The Double Standard for Some and an Update

I just want to give two examples of the double standard of how white people are treated in society.  I was listening the other day to Jay Dobyns, the author of No Angel, on the Diane Rehm Show on NPR.

Dobyns is an ATF agent who was the first federal agent to infiltrate the Hell’s Angles motorcycle gang. Now, I do not have a great knowledge of the Hell’s Angles, and I do know they are involved in some charity and community work and not all of their actions are criminal. But, what is also known, as Dobyns explained, is that the group is involved in drug-dealing, extortion, and violence (including the murder of enemies).

What struck me as odd is when Dobyns stated that some of the members were white collar people and one guy he knew was even an airline pilot. This illustrates for me how the rules are just different for white people in this society. Can you imagine an employer finding out that a black pilot based out of LA was a Crip? He would be terminated immediately and under federal investigation.

Next, I read an article in the New York Times about the self-described hipsters and artists in the Williamsburg neighborhood in Brooklyn. Now this story could be in any number of high-priced ex-industrial urban areas were affluent young whites are pushing out working-families and diving real-estate prices up.

Come to find out that little Billy and Suzy aren’t really starving artists struggling to pay there 2 and 3 thousand dollars a month rents on their skinny paychecks from the coffee shop. And Lisa has not saved up on tip money at the bistro to buy that million dollar condo that sued to be home to industry.

No, guess what, these trust fund babies are in their 20’s and 30’s and their parents are paying their rents and buying the condos while they pretend they are artistic and edgy. How is this an issue of race? Because the working people that have been pushed out of the neighborhood and the surrounding areas are overwhelmingly black and Latino and this is why it has always been so ironic to me that these white gentrifiers tend to see themselves as ultra-progressive.

This does not have to be Williamsburg. It could be the Lower East Side or Harlem in Manhattan, Logan Square in Chicago, the Central West End in St. Louis, parts of West Philly, Roxbury Boston, or any number of other neighborhoods.

The other factor for me of course, as a Muslim, is that while these families are being displaced they are making way for those engaged in an extended adolescence. Many of these Globos do not take life serious until they are 40 and spend the time between travelling, bar-hopping, experimenting with the foods of the empire, and living a college lifestyle. These urbanist Globo lifestyles tend to be heavy on drinking, partying, loose sexual behavior, delayed marriage, and a detachment from family. So, it not only represents an issue of class and race; but an issue of the God-fearing and the Godless.

Update on B

Just a little update on B and this can go to show you that there are a lot of good people out there who will look out for you when you are down. A fellow driver saw B and after hearing his story gave him his cell number and said call him Tuesday. He called the driver and he picked B up from the shelter and they talked and it was determined that B needed 300 bucks to get back on his feet.

The driver told B he would give him half the money and asked if he knew anyone who might give him the other half. Because B is not from St. Louis his connections are not deep. They considered asking me (and I am glad they didn’t because I definitely do not have that kind of money to give out); but instead B decided to ask one of his favorite passengers.

The guy is a regular rider who is a doorman at an exclusive private club in the city. He takes a cab home every night and the fare is around 8 bucks but he always gives you 15 or 20. B was taken to the club and he asked for the regular rider who was reportedly surprised to see him. After explaining his situation the doorman reached into his pocket and gave B the $150 that was needed in cash (the next time I get the call for this guy the ride is on me).

Tonight B is resting in a motel and tomorrow morning the driver will pick him up to make all the runs he needs to renew his license. .

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17 thoughts on “The Double Standard for Some and an Update

  1. It’s hard to have much sympathy for B, when he alludes childcare payment and his children could easily be in his place.

  2. I have known professional men who would be weekend Hell’s Angels to get relief from the suit and tie life they led during the week.

    Hope B gets back on his feet. He might have flaws you don’t know about.

    As for the spoiled hipsters you describe, they may be tomorrow’s homeless.

  3. Last year I saw a man on TV who said that he and a pal had gone to a picnic spot in FL “dressed like idiots” in degenerate motorcycle style. A woman was found dead there that same day.

    They were sent to prison and came within hours of the chair. He said he was actually on his knees praying for his soul when someone came in with a reprieve. DNA evidence, then a recent development, saved them.

    The real murderer had of course been dressed plainly.

  4. Well I can tell the faux poor from the real poor here in the city.
    They are the ones dressed like bums eating at those spots in the city where the entrees are no less than $30.
    They usually come from out of town and want to “blend” in with their perception of what NYC is…so they dress like raggamuffins getting on the A or J in Brooklyn looking scared of all the ethnics. lol. They make me laugh.
    Faux Po’

  5. There are plenty of people from the Latino & black demographic you’re complaining on behalf of (a demographic I’m part of, wa-hamduliLlah) who are doing it themselves – oh say, drinking allll weekend long (and some weeknights too), having multiple sexual partners, not taking care of their business (like not paying child support, seeing their children), spending disposable income on things like diamond teeth and $400 purses rather than an apartment that isn’t roach infested, etc. Problem is, some of them don’t get over it when they turn 40 or whatever. Anyway, not all the hipster white people there are trustafarians. The same article you linked to shows that.

    “The culture of the area often mocks residents who depend on their families. Misha Calvert, 26, a writer who relied on her parents during her first year in the city, now has three roommates, works in freelance jobs and organizes parties to help keep her afloat while she writes plays and acts in films. There is a “giant stigma,” she said, for Williamsburg residents who are not financially independent.

    “It takes the wind out of you if you’re not the independent, self-reliant artist you claim to be,” she said, “if you’re just daddy’s little girl.””

    15 years ago, the Hasidic Jews and Latinos were engaged in disputes in the pages of the New York Times about we (black & Latinos) were “pushing” the other one who had been there for decades (Jews) out of the way. Seems like the natural movement of populations and neighbourhoods to me. Hopefully next it will be Hunts Point or Mott Haven. There’s some bourgeoisie Boricuas buying brownstones in Mott Haven and driving up some rents but I guess it won’t really get moving till white folks move in.

  6. AA,

    I think you are right to some extent that this is about natural shits in populations; but there is a huge difference between the Hasidic-Latino conflict and this.

    Both the Hasids and Puerto Ricans in that area were rooted with family. They were going to school, raising children, established institutions, and putting down roots in the area and both groups had their houses of worship.

    The Globo population is different. It is a post-modern grouping that is rootless and shiftless. That fancies themselves as liberal but uses their wealth to lobby the government to allow developers to use eminent domain to remove poorer people and low-incomes business.

    It is a transient population, that does not set down roots, and marries and has children at very low rates. It is a secular population that has very low rates of religious observance and when it does observe religion it skews towards those faiths that allow them to still hold the “if it feels good do it” morality.

    One year they are in Brooklyn, the next in the Adams Morgan section of DC, and maybe in San Francisco the next. I do not feel such transient populations should get the help of the state to root out people of lesser wealth who are committed to the city.

    Now, I will agree with you, there are many blacks and Latinos in NYC who never grow up and act a fool their whole lives; but they do not have academics and writers arguing passionately on behalf of their deviance as the Globos do who use these neighborhoods to set up lifestyle centers.

    With regards to the Bronx. Talk that liberal talk; but these globos would much rather have a boricua scrubbing their floors than living on both sides of them. It may get moving and it may not; bu if it does it will be because of white faces. The Puerto Rican and the Black American ( not including black immigrants) population of NYC is actually dropping sharply just as the working-class white population has been dropping.

    The question is do you want to live in a South African, French, or Brazilian style city where the rich live and play in the city and the poor live in the suburbs and commute to serve the rich and then get the hell out of town? Or do you want to live in a city that has housing for all?

  7. Asalamu alaykum,

    Umar:

    Your writing and description of the common man is delicious. Consider focusing on these things and developing this art that Allah has blessed you with. You should, unless you already have, go to school and take this art to another level. I really enjoyed the story on B and am very happy to here that it worked out for him. Please continue to write on these things aki.

    Ma’mun

  8. The Angles are obtuse. Their problems are acute.

    Umar’s conclusions are interesting but maybe need research.

  9. As-Salaamu ‘alaikum,

    Aren’t there a lot of places in NYC which were at one point popular with genuine artsy bohemians and are now full of yuppies because of rising rents and estate prices? Certainly this is the story I’ve heard about SoHo and certain other parts of Manhattan. The old bohemians were certainly more privileged than the Blacks and Latinos but they both lost out from the pre-2008 boom. The same story has been repeated in many parts of London as well, and only the rich (whatever their colour – they’re often not even British in fact) win out of it. In fact, the old ethnic minorities still have their domains in Brixton, Stockwell, Peckham etc (and other places north of the river, but I’m a south London boy) but only people on salaries like those of the actors in Notting Hill can live in most of that district nowadays.

  10. In Crown Heights the developers of a building that was geared specifically to those more affluent New Yorkers have had to go to the City and have them use the apartments for NY’s homeless.
    They get around $2700 a month for the average apartment and NY’s destitute have the priviliege of living in a beautiful apartment that has marble lined bathrooms and kitchens.
    Of course the people in the Neighborhood arent happy at all and the disgruntled grumblers are making their voices heard.
    Even Mayor Bloomberg has said that the homeless shouldnt get too comfy in their new found “temporary homes” but the reality is will any of our trust fund babies want to live in a building that was once a Homeless shelter?
    I for one am very pleased that those downtrodden ones get to live in the kind of place that they are often seen as unworthy to live in!
    Your blog was spot on Umar!

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