’ by Grandaddy.


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