Editorial: Palm Springs bulldozed a Black neighborhood. Compensate survivors, but not with cash
When you’re talking about what was done to Palm Springs, you don’t just get the general description—the destruction of the Black community at 615 East Bleecker, the gentrifying of downtown and the destruction of the Mexican-American community on a hillside near Zaca Road. You find out that this is a small neighborhood, that the Black community there wasn’t even as large as the rest of the city. But the most important part of your investigation is: where did the money come from? What happened was this: in 2008, this neighborhood of maybe 4,000 people had a Black-owned bank that was losing money, and it wasn’t just the bank, it was the bank and the small businesses.
What happened, then, was that they brought in outside money that had no business being there. The $5,000,000 that was brought in was basically to make the neighborhood white again. The first deal was they bought the land that was formerly home to the bank. Then the bank said, ‘We’re going to give you a $5,000,000 for the entire bank building.’
It was a private investment. They got the bank building for $4.6 million, then in 2012, they opened another bank, and within a year, they took out $5 million in loans, and then in the next year, they took out $7 million in loans. In 2014, they took out $5 million, $7 million, and $8 million in loans. In 2015, they took out $6.6 million in loans, and $9 million more in loans.
In 2016, they took out $8 million, $9 million, $10 million in loans. They took out $16 million, $20 million in loans. In 2017, they took out