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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Remember, if it's murder it ain't Clinton Hill...

Unfortunately a young man was shot and killed in the late afternoon, just around the corner on Fulton St. near the corner of Clinton Ave.

I came out of the subway on the way home and knew immediately from the yellow tape and blocked streets that someone was dead. In the next glance I saw the towering microwave antennae of the local news trucks.

So when 10pm rolled around I tuned in to see what exactly went down. A young aspiring hiphop performer was the victim apparently after a verbal altercation.

What I found consistent and disheartening, in addition to the killing, was the fact that on each news program, wabc, wpix, channel 9, (whatever that is these days) they referred to the neighborhood as Fort Green. Terrible, even back in the day this wasn't Fort Green, the real estate device that is Clinton Hill (as opposed to the actual Clinton Hill, which is the intersection of Clinton and Layfayette Avenues) was previously known as Bedford-Stuyvesant. of course once crime became an out of control issue and brownstowns got hot, people pushing the neighborhood pushed Clinton avenue out of Bed-Stuy and into the more affluent sounding Clinton Hill.

That's fine I guess. We do live in a capitalist society and whatever sells wins.

But the fact that the name of the neighborhood reverts away from Clinton Hill (whenever there is a crime often with people of color as victim) is something I find troubling. It makes me wonder if its just a perception dating back from the 70's and 80's that these horrible things only happen in Fort Green and Bed-Stuy. It also makes me wonder if it is a consideration, is there an intention to this reporting. I guess it would be hard to sell million dollar condos and brownstones if there are murders happening nearby.

It just feels like marginalizing to me. And it's an additional shame added to a senseless killing.

(Note: I just read the NY Times at 2:58am and the have filed the story accurately detailing the neighborhood as Clinton Hill, although they listed the location as being Fulton Near Vanderbilt, when the shooting occurred just as close to Clinton Avenue as Vanderbilt Avenue.)