Jul 18, 2006

She said WHAT?

Just read this piece about turf wars, drama, and staged violence as connected to Hot 97 in The New Yorker. Hot 97 is on my shit list for a lot of reasons, number one being crazystupid (not in a good way) Miss Jones, who is a racist, xenophobic pig head who pushed the insane Tsunami Song onto the masses and laughed her crazy head off about it.

Anyway, the piece isn't very good - left me with an unpleasant feeling that I don't feel like exploring here. But the best quotes are from a worker at another tenant organization in the building at 395 Hudson Street. Amy Hackett, the director of institutional relations at Legal Momentum was working late one night when there was a shooting outside. She came down later and this ensued:

...she saw police lights and yellow tape everywhere, and asked one of the detectives, "Is this another gangster-rap event?"
Hmm. No, that's not cracker-ass crazy. That's not just a little racist. But in case you were wondering, McGrath hits her back at the end of the piece, when she says:
"I'm not sure I would recognize what a posse was," Amy Hackett told me. "The only person I've recognized was Spike Lee. And he, I think, is fairly safe."
Director of institutional relationships. Does that mean that she does development work? Don't know, but damned if I would have her talking to anyone in any community of color. "Spike Lee is fairly safe." Thank you, liberal white woman, for the stamp of approval. Spike, my man, you've officially passed. Girlfriend needs at least a few public relations and communications trainings.

But my favorite quote is from another worker in the building, who broke down the racialized notion of "gangsters" and the reality that she saw in the building's other residents:
One employee in the building - a black woman - adopted a mock-hysteric voice when I asked her about the feud. "The other tenants are calling me up: 'What are you guys doing about this? Did you hear about the shooting? Should we write letters?'"

She paused, and said, "Let me just say this, O.K.? We talking about the carpenters'
union. The carpenters' union, if you look at those men up there, is full of nothing other than gangsters. You should see these people. You can tell them, because they all have pinkie rings on their fingers - you know, come on. An engineer can't come up here without - gangster style - three men standing behind him. So it's, like, the pot can't call the kettle black. Their mentality is the same as these rappers. They have to come with their entourage."

No comments: