Residents in Sheepshead Bay might have had valid concerns about traffic and other municipal matters when a developer announced he would build a mosque in the area. But who would want to be on their side after an old Jewish man threatened that he would bomb the mosque if it were built? Similarly, Park Slope residents might have reasonable anxieties about the operating hours of an under-construction night club on Sixth Avenue. But after the racist petition that has begun circling the web, who could help but think that a deep and pervasive racism underlies all such protests?
The petition, by local resident Jennifer McMillen, proposes a compromise for the two sides of this issue, but first establishes some ground rules. “I know for a fact that there’s no single type of establishment (or type of bar/club patron for that matter) that Park Slopers would inherently view as ‘undesirable,'” the petition reads. “I don’t think anyone would deny that Park Slopers are about the least ‘racist’ people on the planet.” (In fact, I bet some of Park Slope’s residents’ best friends are black.) But the writer continues:
Instead of focussing [sic] on hip-hop and urban entertainment, what if Prime 6 embraced some of the more indie local artists of ALL races who live and perform in the area.
It’s not “racist” to equate hip-hop with an elevated crime rate vis a vi [sic/srsly?] other types of musical genres – It’s just a statistical fact that crime is more likely to occur among urban audiences than among audiences of other demographics. R&B and rap happen to be my two favorite types of music, but no one (especially my African American friends and colleagues) would seriously deny that hip-hop’s violent history tragically precedes it…which one of Prime 6’s direct neighbors wouldn’t be forever grateful to [the developer] for seeding a vibrant artistic hub instead of another Yo MTV Raps “bling-bling” vip club.
Or, “I’m not a racist, I just know that black people commit more crimes than white people. Even my black friends admit that. So, what if the developer built a club for white people, instead of one for blacks?” Cool, Park Slope, align yourselves with these people.