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.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Discussions Circling Back On Discussions

J'Ouvert and the discussion about discussions about its safety continue to dominate our area. I urge you to check out your local politicians (conspicuously missing YOUR council person and Haitian J'Ouvert supporter Mathieu Eugene, go figure). I'm a fan of all four of these folks (Adams, Williams, Cumbo, Parker), and I think they speak to the crux of the matter, with the two most germane points:

1: You cannot stop the spontaneous celebrations of J'Ouvert
2: One cannot completely contain violence on Labor Day, or any other day, and therefore equating J'Ouvert and violence is not apt
3: The issue of gun violence is separate and way more crucial

Errol Louis, more combative even than usual, makes the sound argument that:

A: By sanctioning J'ouvert with a permit, encouraging people to congregate en masse along a parade route that is essentially a police zone, you give the false impression that this is a safe event.

Great to hear our representatives, albeit without Walter Mosley (who thinks J'Ouvert should be canceled) and Diana Richardson. But I gotta say...the "discussions" go in circles and no one is particularly adept at saying what needs to be said, in the Q's most humble opinion. Nothing. Step back from the police state. Don't sanction anything. Let it be what it is. Let people decide for themselves whether to go or not and where to celebrate. We tried the over-policing and surgical lighting. Go back to how it was, and have a nice day. J'ouvert. Here to stay.

NY1 Online: Emotional Debate About the Future of the J'ouvert Celebration

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

the representatives who insist j'ouvert must not be cancelled should put their money where their mouth is and organize some local anti-gun PSAs. especially jumaane williams, who has spoken out against gun violence many times before. NYC has commercial and subway PSAs against every dangerous thing under the sun (K2, drunk driving, vision zero stuff, etc), and it should have them for illegal gun ownership; NRA be damned. i don't think j'ouvert should be cancelled but after this incredibly disgusting development in the murder tiarah poyau (http://gothamist.com/2016/09/07/jouvert_shooting_victim_reportedly.php) I think the onus is on those who insist there is no link between the parade and violence to call out the disgusting toxic masculinity pervasive in the community (which generally ends horribly when such men carry guns). And yes, I will absolutely make this about gender because it is clearly a misguided belief that being "a man" means you bring a weapon to joyful parades.

The No Spin Zone Stops Here said...

I really appreciated your article and glad I am not the only anarchist who feels that enforcing the law is equivalent to creating a police state.

In addition to recognizing that there is nothing we can do to stop violence from occurring, I would ask people to go a step further on helping making our little corner of the world a better place

1) Disarm the police, there is going to be violence anyway
2) Disconnect the 911 system during Spring Break Week in Daytona and Ft Lauderdale
3) Get rid of the TSA at airports, personal sensitivity must be respected
4) Close down Rikers, do eminent domain and give it to politically connected nursing home and luxury housing developers
5) Give out flowers at the parade and encourage residents to hug trees
6) Put a stop to those instigating NYPD signs warning against stabbing people at Jouvert...the signs only anger people and more often than not have the effect of producing the very violence that it seeks to stop

and finally.....

7) Criminalize spanking children

Anonymous said...

All the thugs seem to get amped up for weeks before and after the official parade. The event is singular in its violence. I understand it points to bigger issues of general gun violence and poverty based crime, but enough is enough. Move it some where else.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Anon 11:06. I don't think you, I or anyone know anything about what gets the "thugs" amped up. It's all just guesses. That's why, in my mind, there is nothing to be done. Let the go-er beware.

Anonymous said...

Let the go-er be shot...
Nothing to be done...
Sounds like a well thought plan.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Guy got capped on woodruff at 7:30 pm. You are proposing we shut down Woodruff? Surgical lighting on every Brooklyn corner?

Clarkson FlatBed said...

NO SPIN: i suggested none of those things. Nor do I suggest we end policing jouvert at a reasonable level. You sound hysterical. Try meditation

Anonymous said...

Tim, if there was a gun related murder on woodruff every year during Groundhog Day festivities then absolutely woodruff should be shut down on that day. It's the difference between random and non-random, modifiable risk violence.

For example, we could start "Flatbush-fest" on Nostrand Avenue starting at 2am with prizes for the most scantily clad individual, best twerker, and most fucked up celebrant. What the fuck do you predict would happen at Flatbush-fest? That is what we call modifiable risk.

Let me elaborate. Risk 1. People get up to naughty things at 2am. Risk 2. Encouraging large crowds to drink and drug at 2am is a tinderbox. Risk 3. Combining risks 1&2 and high crime, high gang areas is dropping a lit cigarette in the High Sierra during a 40 year drought. Risk 4. Sexing up this whole combustible mixture just puts icing on the cake.

The question is not, "is J'ouevert a good idea?"
It isn't. The question is, what can be done to mitigate the modifiable risks with which is is associated? Bottom line: nobody should stop an important celebration of ethnic pride but don't be an idiot. Modify the risks.

Anonymous said...

And being a "man" means you can dance up against a women and get angry and even abusive if she refuses your advances. Where is this behavior learned that allows these young men to think they are gods gift to all women entitling them to catcall every woman they see walking down the street and when they are ignored blurt out insults. It's just disgusting and infuriating that a young woman who was trying to move in this world and do something with her life had it ended by a drunk, high, young boy and I call him a child because many of these men have not and will not grow up...ever, and the solution is too large for me to fathom.

-josh

No Spin Zone Stops at Empire Blvd said...

In moral and political philosophy, the social contract or political contract is a theory or model, originating during the Age of Enlightenment, that typically addresses the questions of the origin of society and the legitimacy of the authority of the state over the individual.[1] Social contract arguments typically posit that individuals have consented, either explicitly or tacitly, to surrender some of their freedoms and submit to the authority of the ruler or magistrate (or to the decision of a majority), in exchange for protection of their remaining rights. ( WIKIPEDIA, Social Contract)

Is it time for a referendum in NYC or a CB 9 resolution on the continuation, restriction or elimination of J'ouvert ?

Clarkson FlatBed said...

No Spin: The problem with letting the whole city decide whether one ethnic/racial group should be allowed to have a party - um, pretty dicey. CB9? Hilarious idea. I quite like it.

I think we "hire" elected leaders to lead - thank god we don't have to vote on EVERYthing. Whatever they decide is what is decided. But don't expect violence to disappear from Labor Day weekend because of anything they or you or I say on the matter.

Repeat - law enforcement, necessary. Attention to the problem of youth violence, essential. Stopping J'ouvert? Good luck with that.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Anon: 7:30. I like your arguments. However, J'Ouvert covers an enormous area, what with the hundreds of small parties all over three neighborhoods and the route itself, which is all the way down Flatbush, then down Empire, turn on Nostrand.

I suspect if you cancel J'Ouvert next year there will be as much if not more violence over that time period, due to all the random partying and spontaneous parading.

Now, which would you prefer. See. The choice ain't so easy.

Anonymous said...

I find it absurd the question of safety to the public is totally overlooked by the politicians. All Diana Richardson released after the shootings were photos of her dancing in the parade with a huge smile on her face. She's a lightweight. If the event were at a fairground where nobody's bedroom windows could be riddled with bullets, and nobody would be forced to walk through it to get home or get to work that would be one thing. But the event is something forced on people, especially those who live in Ebbets Field Apts outside of which last year's and this year's fatal shootings occurred. It's awful to assume everybody who lives there is okay with that. I have heard from so many black residents here and Crown Hts that they are terrified of Jouvert. Why are these politicians too intimidated or out of touch to speak up for those constituents too? We have good gun laws here in NYC. The NYPD did a gun buy back before jouvert. Hand guns will never be entirely banned in the USA, that's pure wishful thinking and a distraction from tough topics to talk about. This is about men and their needing to demand "respect" without knowing what that even is, whether from other men or horrifyingly, from an amazing young woman. She was way out of that loser's league. He knew it so he killed her. The tool he used to do that is not the issue. Lastly, here is the real test: when your 17 says he or she is going to jouvert will you allow them to attend? Because if the answer is no, that's a double standard. If jouvert is safe enough for the 17 year old kid who was killed then it's safe enough for YOUR kid.

Anonymous said...

Annon 10:59, I couldn't say it better, or agree with you more. You are hundred percent on point. By the way before anyone throws shade, I am of Caribbean decent. Jouvert should be abolished...period. On my way to work, I had to turn back home and have my husband drop me to work at Kings County Hospital. I couldn't get a cab for the life of me; and it took us forever to reach the hospital. It was a scary night. This is not the Jouvert that I remember growing up in the Caribbean. I'm sorry...I don't recognize this event;it is not a celebration but a night that gives some people liberty to behave unruly.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 9:50pm, that is frightening and you and others who serve the public in night shifts at hospitals etc should not have to experience that. Could the ambulances and FDNY even get a through the streets to answer calls that night? The participants at j'ouvert come from all over but it is HERE where it is held and whose residents have to deal with it so put it on the ballot for our district. If we residents vote to end it then let the city and the organizers figure out a more appropriate venue.

T. Christopher Weidner said...

J'ouvert needs to be incorporated into the Caribbean Day Parade and it needs to be moved to the City with the rest of the ethnic parade celebrations. The problem with the violence is mostly that it occurs in the neighborhood where everyone also lives. It's logistically far easier to settle a beef (and get your stashed weapons to do it) in your own neighborhood, then it is if it's in Manhattan, where you now need to risk transporting weapons into Manhattan, where it is known this will not be tolerated.

Will there still be intermittent parties here in the neighborhood? Sure. And 99% of those are usually just fine. No street closures, no search lights, no more violence than usual on a summer holiday weekend in Flatbush/PLG.