In one of the most stunning election results in modern democratic history, Republican candidate Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton in the race to become the 45th president of the United States. Winning the worldâ€™s most powerful job in his very first run for public office, the 70-year-old real estate tycoon and television reality star defeated his Democratic rival, who had served as First Lady, U.S. Senator and Secretary of State in the first term of outgoing President Barack Obama.
- The Trump win was an echo of the surprise victory in June of the so-called Brexit referendum, calling for the UK to leave the European Union. Voters in both cases defied the establishment and polling institutes to deliver a result that will possibly change the world as we know it.
- The latest confirmed figures show 279 electoral votes for Trump against 218 for Clinton in the state-by-state contest, as the Republican went past the 270 votes needed to win with surprise victories in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Several states are still counting their ballots and too close to call. The Republicans will also retain their majorities in both houses of the Congress, with 51 senators and at least 236 representatives.
- Trump, who had been repeatedly underestimated since announcing his candidacy on June 16, 2015, won sizable majorities among men and whites without a university degree, The New York Times reports. Hillary Clinton's edge from minorities and women was not enough to take her over the top in key swing states in the Midwest.
- In his victory speech, Trump stroke a unifying tone after a divisive campaign, as he vowed to â€œbegin the urgent task of rebuilding our nation.â€ â€œNow itâ€™s time for America to bind the wounds of division ... I say it is time for us to come together as one united people. Itâ€™s time. I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be president for all Americans, and this is so important to me.â€
- Trump began by saying he had â€œjust received a call from Secretary Clintonâ€ to congratulate him. This came despite Clinton's campaign chairman John Podesta saying earlier that the Democratic candidate â€œisnâ€™t done yet.â€ Clinton is expected to offer a concession speech later today.
- A series of spontaneous protests were reported around the U.S. following confirmation of the Trump victory.
- Several foreign leaders were quick to congratulate Trump for his victory. Among them was Russian President Vladimir Putin, who said â€œRussia is ready and wants to restore full-format relations with the United States,â€ even though he admitted it would be â€œa difficult path considering the current degradationâ€ of bilateral relations.
- The Guardian notes that far-right politicians were the first ones to congratulate the Republican candidate, including Franceâ€™s Marine Le Pen who tweeted even before Trumpâ€™s victory speech.
- Observers are now trying to analyze how it all went so wrong for Clinton. But according to Politico, her team saw the defeat coming and believed her chances were â€œalways fragile.â€
- Asian markets tumbled as Trumpâ€™s victory appeared more and more likely during the night, and Dow futures fell by as much as 800 points but recovered some ground later. Reuters however reports that the U.S. dollar, Mexican peso and world stocks â€œbegan to steady in the European morning.â€
WHAT TO LOOK FOR TODAY
- Racial profiling ruling in France.
- EU commission to release economic growth forecast for first time since Brexit.
RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA APPROVED IN THREE STATES
Yesterday was also a big night for recreational marijuana, with voters in California, Massachusetts and Nevada voting in favor of its legalization. Results in Maine are still too close to call. A majority of voters in Arkansas, Florida and North Dakota also supported allowing medical marijuana.
GUNMEN KILL NIGERIAN MINERS
A group of gunmen, believed to be cattle rustlers from the mainly Muslim Fulani herders, killed 36 miners in northern Nigeria, according to Vanguard. The attack, which took place late Monday, follows similar killings of dozens in the region in recent months.
â€" ON THIS DAY
The perfect way to not think about the U.S. election for at least 57 seconds, hereâ€™s your daily shot of history.
ANTI-AUSTERITY PROTESTERS STORM RIO ASSEMBLY
Thousands of public service workers invaded the Rio de Janeiro assembly yesterday afternoon for three hours, in protest against austerity plans to try and fix the cityâ€™s dismal financial situation, O Globo reports.
In Paris, authorities have turned increasing attention to assisting people suffering from the so-called Diogenes Syndrome that causes them to hoard objects in their homes. For French daily Le Figaro, Caroline Piquet reports: â€œAgents from social services often find unsanitary living conditions when they come to the homes of hoarders. Even if officials are able to enter the house, they can find it difficult to move around because of the accumulated waste. Sometimes these agents can't even see the floor. â€˜Some people climb the walls of debris in order to move from one room to another,â€™ says Patrick Bachelet of the company Professional Cleaning Services. He says he's found all sorts of things in these homes: empty or full bottles, newspapers from years ago, excrement, rotting food, odds and ends. The waste can be up to three meters high, he says.â€
Read the full article, Diogenes Syndrome, A Peek Into The Crammed World Of Hoarding.
INDIA SCRAPS LARGEST BANKNOTES
Indians are in shock after the governmentâ€™s sudden announcement yesterday that it was withdrawing 500 and 1,000 rupee notes from circulation, in what The New Indian Express says is a â€œa surgical strike on black money, and thereby on corruption, fake currency and funds for terrorism.â€
â€" MY GRAND-PEREâ€™S WORLD
Camel Calm â€" Palmyra, 1996
MORE STORIES, EXCLUSIVELY IN ENGLISH BY WORLDCRUNCH
- U.S. Campaign, 19 Memorable Magazine Covers Around The World â€" Worldcrunch
- Turkey: Why Europe Must Stand Up To Erdoganâ€™â€‹s Power Grabs â€" Süddeutsche Zeitung
- Can A Bottled Spray Ensure That Your Lover Stays Faithful? â€" Le Temps
MICHAEL KEATONâ€™S BIRD FETISH
Marvel Studios have confirmed that Michael Keaton, of Batman and more recently Birdman fame, will be playing Spider-Manâ€™s enemy Vulture in the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming movie.
In San Diego, California, a researcher tracked how in the city's low-income neighborhoods that have traditionally lacked dining options, when interesting eateries arrive the gentrification of white, affluent and college-educated people has begun.
SAN DIEGO — Everybody, it seems, welcomes the arrival of new restaurants, cafés, food trucks and farmers markets.
What could be the downside of fresh veggies, homemade empanadas and a pop-up restaurant specializing in banh mis?
But when they appear in unexpected places – think inner-city areas populated by immigrants – they're often the first salvo in a broader effort to rebrand and remake the community. As a result, these neighborhoods can quickly become unaffordable and unrecognizable to longtime residents.
An appetite for gentrification
I live in San Diego, where I teach courses on urban and food geographies and conduct research on the relationship between food and ethnicity in urban contexts.
In recent years, I started to notice a pattern playing out in the city's low-income neighborhoods that have traditionally lacked food options. More ethnic restaurants, street vendors, community gardens and farmers markets were cropping up. These, in turn, spurred growing numbers of white, affluent and college-educated people to venture into areas they had long avoided.
This observation inspired me to write a book, titled The $16 Taco, about how food – including what's seen as "ethnic," "authentic" or "alternative" – often serves as a spearhead for gentrification.
Take City Heights, a large multi-ethnic San Diego neighborhood where successive waves of refugees from places as far away as Vietnam and Somalia have resettled. In 2016, a dusty vacant lot on the busiest boulevard was converted into an outdoor international marketplace called Fair@44. There, food vendors gather in semi-permanent stalls to sell pupusas, lechon (roasted pig), single-sourced cold-brewed coffee, cupcakes and tamarind raspado (crushed ice) to neighborhood residents, along with tourists and visitors from other parts of the city.
Informal street vendors are casualties.
A public-private partnership called the City Heights Community Development Corporation, together with several nonprofits, launched the initiative to increase "access to healthy and culturally appropriate food" and serve as "a business incubator for local micro-entrepreneurs," including immigrants and refugees who live in the neighborhood.
On paper, this all sounds great.
But just a few blocks outside the gates, informal street vendors – who have long sold goods such as fruit, tamales and ice cream to residents who can't easily access supermarkets – now face heightened harassment. They've become causalities in a citywide crackdown on sidewalk vending spurred by complaints from business owners and residents in more affluent areas.
This isn't just happening in San Diego. The same tensions have been playing out in rapidly gentrifying areas like Los Angeles' Boyle Heights neighborhood, Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood, New York's Queens borough and East Austin, Texas.
In all of these places, because "ethnic," "authentic" and "exotic" foods are seen as cultural assets, they've become magnets for development.
A call for food justice
Cities and neighborhoods have long sought to attract educated and affluent residents – people whom sociologist Richard Florida dubbed "the creative class." The thinking goes that these newcomers will spend their dollars and presumably contribute to economic growth and job creation.
Food, it seems, has become the perfect lure.
It's uncontroversial and has broad appeal. It taps into the American Dream and appeals to the multicultural values of many educated, wealthy foodies. Small food businesses, with their relatively low cost of entry, have been a cornerstone of ethnic entrepreneurship in American cities. And initiatives like farmers markets and street fairs don't require much in the way of public investment; instead, they rely on entrepreneurs and community-based organizations to do the heavy lifting.
In City Heights, the Community Development Corporation hosted its first annual City Heights Street Food Festival in 2019 to "get people together around table and food stalls to celebrate another year of community building." Other recent events have included African Restaurant Week, Dia de Los Muertos, New Year Lunar Festival, Soul Food Fest and Brazilian Carnival, all of which rely on food and drink to attract visitors and support local businesses.
Meanwhile, initiatives such as the New Roots Community Farm and the City Heights Farmers' Market have been launched by nonprofits with philanthropic support in the name of "food justice," with the goal of reducing racial disparities in access to healthy food and empowering residents – projects that are particularly appealing to highly educated people who value diversity and democracy.
Upending an existing foodscape
In media coverage of changing foodscapes in low-income neighborhoods like City Heights, you'll rarely find any complaints.
San Diego Magazine's neighborhood guide for City Heights, for example, emphasizes its "claim to authentic international eats, along with live music venues, craft beer, coffee, and outdoor fun." It recommends several ethnic restaurants and warns readers not to be fooled by appearances.
Longtime residents find themselves forced to compete against the "urban food machine"
But that doesn't mean objections don't exist.
Many longtime residents and small-business owners – mostly people of color and immigrants – have, for decades, lived, worked and struggled to feed their families in these neighborhoods. To do so, they've run convenience stores, opened ethnic restaurants, sold food in parks and alleys and created spaces to grow their own food.
All represent strategies to meet community needs in a place mostly ignored by mainstream retailers.
So what happens when new competitors come to town?
Starting at a disadvantage
As I document in my book, these ethnic food businesses, because of a lack of financial and technical support, often struggle to compete with new enterprises that feature fresh façades, celebrity chefs, flashy marketing, bogus claims of authenticity and disproportionate media attention. Furthermore, following the arrival of more-affluent residents, existing ones find it increasingly difficult to stay.
My analysis of real estate ads for properties listed in City Heights and other gentrifying San Diego neighborhoods found that access to restaurants, cafés, farmers markets and outdoor dining is a common selling point. The listings I studied from 2019 often enticed potential buyers with lines like "shop at the local farmers' market," "join food truck festivals" and "participate in community food drives!"
San Diego Magazine's home buyer guide for the same year identified City Heights as an "up-and-coming neighborhood," attributing its appeal to its diverse population and eclectic "culinary landscape," including several restaurants and Fair@44.
When I see that City Heights' home prices rose 58% over the past three years, I'm not surprised.
Going up against the urban food machine
Longtime residents find themselves forced to compete against what I call the "urban food machine," a play on sociologist Harvey Molotch's "urban growth machine" – a term he coined more than 50 years ago to explain how cities were being shaped by a loose coalition of powerful elites who sought to profit off urban growth.
I argue that investors and developers use food as a tool for achieving the same ends.
When their work is done, what's left is a rather insipid and tasteless neighborhood, where foodscapes become more of a marketable mishmash of cultures than an ethnic enclave that's evolved organically to meet the needs of residents. The distinctions of time and place start to blur: An "ethnic food district" in San Diego looks no different than one in Chicago or Austin.
Meanwhile, the routines and rhythms of everyday life have changed so much that longtime residents no longer feel like they belong. Their stories and culture reduced to a selling point, they're forced to either recede to the shadows or leave altogether.
It's hard to see how that's a form of inclusion or empowerment.
- The Perverse Effect Of Street Art On Neighborhood Gentrification ... ›
- Taiwan To Hong Kong To L.A., Birth Of Bubble Tea Culture ... ›
- How The Pandemic Is Helping Reinvent Food Production ... ›
- What's Chic Now In Paris Dining? African-American Soul Food ... ›