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20 years after Crown Heights riots, Brooklyn neighborhood's racial divisions slowly healing

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20 years after Crown Heights riots, Brooklyn neighborhood's racial divisions slowly healing.

 

BY Simone Weichselbaum and Katie Nelson

NY DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS

 

Sunday, August 14th 2011

 

 

 

"Twenty years after riots erupted between blacks and Jews in Crown Heights, newcomers — including hipsters, Latinos and Asians — are calming old racial divisions.

 

In the years that have passed, the central Brooklyn neighborhood has settled into an uneasy peace, even as many of the mixed-race, kumbaya community groups have fizzled.

 

Black and Hasidic Jewish residents have more pressing issues than their old animosity: Black-on-black gun violence and the dilution of the ultra-orthodox Chabad-Lubavitch Jewish community.

 

"There are no longer different communities. There is one community made up of different backgrounds," said Rabbi Joseph Spielman, who led the Jewish Community Council during the three days of rioting.

 

A handful of upcoming events will mark Aug. 19, 1991, the day Gavin Cato, 7, was killed in a car accident. About three hours after the wreck and five blocks away, 29-year-old Australian scholar Yankel Rosenbaum was fatally stabbed.

 

Black and Jewish residents in Crown Heights still vividly recall the fights, looting and heavy police presence that followed.

 

"People started screaming," said Colin Cohen, the head of the NYPD's 71st Precinct community council. "The young hot-headed guys said, ‘We need justice. We need to take action.' They started to react violently."

 

Isaac Bitton, 63, was beaten as his 12-year-old son watched.

 

"There was a bunch of black teenagers, like 40 or 50. They were chanting ‘***, J ew, J ew,' he recalled. "I got a brick to my head."

 

Crown Heights in 1991 was home to 200,000 residents. About 83% were African-American and Caribbean-American. Less than 10% — mostly Hasidim — were white.

 

Today, Crown Heights is a much more mixed group of 134,819 residents, 2010 Census data show. Blacks now make up 72% of the population, with the number of Jews and newcomers growing."

 

http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2011/08/14/2011-08-14_20_years_later_after_crown_heights_riots_brooklyn_neighborhoods_racial_divisions.html

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Ok ?

 

Can we ease up on the race related topics.....

 

No problem bro. It was in the news headlines and will continue to do so this week thus why i thought it was intresting. Maybe this story should have gone into the 2011 memorable and infamous dates thread instead.

 

http://www.nyctransitforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=26829&page=7

 

The news media loves to talk race problems (like crime, sex, etc.) and like you (B35)wish it could be covered less.

Edited by Shortline Bus

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Ok ?

 

Can we ease up on the race related topics.....

 

Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. Just saying.

 

The fact that something like this could happen in New York in the '90s should not be a fact that gets forgotten about because it makes you uncomfortable. This was a real low point in New York City's modern history and should not be ignored. This is a major anniversary of the riots, so it is more than appropriate to bring it up again.

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Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. Just saying.

 

The fact that something like this could happen in New York in the '90s should not be a fact that gets forgotten about because it makes you uncomfortable. This was a real low point in New York City's modern history and should not be ignored. This is a major anniversary of the riots, so it is more than appropriate to bring it up again.

 

I agree... Those sorts of issues will continue to pop up if we keep sweeping them under the rug. Quite frankly, we as a society have progressed on a few fronts, but for some reason, this is still one of those topics where folks look at it as being taboo to discuss it.

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I agree... Those sorts of issues will continue to pop up if we keep sweeping them under the rug. Quite frankly, we as a society have progressed on a few fronts, but for some reason, this is still one of those topics where folks look at it as being taboo to discuss it.

 

 

Just look at the recent UK riots in London and elsewhere for example.

Could a riot in NYC based on race or economic/class status occur? IMO yes.If this crappy ecomony continues, it sadly makes it more likely to happen.

 

 

As the article stated although the Hasic and Black communities are not exactly 'best friends' they do have interfaith community meetings in the neighborhood make it less likely for issues to get out of hand.

 

 

PS I was in Crown Heights few months back and was intrestred in how the hipsters i.e Mostly Young US-Born Whites have in recent years have moved into Crown Heights. Most of them are in the area of the Franklin Ave (2)(3)(4)(5) stop.

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Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. Just saying.

 

The fact that something like this could happen in New York in the '90s should not be a fact that gets forgotten about because it makes you uncomfortable. This was a real low point in New York City's modern history and should not be ignored. This is a major anniversary of the riots, so it is more than appropriate to bring it up again.

 

No.

 

The thing is, MOST of us ARE well aware of what goes on in neighborhoods where crime is higher, and DON'T need to be hearing about something that goes on in it and put ALL OVER the media so we can LOOK BAD in everyone else's eyes.

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No.

 

The thing is, MOST of us ARE well aware of what goes on in neighborhoods where crime is higher, and DON'T need to be hearing about something that goes on in it and put ALL OVER the media so we can LOOK BAD in everyone else's eyes.

 

So you just want to cover up the crimes committed by a certain group because it makes them look bad?

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No.

 

The thing is, MOST of us ARE well aware of what goes on in neighborhoods where crime is higher, and DON'T need to be hearing about something that goes on in it and put ALL OVER the media so we can LOOK BAD in everyone else's eyes.

 

The riots were very different from the normal high crime levels you will find in a "bad neighborhood". It was a failure of the people to control themselves, of the mayor, of the police chief, of the hospitals, and of the people of all 5 boroughs who showed tremendous apathy. It was a failure of New York City.

 

That is the "we" you should be referring to, and who the hell gives a damn how New Yorkers look to the rest of country/world. They already hate us, so we might as well learn from our mistakes.

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The riots were very different from the normal high crime levels you will find in a "bad neighborhood". It was a failure of the people to control themselves, of the mayor, of the police chief, of the hospitals, and of the people of all 5 boroughs who showed tremendous apathy. It was a failure of New York City.

 

That is the "we" you should be referring to, and who the hell gives a damn how New Yorkers look to the rest of country/world. They already hate us, so we might as well learn from our mistakes.

 

Good point. The 1991 riots (just like how 9/11 changed NYC politics forever with election of Mike Bloomberg)is what was the main reason (along with a recession that occured between 1991-'95) that costed the re-election of then Mayor David Dinkins in Nov. 1993.

 

Most voters citywide (other than the Afro-American community)felt Dinkins lost 'control' of the city and thus why "Rudy G" was elected. Giulani lost a close 1st election in 1989 to Dinkins who was also elected partially on another major racial event. That was of course the tragic Bensonhurst murder of Yusef Hawkins just prior to the election.

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So you just want to cover up the crimes committed by a certain group because it makes them look bad?

 

Don't make them public because I don't need to be hearing the same damn thing OVER and OVER and the stupidly high amount of racist comments by others.

 

Not everything has to be in the news as far as I know and I know things that go unheard of as a witness. But it's whatever, not gonna carry this shit over

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Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. Just saying.

 

The fact that something like this could happen in New York in the '90s should not be a fact that gets forgotten about because it makes you uncomfortable. This was a real low point in New York City's modern history and should not be ignored. This is a major anniversary of the riots, so it is more than appropriate to bring it up again.

 

I agree... Those sorts of issues will continue to pop up if we keep sweeping them under the rug. Quite frankly, we as a society have progressed on a few fronts, but for some reason, this is still one of those topics where folks look at it as being taboo to discuss it.

 

Actually, I was referring to the race related topics HERE on this forum... Quite frankly, I (also) think this thread was started to spark controversy, as opposed to this deep concern about the historical & societal aspect of it all....

 

...and although blacks & jews aren't rioting in crown heights today, they sure as hell aint livin in harmony either, as this article would have you believe... Anniversary huh, right... what the hell are we really supposed to be celebrating anyway.... I mean, these are the same jews that's been lookin to get rid of the labor day parade due to of the amount of blacks & the amount of noise it brings to their "side" of the effin neighborhood.... furthermore, Crown heights isn't this eclectic mix of people; (made up of different backgrounds, according to Rabbi Spielman)... 72% black isn't what I'd consider eclectic.... you ask me, Spielman is in denial - I think he realizes the amount of fellow jews in the neighborhood are decreasing... of course whoever's left are gonna attempt to keep peace b/c they don't have the numbers like they once did....

 

but I'm so goddamn uncomfortable.... yeah, ok....

 

 

Society aint progressed at all... we're all one huge melting pot....

 

I'm still waiting for the day when I can turn to the local news without having to hear about someone gettin stabbed, shot, kidnapped, raped, home invaded, killed, the list goes on & on & on & on..... the amount of "senseless" crimes are increasing too...

Edited by B35 via Church

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Wrong again. It was created by me because it's all over the citywide news on tv & the papers. Relax on the controversy theory B35 you know me by now. Whether it's race, politics, the economy, and yes sports, that gotten news headlines i will post it.:cool:

 

You gripe B35 should be on the mainstream news media for their selection of stories.

 

 

Actually, I was referring to the race related topics HERE on this forum... Quite frankly, I (also) think this thread was started to spark controversy, as opposed to this deep concern about the historical & societal aspect of it all....

...and although blacks & jews aren't "rioting" in crown heights today, they sure as hell aint livin in harmony either, as this article would have you believe... Anniversary huh, right.... what the hell are we really supposed to be celebrating anyway.... I mean, these are the same jews that's been lookin to get rid of the labor day parade b/c of the amount of blacks it brings to their "side" of the effin neighborhood.... Crown heights isn't this eclectic mix of people; made up of different backgrounds... 72% black isn't what I'd consider an eclectic mix....

 

but I'm so goddamn uncomfortable.... yeah, ok....

 

 

Society aint progressed at all... we're all one huge melting pot....

 

I'm still waiting for the day when I can turn to the local news without having to hear about someone gettin stabbed, shot, kidnapped, raped, home invaded, killed, the list goes on & on & on & on..... the amount of "senseless" crimes are increasing too...

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Wrong again. It was created by me because it's all over the citywide news on tv & the papers. Relax on the controversy theory B35 you know me by now. Whether it's race, politics, the economy, and yes sports, that gotten news headlines i will post it.:cool:

 

You gripe B35 should be on the mainstream news media for their selection of stories.

 

How can you say that when you don't know what type of controversy I'm talkin about.....

 

...and yes, we most definitely know you.

I gotta give you credit.... You sure know how to keep a forum active.

 

 

My gripe should be on the mainstream news media... interesting suggestion...

Except, the very last part of that post of mine isn't exactly one of someone that feels all that pleased on the matter...

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How can you say that when you don't know what type of controversy I'm talkin about.....

 

...and yes, we most definitely know you.

I gotta give you credit.... You sure know how to keep a forum active.

 

 

True. Hey if TV/radio newstalk shows hosts like Rush, Hannity, O'Riley, Howard Stern, Rev. Al and others can have their takes on current news of the day, so can i lol.:P

 

Only difference is that they are all above being paid alot of money though.:cry:

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Sorry, but most of the London UK rioters were spoiled teenagers stealing things for their own gain. They were in no ways normal people, but spoiled brats that only thought for themselves and not for the sakes of other people.

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Sorry, but most of the London UK rioters were spoiled teenagers stealing things for their own gain. They were in no ways normal people, but spoiled brats that only thought for themselves and not for the sakes of other people.

 

True. With that said how does the London riots compare to the Cato/Crown Heights riots of 20 years ago Roadcruiser? I am confused on that comment above.:confused:

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Actually, I was referring to the race related topics HERE on this forum... Quite frankly, I (also) think this thread was started to spark controversy, as opposed to this deep concern about the historical & societal aspect of it all....

 

...and although blacks & jews aren't rioting in crown heights today, they sure as hell aint livin in harmony either, as this article would have you believe... Anniversary huh, right... what the hell are we really supposed to be celebrating anyway.... I mean, these are the same jews that's been lookin to get rid of the labor day parade due to of the amount of blacks & the amount of noise it brings to their "side" of the effin neighborhood.... furthermore, Crown heights isn't this eclectic mix of people; (made up of different backgrounds, according to Rabbi Spielman)... 72% black isn't what I'd consider eclectic.... you ask me, Spielman is in denial - I think he realizes the amount of fellow jews in the neighborhood are decreasing... of course whoever's left are gonna attempt to keep peace b/c they don't have the numbers like they once did....

 

but I'm so goddamn uncomfortable.... yeah, ok....

 

 

Society aint progressed at all... we're all one huge melting pot....

 

I'm still waiting for the day when I can turn to the local news without having to hear about someone gettin stabbed, shot, kidnapped, raped, home invaded, killed, the list goes on & on & on & on..... the amount of "senseless" crimes are increasing too...

 

LOL.... Now you're turning my post out as being so optimistic. You may disagree, but I think we have progressed on some fronts. It doesn't mean that people have necessarily dropped their fears or beliefs or misconceptions, but then again that won't change overnight, but I think my point was that the fact that we're discussing certain things as a society is a progression in and of itself. For example, I would've have never thought that gay marriage would be here, nor that we would have elected a president who is half black and half white.

 

The point is that no progression can be made if things are constantly pushed under the rug because it makes people uncomfortable and race is one of those things that people get quiet about, no matter what your background is. I always thought it was funny quite frankly. I mean really, forget about this forum, I'm talking about in general. I never understood what was the big deal quite frankly. If you ask me a lack of dialogue just creates the sort of events that we've had in the past and that we've seen recently.

 

What puzzles me though is what is the big deal about who was at fault in terms of the crime? That was already established years ago and what's the past is in the past. I think the point of the article wasn't to point out who did what, nor to put one group of people into the spotlight, but to reflect on what the community is like today in comparison to that tumultuous period and how the community as a WHOLE is doing, which I think is important to analyze and reflect upon. I don't think anyone believes that it is one big happy community, but clearly the community has changed and perhaps some believe it has changed for the better. How true that is another story.

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LOL.... Now you're turning my post out as being so optimistic. You may disagree, but I think we have progressed on some fronts. It doesn't mean that people have necessarily dropped their fears or beliefs or misconceptions, but then again that won't change overnight, but I think my point was that the fact that we're discussing certain things as a society is a progression in and of itself. For example, I would've have never thought that gay marriage would be here, nor that we would have elected a president who is half black and half white.

 

The point is that no progression can be made if things are constantly pushed under the rug because it makes people uncomfortable and race is one of those things that people get quiet about, no matter what your background is. I always thought it was funny quite frankly. I mean really, forget about this forum, I'm talking about in general. I never understood what was the big deal quite frankly. If you ask me a lack of dialogue just creates the sort of events that we've had in the past and that we've seen recently.

 

What puzzles me though is what is the big deal about who was at fault in terms of the crime? That was already established years ago and what's the past is in the past. I think the point of the article wasn't to point out who did what, nor to put one group of people into the spotlight, but to reflect on what the community is like today in comparison to that tumultuous period and how the community as a WHOLE is doing, which I think is important to analyze and reflect upon. I don't think anyone believes that it is one big happy community, but clearly the community has changed and perhaps some believe it has changed for the better. How true that is another story.

Obviously Crown Heights has changed since then; who the hell is denying that ?

 

Ok, since you're talking in general....

You never understood what the big deal was? you can't be serious with that.... Do you like to talk just for the sake of it, or do you really believe the things you say..... I don't know what bubble you're living in, but you try gettin as many racist ass adults to talk out their differences with w/e race of people they have a problem with, and you come back & tell me the end results of the ordeals..... Bet you get more angrier people than you would happier/relieved people.... but that's not even what this is about.....

 

....and a lack of dialogue.... FOH w/ that fairy tale nonsense, that's not real world..... You have this thing where (and I think it comes from your background as a teacher) if you supposedly throw people in a room & have them talk out their problems, then everything will be a-ok & life can go on accordingly.... Continue thinking that if you'd like.... but all I have to say about that is, you will never fix w/e tensions two races of people have against each other like that..... Talk talk talk adds fuel to the fire in a lot of cases anyway... You end up doing more harm for yourself & your people, than good....

 

People don't know when to shut the hell up....

And I'm talking... In General

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Obviously Crown Heights has changed since then; who the hell is denying that ?

 

In a way you do and I understand what your point is. The media is somewhat hyping things by talking about how much more culturally diverse the area is but within that diverse neighborhood, I'm sure folks are still living in their "clans" so to speak, so your point from my understanding is that not much has really changed in terms of folks actually living together in the true sense and so on, even though the area is more culturally diverse. Kind of reminds me of my university which was maybe 3% minority. The university made strides to bring in more minorities and they did, but even though the school was more diverse, there wasn't a huge amount of mixing so to speak. That isn't to say that folks across racial lines didn't intermingle, but you still had that sort of barrier to a degree. I've been to a few reunions that have been held here in NYC and the majority of the alumni are white and then you'll have a table or two of other folks. From that example my point would be that change doesn't happen overnight and it takes many years for things to change, but on the same token, I think your view of the strides that have been made by society are very pessimistic. I realize that we are far away from living in absolute harmony and quite frankly I doubt that will ever happen, but you have to start somewhere.

 

Ok, since you're talking in general....

You never understood what the big deal was? you can't be serious with that.... Do you like to talk just for the sake of it, or do you really believe the things you say..... I don't know what bubble you're living in, but you try gettin as many racist ass adults to talk out their differences with w/e race of people they have a problem with, and you come back & tell me the end results of the ordeals..... Bet you get more angrier people than you would happier/relieved people.... but that's not even what this is about.....

 

....and a lack of dialogue.... FOH w/ that fairy tale nonsense, that's not real world..... You have this thing where (and I think it comes from your background as a teacher) if you supposedly throw people in a room & have them talk out their problems, then everything will be a-ok & life can go on accordingly.... Continue thinking that if you'd like.... but all I have to say about that is, you will never fix w/e tensions two races of people have against each other like that..... Talk talk talk adds fuel to the fire in a lot of cases anyway... You end up doing more harm for yourself & your people, than good....

 

People don't know when to shut the hell up....

And I'm talking... In General

 

LOL... Whoa whoa whoa.... I am in no way saying that because of a few acheivements that we've made that everything is a-okay. It is clear to me that you don't think people can be changed (at least not on this issue), which puzzles me because from that Bloomberg thread you seemed to believe in redemption and such. :confused: I personally don't know if I believe in the whole dialogue thing. I mean we've had racial incidents here on Staten Island and then the news talks about how the community is creating events to calm race relations and I laugh because I see it as nothing more than a front to smooth the layer so to speak but it doesn't deal with the core problem.

 

At the same time however, upon deeper reflection, I think to myself, well how else can you start to try to make a difference if you don't try through dialogue? Much of the stuff that happens out there is due to a lack of ignorance or fear that folks have.

 

While hanging out this weekend with one of my Italian friends, some other folks were introduced to me and one of them happened to be black, the rest were all white, mainly Italian. To be honest, I didn't know what to expect of the guy. He had dreads and was wearing some crazy sneakers and shorts (lime coloured :eek:). My first impression was what in the hell is up with this guy? He had his girlfriend with him who I had been introduced to and such and they disappeared while me and my other friend and her friends went about our business looking at other pieces in the art gallery.

 

Eventually we all decided to have dinner together and through interacting with everyone I found out that the guy despite his wild looking outfit seemed to be a pretty laid back guy. I gave my business card to his girlfriend and him and we shook hands. Now had we not had that dialogue I probably would've kept my preconceived notions about him, but my point is that dialogue can help to break down barriers. I don't know if they'll ever solve the core problem, but we as a society have to live together and co-exist, so without dialogue I don't see how that can happen.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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^^ I'll get to your other post later...

 

Roadcruiser's post was in response to Shortline's question, I suppose....

 

True. With that said how does the London riots compare to the Cato/Crown Heights riots of 20 years ago Roadcruiser? I am confused on that comment above.:confused:

 

 

 

 

Crown Heights=Racism

London=Spoiled greedy kids.

me personally, I don't care who the antagonists are of a riot..... Not that any of this has anything to do w/ anything here, but...

 

"London = Class War" would be more accurate, for the overall point you're tryna make with that....

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^^ I'll get to your other post later...

 

Roadcruiser's post was in response to Shortline's question, I suppose....

 

 

 

me personally, I don't care who the antagonists are of a riot..... Not that any of this has anything to do w/ anything here, but...

 

"London = Class War" would be more accurate, for the overall point you're tryna make with that....

 

 

bro (B35)London has a sizable Black population(mostly immigrants and their kids from Carribean and Africa that moved there in last 30-40 years.

 

So IMO the London riots had more in common with the LA Rodney King situation dealing w/ class war. Just like in LA, the British criminals i.e gangs took advanatge of the situation as there is massive unemployment among young adults and their anger the government has reduced public assistance checks.

 

However make no mistake the London riots did have some racial elements as the guy who was shot and killed by London Police was a Black man. People of Color throughout the UK have long accused the police mainly in London of police bruality/excessive force.

 

Crown Heights was very different IMO. So I disagree with Roadcrusier in which the Crown Heights and London have almost nothing in common.

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