The gentrification of Carroll Gardens, the land of pregnancy, is hitting a sticky patch. A bunch of Brooklyn parents are upset at the behavior of some of the teenagers in Carroll Park, at Smith and Carroll Streets. On Wednesday, Gowanus Lounge posted some of the parent's complaints and summed them up thusly:
This all has to do with teenagers snapping wet t-shirts near some moms and kids. The teens didn't enjoy being told to stop. Many recriminations ensued. Threats were uttered by the kids to the adults. The police were called—and to us this is the most interesting part—didn't respond to what could have become a lousy incident in anything resembling a timely fashion. The kids kept up the harassment. They threw things at the adults. And, when the cops finally showed they are said to have been disinterested if not dismissive.There's more, involving rock-throwing and threats to break people's noses, but the gist of it is that parents with their small kids were scared of the teenagers.
(The Post has a follow-up story today.) And we're still torn about the whole thing.
It would be pretty damn easy to simply dismiss the (white) parents' complaints about the (black) kids as just another example of clueless upper-middle-class, overprotective parents with expensive strollers getting all unnecessarily agitated about a little horseplay by kids who have probably lived in the neighborhood longer than they have, who are probably subconsciously bitter and acting out over suddenly having to cater to the whims of over-privileged yuppies who have invaded their neighborhood, bringing their perhaps latently racist attitudes with them. (A friend reports once being at a community meeting with a parents' association in the neighborhood, and one mother asked whether it would be possible to "move the projects." Er, eek!) And, you know, the fact that these "scary" kids are being raised by (probably single) parents who don't have the money to send them to a fancy day camp, and that there aren't many options for poor kids in the summer, and that they have just as much right to be in the park as anyone else, is another thing! And maybe the police didn't respond quickly because, frankly, water balloons are annoying but last time we checked, not illegal! It's very Fortress of Solitude, don't you think?
But on the other hand! That doesn't mean you can go around throwing rocks at people and threatening to break their noses. And they may be being raised by single parents, but who said that gives them the right to be rude, violent little twerps? Little girls shouldn't be walking around with knives. (Unless it's on the Upper East Side.) And the police probably don't want to get involved because the whole thing is a bloody nuisance.