Look, you already know how we feel about Brooklyn hosting the Democratic National Convention; we’re against it. But we understand why there are those who would be excited about bringing a whole bunch of new people into the city, people who will most likely book hotel rooms and eat at restaurants and catch some Broadway shows and just, we don’t know, throw money on the streets because they’re Democrats damnit and that’s what liberals do!
And yet. After reading this article in the New York Observer about the way that certain New York politicians (aHEM, Chuck Schumer) are insulting other cities which once hosted the convention in an attempt to promote Brooklyn, we feel like the time has come to make a plea to any and all politicians who plan on participating in this type of blatant Brooklyn boosterism: Please stop. You’re embarrassing us.
Among the “insults” that Schumer lobbed at other cities were jokes about the traffic in LA (original!) and that Charlotte has a lot of highways to get lost on. Furthermore, Schumer called out the notion that Brooklyn might not have enough hotel space as being a specious “canard” and claimed that “there is no place that says the American dream burns brightly better than Brooklyn.” Which, well. We’re pretty sure that all the people being priced out of their longtime neighborhoods might have something to say about that, but ok! Also getting in on the lame Brooklyn love was Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo who said, “We have swag on lock down… A convention anywhere else in the United States of America is just going to be ‘eh.’”
“Swag on lockdown?” Somebody please make it stop. The truth is that, at this point in the borough popularity game, Brooklyn doesn’t need any help, especially when it comes laden with cringe-worthy rhetoric. The areas of Brooklyn that do need help are not the ones that will be infused with cash should the DNC-tourists come calling, and while we understand the the government is not a monolith and can do more than one thing at a time, we would really appreciate if local politicians could just forgo the hard sell on why the Barclays Center is the coolest place on earth, and spend more time addressing the more pressing, ongoing issues of police brutality. Because you know what these huge political conventions bring besides tourist dollars? Protestors! And if the NYPD’s shameful behavior during the 2004 Republican National Convention in Manhattan (which led to an $18 million lawsuit against the city) is any indication of what could happen in Brooklyn 2016, then we’d like to know now what plan is in place to prevent the mistreatment of citizens employing their First Amendment rights. Because a repeat of that debacle? Really wouldn’t be very swag at all.
Follow Kristin Iversen on twitter @kmiversen