Under the Button is part of a student-run nonprofit.

Please support us by disabling your ad blocker on our site.

​OP-ED: I Didn’t Care About Gentrification Until It Closed the Taco Bell


Photo by Remi Golden / The Daily Pennsylvanian

Look, I’ll be honest with you. I did not really give a shit about gentrification until this moment.

Skyrocketing rents? Whatever. Socioeconomic segregation? Fine by me. Local communities that have been in a neighborhood for generations being displaced? Big whoop.

But closing the only Taco Bell near my house is where I draw the line. Our Taco Bells within walking distance are sacred ground and we’re not giving them up without a fight.

You greedy capitalist pigs think you can just bulldoze an entrenched ethnic community to build a boutique coffee shop. And frankly, you can, because I don’t care about gentrification.

But you cannot just shut down my Taco Bell because you want to sell $23 bento boxes and tahini milkshakes in an open floor plan food court with rustic industrial lighting. I used to eat a Crunchwrap Supreme there every week as a small treat to myself. I called it Taco Tuesday. That was my religion and Taco Bell was my church, which makes closing it a hate crime, pretty much. 

I am still not entirely sure what gentrification is. But as long as it means closing the only Taco Bell near me, I am the staunchest anti-gentrification advocate you’ll ever meet.

Isn’t there an immigrant-owned small business you could shut down instead?