The Q at Parkside

(for those for whom the Parkside Q is their hometrain)

News and Nonsense from the Brooklyn neighborhood of Lefferts and environs, or more specifically a neighborhood once known as Melrose Park. Sometimes called Lefferts Gardens. Or Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. Or PLG. Or North Flatbush. Or Caledonia (west of Ocean). Or West Pigtown. Across From Park Slope. Under Crown Heights. Near Drummer's Grove. The Side of the Park With the McDonalds. Jackie Robinson Town. Home of Lefferts Manor. West Wingate. Near Kings County Hospital. Or if you're coming from the airport in taxi, maybe just Flatbush is best.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Shooting Mars Leadup to Holidays


In the middle of the day, yesterday around 4pm, gunfire rings out on the Flabenue. Clearly some kind of beef is getting mighty serious that people pull weapons on a sunny Thursday afternoon. The internets say four perps shot a woman, but I'm waiting for confirmation from the 71st to say for certain.

Pic by Noel H.

Pic by Noel H.

It's not related of course, but have you been following the story of Bobby Shmurda and his run-in with the cops? The accusations against him are pretty intense. I assumed when I saw his "shmoney dance" video that it was pretty harmless but annoying gangsta stuff, but Bratton seems to think there's nothing "video game" about it.

I bring it up because this sort of run around shoot 'em up stuff is definitely too video-esque for safety. You wanna kill someone out in the open? Who does that? Someone who watched Scarface too many times, and thinks they'll live forever. In other words...your average teenager with too much time and too little hope.

I'm not going to embed the Shmurda video here, if you haven't seen it, click through. And I trust if you watch it you have the good sense to place it in historical, political and musical context. I don't mean to glorify or vilify...but the way these young neighbors (E. Flatbush mostly) are basically baiting the cops (Bratton & co. obviously took the bait because they're nailing Shmurda for a massive gun and gang ring) reminds me of NWA back in the early '90s. The video's bravado and lyrics and smoking and drinking read "come and get me pig!" Punk rock was nursery rhymes comparatively.

Intense stuff, not for the wee ones. And then there's that silly Shmoney Dance part of it, which is just plain wiggy. Cartoons, automatic weapons, goofy dancing. A sociologist's doctoral thesis in the making.

Is it early '90s all over again? Makes you wonder.


Zola said...

Earlier this year, wasn't there talk of the 71st increasing patrols and coverage? I don't know if they've been undercover or what, but outside of the NYPD cars parked by the Wholesome store while officers get coffee, I've seen very little presence on and around Flatbush. The usual characters who camp out on corners like Maple/Flatbush don't seem to be deterred from doing their thing, and now we have yet another violent crime out in the open.

I know they have a tough job to do in a challenging political climate, but it's very frustrating to watch things like this happen with ever-increasing frequency, and not see much tangible community support coming from the NYPD.

Lilhomerflanders said...

My guess is the shooters were gentrifiers arguing over which cafe serves the best latte because clearly gentrification is the biggest problem facing our neighborhood. If we only had more artistic poets living here like schmurda. Can't be mad though, those gentrifiers just be keepin it real like alicia Boyd!

Molly said...

Anyone hear anything about the bullet hole that appeared in the front door of 99 Ocean last night/this morning?

Parkside_Guy said...

Attention PLG Commies! What side are you on? you want to support the lumpenproletariat to further your “revolution” or would you really be curled up in the corner crying like a bitch if the police decided to pack it up and just stay home?

Two police officers murdered in cold blood today. I’m sure another poster boy for the agitators who seek to tear down what’s left of our society, not realizing their “utopia” would be many times worse than what it replaced.

Zola said...

Parkside_Guy: Snipe all you want about the "PLG Commies," but this kind of frothing, reactionary sentiment is the real problem...the same kind of unhinged, all-or-nothing logic that leads someone to conclude that all cops are bad, or that all people who question or protest particular police actions are "Commies." The grasping need to politicize a tragedy (especially on the same day it happens) is pathetic.

What happened today was a horrific act committed by a person who was responsible for his own actions. But y'know, feel free to keep taking potshots at strawmen, using talk radio talking points.

FlatFen said...

Zola, you can't with people like this. Sad little tough guys perched in front of computers screens in their mom's basement are not worth engaging with on anything political. Bad enough that their first instinct is to glibly use the murder of two cops as some sort of ghoulish proof of how correct their pathetic views are.

Zola said...

FlatFen: Very true!

Clarkson FlatBed said...

I'm leaving those ridiculous comments if only to show what a-holes read the blog. It's always nice to know I have a broad readership.

Some folks want to wrap the whole problem up in a neat ball. It doesn't work that way. Even the police union is arguing over what happened with those two cops. How were they so blindsided? Were "policies" at fault? And has Bratton gone "soft?"

Please. Lone madman gets mad. Shoots cops. There are broader issues at play, but they shouldn't become the "reason" a suicidal man commits cold-blooded murder. Something tells me this guy was gonna go ballistic (no pun intended) at some point. This was the spark. Not that he didn't have reasons to be mad - but angry is one thing, suicidal-homicidal is quite another.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

As incoming comments from our right-wing racist readers continue to get more ridiculous, and therefore need to be deleted, their "fear" is the resounding take-away. Fearing that the revolution is upon you? That someone might finally call you on your b.s. and make you pay, perhaps violently? Ridiculous. Your safety is clearly more important than anything else on the political landscape, so we'll put justice aside while you sadly spout hate from your laptops during a season or mirth.

It's all fear in the end. Fear or love, my friends. Put either in your heart and you reap what you sow.

Pity. It's the only emotion your diatribes elicit from the Q.

Parkside_Guy said...

It’s interesting you mention “(people) responsible for their own actions”, Zola. Would Mike Brown and Eric Garner still be alive today if they had made a different set of decisions?

Clarkson FlatBed said...

PG: Neither Brown nor Garner were convicted of a crime. However, they were killed by cops.

Speaking of people responsible for their about the killers?

Your inference sickens me.

Parkside_Guy said...


Should the cops not return fire during a shootout because the shooter hasn't been tried by a jury of his peers?

Parkside_Guy said...

“That someone might finally call you on your b.s. and make you pay, perhaps violently?”

Threats from the well-meaning leftist crusader for social justice!!

This is why your utopia will never happen. You have to round up and execute all the dissenters first. Ever read Russian history?

FlatFen said...

Parkside_Guy, have to ask: what is it with wingnut trolls and their constant claim to be the most logical and historically-informed people in the room? Y'all seem to to have a real hard-on for that sort of thing and truly believe that you possess uniquely irrefutable arguments. Whereas in my experience I've always found trolls to be pretty dumb. Thoughts?

Clarkson FlatBed said...

How can there be a shootout when the targets are unarmed? And by the way, I'm a pacifist. Not a fascist.

Just want to make that distinction. It seems lost on you, PG.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

FlatLen: I stand by my "fearful" comment. Otherwise, they'd come out from behind their laptops and lead skinhead rallies.

Balladeer said...

Q -

Let's assume that your ultimate goal is to decrease the number of young black kids who are dying bloody, violent deaths.

The fact is that 93-percent of black murders are carried out by other black people. That's a staggering number.

It would seem wildly illogical then to direct the bulk of your indignation and rage towards cops when they only account for a minuscule percentage of black deaths.

Shouldn't we marshal a bit more fury towards the primary agents of black homicide?

Ironically, by willfully ignoring or minimizing black on black crime, you only exacerbate the problem you are purporting to combat.

If we were somehow able to completely eradicate unjustified killings of black citizens by white cops, 93-percent of the problem would remain.

I've noticed that you tend to react pretty harshly when posters disagree with your worldview. I would appreciate it if you adjourn that impulse.

Have a good Xmas everybody.

Bob Marvin said...

There SHOULD be a great deal of fury directed at homicidal criminals, but that does not preclude dismay at misconduct by those sworn to protect us.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Baladeer: Let's say I DO want to decrease the number of violent deaths, black or white. The very last person on earth I will consult is you.

Why on earth do you racist blowhards feel so high and mighty about your black on black crime statistics? Did you not notice that we live in a segregated society? Have you ever once cited, in your cocktail conversations with No Slappz and Parkside Guy, the staggeringly high white on white murder rate, which is, incidentally very nearly as staggering?

No. Because you're actually not interested in improving race relations. You're dead set on arguing for segregation. I know exactly where you get your information, because you and your pals all read and listen to the same sources. Then you come onto well-meaning blogs like mine and purport to have just concocted your inane anti-humanist rhetoric yourself, probably to make yourself feel better about how much you hate (correct that, FEAR) black people.

My concerns are about how many do not understand the dynamics of the neighborhoods they police - nor do they understand the dynamics taking place between their own ears. How could they? They aren't trained, and neither are we. Trained, that is, for anything other than racism. We're all back at square one, and wondering why in our republic's advanced age we haven't made any sustainable progress.

One crazy man killed some cops and now the whole country is taking sides, like it's us or them? It's ALL us! And right now, it does not look good for Team America.

Unknown said...

According to a Violence Policy Center report, white Americans have a 2.64 per 100,000 incidence of gun murder annually compared to 17.51 per 100,000 among black Americans. This is a national crisis that deserves better efforts toward a solution.

Here's the Huff Post article:

Clarkson FlatBed said...

One of the things that's earned me my commie white-guilt tag is that I've spent a good deal of time in the past discussing the effects of decades of alienation among young black men due to a national disgrace - basically mass incarceration over what would be an all-out effort to educate and employ if such disaffection were happening to white youths. Unemployment is a destabilizing and demoralizing condition, and men since forever have derived a sense of self-worth and dignity from it.

As I've advocated before, a massive education/employment effort on the level of a Roosevelt era WPA corps is in order. It's time to try inclusion and encouragement over incarceration and stigmatization.

It's that serious, and deserves a serious response. So yeah, MaggieDoo, I know the numbers, and they're one of the reasons I got involved in the first place.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Merry Christmas my trollish fiends. Remember, the Q at Parkside comes with a money back guarantee!

I'll continue to speak my mind, and if people want to have an argument about how black people are more naturally inclined to one thing or another, while ignoring context, history and social factors, then yeah, I'm going to call you a racist. And here's why.

When you generalize about a race's characteristics you are a racist, even when you think you're being positive! That's right. It's that simple. By ignoring the bigger problems that stem from a culture of racism AND the more nuanced details of individuals, you are engaging in racism.

It's hard to look in the mirror, but I'd ask that you do so a little more closely before sharing your views in public, even as you hide behind your anonymity. I suspect, however, that you revel in it, making your racism all the more despicable.

Lastly...Black Lives Matter. Lives. Actual lives, actual people. Not statistics.

And again...Merry Christmas!

Clarkson FlatBed said...

fyi, i've turned on comment moderation. hate to do it, but the comments are becoming more nasty all the time. one guy can't handle that i knocked down his absurd hyperbole about Sharpton and Farrakhan and keeps sending it each time I delete it.

I've gotten many complaints about these knuckleheads, privately, and I'm not going to ruin anyone else's evening by giving them a platform.

I apologize that there will be a delay in your comments being posted, but trust me, unless you write racist garbage, I can handle a rebuttal to my comments. You may have to endure one of my sarcastic replies, but I won't hate you and it's all in the spirit of lively debate. Anyone who knows me knows I don't carry grudges - but I can be as stubborn as a bull when carrying a message and calling people out for their b.s. It is, after all, one of the great pleasures to be derived from the written word. There's a long tradition, mastered by people much more intelligent and savvy than me, of "working things out" on the page. I don't do a good job of it in my own head, and I do appreciate every difference of opinion. Just not the right wingnut stuff. There's way too much of it on the internets and the internets deserve a break.