Friday, November 04, 2011

We Were Already Civilized. Thanks.

A while ago, The F$%k-it List sent me this comment she read somewhere regarding gentrification in BedStuy:

"There is a general Brooklyn blog media/press fascination with white 'hipsters' and other perceived 'gentrifiers' versus the stable, moderate earning black people who own the majority of the residential real estate in parts of Bed Stuy and Crown Heights. The implication seems to be that these neighborhoods are finally being "civilized" by trendy, wealthier white folks. It's truly tiresome."

Look here, I hope this person was mistaken and that this isn't what people are thinking about BedStuy, but just in case, let me explain something to you.

BLACK doesn't automatically equal uncivilized. The neighborhood may have been poorer with only a handful of businesses and services here and there that only catered to inner-city tastes (take-out Chinese joints, laundromats, bodegas on EVERY corner) but it wasn't uncivilized. There was (and probably still is) a huge drug problem all up and through the 79th Precinct's jurisdiction, but it wasn't uncivilized. There were many more abandoned and overgrown lots back then, but we were NEVER uncivilized.

We had jobs. We cared for our families and knew our neighbors- even the criminals- if not by name then by face, and they'd never let bad things happen to good people. Our kids played outside (well, not me...) and decorated our windows during the holidays. We had block parties that lasted from sun-up to sun-down every summer (or so I know I wasn't allowed to go, right?) with great music and fun and food.

To say that all of that was uncivilized because there were no wealthy white folks buying up shit and opening quaint little coffee shops and Ethiopian restaurants would be to call us folks from BedStuy animals, and frankly, I pity the fool that would have the audacity to call me an animal to my face.

So to the people that think the new white residents of BedStuy make the legendary (yes, motherfucker, LEGENDARY) Brooklyn neighborhood more habitable because FINALLY THE ANIMALS ARE TAMED, let me introduce this size 10 Doc Marten to your anus.

*smooches...beaming with pride for my neighborhood*
it was a tough place but I'd change NOTHING I experienced growing up there. BK STAND UP!!