Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Microaggression in Flatbush

I like to park my car near those free standing houses near and around Ditmas Park and Prospect Park South. It seems that the home owners are very stand offish to such things. A while back I parked my car on one of those streets in the mourning. On my way back from work I picked up my car. It had been awhile since I checked my oil. I looked under the hood. As I was working on my car a white family that was in a conversation was walking down the street. As soon as they saw me the conversation stopped and there was this silence. The mom hurried her kids into the house. Another white neighbor guy from across the street looked around and went back to his house. Less than a minute later the security patrol car came and decided to park his car right near where I was checking my oil. It was obviously my car and I had my work cloth on. This is something that I always did when I lived with my mother near Brooklyn College. I never had that happen to me there. Most of the home owners were Black. As a matter of fact, one time my car was stuck in ice and the 2 kids who lived in one of those large houses on Farragut Road help me out. I don't think I would get that kind of help here. It's sad but true. I then realized that this might have been a microaggresive behavior. Has this ever happen to other Black men living in the area? Part of the reason that I loved Flatbush when I was growing up was that I did not have to deal with that kind of subtle racism from my neighbors. These kinds of behavior can have it's toll on you. It can even effect your health and well being. Read more about it here.


Anonymous said...

“Part of the reason that I loved Flatbush when I was growing up was that I did not have to deal with that kind of subtle racism from my neighbors.”

BS – Why weren’t you working on your loser car in front of your own home???
Why would anyone work on their car in front of some else’s home and not take the responsibility to explain why your broken down wreck is in front of their home.
I would have your car (wreck) towed at your expense.

Anonymous said...

Yep, very real phenomenon. and these incidents are getting worse in gentrified Brooklyn. It's a damn shame.

BTW, your site is circulating around the blogsphere and you are pissing a lot of people off. Good job.

Anonymous said...

How long does it take to check the oil? One minute? Two minutes?

If the oil is low and you add a quart, how long does that take? Another minute or two?

Meanwhile, adding oil to the crankcase is unmistakable. I doubt there's been a rash of cases where oil was randoming added to car engines by secret oil & lube guys working the streets of Flatbush.

geekyfemme said...

Anonymous #1 - why do you assume he has a "broken down wreck" when all he said was that he had an oil leak? The streets don't belong to anyone and he can check his oil wherever he wants. We live in a crowded city and most people don't have a parking space in front of their homes to do these kinds of things.

As much as you want to deny it, the racism this blogger is describing is very real. Just because you don't experience it, doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

Anonymous said...

i just think that as other groups move into flatbush they feel it's their duty to 'prune' flatbush into their idea of what a proper neighborhood should be. this blog is a direct answer to what the silent majority residing in flatbush should do, become outspoken. read, comment and reveal the subtle injustices and ignorance of those groups. as well as inform from a 'real' perspective and take action to shape the neighborhood in a positive way. stop waiting for others to define and shape because of this idea that their point of view is so much more intellectual and poignant. heck i am going to start a blog myself!

Anonymous said...


I see you don't like factual posts that reflect unpleasant racial truths about crime.

You should face facts and learn to understand why concerns exist among whites.

Meanwhile, I'm a white guy and I've walked along many streets at night and watched white women either cross the street or pick up their pace as I approach. There's nothing scary about my appearance. Yet this happens regularly.

It's amusing to me. But the women are fearful.

Anonymous said...

I sympathize with your feelings. I'm sure it hurts. There could probably be an overall racial issue to your experience as we are still in America. . . Still most people are fairly protective when it comes to their property. I think most people who own private homes don't want people they don't know working on their cars in front of their homes. So you need to look at this more specifically than just generalizing about all white people or particular neighborhoods. Or even who the streets belong to. African-Americans as well as any other group who are homeowners would also get their backs up over this and see it as a violation of some sort. A philosopher once said try to be more objective about yourself and more subjective about others and not the other way around.

Anonymous said...

I would be extremely suspicious if someone is parked outside of my house, be them white, black, or hispanic. I would be F'n pissed if someone was working on their engine in front of house.

Just a note about your postings. It seems to me that you are never really a victim of racism, rather, these postings are what YOU think white people are thinking about you, or noting things of what YOU percieve to be racist (posting a picture of an I-Pod thief). In reality, you are just another guy in the city who anyone hardly ever takes note of, just like the other 5 million of us. But keep up with these paranoid, self absored little stories you got going, they give me a laugh.

flatbusher said...


Like the previous poster, I think the racism you're experiencing is all in your head.

Do you have examples of truly racist acts committed against yourself or people you know?

Anonymous said...

The streets are public. The curb in front of your house does not belong to you. It belongs to the public. We don't have Laws against checking your oil in front of a white guys house. It's not like he was doing major mechanic work. I think the whole point of the article is that these were subtle acts. Overt racism is almost non-existence. Its been replaced by more subtle microaggresive behavior.

Anonymous said...

How about this for racism:

I -- a white guy -- was walking down my street -- Rugby Road -- near Avenue H, and two black guys walked toward me.

Just as we were about to pass each other on the sidewalk, one black guy said to me, "how about giving me a dollar for my medicine."

I pushed between them, said "no," and kept walking.

One of them turned around and said to me, "that's why I hate muthafucking white people."

I guess that's a little subtle racism.

Anonymous said...

i think it's really interesting that some of those responding to your post are angry and annoyed. it is a sad truth that many white americans refuse to recognize the unearned privileges that come simply from their skin color. they will more than likely never experience the subtle forms of racism or bias that occur to people of color in everyday exchanges. dealing with white guilt isn't easy, but it must be done.
thanks for the post.

Anonymous said...

I just moved to the area. I'm white. I'm a musician. I'm broke. I've been asked several times if I lost my job and moved from manhattan. I've never been able to live in Manhattan. Was that microagression? Was that, "why are you moving here, whitey"? That's what it felt like but I don't know. Hey.. I know my skin color has probably made my life easier, but what the eff.. racism in ANY form doesn't fix anything. It just promotes it. So change. Change the way you think about yourself and the way you think about others. Who cares what someone else thinks? And working on your car in front of someones house? WHERE ELSE ARE YOU SUPPOSED TO WORK ON IT? It's impossible to park in that area and the curbs are public property. Most of those houses have driveways anyway so what do they care? Who knows what those people were thinking?