Staten Island is littered with time warped xenophobes who harbor a deep loathing for dark skin. The Island is a microcosm of the U.S.’s racial qualms. The North Shore population of the Island is about 22% Black and 20% Hispanic as opposed to the South Shore’s which is about 1% Black and 6% Hispanic. Long time Staten Islanders jokingly refer to the Staten Island Expressway as “The Mason Dixon Line.”
Despite the North Shore’s more mixed neighborhoods, bitter racism exists there too. Look at these comments from the Stapleton forum on silive.com:
“What’s with Stapleton? There’s so many monkeys walking around. The neighborhood is so unsafe it’s ridiculous.” Posted by “mightymomss” on 9/23/2009. To which bobstape responded, “It became monkeyville around 79.”
As a reporter I value this kind of overt racism because once people see my notebook or tape recorder in the street they’ll never put their true thoughts on record.
Though in November Debi Rose might become the first ever African-American elected official from Staten Island, her primary victory came five days after the sentencing of “America’s Most Inept Racists,” who drove around Staten Island looking for black people to beat with a pipe on election night 2008. These guys really went out of their way too. They beat a Liberian guy in Park Hill and ran over a white guy (looked black with a hoody on) in Port Richmond. These two neighborhoods, though both on the North Shore aren’t conveniently close. Maybe that’s why they missed Stapleton, or as some call it, “monkeyville.” Check the FBI’s press release for a fuller account.
Why is Staten Island socially segregated? Or is it structurally segregated? Is it odd that the city’s whitest borough (over 3/4 white) was the only borough to give John McCain the majority of their votes? Should Debi Rose’s race even matter or is the “first anything” regarding race a novelty in American discourse?