Friday, December 28, 2007

Who Needs Hipsters?

According to this article, a stereotype threat is that when a person’s social identity is attached to a negative stereotype, that person will tend to under perform in a manner consistent with the stereotype. Is Flatbush plagued by Stereotype Threats? I see it all the time. It’s very disturbing how these businesses cater to stereotypes and how people follow like sheep. How many White people really do eat organic? Are they just saying that they eat organic, because that's what they’ve been told? How about those fake gold chains that are sold all over Flatbush? How many Black people out there who are just going alone with that wanna be Gansta look? First everyone wore White T-Shirts then those atrocious I Heart NY T-Shirts. Try to be an individual for once. It’s very possible. Also there are businesses all over Flatbush that are geared towards how people perceived Black people. I suspect that this might be the reason that we see Footlocker and Models in Flatbush. . It’s the assumption that Black people will buy only expensive kicks. So we see expensive sneaker stores all over Flatbush while everything else is cheap. It is also this same perception that makes people think that if a few white people come to Flatbush then all of a sudden the neighborhood will be better. I got news for you. It's all in your head. We already have the demographics here to have all those other amnemities. Its not the people that need to change. It's the businesses with their warp sense of who deserves better services. There is a hidden demographic of Flatbush that no one talks about. The College graduates who have professional jobs but still live at home with their parents. These people are loaded. I should know. I was one of them. They make good money, most don't pay rent or very low rent. They have plenty of dispensable cash. Where do you think they spend all that money that they make? Not on Flatbush. Most go to Manhattan for a night on the town. Most shop at Express and H & M. Most do all their shopping away from Flatbush because the businesses had already stereotyped all of Flatbush as being poor (until a few white people came alone who probably have more expenses). I personally haven’t shop for clothes in Flatbush for almost 5 years. The clothes are so obviously stereotypical of how Black people are supposed to dress. I personally like traditional clothes that's not too flashy. All my shopping for clothes is always done outside of Flatbush. I find the clothes at Jimmy Jazz and DR. J’s to be very stereotypical of how they expect all of us to dress. I suspect absence of these stereotypes H &M or even DSW would make a fortune if they opened a store on Flatbush. The good news about this threat is that it can be defeated. First by acknowledging that it is a stereotype. Second by affirming to yourself that you are an Individual and you will not live your life by some stupid Stereotypes. I find all these Kennedy Fried Chicken, jewelry stores, 99 cents stores and cheap take out places to be insulting. I also find that all these old time stores sprucing up and cleaning up their act now that a few white people are moving in to be even more insulting. Why do they need to change their act now? We could have afforded better stuff way before. I'm not a sheep. Keep your gold chains and cholesterol induce Fried Chicken. I don't have to take all this crap that I'm being fed. I personally think that this site about stereotype threats is a must read for anyone who live in a so called Gentrifying area. See it here.


dan said...

Sorry for all the other deleted posts. I had to delete and repost the article due to technical difficulties.

Anonymous said...

I would be careful of stereotyping anyone.
In the section about white folk and organic food look at the Flatbush Coop that has operated on Cortelyou since 1976, long before the onset of gentrification.
The support of the neighborhoods people of color have made the coop one of the best in the city.
I, for one, think that if Atlantic Yards is built and when the Junctions Target and other stores finally open the tone of the retail stores on Flatbush will start to change due to more middle class retail competition rather than any “fair skinned” people moving in.
In fact you may be bemoaning the demise of some of the ethnic food establishments that will most likely start to disappear with higher rents. I know I will.

Brenda from Flatbush said...

As a black conservative trapped in the body of a white middle-aged lady, I must say I find your writing a frustrating mix of fresh originality and candor...muddled (and very misspelled) old-fashioned adolescent bragging...and an obsession with race that may, I suspect, blind you to the even more interesting and significant things about the people around you. Bravo for having the guts to identify and decry the racism of crap retailing ("keep your gold chains and fried chicken" is a great line!)...but take seriously the advice of Mr. Jump, an Obi-Wan Kenobi of the radical blogosphere. I'll check in on you from time to time; I'm hoping to see you writing more carefully and thoughtfully, but with no less passion and originality, and to find you viewing the many worlds of Flatbush through a wider-angle lens than that of race alone.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you, for the most part, regarding the retail situation in Flatbush. It is important that we tell our local stores what we are looking for and let them know we won't spend our money on inferior merchandise. When they hear it enough, there will be change.

inflatbushsince60 said...

Re: The Junction merchants - you're 100% right. However, even in 1960, when I first moved here, the melange of stores there were never upscale. This area was jewish, Italian and Irish, mostly working class second generation, and salaries were low. I suppose the junction merchandise was niche merchandise too at that time geared to the most common denominator. I remember one dress shop which dared to have some dashingly 'in' clothes, it went out of business after six months.

I've lived in this area, in the same old working class attached house, through two riots, two blackouts, depressed markets, and always felt safe and secure. That is what Flatbush meant and means to me. Families. So, I'm not too sure that I welcome the new young out-of-state people coming here to'experience' life and at the same time mold Flatbush to their liking.

My kids went to hudde and Midwood. I've remained here whin my 'liberal' friends flew to S.I. NJ and LI. I, too, consider this my Flatbush.

Anyway, it would be good if you were to decide whether your blog is to be a dissertation on womanizing, (and there's nothing wrong with that (grin)); or, whether you genuinely want to be a voice of reason and passion about our Flatbush.

In either case, glad you are posting.