REBRANDING GENTRIFICATION AS THE NEW CHIC!

The global economic crisis has created opportunities for many people while many more who were holding on by a thread are being annihilated in a dog eat dog ,survival of the fittest type of time which breeds the type of gentrification that gets glossed over as change toward some sort of new chic.

As I tirelessly & patiently work with my editor to finish a piece for Global Fusion TV entitled Harlem: Politics, Gentrification & Community – trying to dissect & effectively tell the story of how the three (politics, gentrification & community) can bump heads as well as cohesively work together; I came upon two articles that are at the heart of this story & specifically address the two boroughs in New York that truly hold the globally recognized core, heart & soul of New York’s culture & global fusion that is known worldwide. I also came upon a “Like It is” segment that discussed what had changed or had not since the historical March on Washington, which many are now trying to recreate for their own agendas in mimicking a moment in time similar to today- with the high unemployment rate amongst poor people of all colors, religions & beliefs along with the gentrification & politics that breeds a society that unapologetically exercises the worst type of mind-fuckery of the poor & disenfranchised into fighting against one another as political puppets/pawns instead of seeing that they have the same fight & the same desires in need of the same solutions- Jobs, a sense of community, a sense of being able to stay in one’s community, and the need for the sense of self worth that comes with having a job/career/hustle/livelihood which allows us our human dignity in being able to provide for ourselves in hand ups instead of handouts-The need to find solutions in caring for our basic human rights of food, shelter, education, healthcare with providers who uphold the Hippocratic Oath instead of showing itself time & time again to be the opposite in its lack of humanity, along with the type of government whose governce holds true to “we the people” in honoring a constitution that holds these TRUTHS TO BE SELF EVIDENT…

“…. that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness….” READ MORE

We the people can not lose our way by falling in line instead of opening our eyes & questioning the state of our communities & the world at large before we just consume its teachings! There are many wolves in sheeps clothing all around us that choose to feed us the poison to our slow demise. Enerst Withers, who was the foremost photogrpaher of the Civil Rights movement known for taking the photograph which defined the March on Washington & let the world know that yes this man & every man/woman, rich or poor is somebody & deserves to have a voice & a place to call their own in the world, was found to be an FBI informant. We must be aware of what goes on around us & not take the easy way of ignorance being bliss & only seeking enough information to suit our specefic & selfish purposes. We must come with eyes wide open in accepting anyone in our circle who disseminates information & who defines our group think & actions by realizing that we are all somebody & we all have the capacity to question & think for ourselves!

Just because Brooklyn’s own native son who made good, Jay Z is the face of gentrification turned chic in Brooklyn doesn’t mean it is OK & somehow automatically meaning that he is there to look out for the people of Brooklyn in getting a hand up!  If Brooklyn is the New Chic & where it’s at then why trade it in for Tribeca? It does not make it OK or have our best interest in mind for the Democratic party or any other party to take for granted the vote of their base by automatically expecting it just because they know the other option is just too scary, or just because we have a Black President who the majority of us full heartedly support in good or bad moments because we know he operates from a place of common sense in a system that has no respect for common sense because it was built on a foundation of CHECKS without BALANCES! We must make sure that Common Sense prevails at a time when it’s needed the most after to many Checks have been cashed with little to no Balances.  If we would have paid more attention & listened a little harder  when 50 Cent clearly told us about his “ski mask way”  in how he gets his money by taking “quarter water sold it in bottles for 2 bucks..Coca-Cola came and bought it For billions, (that’s what’s up)what the f**k?“, it would have never been such a shock to us when the news broke that Vitamin Water actually had no vitamins or nutritional value any greater than the hood quarter water that would be beneath those who were paying an extra buck 75 ($1.75) for quarter water to be the new chic at a time when class in its “caste” definition trumps substance : the New Brooklyn, the New Harlem, the New Africa, the New Europe, the New Asia, the New Caribbean, the New Latin America, the New Cool, the New Gentrification of Chic!

With all the money being boasted about in the Black community , where is that money when a major Black institution like Third World Press is failing strictly because of lack of funding, not lack of will to continue its great works nor lack of talent waiting to shine! At a time when we say there is little to no real positive representation & ownership in the media by global Africans, I would hope that the “ski mask style” of getting stanky rich off of the backs of our own people would trickle down & translate into giving back to our people by holding up & saving the institutions whose sole purpose is to educate , to hold up positive images of Black people globally while giving our literary scholars & journalists an opportunity to continue telling our stories by us, for us with an opened mind to share in our global fusion! There are many wolves in sheep’s clothing all around us from governments, churches, groups, acquaintances, strangers, families, lovers, friends,  partners etc., we all just have to be a little more aware with blinders off in seeking education & information before we hold certain truths to be self evident!

As a photographer at the centre of the civil rights movement he had unparalleled access to Martin Luther King and other leading figures, documenting their struggle for equality…But Ernest Withers has now been exposed as an FBI informant, feeding the organisation considered by many black activists to be its enemy with information for years…Withers died in 2007 aged 85 after a distinguished career during which he photographed key moments in the civil rights campaign…” READ MORE

In putting together this story in the context of who is telling the “behind the story” stories that never seem to make it to the headline news, I saw my friend Mr. CNN, A photojournalist’s  facebook status that said “Because of being in the media, a zongo boy also has a place in history. You can always be all you want to be just talk to God, blab it and grab it…The Reason I say media is great is that certain avenues only the wealthy are allowed but they paid big bucks to get in, media gets free VIP passes cos we are influential. That is the power of media, INFLUENTIAL, NOT MONEY BUT FAVOR. A GOOD NAME IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN RICHES. ASK THE LORD FOR FAVOR!!!” He couldn’t be more on point in his summary of the power of the media, but whether we use that power for good or for bad is up to We, The people -in God’s Favor!

Check Out the articles below & pay attention to the comments of those who read it as you stay tuned for the launch of Global Fusion TV’s “Behind The Story” episodes- Coming Soon!

It was a day like any other on West 123rd Street in Harlem. The Rev. Arthur Anthony Harris was busy handing out bags of potatoes, tomatoes and cabbage from the steps of the Rescue Mission Baptist Church.Craig Schley, a candidate for Congress and the president of the block association, walked briskly past the church, giving Mr. Harris a nod as he went by…The stroller-pushers made their way down the tree-lined sidewalk. Cable guys and deliverymen lumbered from van to stoop. Neighbors greeted one another by first names…This could pass for any other gentrifying block in Harlem, if not for the underlying tensions, the bickering, rumor mongering and resentments that have divided it, pitting neighbor against neighbor and the block association against one of the most powerful black churches in the city…” READ MORE

If you travel from New York to any midsize or larger city, not just in the United States but in the Western world, you can now reliably find some portion of it that you’ll intuitively recognize as “Brooklyn”—as in “the Brooklyn of Portland” or “the Brooklyn of Montreal.” Think about that for a moment. The ascendancy of Brooklyn is a familiar and oft-told tale—nice blocks, good restaurants, beards—and the push-me-pull-you tug between upstart Brooklyn and king-of-the-castle Manhattan has long since settled into détente. Yet you would never, ever travel to another city and describe a neighborhood there as “the Manhattan of Seattle.” Why is that? Well, in part it’s because they only ever made one Chrysler Building. But it’s also testament to the fact that Brooklyn has, in a relatively short time, developed a distinct and recognizable set of characteristics that’s echoed in cities around the world but which finds its epicenter here. Not in Manhattan. In Brooklyn….Maybe Manhattan, for all its recent transformation, is still too vast and jumbled and myth-encrusted to ever be summed up as one idea. Brooklyn, of course, is also vast and jumbled (some might argue vaster and jumblier), and is still composed of large, vibrant, and viable stretches that have little to do with the “Brooklyn” you recognize in Seattle. But the part we refer to as “Brooklyn” is now our city’s most dominant cultural export. And it’s being imagined into existence, in tiny pieces, every day, by the people pictured on the previous page……” READ MORE

Question to my Global Fusionists Is This Your SUM of BROOKLYN?

COMMENTS :READ MORE

This article is extremely irresponsible, divisive and racist. In 2010, The African American, Latino and Asian cultural communities constitute the majority of the population of Brooklyn, however you would not know it from this photo and article. This article and photo is not an accident, oversight, or just another one of those, “I didn’t realize that there were so many other cultures in Brooklyn. I’m sorry….” No. This was done on purpose and with a very specific and dangerous agenda. This was done for the purposes of utilizing the power of images to erase communities of color and replace them with a White culture that includes a sprinkling of played out tokenism.

This article is an “all call” to White communities all over the world to inform them that “we” have just about erased all people of color and it is now safe to come to Brooklyn. To communities of color, it is informing them that they no longer have a place in Brooklyn, and that their presence in the Borough is no longer relevant, AND their days are numbered. That is the message. PERIOD! What is most disturbing about this article and photo is that the power of the United States and more specifically New York City lies within its diversity of cultures and the many talents that these diverse cultures bring to the table. Yet despite this fact, the White dominant power structure, which was achieved through global colonization and the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, to this very day – through articles and images such as this – persist in the marginalization of other cultures. True happiness in human existence takes place when we celebrate and include all cultural contributions to mankind. I hope that all people Black, White, and everyone in between will express their disapproval for this type of divisive reporting and will become far more vocal when they see it not only in media but also in housing, employment, development, education, architecture, retail, safety and so many other areas where inclusiveness is critical to the success of the whole.

BY LCMOCADA on 10/01/2010 at 6:22 pm

@LMOCADA-All I can say is AMEN! I thought I was alone in seeing the ridiculousness of the photo & the article. Brooklyn is known world wide just like Harlem -not for its new implants & gentrification but for its rich cultural history & diversity that is all but forgotten. Where is Carol’s Daughter, Moshood, Jaloff Restaurant, Bred-Stuy, Cake Man Raven & Pieces of Brooklyn. These are Brooklyn institutions & small businesses that show the entrepreneurship & diversity of Brooklyn. Carol’s Daughter started in a small Brooklyn kitchen & is now on its way to becoming a major international company like Revlon! The West Indian Day/ Labor Day Parade is by far one of the biggest tourists attractions to Brooklyn- why not interview the people of the community who put that together every year who share a part of their global culture as authentically Brooklyn! What about the new rise of Coney Island & the authentic Brooklynites who have stayed & maintained institutions like the Cyclone for all these years. What about young Brooklynites like Hope & Rae who opened Brooklynite Gallery from the ground up in Notorious Bed Stuy -home of the brave- the home where the Notorious B.I.G realized it was more than a dream &  Spike Lee started building his own 40 acres with his mules looking for their own 40 Acres!

Brooklyn is more than the sum of gentrification. Change is the only constant in life & we should all welcome change, but we should never seek to erase the past or culture in place of change. I hate to think this article was as deliberate as you say in what it expresses, but unfortunately I have seen this too many times to put anything past human beings & how we are able to justify the evil & unkind actions that we commit on one another.

BY GLOBALFUSION on 10/02/2010 at 12:43 pm

The Hippocratic Oath is an oath demanded of physicians who are entering practice and can be traced back to the Greek physician and teacher Hippocrates (ca. 460-ca. 377 b.c.e.). The oath reads as follows:

I swear by Apollo the physician, by Aesculapius, Hygeia, and Panacea, and I take to witness all the gods, all the goddesses, to keep according to my ability and my judgment the following Oath:

“To consider dear to me as my parents him who taught me this art; to live in common with him and if necessary to share my goods with him; to look upon his children as my own brothers, to teach them this art if they so desire without fee or written promise; to impart to my sons and the sons of the master who taught me and the disciples who have enrolled themselves and have agreed to rules of the profession, but to these alone, the precepts and the instruction. I will prescribe regiment for the good of my patients according to my ability and my judgment and never to harm anyone. To please no one will I prescribe a deadly drug, nor give advice which may cause his death. Nor will I give a woman a pessary to procure abortion. But I will preserve the purity of my life and my art. I will not cut for stone, even for patients in whom the disease is manifest; I will leave this operation to be performed by practitioners (specialists in this art). In every house where I come I will enter only for the good of my patients, keeping myself far from all intentional ill-doing and all seduction, and especially from the pleasures of love with women or with men, be they free or slaves. All that may come to my knowledge in the exercise of my profession or outside of my profession or in daily commerce with men, which ought not to be spread abroad, I will keep secret and will never reveal. If I keep this oath faithfully, may I enjoy life and practice my art, respected by all men and in all times; but if I swerve from it or violate it, may the reverse be my lot.”