The First Shots In The War Against Detroit Hipsters Have Been Fired

Illustration for article titled The First Shots In The War Against Detroit Hipsters Have Been Fired

Oh, Detroit. You've disappointed me lately with your ever-deteriorating spray-painting skills, from your warnings to shoot trespassers to your mysterious pro-Mike Duggan ads.


I'll halfheartedly joke that Detroit is keeping the spray paint industry in business but some of the displays are getting more ridiculous. Case in point, this warning against hipsters painted that's floating around social media at the moment.


Scribbled on Bagley Street between Honey Bee Market and the Mexican Village Restaurant, the message on this vacant party store calls for a stop to gentrification and "no more homogenization" of Southwest Detroit.

(For those unfamiliar, the party store is literally around the corner from the old train station/international symbol of Detroit's decline. I personally wouldn't mind if someone gentrified the shit out of that old relic.)

Usually people complaining about Detroit hipsters (read: young white people that aren't the majority of the older white people or the Mexican-Americans that live in Southwest Detroit) spoke in hushed tones on message boards like DetroitYes, but this is the most brazen anti-hipster display to my knowledge.


I've generally found Detroit hipsters to be harmless creatures, simply seeking food (at Honey Bee) and shelter (cheap rent in Hubbard Farms) like every other natural being in the world. Hipsters also add to the natural order of things (tax revenue in a city that desperately needs it) so it's not like they're a dangerous threat disrupting the ecosystem. And besides, everyone knows you mock hipsters via memes and Tumblr.

Perhaps more knowledge of misunderstood Detroit hipsters (a Model D panel discussion titled "Beyond Boundaries: From Motown to Mexicantown" is in the works as we speak) would ease the tension, but all sarcasm aside from here on out — is this really the thing some people are most worried about? The city is bankrupt. 911 is a joke. And a few miles away from this party store are mounds of pet coke on the riverfront.


We can talk about the nuances of "new Detroit" vs. "old Detroit" without having to resort to threatening messages. Putting up "no hipsters" isn't going to make them go away, just like putting up "this area is infested by crackheads" won't solve the crack problem in that neighborhood. In the end, it just makes us look divisive and foolish.

Hat-tip to Dan Austin via Jim Diamond.

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uh, I'd like to speak my mind about gentrification but that would probably make me a racist.

from my point of view, it just seems like people get angry about rich white kids making their neighborhoods better. The same 'problem' is happening in Cincinnati.

Over-The-Rhine use to be a very scary, very dangerous shithole in Central Cincy that no one dared pass through. Cincinnati, seeing that homicides and violent crimes, went through, foreclosed many of the shitty, abandoned houses and properties, and sold them at dirt cheap prices. Over-The-Rhine (OTR) is now the place to go, not just for hipsters, but for people of all walks of life: Punk Rockers, people looking for quality furniture, gamblers, young people looking for a new home, the rich looking for a plush apartment, etc.

Is that so bad? apparently. There have been demonstrations that this practice is racists because only white people will invest in these buildings.

I don't even know how to respond to that.