Wednesday, March 24, 2010
This Wednesday's photo was taken by Monifa Bandele and it's posted on a site I've just learning about called Blackandbrownnews.com. A friend and lifelong Brooklynite directed me to the site and the above pictured "jail" playground structure currently (as of this writing) standing at the Thompson Houses in Bedford-Stuyvesant off Park Av.
You'll see if you visit their site and read the followups they did that it is not an act of technically proficient and disgusting vandalism as my tipster and others first thought.
It's actually part of the playset. The word "Jail" and the bar motif I'd like to hope were meant innocently at least in some sort of possibly inappropriate retro "High-Noon" western setting might work, but this piece of playground furniture was placed in a predominately Black and Latino housing project where as a local parent pointed out, many young people are already struggling to avoid the idea that "jail" is a natural part of their lives.
Blackandbrownnews.com went on to contact the city and ask if this piece of play furnishing has been installed at other housing projects around the city. The city said they would look into how this object was selected and whether there are more, but so far according to the story, they haven't replied further.
Personally I tend to save up my outrage for the rainy days of innocent males shot by police while at home, local government forcing people from their homes to save a billionaire(no not that one) and of course ignorant sport stars who should at least try to avoid doing the stupid (too many to link to). But this image and how it can affect young people in that area is demoralizing and I think we should speak up about it.
If you think it's no big deal look try looking past the easy "kids have played cops and robbers" excuse that I can hear a mile away and accept that regardless of how it got there, that structure in that neighborhood is inappropriate and the definition of insensitive.