Another Caribbean festival, another butcher's bill. Last week I noted the annual Notting Hill Carnival in London, a celebration of black African and Caribbean culture. I reported the butcher's bill: four stabbings, forty-three police officers injured, of whom eight needed hospitalization; total 450 arrests.Not to be outdone, this past week New York City had its own Caribbean-themed event, the J'Ouvert Festival in Brooklyn. Sunday night and the small hours of Labor Day morning, crowds of revellers gathered on the Brooklyn streets to celebrate the vibrant culture of those sun-kissed islands.
I can't find any count of arrests. Given that Notting Hill Carnival draws north of a million participants, while J'Ouvert gets only a comparatively tame quarter million, on a proportional basis I'd expect 112 arrests at J'Ouvert. As best I can judge from the news reports, there seem not to have been anything like that number of arrests. If this is right, it bespeaks remarkable restraint on the part of New York City cops.
I should say, however, that the NYPD launched a pre-emptive strike the Friday before the Festival, storming into the neighborhood and rounding up 35 alleged gang members. Along with the 35 gangbangers, the cops brought back ten handguns, three pounds of Mary Jane, a kilo of cocaine, and some heroin. So I guess the Festival itself could have been a lot worse.
I should also say that the J'Ouvert Festival, which is a night-time affair, is not to be confused with the West Indian Day parade on Labor Day. That happens in broad daylight, and is generally trouble-free.
Still, you have to wonder why the authorities let J'Ouvert go on. The local police commander tells us that, quote from the New York Times: "Over the past decade, 21 shootings and other violent acts have been recorded at J'Ouvert festivities," end quote. So shut it down already.
I had a quiet smile to myself reading the news reports, on encountering 72-year-old Margaret Peters, who migrated to Brooklyn from Trinidad and Tobago in 1972. Ms Peters was one of the unfortunate people who suffered a non-fatal bullet wound at this year's Festival — in her case, a bullet to the left arm.
"That's it," Ms Peters told the New York Post. "I won't be going back next year."
I hope I won't be thought out of line for pointing out that Ms Peters might have saved herself some pain and medical bills if she'd heeded the advice in my 2012 column "The Talk," from which, quote: "Do not attend events likely to draw a lot of blacks."
True, my advice was intended for nonblacks; but a bullet doesn't care what color you are.
And there, you see what an unjust world it is. You try to put out some cautionary advice to help people navigate through life, and what thanks do you get? [Sigh.] No good deed goes unpunished …
01m03s — Clintocalypse (cont.) (I catch the zeitgeist.)
10m02s — A Trumpish foreign policy. (From Spengler.)
17m22s — The untouchable Mrs Clinton. (Brazen in contempt for propriety and law.)
24m51s — Journalists are scum. (And the National Press Club is run by weasels.)
32m23s — What unites the Alt-Right. (Seeing pygmies humiliate a giant.)
43m34s — Another Caribbean festival. (Another butcher's bill.)
48m10s — Norks clamp down. (On figures of speech.)
49m49s — ChiComs diss our President. (Deliberately.)
50m44s — Advice to travelers. (Air China gets it right.)
52m29s — Odds and ends. (Incest, bathrooms, spiders, and the decline of an elite retreat.)
54m59s — Signoff. (The most astonishing statistic.)