Los Angeles Is Not as High-Minded as Adam Nagourney Thinks


Adam Nagourney writes a truly remarkable piece today about how Southern California’s strong economy is visible in the construction boom taking place in Los Angeles:

But it can also be seen in a battle that has broken out about the fundamental nature of this distinctively low-lying and spread-out city. The conflict has pitted developers and some government officials against neighborhood organizations and preservationists. It is a debate about height and neighborhood character; the influence of big-money developers on City Hall; and, most of all, what Los Angeles should look like a generation from now.

No it’s not. It’s about traffic. It’s always about traffic. And about brown people moving into places where they aren’t welcome. But traffic is mentioned precisely once, in a throwaway line in the 14th paragraph. Racism isn’t mentioned at all. How can you write an entire article taking all the hand-wringing about “character” at face value without ever digging an inch below the surface to understand some of the less salubrious concerns at work here?