As New York City enters the election cycle for mayor people in Hip-Hop
should take notice. NYC is the core of Urban America and trends that start
in New York end up in the rest of American cities.
New Yorkers fancy themselves, as a whole, as open-minded and progressive
liberals and the city certainly has a reputation as an open-minded and
diverse city. The vast majority of the cities voters are registered
Democrats and Republican strongholds in the five boros are few and far
That is why it is interesting to see that New Yorkers have elected
Republicans in the last three mayoral elections (Rudolph Giuliani twice and
then the current Mayor Michael Bloomberg). If polls can be believed New
Yorkers are prepared to re-elect Mike Bloomberg as mayor and ensure a 16
year reign of Republicans in this liberal-Democratic city.
This is a far cry from 1989 when New Yorkers elected the first
African-American mayor in David Dinkins and institutions of power in NYC
were for the first time beginning to become truly integrated in this
Since that time New York has seen a great Urban Revival that has resulted in
the sky-rocketing of housing costs in New York. This has resulted in the
mass exodus of working-class New Yorkers from NYC as the wealthy urban elite
from around the country move to the city in order to pursue a “Sex in the
City” bohemian bourgeois lifestyle. This is a lifestyle that confines
progressive politics to only issues of sex and gender and has removed issues
of race and poverty from the cannon of liberalism. It is more important to
them to live in a home with history and character than for people to have
affordable housing and they consider diversity as having a Dominican waiter,
a Peruvian dominatrix, and a Haitian nanny.
When we look at areas like Red Hook, Bed-Stuy and Harlem, which have been
the geographical heartland of Hip-Hop and see how they are being overrun by
Bobos who preach progressiveness and vote Republican we see that there is a
turf war in American cities between liberal (mostly) white-elites, whom I
refer to as Bobos, and the Hip-Hop Community.
Republicans dominate the votes of the Bobos in New York because they give
them culturally liberal politics on issues such as abortion and gay rights
but maintain a tough law and order posture while fighting the Democratic
machines of African-Americans and Latinos. Unfortunately these same Bobos
not only consider themselves to be the most liberal of all Americans but
they are actually in the leadership roles of many labor unions and
progressive organizations and they have chosen the issues that they will
fight for and they are not issues of poverty, race, affordable housing,
prison reform and international justice.
In every American city of any size you can find Bobos moving in block by
block, building by building, into the turf of Hip-Hop with the sole intent
of driving out the locals in order to create a cultural oasis for them to
pursue their lifestyle within. The battle in American cities is a battle
against the urban, mostly white, liberal elite who claim to be liberals but
then move into neighborhoods and then lobby for the condemning of occupied
buildings and the closing off of streets. They bring some good things to
American cities, particularly many cultural benefits but they come not to
co-exist but to conquer.
The Hip-Hop community in New York, if they want the New York that we all
love to continue to exist, rally behind whoever the Democratic nominee is.
If that nominee is the Puerto Rican Fernando Ferrer or the African-American
Virginia Fields the most desirable and sensible thing is for a
African-American-Latino coalition that can, if organized effectively not
only win the office of mayor but change the direction of the city and reign
in housing costs and preserve the working-class and middle-class of NYC.