Summerhill Brooklyn’s Boozy Sandwich Shop a new Crown Heights establishment reaches the height of racial insensitivity and arrogance revealing the worst aspects of neighborhood gentrification.
Becca Brennan who is from Canada is the owner of Summer Hill. She offers a tepid apology and only a feeble response to neighbors who called out Summerhill for advertising fake bullet riddled walls, for mocking the area’s many tragic gun deaths of the past, and for insulting residents by serving 40 ounce containers of Rose in brown paper bags.
This is cultural misappropriation gone wild perpetrated by young mostly white moneyed elites who only know and serve the interest and tastes of other moneyed elites.
Brennan’s sense of entitlement and privilege trumps everything else as the Summerhill continues to do business in the face of protests by some very upset local residents. Such Gaul.
In Spike Lee’s classic movie of 28 years ago Do The Right Thing, a kindly but racist Pizzeria owner (played by Danny Aiello) is violently put out of business by members of Bedford Stuyvesant community. These fictional events parallel the Summerhill situation in Crown Heights, In the film neighborhood residents demand that Pizzeria owner Sal add some photos of famous black people to the Pizzeria’s display of prominent Italian Americans. When Sal refuses tempers flare and violence erupts on a hot summer night. Sal’s life’s work is destroyed and the police brutally kill one of the neighborhood agitators.
While no one is calling for violence in Crown Heights many neighbors are calling for Summerhill to shut down and they are initiating a boycott. We hope the boycott and protests continue and succeed in closing this place. Nobody will miss another establishment selling over priced sandwiches and drinks. In Brooklyn these days there are just too many of these places. The only ones harmed would be Brennan and the investors who are backing her. In a free market world where unbridled gentrification takes precedence, these clueless entrepreneurs deserve to lose their shirts for failing to see the real cost of this blatantly racist marketing ploy. Hopefully Becca Brennan will be packing her bags back to Toronto and not be tempted to exploit the racial bias and insensitivity shown toward the ethnic minorities and aboriginal people of Canada.
Stay cool Crown Heights.
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