Brooklyn's Borough President Basically Told Non-Native New Yorkers To Get Up And Go With Their Gentrifying Selves
"New York City belongs to the people that were here and made New York City what it is," the president said.
January 22, 2020 at 2:49 am
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams made comments at a Martin Luther King Day event Monday at the National Action Network in Harlem that is raising eyebrows.
During his impassioned speech, Adams called on those from other places in the country viewed as a gentrifying force.
"Go back to Iowa, you go back to Ohio," Adams said. "New York City belongs to the people that were here and made New York City what it is."
Naturally, some took issue with the statement.
Ok I’ll be the first person brave enough to ask the question. Has Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams gone batshit crazy? Come on liberals you can’t give Rudy the moniker and then let crazy shit like this slide. https://t.co/xKDaNNLRE1
— Tony Gatto (@gattotony) January 20, 2020
If Eric Adams wants to dunk on gentrifiers and people who move into the city, maybe he should stop taking so much damn money from the real estate industry who created this problem. I won’t hold my breath.
— Brandon West (@btwest) January 21, 2020
BP Eric Adams housing plan? Telling new New Yorkers to "go back to Iowa" and "go back to Ohio" as he pins gentrification on newbies and accuses them of "hijacking" apartments in an incendiary speech — https://t.co/48MtRKcGUe
— Nolan Hicks (@ndhapple) January 20, 2020
As someone who researches and writes about our collective immigration stories for a living, hearing the Brooklyn Borough President tell people to “go back to where they came from” disgusts me. I’d encourage him to read some history. https://t.co/zMylqseVQj
— Elizabeth Woller (@ElizabethWoller) January 21, 2020
Others found nothing but substance and truth.
Eric Adams was accurate. People are being displaced from their long-time homes; calling the cops on people and complaining about every single sound; if the vibrant neighborhood you chose to move into is too loud for you, then perhaps you should return from whence you've come.
— VCB Von (@VCBVon) January 21, 2020
People may not like what Eric Adams had to say, but valid points were made. He ain’t have say go back Iowa or Ohio tho. That was not necessarry!
With that being said we cannot act like native nyers are not being pushed out and leaving NY by record numbers!
— Tiffington B. (@TiffLizB) January 21, 2020
Then there was just this:
Eric Adams dunking on us for being white and living in Brooklyn pic.twitter.com/Oi7LSJJnct
— Tejoshi 6ix9ine (@Bendetowies) January 21, 2020
Backlash over the comments may have been heightened because the former cop is currently a leading contender in the ongoing 2021 mayoral race. After criticism for the statements, Adams took to Twitter to offer clarification.
"Anyone can be a New Yorker, but not everyone comes to our city with the spirit of being part of our city," the Brownsville native explained in a Twitter reply. "I have a problem with that and I'm unapologetic in asking more of our new arrivals to communities who were once waking up to gunshots and not alarm clocks."
Let me be clear: Anyone can be a New Yorker, but not everyone comes to our city with the spirit of being part of our city. I have a problem with that, and I’m unapologetic in asking more of our new arrivals to communities who were once waking up to gun shots and not alarm clocks.
— Eric Adams (@BPEricAdams) January 20, 2020
Thanks for asking, Mara. Some of it is as simple as saying “hello” to your fellow neighbors. It’s also patronizing local businesses that have been there for years. It’s adopting a local school or shelter and lending a hand. It’s breaking bread with new faces and building bonds.
— Eric Adams (@BPEricAdams) January 20, 2020
The comments even got a response from New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, who weighed in through a spokesperson in the New York Post. Telling the paper the city is welcoming, though they need to work on affordability issues and largely agreeing with the borough president's larger point.
"The mayor doesn't agree with how it was said, but the borough president voiced a very real frustration," the statement said. "We need to improve affordability in this city to ensure New Yorkers can stay in the city they love, but New York City will always be a city for everyone."
The 2021 election is to be the first in New York with ranked-choice voting — which allows voters to place candidates in order of preference.