BY KARI LINDBERG | With passionate chants of “Racism No More,” “New York City Not For Sale” and “De Blasio, Step Down,” members the Coalition to Protect Chinatown and Lower East Side kicked off their protest outside City Hall last Wednesday.
Around 100 protestors, mainly older Chinese and Latinos, came out alongside activists, wearing signs in English, Spanish and Chinese saying “De Blasio, Step Down” and “Stop Ethnic Racism.” They called on Mayor Bill de Blasio to leave office for failing to protect Asian, African-American and Latino communities from being displaced.
America’s cities may be home to individuals belonging to thousands of cultural groups and myriad socioeconomic statuses. But these urban centers are surprisingly no melting pot. As Nate Silver pointed out in several infographics,diverse cities are often the most segregated, especially at the neighborhood level.
To add to this gloomy reality, today’s urban developers often use subtle tactics to keep cities economically and racially divided. “The fair housing laws passed in the last half-century have forced racists to devise whole new methods of discrimination, subtler but serving the same purpose: to keep people of color out of ‘white’ spaces,” author Daniel Kolitz wrote on the online culture publication Hopes & Fears.
NEW YORK CITY — As the city’s public housing authority adds more Asian language services to its customer service phone system in response to pressure from elected officials, tenant advocacy groups say the city still is not doing enough.
The New York City Housing Authority has added Mandarin and Cantonese language options to its automated customer phone system, a week after Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez wrote a letter to the agency requesting the change — but tenants who speak Korean and Bangla are still deprived of language resources, according to activist group CAAAV: Organizing Asian Communities,which has previously criticized the authority for its limited language services.