Thursday, July 24, 2008

Al Carajo con los Yankees

The hell with the Yankees. It pains me to say it because I've been a Yankee fan since I got my first mitt with Don Mattingly's autograph embossed on the leather. The Bronx keeps getting shit on and it kills me. First the Germans tell their soldiers to imagine they're shooting "Blacks in the Bronx" during training (don't believe me check out the link, props to Afronerd), to and now "our own" Bronx Bombers are turning their back on the community that made and supported them (back when they weren't the sell out dynasty that they are now).

It started with last week's All Star Game. Apparently people were too wrapped up in A-Rod's drama to remember to do ANYTHING for the residents of the Bronx during the event. After a number of non-profits reached out to the MLB to do activities in the area the organization basically told them to screw themselves. The Red Carpet Parade which is always held in the area surrounding the hosting team's stadium was moved from the Bronx to Midtown Manhattan for no apparent reason other than straight up bias against the boro and its residents. Even Bronx little leaguers got shafted, typically seats are made available at the homerun derby for local little league teams, but this was not done for Bronx little leaguers (and not to sound paranoid, but I think that's because these little leaguers are predominantly Black and Latino youths). Who hates on kids!? That's just wrong!

The Village Voice and the always on-point Juan Gonzalez attempted to shed light on the bias and ignorance that the All Star Game was promoting with it's actions. Comments about the Bronx being a war zone and/or a ghetto were not uncommon responses, check out this response to Gonzalez's article "The new Bronx is a dump, just like the old Bronx. It's dirty, lawless, and not a place to raise your kids." WTF!?

As if the bullshit and disrespect prevalent at the All Start Game wasn't bad enough, the new Yankee stadium is being built for enjoyment by the rich. In a Metro New York article by Patrick Arden (for full text click here) he highlights the ways in which it will become impossible for the average Yankee fan to buy tickets to a game, let alone the average Bronx resident. Assemblyman Richard Brodsky said at a state hearing on the matter that the Yanks are building a "stadium for rich guys.” What's more infuriating is that the city provided the Yankees with $930 million in tax-exempt bonds, which makes the new stadium a PUBLICALLY FUNDED PROJECT. Manhattan Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh wants publicly financed stadiums to make 7 percent of seats “affordable,” but who knows if what Kavanagh considers affordable is actually economically fesible for Bronx residents. The average ticket would go up from a cost of $28 to about $57. Many youth and Bronx residents were already priced out, a 50% increase in prices is truly a slap in the face.

I am sick of the constant disrespect that the Bronx and it's residents receive on a daily basis. Just like in 1977 the Bronx is Burning and just like last time the catalyst is is a result of anger and a racist and uncaring system, the only difference is that this time the fires are metaphorical. The Bronx is burning for respect, and the Yankees better wise up real fast.

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