The evolution of neighborhoods from all White enclaves to one more diverse can be a shock to longtime residents.
My family was one of two non-White families on our block in Daly City, CA. Decades later, the block along with the neighborhood is predominantly Filipino American.
I was too young to know during the peak of the changeover whether it caused any tension between Whites and the new Filipinos residents. The Whites pretty much all moved out. Whether they fled or upgraded their homes to wealthier neighborhoods is a matter of interpretation, I suppose.
Brooklyn has gone through a similar transformation.
The Brooklyn Eagle reports the neighborhood of Bensonhurst in the southwestern part of the burrough of Brooklyn has gone from one that is mostly Italian American to one which is a mix of Asians, Russians, Poles, Mexicans, Muslims and people from Central America.
Recently an Asian American company took over the Waldbaum’s supermarket sparking strong reaction on social media.
This is the first time I’ve set foot in a supermarket since Waldbaum’s closing and I feel empty
— Marazzo (@MikeMarazzo) January 16, 2016
But like I live in Bensonhurst not the ghetto uhm wtf is going on
— J.K (@JessicaKadiu) April 2, 2016
@carlamarie02 Bensonhurst is changing so much, all of the Italians are running to Staten Island now ?
— Frankie Bordone (@frankieb137) April 1, 2016
The Bensonhurst Alliance is trying to ward off any problems by bringing the various diverse groups in the area together.
The Bensonhurst Alliance “is dedicated to strengthening the strong and vibrant Bensonhurst community through an environment fostering the values and traditions that respects and celebrates the diversity, cultures and heritages of our community,” according to its mission statement.
I applaud those efforts. It sure beats the contentiousness that seems to be fueling the campaign of Donald Trump, and the Republican primary in general.
It’s a lot easier to vent without offering solutions. The Bensonhurst Alliance is showing true leadership and we wish them nothing but success. There will undoubtedly be bumps in the road, but if they keep the mission statement as their core, they will persevere and Bensonhurst will thrive.
You can read more detail about their efforts in the Brooklyn Eagle .
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