South Central Farmers Should Leave Peacefully
LAist is a California hippie at heart, truly decidated to universal healthcare for all, supportive of good public schools, and a champion of the underdog. However this South Central Farm issue is one we're having a hard time getting behind.
Yes it's easy to see the three sides (the greedy businessmen; the visionless and slow city hall; and the poor, innocent urban farmers) and immediately be drawn to the idealistic locals being removed by cops in riot gear and root for their cause.
But lets get real. This is LA. If you don't have the paperwork that says you own the land, and if you don't have a team of mighty lawyers to present that paperwork, you should probably feel fortunate that you were able to farm that land rent-free for the last 14 years. And no it's not a valid arguement that the poor cannot afford organic fruits and veggies - you dont see LAist shopping at Whole Foods... often.
Is it unfortunate that the owner Ralph Horowitz took the anti-Semitic insults toward him personally? Yes it is. Is it a shocker that he turned down $16 million from the city for the farm — a price that he set? No, it's not a shocker. There are some very rich people in LA and very few of them lost money in the long-run by waiting till tomorrow to sell their real estate here.
Are we to believe Horowitz when he says he wouldn't accept three times that asking price? Hmmmm.
"If the farmers got a donation and said, 'We got $50 million, would you sell it to us?' I would say no. Not a … chance," Horowitz told the LA Times yesterday. "It's not about the money."
Something tells me that you can accuse a man of being part of the so-called Jewish Mafia, but if you paid him three times the going rate for some urban farmland in the hood he might bite. LA can be brutally cold at times, but money does talk.
However so does the mayor, who seems to be doing his best to broker the deal. And he has lined up some other urban areas for these farmers to relocate to. Which is why, despite the delightful images of Daryl Hannah walking among protestors or being removed from a tree, LAist believes that this drama, too, will pass.
Photo via Blackfire on Buzznet