The Other Side of Lost in Translation


Yes, We Have a Very Rich Mayor

Wednesday, I went to the rally of Coalition
to protect Chinatown and Lower East Side
from Blomberg's racist rezoning plan.
As I planned to write about Chinese community in New York,
some of organizations that I had a contact with for that
suggested me to come.

Now the huge gentrifications are going on
in many areas of this city.
Powerful developers buy out the many lands and buildings,
bulldoze them and build high rises for offices
and luxualious apartment complexes.
But there is the strict zoning law in this city
to prevent those activities,
to protect neighborhood.

However, things are changing because of our rich mayor.
He has been modifying this law in favor of developers.
As the result of that, for the last few years
so many high rises have risen up in Lower East Side,
which you can rent an apartment with the rent like
$4.000 to $10.000 a month.
And now the mayor likes to allow the same things to happen
in Chinatown as well because Chinatown is located
in the walking distance from Wall street area.
He said that the city will build
the affrodable housings there,
but they are for the people who makes $60,000 a year.
Since Chinatown is pretty much poor Chinese immigrant slum,
most of their residents make a very little money,
which means they have to move out.
And go where?
In this city, it is a very difficult task now
to find one bedroom apartment under $1.500 a month
even somewhere far away from the center of the city.
Certainly people who can afford to live in high rises
do not want to live near the poor Chinese immigrants.
So this project is about pushing away poor colored immigrants
to make more money for riches.

When Michael Blomberg announced that
he would enter the race for the mayor,
very few people said that they would vote for him
according to the survey at that time
because he was a well-know figure in business community
but not in general public.
However, after that, he placed so many ads on TV
by using his huge resources
and won the seat of the mayor.
he basically bought it.

Last summer, during I was doing some field reserch,
means talking to lots of strangers,
I talked to a middle aged woman
who appeared to be a middle class and educated person
and she said she loved this mayor so much.
So I said to her that I do not understand
why the educated person like you do not understand
the simple logic that
rich politicians do their politics for the riches.

In my tiny home town in rural Japan,
most of town congress men are either factory owners
or big whole sale marchants.
In rural Japan, people are very very naive
and they admire rich people only because they are rich.
So they vote for them.
As the result of that,
the unequality like big wage gap between men and women
can never be solved.
But still they vote for them.

The election is for people to choose the politician
to do politics for them.
And that is the very important basic
for this system of democracy.
Considering that, in my little town,
this system is obviously not working.
And I had never dreamed that the same thing could happen
in the world most famous city called New York.

Think about it.
Do you think you can be super rich like Blomberg
if you are just a honest hard worker?
I think only the people who are good at
manipulating and exploiting other people
can be rich like him.

The very sad trend of this society right now is that
you have to be the one who exploits
if you do not want to be exploited.
I do not want to exploit anyone
and I do not want to be exploited either.
But that is becoming more and more difficult point to stand on.
It is very sad.
And not many people are talking about it
including media which of course is controled by money
in this society.


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