|photo Elizabeth C.|
A couple days ago I mused about how bloggers and media might respond to the armed robbery against some white folk in Ditmas. The robbers then squatted in the apartment after going on a racial diatribe. What I didn't consider was that someone in the mood for revolution might depict Sabrina and Precious into heroes, or at least a modern day black Butch and Sundance. Thelma and Louise? Bonnie and Clyde? Shields and Yarnell?
Look, I've been writing for months about the injustice and anger simmering. And it's not just because white people, or people of different social class to be more accurate, are moving into Flatbush and Crown Heights and Bed-Stuy etc etc. It's that the move is far from organic. It's systematic, systemic in origin, and the speed is phenomenal. Everyone I meet has stories of bullying and lowball buy-outs and even extortion, which can happen if a landlord thinks they have something over a tenant and uses that as leverage to kick 'em out. I can think of no social change like it, except perhaps the remarkable speed with which whites moved "out" 50 years ago.
We're living in a very historic moment, I believe. The way we behave and the way we react will be part of the American story. I really don't think that it's a time to simply look away or brush it off. Still, it's hard to say whether this particular incident, or poster, is more than an anomaly. But you can guarantee the street will blow this story into a myth, a metaphor, an allegory...and those too will be part of the historic narrative that we are writing as we witness it.