(See Declan McCullagh’s image of the Capitol Building before Sheepshead Bay was added to it at his website.)
I had wanted to “answer” our reader, ‘z’, — who sent us a cryptic comment to our Bang on The Bay New Year’s Eve Cruise post — much earlier, but was almost dumbfounded at how to respond.
After so much concentration on race for the past few years — both Presidential and ethnicity — and now that America’s historic and great (especially because of its inclusiveness) Presidential Inauguration day is here, this seems the appropriate time to acknowledge ‘z’s comment.
Here’s a little background. I had written a post announcing a New Year’s Eve party cruise leaving from Sheepshead Bay, thinking that our readers might like to know about the celebration. ‘Z’ wrote in letting us know who the party was for with a comment saying that “it’s a black oriented party, just an fyi…”.
I really don’t want to be the one to assume what our commenter was trying to tell us. But something about the way that ‘z’ approached the subject of a party in Sheepshead Bay by talking about race — couldn’t sit well with me. While it may be possible that people of all colors and creeds were welcome at the party cruise and ‘z’ may not have meant to exclude any one particular race from the party, it did leave me puzzled about reader’s perceptions of Sheepshead Bay and Sheepshead Bites.
Do visitors who come to our site get the impression that we represent a particular race? If so, which one and why? Was ‘z’ under the wrong impression that the population of Sheepshead Bay is of a certain race? Was the comment placed as a way to welcome people of all creeds to the party or as a way of keeping certain people away?
Please feel welcome to participate in this dialogue, because we’re not oriented in any leave-you-out kind of way. Until we hear from you, Sheepshead Bites has just this to say for now about our blackness, whiteness, and colorness in general: We are colorful, colorless, color-safe, and color-neutral all at once.
We’re honored and humbled to share 2008 — the year we had our start — with Barack Obama. As he is about to be sworn in as our next President, we all stand proud together.
It is in the spirit of change and hope — just as President (if you’re reading this after he’s taken the oath) Obama has united us in this message — that we welcome all of Sheepshead Bay to put aside unfair prejudices and negativities.
The Everyone-Oriented music of unity is calling you to our community dance floor and it feels so good that not even our friend ‘z’ will want to stay away.