Sunday, April 15, 2012

Some things must be read

If one is to believe them. This is an incredibly amusing letter from a white, deeply liberal, very not-racist woman who is deeply concerned about the insufficient profits of a prospective hip-hop club proprietor:
My name is Jennifer McMillen, and I live only a few doors down from the proposed site of Prime 6. Like most of the folks at the CB6 meeting on Monday night, I too have been concerned about the impending entrance of Prime 6 into our community and our daily lives.

I'm not generally the type of person that speaks up, (I remained silent during the entire Monday night meeting), but in this situation, I'm hopeful that I've stumbled onto a solution that makes so much sense for *both* parties that I'm beyond excited to share it with all of you.

First, let me explain what's at the heart of this conflict: I know for a fact that there's no single type of establishment (or type of bar/club patron for that matter) that Park Slopers would inherently view as "undesirable." I don't think anyone would deny that Park Slopers are about the least "racist" people on the planet.

What IS causing strife in this situation is that over the last ten years, Park Slope has become a family-oriented and family-centric community. This can be annoying at times - believe me, as someone who has chosen not to have children, I'm more than aware of the self-entitled attitude that often pervades parts of our community.

Nevertheless, it's just a fact that in this neighborhood, family comes first.

Prime 6 has to realize this - but at the same time - Park Slope families need to realize that this is a free country, and that Prime 6 has a right to exist. Furthermore, no one can legally stop the owners from doing what it is they're going to do.

So here's the gist of my big idea: Isn't there some middle ground between this spot being a stroller repair shop and it being a full-on hip-hop club?

No one can change the fact that Prime 6 WILL exist - they have their liquor license, and nothing's going to deter them from opening. BUT: What if owner Akiva Ofshtein could be convinced that his business will see far more financial success as a different kind of nightlife establishment. Instead of focussing on hip-hop and urban entertainment, what if Prime 6 embraced some of the more indie local artists of ALL races who live and perform in the area.
Now, why might this devoutly anti-racist woman imagine that having an establishment devoted to "hip-hop and urban entertainment" would not be compatible with families or white spinsters like herself? What could the problem possibly be?

The only difference between white "racists" like John Derbyshire and avowedly anti-racist whites like Ms McMillen is that the latter completely lacks self-awareness. The observable and provable reality is that every single mentally functioning adult on the planet is racist because racism, in its most commonly recognized form, is nothing more than the possession of a functioning pattern-recognition capacity.

But the woman's solution is even more amusing than the self-delusion. What a surprise that a liberal white woman would believe that an "indie" club would be more popular than an urban one. After all, doesn't everyone love, love, love Tori Amos and Sarah Mclachlan?



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