“Palo Alto is an elitist shit-den of hate,” commented “radical” Baptist preacher Gregory Stevens on his private Twitter account, which got him fired from First Baptist Church in May. The church has been the center of a bitter political dispute for years in which neighbors complain that too many community events such as children’s choir practices were taking place there, so the City Council threatened to shut the church down.
But is Stevens right? IS Palo Alto a shit-den of hate? Stevens was too radical for the community in which he preached – because he taught the values and commandments of Jesus Christ, who condemned gross inequalities in wealth and privilege. Why are the Christian values of love, sharing, and tolerance so blatantly despised here?
“Palo Alto wanted nothing to do with actual justice and was more interested in guarding their enclave of power and wealth,” said Stevens in an interview. “If the wealth inequalities are not addressed, any talk about climate change, homelessness, and migrant rights is in vain.”
Palo Alto has done much worse than promote racial segregation in housing via racist deed restrictions, exclusionary zoning, and hostility to building anywhere near an appropriate number of apartments. Counting eight billionaires and thousands of millionaires among its populace, the city has carried out egregious attacks on the poor such as banning sleeping in vehicles. Massive white male-dominated corporate office campuses that bring in hordes of car drivers every day along with businesses that steal wages from their own poverty-paid workers are welcome, but providing apartments for these same people to live in is not welcome.
“Why do we worship a homeless man on Sunday and then we worship everyone with Rolexes every other day of the week?” asked Stevens.
Consider the amount of human suffering the city inflicts with decades on racist and classist policies that show no sign of stopping given how the still anti-housing City Council votes. Sounds like an elitist shit-den of hate to us.