“Black Mischief” by John Derbyshire

If only you can handle yourself right, the logic goes, you will be safe. Few people, though, mention the truth: if by some misfortune you happen to get mugged, the policeman standing at the Court Street subway stop cannot protect you.

“Amity Shlaes feels helpless against the rising tide of anti-white larceny and murder in New York”

The London Spectator, January 1, 1994

Brooklyn Heights, New York

Winter is a merry time in Brooklyn Heights and this one has been particularly festive. The children of the Wall Street lawyers who live here spend afternoons building snowmen in each others’ gardens. The wives of the Wall Street lawyers come home from work around six o’clock and chat about property values with their neighbours as they hang elaborate wreaths on the bevelled glass of their brownstone doors. The Wall Street lawyers themselves arrive only around midnight, but bear in their pockets magnificent bonuses—golden shards of the merger bonanza and a runaway stock market. At last, the whole snowy neighbourhood seems to sigh, the bleak recession-time is over. Maybe, goes the thinking—perhaps in this New Year—things might get back to normal.

Might get back, that is, except for one little problem. The problem is one, that says to all tame urban inhabitants of 1990s America, and in particular to white inhabitants: you will soon be in the minority, and the official city—employees, courts, juries, laws—cannot protect you. Brooklyn Heights residents pride themselves on being bold city leaders, though, so they don’t talk about ‘fear’. They refer to their problem in code, and they call it ‘the subway’.

For Brooklyners, the subway is an unlovely and unavoidable necessity. Brooklyn Heights grew great because it is close to Wall Street, and some of the cupolar rooms of the nicest mansions of the biggest lawyers’ houses peer right out on to the Staten Island Ferry. Between Brooklyn and Wall Street, though, lies the soggy East River. There is a bridge over the river—the rickety Brooklyn Bridge—and there is a car tunnel, the clogged Brooklyn Battery. But, to cross that river, someone in the lawyers’ families—the husband, say, when he is in a hurry, the daughter, who has to get to her East Side girls’ school—has to descend into the Court Street entrance, face humanity and smell the urine, and ride the train.

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Original source.


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