2004-12-09 / Letters/Opinion

Letters To The Editor A Real Community? — A Real Joke!

Last weeks column “Let’s Become A Real Community” by Maxine Hamilton Alexander is a real joke. It is a wake up call for the remaining white families who still live in Canarsie to seriously consider moving. It is the perfect example of why those who have stayed in Canarsie through its cultural change have been slapped in the face.

Some of us did not run from this neighborhood because we were not, and are not, racially prejudiced. We remain in Canarsie because we feel that, basically, people are people. Apparently, this is not the case here. Maxine Hamilton Alexander says, she “is constantly thinking of how I can assist in mobilizing the Canarsie Community”. Is this a joke? If you are trying to establish a Caribbean community, then you have succeeded.

Does she think that the average remaining white families in Canarsie want another Caribbean restaurant or another bodega? Perhaps she wants more stores selling more Caribbean foods. Let’s forget other types of foods that other cultures might enjoy. Our new neighbors of Caribbean descent have established this as their community.

I say to those remaining white families who are thinking of moving from Canarsie, hold your heads up high. When you move, you can honestly say that you are moving not because you are biased, or that you are prejudiced, but that you were forced out, by no fault of your own, due to the lack of respect you were shown on a cultural basis.

I just love going to the local food store and fail in my attempt to buy a product my family enjoys. Then the manager will look at me as if I am from another planet. All I hear now is, “we don’t carry that anymore.” There is no call for that product in this neighborhood any longer.

Ms. Alexander states, “I can easily close my eyes and envision a Canarsie which emanates warmth and sophistication.”

I guess she has never been on Avenue L. There is enough plywood on the storefronts to build a house.

She wants the residents of Canarsie to reflect cultural diversity — a bookstore and a community art gallery. With whose books? With whose art? Would it be culturally diverse? I doubt it very much if it follows the current trend of new things in Canarsie.

The last paragraph of her article goes on to say that we would be better off if we would come out to a diner with our families. If there were a restaurant that I enjoyed, with types of food I am accustomed to eating, I would say she is right.

Where are the places that other people besides those from the Caribbean can enjoy? Where are the traditional types of American food, or foods from other nationalities? Maybe we should all get together and eat some of the fast food junk that is so popular in Canarsie! Foods like, Kentucky Fried Chicken, McDonalds, Burger King, Pizza Hut, and Wendy’s. We all know how healthy they are.

I find it insulting when she writes, “…so now that we’ve established Caribbean neighborhoods, let’s work on building real Caribbean communities.”

I guess she feels the heck with everybody else, let’s concentrate on our own people.

In closing, I will relate to you an incident that happened to me. I got in to an argument with a person who was of Caribbean descent. During an exchange of words, he said to me, “who do you think you are. John Gotti, this is not your Canarsie anymore, it’s our Canarsie”, I took that as a racial slur towards my ethnicity. Wouldn’t you?

Adding to the problems above, there has been a total disregard for the white community in Canarsie over the last few years from our newly elected, so-called politicians.

Signed, Insulted

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