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Sunday, April 15, 2007

German Bronx Dis is Only Most Recent in Long Line

Thanks to YouTube, the Bronx and the world was made aware this weekend of a German military training exercise where soldiers were told to imagine African Americans in the Bronx exiting a van before firing off their machine guns.

But anyone who has a Google Alert set for Bronx will learn relatively quickly that our borough is frequently used for target practice by clueless people trying to make a point in violent contexts. The Norwood News ran an editorial about exactly this last July (scroll down page to 2nd editorial). Here are a couple of excerpts:

Michael Hart, the Liberal Party candidate for state parliament in Burleigh, Australia, “has rejected suggestions that Burleigh is becoming the ‘Bronx’ of the city,” according to a local paper there.

“We are certainly having some trouble with out-of-control youth gatherings, but I don’t think we have reached that stage yet,” he told the paper. ...

A year ago, a Swiss paper ran an article about training sessions for people concerned about rising crime in Swiss cities. The headline was, “Safety lessons in a virtual Bronx.”

It's good that Bronx BP Adolfo Carrion has invited German military and government officials to tour the borough; we just worry he might have to hire a staffer exclusively to arrange the visits of a steady stream of less-than-enlightened representatives of foreign governments.

4 comments:

  1. how surprising...from the same "culture" of barbarians who gave us nazism and two world wars...those a-bombs in '45 were dropped on the wrong country...those effeminate alcoholics could train for 20 years and still wouldnt survive a week in the bronx...better go pick on the even more effeminate and equally worthless french...ps german americans are the largest ethnic group in the u.s....coincidence?

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  2. The funny thing is that the preceding comment showed a lot more genuine hatred than the German instructor, who quite obviously was making a tasteless joke.
    The image of the Bronx in non-US-countries is indeed one of decay, lawlessness, violence, and (mostly African-American) gangs. And you know why? Because it was portrayed exactly like this by American pop culture for decades. And since ordinary Europeans derive lot of their "knowledge" about America from American TV series, movies etc., which are flooding European households, this picture is ingrained into the population.
    So, if you want to assign blame, start at home and chide Hollywood for the horrible PR job it is giving the Bronx.

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  3. The "joke" of this German instructor is unexcaptable and I confirm Tobia's comment. I'm from Germany living in New Jersey since a couple of years and even though I spend almost every weekend in New York City, I never went to the Bronx. I don't know this area and I'm too afraid ending up in a dangerous situation. That might sound funny to some people, but as Tobias said, that's the image the media made out of it.

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  4. By Louienyc75@hotmail.com:
    What else is new? When I lived in Pittsfield, Ma., the perceptions of New York itself where a-la Charles Bronson in the Death Wish movie series. The people there were typically uneducated. I also got into fights there, complete with a black eye, and noticed the town had a problem with crime and drugs. I was not looking for trouble either. In general, I feel most Americans don't look in their "own backyard" or at themselves in terms of looking at faults but are quick to pass negative judgment. If you get your information from T.V. then you will have an erroneous, misinformed, and ignorant perception on New York or just about anything else. This is due to most Americans choosing entertainment over educational T.V. I recently got into an email argument on Ebay with some moron who was angry with me for not selling him my item for his price. He told me he didn't "want my item anyway" because, since it's from the Bronx, it must be "lost, stolen or broken." As for T.V. and the movies as well, a violent, deadly Bronx is what will sell. As for me, I don't watch much T.V. or base my opinion of a place based on a movie. There are pros and cons to everything in life. The Bronx is not perfect but it is not a crazy place where you will get killed. Much work was done to rebuild the destroyed parts of it and there is new construction everywhere. In fact, many people have been priced out of the Bronx and real estate is still overpriced. I was born here and have been here most of my life so I should know. If you people out there don't believe me you don't have to because where you live is perfect and so are you.

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