Celebrating West Indian Day

Friday, August 30, 2013

The West Indian Day Parade in Brooklyn. (terronrichardson via Instagram)

This Monday is the annual West Indian Day parade in Brooklyn. What are you looking forward to? What does your Caribbean heritage mean to you?

And how do we view the issue of violence? In six of the last ten years, at least one person has been murdered near the parade route. In the Daily News, Caribbean affairs columnist Jared McCallister writes:

Criminals, not the West Indian American Day Carnival, commit crimes. But bigoted potshots — many from armchair quarterbacks who’ve never been to the event — wrongly portray the event as a crime magnet.
Remember, 17 people were shot around the city in a single day earlier this month and there were no scantily-clad masqueraders or steelpan music to be found. Let’s start to focus on the real problems — violence in the city streets and homes. Carnivals don’t attack people, but criminals do.

Do you agree with McCallister's take? How much does violence define the parade, or do you see it as media sensationalism? Call 212-433-9692 to join the conversation, or post below.


Comments [12]

ugh, *culture

Aug. 30 2013 06:32 PM

Let me note that I've always enjoyed the sound of steel drums and reggae. I have nothing against W. Indian culutre, per se.

I just think /all/ of the parades, for various reasons and to varying degrees, are more trouble than their worth.

Aug. 30 2013 06:32 PM
Joshua from Crown Heights

The Labor Day is just ok..but the night before is the best event of the year in NYC. J'Ouvert! Here are my images. Its a folkloric celebration that is amazing. Starts at 3am from the Brooklyn Library and goes all night till 9am. Steel drum processions, dancing, etc...

Aug. 30 2013 03:42 PM
john from office

Shelly, when was the last shooting at the Salute to Israel day parade??
I worked the West Indian day parade as a cop, I will be very far from that parade. To many of "them".

Aug. 30 2013 12:24 PM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

@John - since you seem to have a problem with people from the tropics celebrating their culture, I really think that you should support one of those "white hispanics" - Mr Cruz, or Rubio for President. Cha cha cha.

Aug. 30 2013 12:11 PM

@ "Restore Sanity from Westchester": Is there anyone currently on the air in New York, or *anywhere* for that matter, who is as intelligent, incisive, substantative, witty, eloquent, edifying and entertaining as Jay Diamond-- whatever his faults may have bee-- was?

Aug. 30 2013 12:04 PM
john from office

Such pride in being able to dance half naked??? and run around drunk. I never will understand

Aug. 30 2013 12:03 PM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

The West Indian vs Caribbean thing, is pure semantics. The West Indies includes all the Islands of the Caribbean - the non english ones too.

Aug. 30 2013 11:58 AM
foodaggro from Brooklyn

I'm looking forward to avoiding yet another well-intentioned but ultimately dangerous and idiotic parade.

Aug. 30 2013 11:54 AM
Restore Sanity from Westchester, NY

To Independent_Noach: Not for nothing, but could be that being such a killjoy may be among the many reasons Mr. Diamond is no longer on the air.

Aug. 30 2013 11:53 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Mr McCallister is correct to separate the Parade itself from Criminality.

However - like clockwork, most likely there will be violent (usually gun) incidents, before, during, and after the Parade. Perhaps not in the parade itself but in the vicinity.

The spectre of violence is always in the back of the minds of the 99.99% of law abiding people who attend or live in the area.

The often repeated "let's leave by 5pm before they get drunk and start shooting" may reek of hysteria but sadly, it's not totally without merit.

Aug. 30 2013 11:52 AM

I recall the words of veteran NYC radio commentator Jay Diamond saying that if he were ever mayor, he would eliminate *all* racial/ethnic/sexual , idiotic, tribal, pride "chestbeating" parades.

Aug. 30 2013 11:38 AM

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