Sometimes you have to wonder what the fine folk who run New York City are thinking.
The Times ran this piece yesterday about a playground in a housing project in Bedford-Stuyvesant, for many years one of the city’s poorest neighborhoods and still an area with more than its share of violent crime. The playground has a jungle gym set up to look like a prison, complete with the word “Jail” printed on it, and a cell door and prison bars.
A few locals, not surprisingly, were not amused. Said one parent of a 6-year-old: “it was like promoting kids to go to jail.”
Protests to city officials have been made of late, largely spearheaded by a professor at the City University of New York named Lumumba Bandele. Badele pointed out to the the Times that “this community along with six others in New York City makes up the majority of the prison population in New York State,” a context which makes the playground feature “insulting.”
I tend to agree. Not that kids shouldn’t be allowed to play prison games if they want–I certainly did. But to locate it in Bed-Stuy (the city said one other such jungle gym exists but wouldn’t say where) is insensitive at best and racial profiling at worst.
Readers, go check out the photos of it in the article. Tell me if I’m wrong.