« 99% Invisible

212- Turf Wars of East New York

2016-05-10 | 🔗

Neighborhoods are constantly changing, but it tends to be the people with money and power who get to decide the shape of things to come. New York City has an especially long history with change driven by landlords and real … Continue reading →

This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
This is ninety. Nine percent. Invisible I'm roman moors. In the Bay area, where I have lived for a couple of decades. Now I've watched the front line judge, move further and further east this it is based in Oakland. As you probably know, in Oakland, quite big and heterogeneous. So you can never we talk about. It is one thing, but in the last couple years rents had been going up in the fear is that right will, continue to go up to a point where only wealthy tech workers can afford it? This finance is not unique to the bay easily a residential neighbourhood on the eastern edge of Brooklyn is going through this now to in the nineties. Sixties. Each New York rapidly transform from mostly white working class neighbourhood to an end. There are served community of mostly black and brown New Yorkers, neglected by both society and policy but now, as New York City, rent, skyrocket, easily
work is tearing down a wave of gentrification that will forever change the character of this neighbourhood that one hundred and twenty thousand people call w in Y, see in New York, and the nation magazine have teamed up for an in depth. Look at the gentrification of Brooklyn. They other series, there goes The neighbourhood today were showcasing an episode from this ongoing series. That's really fantastic! It turns back there and looks at how this new, rather unlikely hotspot for debt vacation got to where it is today. This is, episode. Three of there goes. The neighbourhood turf wars presented by I write of the nation magazine I you know it's entry,
The other day I was walking in my neighborhood, and I saw a black elderly gentleman that I haven't seen in a couple months and he literally his eyes from opening said you're still and you're still here, things have changed, having been, and we will yeah like folks, are disappearing. system phenomenon. Everybody sees everybody feels somehow and isn't in the center of the discussion which needs to be. I must we're talking about gentrification when everybody gave up on the neighbourhood, we did it. We stood in neighbourhood, we worked it out and we made it the better. Please that everybody wants to invest into. We live and Bobby We are therefore
each other. They have also the political power to modifying the can go and sit with commissioners with high rank to people and say I need an extra block. A guy walk around my back. I am probably as a way of avoiding probably he says, refuse policy is over populated. The city with others only was echoed afford. This rang is people does not from New York. My income doesn't even give enough room in each New York's. I had a house or give me upon me. Copyright and I'm an editor at the nation magazine and my w and Y see. Colleagues and I have been looking at this major demographic change- that's happening all over Brooklyn, now ginger occasion is one term that's applied to it and a lot of p
but who are sick of hearing that term feel like hey. This is just the law supply and demand. There is relatively cheap property available in all things being equal, the people who can afford it and the people who had an earlier they reap the rewards, but all things are not equal. They never have been for decades. Public policy stack the deck of economic opportunity against black people. Writer tunnel hussy codes has spoken a lot about this fact lately and making. Here. Case for economic reparations. He made the linked to gentrification succinctly during a recent talk in Brooklyn unable change all the time in make urban ethnic make up. The problem is black people don't really have the same level of self determination to decide whether they want to stay and whether they want to leave. We built the middle. Thus in this country, we made decisions about who was going to benefit that we decide People were in a part of that. We get to the point in talking about gentrification. You got it
Indeed, you gotta go further back. So today we take a long look back at EAST New York, the Brooklyn Neighbourhood, that, as we started, exploring last time, is now standing right in the path of gentrification the first develop or to set his sight from Eastern Europe was Colonel John PIC way. Back in eighteen, thirty, five, his family got rich on cotton and slaves, but wit broke in the cotton crashing. Eighteen, thirty seven. It was not like two thousand eight, but back then the bubbles, cotton that some fine mortgages anyway picking lost his shirt and crash, but not before launching this neighbourhood into existence. He bought up a bunch of farmland built a shoe factory and called it S. New York, Brooklands famous pit. Can avenues still bears his name. The long island railroad came about a year later and with its factories to processed foods from Long Island sparks the low rise housing that still defined
the area skyline came next then, realize connect. The area of Manhattan and the rest of Brooklyn, and it just kept growing all the way. Through the middle of the twentieth century, Eastern Europe became rising suburb for the european immigrants who worked in all those factors: Germans and Italians, and eventually jewish families came here to feel well successful and american. It was sort of the suburbs and the city. It was a place where people strive the girl, that's wrong. Shipment, a community organizer and urban planners has been fighting the development wars in Brooklyn since the sixties. He grew up in Westchester, but spent a lot of time and his New York is a high school kid in the fifties. My first girlfriend actually was in these new Yorker used to travel from lower wishes to county these are large community- must be allowed as along commute to is the daughter of a judge lived in EAST New York
He paints and almost Norman Rockwell portrait of the place. It was attached housing, but everybody had their own porch and who is a middle income. Upper middle income community in many ways were aspiring community. It was that what we think of today it was a white community and then all of a sudden it was it. Of course, Just for five years, the neighborhood changed dramatically from middle class to pour from largely white to nearly all black and one thousand nine hundred and sixty EAST New York with eighty five percent light by one thousand nine hundred and sixty six. It was eighty percent black and puerto rican. Why? What created such a star change? A lot happened really fast, but there was a key moment. It happened on a hot summer night on July, 21st, one thousand nine hundred and sixty six that's the day. Eleven year old black boy was shot story.
Here's a little hint that each New York was prime for racial tension. In the summer of nineteen, sixty six, some of its citizens got together and started a little self help. Groups calls sponge S, p, o n d The society for the prevention of Negros getting everything own, one thousand nine hundred and sixty six. Of course the group was whites, only its members, part of the twenty percent of the neighborhood. That has become black or puerto Rican, a neighborhood that is high, said ethnic whiter, dominated demographically, economically, culturally, until as recently as five years before Anthony Mormino was a teenager when the changes came down. He was born in Tunisia, but he's italian. A lot of the White and EAST New York were italian. I remember where I lived was mostly all white kids. Anybody cost
the yoke of annual like kid would cause they're. There will chase them back there in the beginning was sort like playing chicken. The thing was with them most game. So why our and the blockages to come? I think, for the same reason. Yet now, let's get the white kids, the chases think about how disorienting was to be any New York in the early nineties sixties. If your white, you ve senior tight ethnic enclave flooded with newcomers, your friends are gone. If your black- or American, your move again for the affordable rents or the mare can dream of homeownership, you might have also Michael It is from the south to find a job and escape segregation, but now he's crazy old, timers, you're telling you this ain't your place and your problem. Thinking dude. If this neighborhood is so wonderful. Why did all the white folks all at once, like a
of Antelope move too long island were used to deliver the Brooklyn Eagle, and when I used to get the Broadway I see one side of the street was black and the other side of the street was white can understand their. Then when I was in junior high, we got two like girls, and then there was a big thing going on. You know I still don't understand. Then I had a friend of mine live across the street when then Alabama and he got beat up for the separate You got up and gave a black woman a seat and when he came back the broad outline here to black eyes so yeah race relations in the south were obviously not good, but in nineteen sixty five America was reminded in a big way. They are not good anywhere. This is a network news report
the time, others they eleventh nineteen sixty five. The bloodiest riot in forty years of America's troubled racial history begin LOS Angeles, California, the district called. What's thirty, four persons die, forty million dollars worth of property is destroyed, almost four thousand. Arrested, the American may grow, the invisible man breaks out on a screen. Look at me. Look at me. Me for what I am look at me. If you can. So now it's a year after images of l, a burning have lit up american tv screens is the start of the summer of nineteen. Sixty six and every major city is wondering. Could the Watts riot happened here? New York's new Mare, John Lindsey, is fixated on preventing it. Lindsays been gathering a national reputation for walking the streets of New York at night without a security detail, mostly in poor neighborhoods, as a gesture of concern. Here's how he describes the tension in places like EAST.
New York City governments have been widely altogether there Europe has taken the form of a belief, and it has been very happy. You'll be the representative of the man, rightly, and by extension, the entire public and private. This everyone, Lindsays chief of staff, was J Kriegel, who was twenty six of the time today he's a white haired executive with the real estate giant related companies. His office has a power brokers, view of Columbus Circle where he and I talked when I emailed Kriegel, to set up the interview. I asked if he remembered
circular incident from that summer of nineteen sixty six, the shooting of an eleven year old black boy named Eric dean. He wrote back like it was yesterday, so this instant begins with a conflict over turf, said: classic turf battle of something called a triangle right below these New York Subway Station and it's a battle between italian kids have always lived there. This is their turf and black kids who newly moving in shouting matches this fight. By all accounts, the neighborhood was on the verge of exploding. Lindsey decides to go out to each New York which, as you know, is a long way away from sitting all because, there's an eruption of violence between the two communities and Lindsey and three of US race out there and go to a little paid support, which is right under the subway station, where Lindsey meets with these kids Kriegel. So
the sit down it francs. Restaurant on new lots avenue goes well enough, except for the group of whites in March by shouting two four six. Eight we don't want to integrate. Lindsey leaves around ten p m and then the explosion happens. An account in the New York Times is about thirty whites from sponge. Remember, sponge the society for the prevention of negroes, getting everything they start picketing at a traffic island behind police barricades, a group of black counter demonstrators form and the groups exchange words. Sponge members burst through the barricades and give chase the group's don't physically flash, but a block away near a group of blacks, a gun goes off. A witness later tells a jury that nothing happens for a minute. Before quote a little boy stands up. And lays down in the gutter its Eric Dean.
He's taken away by ambulance and soon dies. The time says group The black residents than roam the neighbourhood, some throw garbage hands, restore windows and bricks at police cars, the disturbance less about four hours. It City Hall, the next day, Marilyn's calls his aids in and ask them who knows each New York? What's going on? Who were the players Jake Regal, says everyone sort of looks at each other. Previous mayors could have gotten these answers quickly, because previous mayors were Democrats. Lindsey is public in the city had been run by democratic mayors using the democratic machine. So the city wanted to know what was going on these New York. You would call the local district later and would call the local club out. That was really the city's branch office in these communities across city,
Kriegel, says. This is why today we have community boards with professional staff. The board's existed in nineteen sixty six, but they were voluntary and they were pretty sleepy Lindsey beefed up their powers and gave the money so he'd have locals on the ground to talk too, when stuff hit, the fan Linsey also oversaw a change in police tactics. Bringing the cops into community early for the afternoon Then then, nine o clock enables arduous than having cops run down the streets in the dark with they're scared. They don't know where they are. The people are scared to see an army marching in cops, come in the daylight. They stand around. They talk to people vague acclimated they see what's around and the people can I committed to them. Kriegel says cops were instructed to leave their night sticks at the precincts to not use force and to not stand on rooftops with rifles. Those tactics helps com,
each New York. Besides Eric Dean, no one died that summer during public on rest, a local black teenager was later charged with the dean shooting and put on trial, but a jury acquitted him in the end, Lindsey managed to keep New York relatively free from the major fires and fatal racial violence that ignited around the country in places like Newark in Detroit and other cities. But within a year almost every single white family moved away from EAST New York White Flight. Then spread through neighborhoods around the city, especially the outer boroughs, but the turf wars between teenagers were just one symptom of a larger process that was unfolding white them. Facts are in conflict, but they were being pitted against each other by much larger forces. Broken was in the past sets of absorbing too great migrations. Southern black
it's coming north in search of industrial jobs and porter weakens fleeing the decimated economy of the island, but segregate you limited these migrants, housing options so blackened What are we can neighborhoods, like beds die in Harlem quickly became overcrowded people began, desperately searching for places to live and landlords and real estate investors saw opportunity and that Vespasian they hope to tactics that have shaped neighborhoods all over the country ever since we are indeed white flight and predatory lending so your home, as is all cash at no cost to you and your home can be sold Baxter, even if your facing for years Hard
It started in the years after world war to a stretch of tenements on the neighborhoods western edge. The white families who live there were already frustrated with the landlords. Neglect owners wanted to do the least and get the most out of these buildings. With something larger was about to play out. We were very much afraid of the atomic bomb. This is run shipment again. The urban planter has been working in Central Brooklyn since the sixties and that's right, he said the atom bomb. The fear during the cold war permeated american policy coming out of world war to the policy of the federal government was the disperse essential populations through allow
people to move out of the cities to allow manufacturing and essential industries to move out of the cities. So white tenants were given it out. The feds began subsidizing mortgages and highways and what became a wildly successful effort to create a new class, a suburban homeowners, but only for those essential populations. Essential populations were considered to be white and educated. And wealthy, and all of the major real estate lobby groups advocated for restricting black buyers from the loans and neighbourhoods that our public dollars financed and its New York White Rayner seized upon the chance to buy. Homes and the landlords were happy to see them go, they been a pain in the bud and now they're all of these black and put a rican renter.
Who face the housing shortage and could be price couched, but it didn't stop there. The real opportunity that segregation offer for real estate speculators was in flipping the houses that EAST New York's Italian in german and jewish immigrants had owned for years, but to make a profit often that they had to get those Quite homeowners to sell for cheap people would come in literally and hire somebody to go out on the street get into a fight in front of your house? I write to scare you from leave, so it you'd feel like there's violence in the neighborhood. They were even pamphlets put out that were attributed to black people, when you read them, it was obviously written by a white pretending to be sought and they would say what what would the fire? You know we're gonna get whitey because of this or something or rather it was scare tactics going on there there were people coming in and basically saying that if you don't sell you're going to lose the value of your home
We're just show up and knock on the door and say hey. They went and solicited door to door knocked on the door in a way I think we willing to buy your house for all cash today. You may not get this tomorrow. What we now think of as white flight began in these New York, remember one one person she had a house up on for about street again Tony Mona. They came one day ass, though one herself she says now making the next day you want to sell stairs now have about awake. They get up in the morning and the front door was on the floor a little something duff focused the woman's mind on the offer. The next day the buyers returned such water. So now, what's up
that the money right at this is black busting and it worked while teens fought in the streets? The parents fought over property and the black busting it set up the next stage in the process for real estate, investors, predatory linen they sit up these fast for closure schemes where they would buy cheap from the white families, research but at a higher price to african american and latino families. The aspiring black or latino homeowner would sign a contract with the investor, but the arrangement would look a lot like those rent to own deals on appliances. Today they be on the hook. Way too much money more than they can afford and more than the house was worth after two to three months. They couldn't make their payments, so they finally move to avoid and within a year or two, they were evicted them and they had the housing. In their own hands and sold them again. So they turn these buildings. Where are you talking about the sixties? Are that early teeth
thousands are foreclosure graces. That sounds very similar to the very reason that we dealt with very similar throughout all of this. Racial tensions of course emerged. They always blamed each other for what happened. Primarily the white families blamed the blacks moved into the night. I've heard for the abandonment and the decay of the neighborhood when it was really the real estate monopoly going on behind the scenes, this played out and fights between teenagers those fights blossom in the gang wars, the summer's of nineteen sixty six and sixty seven were marred by conflict, and then Eric Dean got shot and killed by the end of nineteen sixty seven broad swathes of these New York, where as much as ninety seven percent blackened puerto rican. Today Tony is in the same house, but he says he can count the other whites in the surrounding area.
On one hand, he watched them move one after another over the decades, either to how a breach yo out too long out. I don't love people how pitcher better than where I am, but the whole thing is: they have the name. Howard Beach, lotta people were afraid to say, is New York. When somebody asked me, I tell him
Nu Yok, proud of it that pride is not a small matter when it comes to neighbourhood development, in the decades after acting was killed when public and private investment drained out of the place. The real difference between the dark stereotypes of each New York and the reality of community has been residence. Sheer will twenty retired from driving delivery trucks. Thirty three years ago, he spent most of that time. Volunteering, Cyprus, Hills, local development corporation he's been part of dozens of initiatives from watchdog in the local police precinct, working with banks to fund building projects and he's not alone. Harold Green and his wife moved here. Nineteen, seventy eight when they bought a house up on the hill by Highland part and what is still one of the tony or parts of the neighbourhood. It was nice, it
is very nicely with very why it was transportation, accessible and the price. The price was our very arm affordable at the time, and we have a nice to family house by the the eighties he was volunteering at the development cooperation with Tony one of my neighbours was on the board of the Cyprus issue. There she kept her come down and you know like volunteer your time. So again, I can't be no being in management and social services. I had some communication skills and I've also had some my financial background It long retired he's the board chair. He drove me around and showed me some of this stuff. They ve built during the years of development, a grade school with a greenhouse on top three enforced story. Apartment buildings with affordable units senior housing for which they ve just broken ground, You have to do for your community because no one else will do for you and now, like most,
their property owners here he's got mixed feelings about the city's planned, a spur, more development he's more than happy to see the new resources and even eager to see new people with their new money. It's just well what will happen then? We ve been watching from wanes Burke up through for Green Bush. We so we aware of what's happening, reaches China position ourselves to get the best results in the best response from the city administration to make help make each New York Cyprus hails Broadway Junction surrounding areas as vibrant as safe and as livable as possible. But you know four guys like Tony: it's been livable for a long time. Why did you never met
move. My son's got a big house up and no bark could I move there? You know no problem, everything on the main floor and everything, but what am I going to do that once a day watch the a medela go across the grounds to drink the water, That's the most excitement over here we have a little shouldn't. We have low, and yet all you get to go outside talk to the people knew no different views. I I still don't understand this black and white thing their front in up. I treat people as they treat me this black and white thing, we're still talking about it and rehearing about it. In every neighbourhood we visit with this pod cast. It comes up with for closure and the history of racially targeted sub prime lending. It comes up with the demographic shifts. People are seeing now and it explain
the lot of the anxieties. People have about the city's redevelopment plan for places like each New York, because, after generations of flipping of block busting to chase out whites, predatory lending to bring in black some Latinos and decades of abandonment that followed people are sceptical of manufacture, change That was turf wars and episode from the series. There goes. The neighbourhood from W and why cease to use and the nation magazine recorded in May by. Casey means research by Sean curls in an awkward drawn digital action by Lee Hill, Delaney Simmonds, Kevin France, Prank Roberts, any any shield it was reported and produce by D, W Gibson, Rebecca Carol, GMO Grady in Cairo right and edited and executive produced by Karin from You knew the rest of the series and you really should it's just fantastic to be in Y, see dot, org, slash, neighbourhood
ninety nine percent invisible same Greenspan, Delaney Home, cooked volstead, Katy, mingle, Avery, Chauvelin, Sharif, Youssef and me roman Mars, In truth, and ultra music this week by our friends, ok Academy on Hell, audio, that's Utah's, finest, electronic and experimental music label. We are directive ninety one point: seven k, Ailed abuse San Francisco and produced the offices of oxide in architecture and interior, sperm and beautiful, downtown highly desirable, Oakland, California. We often don't think of winter as a time of growth or creation. But if you think about it, it's the perfect time to greet your own website. Does your cooped up you thinkin about being productive and now square space can help you do it with squares? Bates can take your cool ideas. You ve creative content, your services, goods, and you can turn them into a beautiful website in just a few clicks. Does it because there is, do you.
Templates are created by world class designers, and then you have the ability to customize the look and feel and the different settings for your own needs. For example, my side, Roman Warsaw COM, I made with square space the landing page features a close up meeting into a microphone and ass, my my very handsome beard, but if I should ever shave it, I dont have to wait for my web guy to change the photo. I can do it myself and maybe the next vote. I will feature my soulful eyes on where the pages are also picked out some. Why favorite episodes of ninety nine percent of visible to share and the audio is convening? Leave him bedded even on mobile. Try yourself, good squares, based outcomes, thus invisible for a free trial, and when you re the launch, use ie offer code invisible to save ten percent off your first purchase of a website or domain.
Ninety nine percent of visible is supported by better help online counselling. I'm sure you like me know a lot of people and counselling or are in need of counselling or maybe even counselling yourself and when the biggest challenges I am not being able to carve out even an hour I a week to deal with challenges like stress sleep, grief and relationships with better help. You can connect privately with a councillor through phone in video calls or even text in Chad. Better help offers licence councillors who specialise in issues including depression or anxiety, get help on your own time.
Your own pace and at an affordable rate. Ninety nine percent invisible listeners we'll get ten percent of their first month with discount code. Invisible, that's better help, dot, com, slash invisible! Why not get help better help, dot com, slash invisible! Your local police probably receive a hundred calls a night from broker, alarms and majority the time they have no idea of their false alarms or if they are real, it could be a crime or it could be. You going downstairs for a midnight snack and setting off the motion sensor, but simply safe home security is different. If there's a break in simply save as real video to tell please whether there is an actual crime and then they have the evidence to back it up, and they can tell them where the intruder is an what they're doing, and that means please dispatch up to three.
In fifty percent, faster than for other burglar alarms? You can set it up yourself with no tools needed or they can do it for you and has only fifty cents. A day would know contracts visit, simply safety coms. Last nine nine you'll get free shipping in a sixty day risk free trial. You got another, lose go now and be sure to go to simply saved our complex nine nine. So they know that our show assent. You that simply saved outcome, slash nine nine. You can find this show and like issue on face working vote was all on Twitter and Instagram, but the best way to explore the ninety nine percent, invisible activity that shapes the design of our world is friends with our website. It's ninety nine p, I donno. Radio. Do.
Transcript generated on 2020-02-14.