We Must Fight Blight!* Says Rob Arias
Rob Arias, editor of the right wing pro-business blog the E'Ville Eye; a guy who always has a disparaging word for the working poor in our midst and who can always be counted on to crank up the hyperbolic invective against his favorite punching bag, homeless people, made quite a spectacle at the April 18th City Council meeting, even by his own pugnacious standards. Down slammed the box filled with drug paraphernalia in theatrical fashion while he proceeded on with his infantile rage, voice cracking, about how the City Council is not doing it's job. And by that Rob means they're not clearing away homeless people (from Oakland near Emeryville's border).
Rob's increasingly aggressive behavior against homeless people now finds obtuse expression in his attempt to highjack the City's Capital Improvement Program (CIP) to spend Emeryville taxpayer money on.... a dog park in Oakland. Wait...what?
|I am here to distract you.|
Emeryville's right wing found themselves without a mooring after the Chamber of Commerce collapsed a couple of years ago and Rob, ever the entrepreneur, saw a niche to re-fix the pastiche of Emeryville's right wing around his new blog and make money while he's at it. The demise of the Chamber of Commerce wasn't a random thing. Rather it happened as a result of our citizenry's increasing expectation that their institutions should reflect their values. That left a small but angry base of right wing support for Rob's project.
Besides making money, Rob has used his blog for attacks on labor and homeless people. He seems to hold a special kind of hatred for homeless people, seeing them as a problem best solved by clearance sweeps. We remember Rob inveighing against 'those people' using Joseph Emery Park as "targeting" of the park. Rob demanded the Emeryville police make sweeps of homeless people out of West Oakland at a Public Safety Committee meeting; they are drifting into his neighborhood he told the committee. He's going to be a father he said and this will not stand he warned them. Homeless people should not be seen by children...think of the children, he says in an attempt to shame the City to go all extra-legal on 'em.
Councilman Bauters' blog and his (rather wonky) story on the Halleck Beach Dog Park may be viewed HERE.
|The Halleck Beach Dog Park|
Clean, no blight.
Adding to the current state of callous narcissism emanating out of Washington and taking over the polity, Rob Arias is our own little local installment in this growing culture of cruelty sweeping the nation.
Like all (privileged) children who disparage authority not doing their bidding, Rob cries 'it's not fair' to the City Council...'you should be pushing MY agenda...clearing away homeless people and protecting my real estate investment.' Many techie newcomers to Emeryville, those for whom we have built housing here exclusively over the last twenty years, obviously agree with Rob. These are his readers. They are concerned, besides wanting to know about the latest ramen shop and crime blotter (with its Black suspects), many of them attended the meeting about the dog park. They scolded Councilman Bauters; Rob's right, Emeryville should remain "clean", no blight here they insisted. That's Rob's community.
Like so many others on the right wing, Rob co-opts the language of the left; he calls himself a "community activist" and he is an activist (for his specific community) although not one normally associated with that title. What Rob has done for community activism, he's also done for blight. Community activism now includes reverse Robin Hood policies and blight now includes poor people (that need to be cleared out) in Rob Arias' Emeryville.