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Opinion

Opinion: White people should not feel bad for moving to Inglewood

Mom-and-pop businesses line Market Street in Inglewood.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: I have never been so disappointed in Erin Aubrey Kaplan as I was after reading her latest op-ed article. (“Whites are moving back to Inglewood. There goes our neighborhood,” Opinion, Nov. 26)

An animal-loving white woman new to her neighborhood tells her, “We like it so far.” Kaplan sees this as patronizing, but it is a comment that anyone new to any neighborhood might say. Probably, neither this woman nor any other relatives were among the whites who participated in white flight 50 years ago, but Kaplan apparently blames all whites.

Kaplan’s white husband moved with her to Inglewood 13 years ago. She excuses this because he grew up working-class and shared her politics. Perhaps the new white resident also has a black spouse and shares his political views. Perhaps they are not especially wealthy; after all, they did not buy in View Park.

Kaplan makes some good points, but by now her piece has probably been brought to the attention of her hapless neighbor, who has perhaps been humiliated and certainly been made to feel unwelcome in her new home. Clearly, she will get no “neighborliness” from Kaplan.

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Norman H. Green, Los Angeles

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To the editor: I am an 85-year-old white woman. I grew up in Inglewood, and my husband grew up in Leimert Park. I now live in Long Beach in a somewhat mixed, albeit mostly white, neighborhood.

If Kaplan wanted to live next door to me, I would love it. I would take her a plate of cookies and introduce myself.

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Kaplan says: “We will lose our space and place.” She should realize how much this sounds like my former Inglewood neighbors.

To quote a well-known African American, “Can’t we all just get along?”

Nancy Freeman, Long Beach

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To the editor: I had to re-read Kaplan’s article to make sure that I read it correctly. It sounded as if she was making the same case that bigoted white people made when black people moved into “their” neighborhood 50 years ago.

Her encounter with a white woman who recently moved there, and liked it, should not be a warning that this community is at risk, but should have been welcomed as a step forward toward integration. Why should the author’s white husband have been any different than the woman she just met on the street?

Everybody feels a sense of community when they choose to live somewhere. Is the author saying that her neighborhood should stay homogeneous (in other words, segregated)? Change the word “white” to “black” in the article’s headline, and it never would have been printed.

John Stephens, Costa Mesa

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