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Put Your Babies Behind Bars

March 25th, 2010  |  by  |  Published in Uncategorized  |  3 Comments

Doesn't that just scream "playtime?"

Doesn't that just scream "playtime?"

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.


  1. Matt says:

    March 25th, 2010at 9:10 pm(#)

    My favorite part of this is that it took everyone six years to discover it.

  2. dadwagon says:

    March 26th, 2010at 8:00 am(#)

    Yeah, Matt–that was relevant but I’m not sure in what way, exactly. Was it that it took six years for them to notice it, or was it six years before someone with a loud voice (that is, a professor) was able to make enough noise for the Times to notice? –Theodore.

  3. GM says:

    March 29th, 2010at 11:33 am(#)

    “My favorite part of this is that it took everyone six years to discover it.”

    You are making the assumption that it was previously “undiscovered”, when it fact it is much more likely that complaints were largely ignored until such time as the chorus of complaints simply grew to be too big and too loud to continue to be ignored.

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