Talk about a sign of the times.
Vandals smashed a window. The words “white coffee” were spray painted in a cruel joke on the building’s exterior.
And a coffee shop that had been doing business in Denver for three years without any problem suddenly found itself a target — and apologizing — for making its neighborhood a better place.
The reason the shop known as Ink! Coffee was in liberal crosshairs was that it committed the sin of “gentrification” — and maybe the bigger sin of being proud of it — two sins that are apparently unforgiveable to the modern liberal.
The confrontation that closed Denver’s Ink! Coffee for a week took place in November in an area of the city called Five Points, which was once largely black, according to The Associated Press, but has “become one of Denver’s trendiest neighborhoods filled with breweries, restaurants and apartments.”
“Breweries, restaurants and apartments” is what liberals would call a dog whistle. Along with “gentrification,” it usually means white people — young adult white people with decent-paying jobs.
So, when Ink! Coffee put out a sign lightheartedly making a reference to “gentrifying” the area, the “progressive” forces hit hard.
It was a clapboard sign on the sidewalk like a million other signs that have stood outside coffee shops and restaurants, carrying messages like the day’s specials or happy hour drink prices. This one said, “Happily Gentrifying the Neighborhood Since 2014.”
It didn’t take long for liberals to notice and start a social media campaign like this Twitter post that declared: “We are not cool with this sign on 29th and Larimer. Bad decision. Bad design. BAD. W.T.F.”
— La Suprema (@theperfectRu) November 22, 2017
As Helen Raleigh wrote in a piece published by The American Conservative on Tuesday:
Unfortunately, the events that played out in Denver last fall are just a symptom of liberals’ refusal to face the reality of what “gentrification” is.
It’s just the way cities naturally evolve because areas that are cheaper to live in tend to attract outsiders. When those outsiders spruce it up enough, the area’s property values go up and it can turn into one of the premier neighborhoods in the city. That’s how Brooklyn, N.Y., became a “hipster heaven,” as NYULivewire once put it.
The anti-gentrification movement in the Big Apple got so bad that even the liberal Daily News found itself publishing a column headlined: “The left lies about gentrification.”
In the Denver dust-up, not only were the “protesters” (meaning criminals) wrong about the gentrification involved, they missed the point entirely that the shop was just expressing an opinion — as the First Amendment guarantees every American the right to do.
It’s been clear for some time now that the left has no qualms about attacking conservatives on, say, a college campus, but an attack on a coffee shop for expressing an opinion is pretty far outside the pale.
And finally, the coffee shop wasn’t just celebrating itself — it was celebrating its neighborhood, too. And that presumably would include some of the thugs who broke a window and spray painted racist graffiti on the outside of the building.
It’s an almost certain bet that the owners of Ink! Coffee aren’t Donald Trump supporters.
But it’s now an America where Trump opponents feel entitled to disregard the rights of anyone who steps outside what’s perceived to be the progressive circle.
And in this case, that means opening a successful business, bringing money and visitors into a previously underprivliged area and having the temerity to be proud of it.
The attack on Ink! Coffee might have been six months ago, but they’re really a sign of the times.
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