Friday, February 2, 2007

Happy Black History Month!

Today's NY Times has more on the Atlantic Yards arena debacle:

Barclays Arena Deal Raises a Reputed Link to Slavery

To paraphrase an interesting letter to the editor of the Brooklyn Papers:

Citibank was also founded on money from the slave trade. In November 2002, a lawsuit was filed against Citigroup and 19 other companies for reparations because of alleged support to the apartheid regime that ruled South Africa. Citibank also trafficked in Nazi gold.

Where was the indignation when the naming rights to the new Shea Stadium were sold to Citibank over the border in a borough boasting its first black president?

Yes, and why is the Queens skyline dominated by a building with the Citibank name on top of it?

Why does the official website of the Queens Borough President pay homage to Queen Catherine of Braganza, a monarch who profitted from the slave trade? Her portrait was removed from borough hall on Helen Marshall's first day in office. Why are we perpetuating the lie that Queens was named after Catherine when there is absolutely no documentation that it was?

Citifield illustration from Gothamist


Anonymous said...

The name Shea (for whom Shea Stadium was named) has no particular pedigree either. He was the lawyer who was instrumental in the demolition of the late great Pennsylvania Station! The destruction of this city icon led to the formation of the Landmarks Preservation Commission. Furthermore, in An old filmed interview with Robert Moses (aired on NYC's TV Station at the time of the building of the 1964 Worlds Fair), Moses told the comentator that Shea Stadium was designed in such a configuration that it could be extended Eastward and support an all weather dome that could be added at a later date for an Olympic type venue! So why are we building a new stadium when an "alteration permit" and an addition would suffice? We all know that answer!

Anonymous said...

That particular old B/W filmed interview featuring Robert Moses (subject "a 1964 Worlds Fair construction count down") was recently re-broadcast (I believe a few months ago on UHF channel 31). I just saw it. Maybe a copy of this (if it can be obtained) should be sent to Beep Marshall, Mayor Mike, "Doctor-Dan" Doctoroff & Co. with a note asking them what perks they're personally getting off the deal to build the new "CitiField" boondoggle! Well, maybe they'll read this posting and have all the remaing copies of that Moses interview footage destroyed so the evidence could be erased!

Anonymous said...

12,000 less seats. Who loses? Not the corporate fans! I remember the day when baseball was a sport of the people. Ah, memories!

Anonymous said...

"The Queen's crown signifies the name of the county and borough in honor of Queen Catherine of Braganza."

When I saw a picture of our borough president a few weeks ago giving the thumbs up over the coat of arms of Queens, it seemed like something full of symbolic repression. I felt sorry for her. I am certain that there was more than one person chuckling that a woman of color was cluelessly smiling in front of something dripping with those symbols of racism.

She really comes across as a well meaning person who is totally in over her head, and holds her position do to her pliability by real estate interests.

Now, can someone from the African-American community please stop this woman from being the butt of this farce, and call for the removal of any objects associated with Catherine from any and all public venues in the good boro of Queens?

Anonymous said...

Citibank employs more black and asians than any other bank in the city, keep the website focused on actual crap, not 300 year old "crap", thanks.

Anonymous said...

Hey, and don't forget that this is the bicentennial of the abolition of slave trade in both Britain and the United States.