Racist New York

This may come as a surprise to all of you but my range of interests do extend beyond New York City. Yes, I promise. I spend a lot of time learning and talking about race and racism, as well as trying to understand myself as a member of a racialized group. Although I’m not sure if constantly engaging in a racial analysis of the world around me is an interest as much as it is a necessity.

It is then with my new section, “Racist New York”, that I seek to intersect these two powerful subjects I devote considerable time thinking about: racial theory and New York. This section will focus on dismantling racial stereotypes that exist in New York City such as the thug, the JAP, the chola, etc... I will seek to understand their origins, multiple implications, evolutions, and their contribution in maintaining different systems of oppression including — but not exclusively — patriarchy and white supremacy.

I first thought of naming the section “Stereotypical New Yorkers” and making it a humorous section. However, I think it will be more valuable to unmask the racism behind stereotypization.

Please look forward to my next posts!



6 thoughts on “Racist New York

  1. Having grown up in Chicago and St Louis (STL, arguably, the most segregated city in America) I always thought of New Yorkers as “the enlightened ones,” the free-thinking, open-minded, “do your THING,” liberals, so exposed to difference that they don’t see ethnicity or color. Then I moved here.

    I was shocked (and excuse me while I generalize a bit) at the blatant hatred spewed between various racial, ethnic, socio-economic and religious elements. Blacks hate the Jews, Dominicans hate Puerto Ricans, WASPs hate Irish Catholics, Chinese vs Koreans and on and on the list goes.

    A few classic lines:

    “My friend Kim is hanging out with us tonight. She’s black. But i don’t think of her as BLACK.” Really?

    A former boss: “Oh by the way, you should know, I’m racist, I hate black people.”

    “I knew when you said corrupt, he must be Jewish.”

    “Yes, but they could never get into that building…it’s co-op. They’re Catholic.”

    By a Jewish guy: My building (on the UES) is better than most, it is 60-40. 60% WASP and 40% Jews and Catholics.”

    “I used to like this bar, but it’s so overrun with Roman Catholics now.”

    “Oh, you’re name is Ryan!? So, are you “Lace Curtain?” A reference to my Irish name, though I am English,French, German. “Lace Curtain” is a derogatory term for Irish immigrants who came to America and assimilated into WASP culture seamlessly.

    “I’m PR, not DR, but I pass for DR.” Puerto Rican vs Dominican

    By a Puerto Rican woman: Puerto Rican girl: “Ohhhh…don’t move to Washington Heights, Dominicans are the most ruthless Latin people.”

    By a Korean Woman: “I HATE Japanese people. Everything good in their culture, they stole from us.”

    You get the picture.

    • wow i cant believe people still totally think like this and it is 2012…but the year has nothing to do with a person wanting to change for the better…. thanks for sharing too because some of these lines are craaazzzzyy!

  2. Wow! Those lines are ridiculous. The same thing happened to me when I moved to Toronto. Racism in canada is definitely institutionalized yet very subtle which is not necessarily a good thing either. Also, I definitely definitely saw racism and segregation in new york when I was visiting. It’s unfortunately so deep rooted and goes way back to the great migration and the different waves of immigration which created ghettos based on racial or ethnic groups. One time while at a bar in Brooklyn, this ecuadorian guy claimed I wasn’t a “real” latina because I was hanging out with 2 white friends, or as he put it: “taking it from the white man”. What the fuck, right? It’s like if you interact with people from what is perceived as outside of your racial group, you’re somehow betraying your culture or ethnicity.

    I think documenting my encounters with racism and racial stereotypes in new york will be either very therapeutic or disheartening. We’ll see, haha. Anyways thanks for your comment!!

  3. I WOULD HAVE NEVER THOUGHT that good ole’ New York city was racist at all!! New York and Miami are the melting pots with all of the races it seems..

    geesh that is a huge shocker.. but i guess i would never know that because visiting a place v.s. actually staying there and living there are two totally different things!

    and please do document…. they will be BOTH therapy and disheartening but you will get thru it by writing which can serve as a great venting board!

    • Definitely. I mean, the racism here is a lot more subtle than (and not as bad as) in other areas of the US. and These posts usually take more time than the usual but I do have a couple of drafts that I am working on 🙂 Thanks for stopping by.

  4. Racism is everywhere, and that’s not going to change. Most important is how we react to it. And each reaction will vary according to each unique circumstance. And documenting it is a good way to remind us all that it still do exists.

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