Congrats to Brock for having BOOM California publish his richly textured, detailed exploration into the story of the house and land he owns in Oakland.

In it, Brock finds that the contemporary narrative of the anti-gentrification movement has in fact been an on-going cycle since the first settling of the land by tribes of the Ohlone Indians thousands of years ago. He goes back and researches the various people who laid claim to the land his house sits on, and the story of how his house and neighborhood changed in the past two hundred years.

I found in that history the pattern that I expected. One group pushes out another group, often aided by forces much larger than themselves: a royal army, a Gold Rush, an earthquake, racism, the law, or the gears of capitalism turning. Those gears grind some people to dust. Others manage to harness their power to make fortunes large and small. Whether a person ends up as the machine’s operator or its input is often not determined by anything resembling merit or even by individual decisions, however much we might like to pretend otherwise.

Go read it. (Great historical maps too!)