Longing For the Good Old Days In The Bed-Stuy Plantation

Bed-Stuy’s (Unfinished) Revival by Kay S. Hymowitz, City Journal Summer 2013

Black poverty, crime, drugs, underclass misery—that’s the picture that most outsiders had of Bedford-Stuyvesant. But there was always another Bed-Stuy, one with considerable strengths that could eventually serve as the foundation for a revival. During the 1940s and ’50s, through luck, hard work, and penny-pinching, many of the community’s black teachers, mailmen, firemen, and nurses were able to buy and live in those precious brownstones. Some would hand down the houses to their children and grandchildren, who live in them today.

This story attempts to lay the blame for the collapse on Bed-Stuy at the doorstep of government, which “turned its back” on the black citizens of that neighborhood.

But, in fact, city, state, and federal governments poured billions into that one neighborhood over the years. To no avail, because that money vanished into the bottomless maw of the entitement culture, and had no lasting effect whatsoever.

Notice the exceptions, though: “Hard work and penny pinching” (which the clueless author describes as “luck”), allowed black “teachers, mailmen, firemen, and nurses” (in other words, people willing to work, work hard, and better themselves) to accomplish what hundreds of millions of other Amerians did over the same time period: save, accumulate wealth, buy homes, pay for them, and pass them on to their kids (who were mostly, I’d be willing to wager, in that small minority who grew up with a married mother and father).

“They still think of bars as hangouts for drug dealers and down-and-out ‘winos.’ ” Some residents who came of age during the black-power era simply object to the skin color of some of the new arrivals. Unfortunately, these naysayers include some influential people. “The Community has an identity and that identity is black,” Bed-Stuy’s city council representative, Al Vann, has warned.

Yep. And an integral part of the “black identity” these race-baiters lament in passing was poverty, ignorance, violence, crime, drugs, entitlements, and hopelessness. Which they didn’t mind, because they made – and still try to make – a buck from.

Their business is down on the plantation, and it is anti-white racism.  They don’t want you messing with their plantations or their business.  Keep it in mind.

About Bill Quick

I am a small-l libertarian. My primary concern is to increase individual liberty as much as possible in the face of statist efforts to restrict it from both the right and the left. If I had to sum up my beliefs as concisely as possible, I would say, "Stay out of my wallet and my bedroom," "your liberty stops at my nose," and "don't tread on me." I will believe that things are taking a turn for the better in America when married gays are able to, and do, maintain large arsenals of automatic weapons, and tax collectors are, and do, not.

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