Mayor Eric Adams needs to learn that the nonsense he could spout to select audiences as Brooklyn beep won’t fly in higher office. The obvious example: his Juneteenth rant about the city needing to “do better” to protect black neighborhoods, literally equating gentrification to the slave trade.
Nearly as absurd, he linked it to the forced removal of Seneca Village (to build Central Park).
Every neighborhood changes over time, with ethnic groups moving out and in. Harlem wasn’t always black, either: All those gorgeous-bones brownstones now being restored were built as homes for wealthy whites. Hell’s Kitchen used to be an Irish ghetto.
Plus, what is Adams’ proposed solution? Ban whites from buying in Bed-Stuy?
We get the sentiment (which Adams has expressed this way many times over the years), the sadness of seeing that the place you grew up in no longer really existing anymore. But painting it as the cruel work of evil-doers just doesn’t fly much beyond the precincts of the National Action Network. New York City is constantly evolving, forever changing. Every generation puts its own stamp on it.
Having a Starbucks open in a neighborhood isn’t racism. Having someone buy and renovate an apartment building isn’t slavery. And you should stop saying so, Mr. Mayor.