Who are the Homeboys in YOUR neighborhood? If you see something, TELL A NEIGHBOR FIRST.

Homeboy Bakery and Homegirl Cafe items are now available at more than 20 local markets across the city. Our teams of trainees bring fresh baked bread, creative salads and other goods to neighborhood farmers markets throughout Los Angeles. These locations are constantly updated. We look forward to seeing you there!

 

Have you heard about Homeboy Industries? I  bumped into them again, and walked crossed the street to see what they were up to. Turns out, it was the Culver City Farmers market.

While it’s fashionable to hate on Hipsters and gentrification, I remember when that block was just another dirty LA street that no one ever seriously patronized or noticed, tucked in off of Venice Blvd between a bunch of other blocks that no one ever noticed. Except those who lived there, of course.

And, who doesn’t hate crappy neighbors like Snapchat who move in and treat the neighborhood like they own it? Snapchat is part of the “if you see something say something” social engineering scheme that uses photography as a way to destroy individuals, and free expresion by glutting the market with it, while at the same time, encouraging all of us to rat each other out like common snitches.

I can’t speak for you, but I personally believe that rats SHOULD get stitches under most circumstances. And really-what’s up with ALL of American society living by the sae rules that run the prisons? Everyone is petrified that their new neighbor is a otential pedophile-call the cops! Maybe they have something I don’t have-how did they get it? Call the cops!

I dunno. But I do know that Private Prison Lobbyists deserve a few stitches, and maybe, a few senators too.

IMG_1831
Martin holding a loaf of Homeboy Industries white bread. But the real find there was the jalapeno cream cheese croissant. That, and Martin reminding me he is camera shy due to the way that the system treats ‘offenders.’ That, and maybe some old beef (which I didn’t find at the market, though you CAN get great beef jerky there).

And I remember back in da’ day when men like Martin were constant and chronic suspects in a narrative where some social forces exploited others in society, and then stepped back as if they had done nothing wrong and left men like Martin holding the bag-literally(that’s an inside joke).

Related Story: NPR covers a story far too late-the CIA really WAS running drugs in America.

This holding the bag theme is a social constant, one where the truly criminal never get caught or punished, while other’s are scapegoated as criminals. And it is an especially useful tool to all of those in the corporate sponsored private prison industrial complex to point the finger and say “bad menz!” while they turn America into a state of warrantless surveillance, and destroy families. Suuuure. Gentrification is the problem, alright. As long as they (whoever they are) keep US focused on race and other divisive issues that do nothing to solve the crisis of over-policing hre in America, and scapegoating of fathers, brothers, and sons.

Those Homeboys, always up to something-we gotta keep an eye on them and all that. Or, if you have any sense, support them in all they do, providing jobs, and helpingto rebuild communities, and families.

IMG_1821
For the most part, the gentrification issue is a false flag- abunch of beans with a scary name- that benefits no one except large developers like Larry Silverstein, at the expense of old neighbors meeting new ones-and creating mutually beneficial, and locally sustainable economies.

Related story: Does gentrification save or destroy neighborhoods. Or, something in between? The emerging non-troversy over gentrification, a Boyle Heights Coffee shop, and neo-racism and the easily exploited anger of those who have no common sense, from NPR.

Welcome to Racist Food An’ Danger! A safe space for “white people(1)” to indulge in ethnic consumptions of all kinds.

 

My first “taco” was a butter and cheese slathered flour tortilla, which Charley and Chewie’s mom cooked on a flat burner plugged into a line that tapped into a telephone pole, in kitchen whose walls were covered in black charred soot and strips of cheap yellow brown and champagne pink flowered wall paper, sprinkled with char black furring strips nailed to two-by-fours polking out from between holes in the plaster. The house, as I recall had been “condemned by policia” after it had burned a few years back; and their families came there every year to live off in te woods, where everyone knew where they were, but where no officials ever went unless their was a murder, or worse.

As it happened, I was a wimpy child, and though I had frequently been invited by the bigger boys to take part in plucking and eating feathered fowls, or “eating the pig’s eyes(2),” and jowls, and entrails, or, failing that, throwing the eyeballs onto the roof “por dios,” I was always easily intimidated into the kitchen, where one or another mother labored over flat griddles and boiling pots, with immaculate aprons that matched the wall paper; or seed sacks.

Keep in mind, this was in the era of Cesar Chavez, and women still sometimes wore reused things like table clothes as clothing; and today, most Mexican’s have no idea that my friends and extended temporary families looked like this:

Image result for mexican migrant clothes 1970
Mexican Migrants from the era just before my own.

Image result for mexican migrant 1970
Workers in the Time of One Cesar Chavez. [photo credit NPR: Memories of a Former Migrant Worker]
.

The  house sat off in the little woods at the edge of Lake Zurich Illinois, which was surrounded by strawberry fields and apple trees in the nearby orchards, and surely they picked a host of other crops, which I was then, at four years old, just learning about by reading Richard Scarry and watching America’s first multi-cultural programming, Sesame Street.

And, as it happened years later, it was positioned between the swamp, my route to my first school, the forbidden tree fort, Sue Rendon’s house (she was the local fertility goddess) and all of which was surrounded by the territory of one “Bully Schultz”, an aptly named boy who was “from there.”

 

While Chewie’s families were migrant workers who came north to walk and pick, harvest and crawl on their knees through fields, and climbing the trees of every picking season, I was the lucky kid in their eyes, and a “townie” from a rich family who didn’t have to work the fields. Yup. I was lucky-my dada was a garbage man. Years later, as I picked rocks in th fields of the farmers who are “from there” I didn’t fel so lucky, but my white skin, lobster red, made me so.

Here, have a look at our rich-people’s house, where I lived for a coupe of years (most places I lived were for a couple of years):

Image result for 123 beauteau ave lake zurich illinois
This is the house I lived in for a few years when I was a rich white boy. I remember my dad sawing the head off of a deer in that shed to the left, because mobsters had fire-bombed him. He was going to throw that head through VanDer Mollen’s window. I don’t know if he ever did that, but after he cut the head off thatndeer, the whole shed smelled like congealed death. Then, he became an FBI rat for awhile, wearing a wire, which, may or may not have ben the prudent choice.

Men were seldom seen in Chewie’s house, and when they were, they were  sleeping on couches that had been dragged out of the trash-big over-stuffed couches whose arms smelled like feet-and dirt; that sour smell of foot-dirt that gets tracked in between toes that worked 14 hour days, six or seven days per week, depending on the age and marital status of the male. And the mothers and daughter’s hushed us with finger’s at their lips, invoking the potential fear of death, maybe the wrath of Dios should these men awaken due to our child’s play.

So this was where I grew up for awhile, and where I began to learn that I was lucky, and white. Where I was caught between Bully Schultz and  a smelly swamp, and centered myself some Sundays at the burned out house i the woods. Yet I remember someone pointing to my lucky house one day trying to explain it, my luck-it was one of Charley’s cousin’s, from deep Mexico who was not aware of the rules. He said “you are white like the house.”

Lucky me. In that moment, probably around six years old, I had this flash of awareness-in that momet it was explained to e why my mother always admonished me to keep my sleeves rolled down. She didn’t want me to get burned by the sun, maybe. Or maybe not.

(1)I have never know what white people are, other than a reaction formation between racists of other stripes who brutalize the lower classes of “white culture” with this memetic, in order to gain social advantage. There is a LOT of money to be made exploiting race in America-but WHO is exploiting and cashing in on that? I just have never found it in me to do so. UNTIL NOW!!! As I watch the money roll in to this (free) blog!!!!!

(2) there were always jokes about the pigs eyes. No one that I know actually eats them now, or did then.