Racist Petition Against Hip-Hop Club Causes Uproar
Park Slope, Brooklyn, once a multi-ethnic, artist-friendly neighborhood that was home to both rappers like Foxy Brown and indie-rocker Elliot Smith, is apparently no longer a place where hip-hop is welcome. Residents of the family-oriented neighborhood, lead by one Jennifer McMillen, are up in arms about a new club opening up on Flatbush and Sixth Avenue in Brooklyn, close to the future site of the New Jersey Nets basketball stadium, which plans on “selling Henessey/etc [sic] to basketball fans after a Nets game,” according to McMillen’s petition.
Prime 6 NYC is a “two-floor” sports bar and music venue with “outdoor seating with a beautiful garden,” according to its MySpace page, yet McMillen claims that its hip-hop presence may tear the very fiber of the neighborhood’s existence, arguing that instead the club should embrace “indie local artists of ALL races who live and perform in the area.”
“I don’t think anyone would deny that Park Slopers are about the least ‘racist’ people on the planet,” McMillen begins, reasonably. “Instead of focussing [sic] on hip-hop and urban entertainment, what if Prime 6 embraced some of the more indie local artists of ALL races who live and perform in the area,” she offered, before delving into some more sketchy territory by making sweeping generalizations involving her “African American friends.”
“It’s not “racist” to equate hip-hop with an elevated crime rate vis a vi [sic] other types of musical genres — It’s just a statistical fact that crime is more likely to occur among urban audiences than among audiences of other demographics,” McMillen continues. “R&B and rap happen to be my two favorite types of music, but no one (especially my African American friends and colleagues) would seriously deny that hip-hop’s violent history tragically precedes it.”
McMillen concludes that her neighbors would be happier “seeding a vibrant artistic hub instead of another Yo MTV Raps “bling-bling” vip club.”
Though McMillen appears to have good intentions, her petition has largely been met with derision due to the racially insensitive tone of her complaint. However, her online petition has not been taken too seriously, with many people affixing phony signatures.