Minority Woman Alleges Verbal Abuse by … Minority Livery Driver

car service

Originally uploaded by Brooklyn Kim.

law&disorder writes in the Park Slope Message Board: “I’m still in a state of shock about what’s happened to me today. I had a couple things that I wanted to sell in that Isoldit Ebay store on Flatbush Ave. So I put the things – a juicer, camera and blender – into two small-medium boxes. I called the car service I always use – Legends.”

(fast forward through a dispute over the fare…)

“…I told him that I’d NEVER been asked to pay upfront before and that I wasn’t appreciating his attitude at all. He said, ‘I’m not driving you anywhere unless you pay me first you NIGGER BITCH. In fact, get the FUCK OUT OF MY CAR. I won’t drive you anywhere. Take your boxes and get out.’ “

“This went on. And on … He pointed to a dog on the sidewalk and said that I was a lower form of life than the dog … That the ‘piece of shit’ building I live in (which happens to be a beautiful brownstone) is ‘nothing’ compared to the house that he and his family live in.”

“… By the time the second driver arrived, there was such a scene going on, with the driver screaming, ‘TAKE YOUR BOXES OUT OF MY CAR, YOU NIGGER SCUM,’ that a passing police van stopped and four officers got out to find out what the hell was going on …”

“The irony is that the driver in question is Egyptian. Never knew the Egyptians had a pathological hatred of their fellow Africans (I’m actually African as opposed to African American). The cops – who all looked Hispanic told the guy to chill out and said, ‘look, we’re ALL minorities here.’ The driver denied that he was a minority and said that he shouldn’t have to drive ‘people like me’ anywhere…”

Read the Aftermath in the Park Slope Message Board

Skin Color and The Slope

church of food

Originally uploaded by ess dog.

N. Slope Princess writes in the Park Slope Message Boards:

“Am I the only ‘woman of color’ in the Slope who’s not a nanny or a maid?”

“A friend of mine recently said that I’m a ‘sellout’ for choosing to live in Park Slope and asked me if I notice that there are no other non-whites. I actually haven’t noticed. Is this true?”

“I’ve lived here for about 3 or 4 years but I’ve been very busy so I haven’t really stopped and taken note of the color of people’s skins.”

steve replies: “Didn’t spike lee make 3 movies about this? It sounds like your friend is using the same silly arguement about keeping it real that people have been using to backup their class jealousy for years. Live where you want. I know the Slope works for me, and I’m very happy about that.”

Back and forth: Park Slope Message Boards

No You DIDN’T: “Hispanic Shampoo” on Flatbush Ave.

beef and iron wine.jpgJose checks in with a follow-up on that mysterious “Hispanic Shampoo” section on Aisle 4 at the Flatbush Ave. Duane Reade: “Some of the products are made in Latin America (the DR, Honduras, Panama, Miami). However, other so-called Hispanic products are made in Germany and–get this–by special decree of Her Majesty, the Queen of England. The products range from cod liver oil capsules, gel, tonic, ‘Hongo Killer’ athlete’s foot powder, and, yes, shampoo. Or as my mom used to say, champu.

[“Hongo Killer”? qu’est-ce que c’est? Fa fa fa fa, fa fa fa fa fa fa…]

ALSO, we got this note from noisefootprint: “I was in there recently, and a couple of young [Latina] women got riled at that sign … they were in that aisle getting their hair-care products, and kept making loud remarks about how they were reduced to the ‘ethnic’ section. ‘The ETHNIC section! We have to shop in the ETHNIC section now’…”

Actually, the weird thing about the “Hispanic Shampoo” section is that it contains only ONE type of shampoo: Mirta de Perales (Lemon Fresh and Herbal Fresh varieties, along with Hair Conditioning Rinse and Oil Treatment).

Maybe de Perales lobbied Duane Reade to change their signage? After all, she is quite the entrepreneur… Somewhere out there, you can find a Miami Herald article from the early 1990s that profiles de Perales’s Algeresque rags-to-riches story. It begins like this:

“On July 15, 1987, President Reagan, speaking at the White House, pointed to Mirta de Perales at a special function honoring minorities and said: ‘That’s the American dream.’ … Perales, Miami’s undisputed exile cosmetics queen, smiled. Fifty years ago, she began her career in the beauty business charging a nickel for a haircut in her hometown. Today, she owns one of the 500 richest Hispanic businesses in the United States–her own line of beauty products.”

PICTURED: EKO VINO Beef and Iron Wine Nutritional Supplement, on the shelves NOW at the Flatbush Ave. Duane Reade