She continues to make what should be a conversation about how to build and protect affordable housing and limit the negative effects of a wildfire of new development into a heated fight over race, gender, class, wealth and even religion. Following on the heels of painting herself as a Gentrification Freedom Fighter (GFF), now there's this diatribe, clearly meant to elicit more anger at everyone on the other side of her argument. Given the number of people of color, religious Jews and yes even respectful white men (and women) involved in the process, this stuff is so unnecessarily incendiary. The suggestion is...oh just read it. You'll see where she's going, and why I'm nearly certain it will be impossible to hold frank and fruitful discussions.
Black Women: BE SEEN but NOT HEARD!At the Police Precinct meeting with the community,on April 16, 2015, a Black woman stood upand described an incident that occurredAt the last CB9 ULURP meeting,where there were [White] board memberscalling [Black] women residents “Cunts” and “Fuck You”.In response Stuart Balberg, [White male],Precinct Board memberstood up and admonished this woman,because he felt that stating the curse wordsor even describing them with an abbreviated lettersuch as the “F”, was offensiveand goes against the bible.Now he wasn’t upset about this incident;that women were being verbally abused byCB9 board membersjust the reporting of it!How dare he admonish this woman for describingabusive behavior being donetowards the black women in this community!That is why there is the Precinct meetingwith the community so that we can voice our concernsand let the Police know what is transpiring.But this isn’t the first time Black women in publichave been admonished for speaking their mind,stating facts or even asking questions.At the last CB9 meeting, March 24, 2015.Twice during the meetingRabbi Goldstein, CB9 member,requested that events be circumventedand postponed because they would either occurduring the Jewish Saturday observance orthe 2 week long Jewish Holiday.In the latter case, a ULURP meeting was trying to be scheduled,because an immediate response was required by this committeeand the 2 week long holiday, might prevent it from happening.As a result of this a Black Woman board member stood upand asked how many Jewish people were on the ULURP committee,because if the ULURP committee can still have a quorum(enough members present to have a legal vote)it should still meet. The answer was 1.In response, however, Rabbi Goldstein, CB9 member stood upand stated that this question was anti-Semiticand she shouldn’t be asking this type of question etc…Again it shows that Black women are not allowed to ask questions,to report issues and to state offensive behaviors being displayedbecause they are seen as anti-Semitic or violating the bible.Our Community is made up of many diverse ethnic groups,cultures and religious beliefs,being respectful is the understanding that everyone has the rightto ask questions and to present facts.The Board members of these community organizations need to understandIt is their job to hear and not to curtail the voices of the community!The Black women of this community have a right to stand upand speak, to voice their opinions, to state the facts(no matter how offensive it might be to others),to ask questions, without White male board memberson these various community organizations admonishing them.These are the behaviors that are racist and sexist!We will not be silenced!We will continue to call out behaviorsThat are abusive, divisive, separatist, and racistOur voices will not be silenced!We will be SEEN and HEARD!
White male Board members calling Black women "cunts?" Believe me, I would have remembered THAT. The word doesn't even cross my lips - I learned that lesson a long, long time ago - ask my wife! Jake, the rabbi, wouldn't say that. Warren Berke? No way. What other white male members are there? Quest Fanning? What a sweet and gentle soul. Seriously, who are they talking about? I'll give you a "fuck you" here and there. That's been uttered many times on all sides. In NYC it's practically a greeting, especially if you're being disrespected. It's also used as a synonym for "oh, c'mon!"
The baiting of the Jewish community is unconscionable. And not to quibble, but Passover is not TWO WEEKS, especially this year falling as it did on the Sabbath. I mean, seriously? And since when has POSTPONEMENT been a big issue for MTOPP? They've been pushing back, and pushing back, I don't even know how long it's been since the Board even held a vote. Look, you can't say "how many Jews are on the committee - why not just hold the meeting without them?" and expect everyone to say "oh yeah, that's a good point you have there." Fortunately there a lot of Christians and agnostics on the committee, so it's pretty certain a quorum can be reached. Forget the secular Jews. Even if they do celebrate Passover they'll bounce right back on day three. Oy, and thank god there's no Amish or Muslims!
But rather than dig into that fight, I want to suggest another option. Nothing. That's right, nothing. In this one email, Alicia made it clear this can only get uglier, and uglier. She will not allow consensus on ANYthing, and she might just drag us down into a 1990 pre-riot sensibility. Her followers are getting angrier and angrier. The whole City has gone anti-rezoning crazy, as if THAT's the real problem causing rents to rise. Ugh. This is such intense ignorance of how capitalism works, how the City charter works, how the DEVELOPERS work, what as-of-right means, how little the City has in its tool kit to prevent neighborhoods from completely changing complexion and wealth.
But if the "leader" for the opposition to a study stoops to such lows, and considers the Community Board the problem...maybe it's time to remove the "problem" from the conversation. A bunch of members have resigned. Most don't speak up at meetings. There's no sense at all that people realize what's at stake, save maybe a dozen concerned Board members. So...maybe it's time to take one for the team. There's simply no winning, even if we "win."
All I know is, there's a meeting Rebecca F and I are hosting on Monday night, same time as the ULURP, since it was rescheduled, again, at the last possible minute. And for the first time since this whole thing started, I don't seem to care that I won't be there. The well has been poisoned, and even my friends and allies stay mostly silent, unable to counter the strength and volume of a few very, very angry residents.
I'm going to be at my block's meeting at 40 Clarkson Monday night. We'll be talking crime. You're all invited. Hope to see you there.
I just hope all these negative voices realize that the worst excesses of developers, and the lack of affordable options, will be on their hands. They claim they're fighting for no more unwanted buildings like 626. I wonder how much they'll be able to deliver? Remains to be seen, I suppose.