June 1 – June 6
Uptown Love in the Time of Coronavirus: Don’t let anyone divide us
I woke up on Wednesday, June 3rd to find #Dominicans trending on Twitter. I was aghast, to say the least. The reason that Dominicans were trending was because a supposed racial incident that took place on Dyckman the prior night. But the incident as it was described by far too many people on social media was completely mischaracterized. It was sold as an Anti-Black lynch mob that was intent on doing harm to African-Americans. That was not the case whatsoever.
What did happen is that the denizens of Dyckman came together to prevent the looting that had engulfed Fordham Road, Burnside Avenue and other parts of the Bronx on Monday night. A misunderstanding occurred with a small group of young Black men that were not from the immediate area. They were chased away but no one was injured in the incident. Well, a video appeared on social media that some used to sell a narrative that the confrontation was racially motivated. That was the spark that led to an entire community being maligned as racist. The lack of context led to a firestorm that has not completely subsided. The reality is that the Dyckman area has had a pronounced Black presence for decades. Hoops icon Kareem Abdul-Jabbar came out of the Dyckman Houses. Black Americans are and have always been an integral part of this community. Period.
The good news is that within 24 hours, the whole ordeal was resolved amicably. Later the same day that #Dominicans was trending, the very same young men that were chased were back on Dyckman to show the world the meaning of brotherhood. Both sides came together to avoid any further nonsense. The hood handled this without the need for guidance from those in the outside world. That is to be commended.
We cannot allow the enemies of our community to dictate the narrative. We are one. The bottom line is that, in this city, and far too many cities across this country, the police have way too much power. They have the power of life and death and it is a power that is abused way too often. They are killing us and that has to end. To be talking about anything else right now is a convenient distraction. Let us not be distracted. Vigilance! #BLM
Pa’lante, siempre pa’lante!
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The Uptown Collective
The UC’s mission is to become “the” definitive, transformative and community-based force impacting the arts, culture, business and New York City’s overall perception of Upper Manhattan. Its objective is to reset, reboot and positively redefine Uptown’s artistic, political, cultural and business spheres via the online space as well the collective’s initiatives and functions.