In the News: Tribeca Nanny Fired Because of Race

••• “The wife of a [Tribeca] financier hired a nanny for her baby, but freaked out when she realized the caretaker was African-American and fired off a text message saying, “NOOOOOOOOOOO ANOTHER BLACK PERSON,” a lawsuit alleges. […] Only she didn’t send the text to [her husband]—she accidentally sent it to [the nanny]. Twice. When she realized the gaffe, [the mother] immediately fired the experienced caretaker, saying she felt ‘uncomfortable.’ She said that their outgoing nanny was African-American and had done a bad job—and that they were expecting a Filipino.” —New York Post

••• “Federal prosecutors in Manhattan told a judge on Friday that they intend to seek the death penalty if a jury convicts Sayfullo Saipov, the Uzbek man charged in the 2017 truck attack that killed eight people on a crowded Manhattan bike path.” —New York Times

••• Shopping with musician John Lydon (Sex Pistols, Public Image Ltd.) at Tribeca Issey Miyake. —New York Times

••• “The city wants to lift up East River Park by several feet to prevent the FDR Drive and homes behind it from flooding, officials announced on Friday. The city said that it will raise the park an average of eight to 10 feet between 13th and Cherry streets through various engineering methods.” —New York Post

••• A explains the legal dispute over the basement at 65 N. Moore. —Habitat

••• “An ambitious plan for a river research and education center [a.k.a. estuarium] near Pier 26 in Tribeca remains in limbo as time grows short to raise the roughly $40 million needed to fund it. The Hudson River Park Trust’s deadline has been extended for finding a donor for the building.” As for Pier 26 (rendering below), “Construction on the pier began late this month and is expect to take two years to complete.” The full set of renderings for the pier and fish-themed playground. —Tribeca Trib

 

12 Comments

  1. The witch married to the rich guy needs to get her face out of her butt and realize this is 2018 not 1918. Look around this city and nannies come in all shapes, sizes, ages and races. Her behavior and attitude is disgusting.

  2. I wish they would make Pier 26 all fields..With all the kids down here and pier 40 in jeopardy, our kids need to have more fields. Having our kid travel to Randell Island or marine park is crazy. And I think if they made it all fields they would be able to raise $$$. This is what the community really needs..

    • It’s NYC. You want fields, move to the suburbs. This area has more fields than most. How about amenities that all New Yorkers can use? They should also get rid of most of the baseball fields in Central Park. Return them to park or at the very least turn them into more flexible fields for soccer etc.

  3. Re: “She’s not racist. We’re not racist people.” This is pretty much the definition of racism.

    And don’t be surprised about this. You don’t need to wear hood and carry a torch to be racist. Nor is wealth or education an elixir.

    It happens every day, in ways little and big, in your neighborhood. I have heard Tribecans lament about how scared they were during black lives matters protests downtown. (Try being black – a hell of a lot scarier.) My husband was stopped by security numerous times when picking up our child at pre-school, as other men walked right past him. Our child has shared the xenophobic and racist sentiments from children as young as 4. No child is born racist. Where do you think they learn it?

    If you really want to be an ally, you need to call your friends out. At the holiday party. In the park. Over coffee.

    As important: share with your children that all people are equal and deserve to be treated fairly, regardless of skin color, religion, gender, sexual orientation. If you think that children shouldn’t be bothered with this, that’s straight up white privilege. If your child were black, s/he would know what discrimination is before starting school. So it’s never too early, and yes, there is an age appropriate way to talk about it.

    Last, but not least, a good portion of Tribecans are in seats of power. They move money, they hire, they broker deals. So let that sink in.

    • Thank you for writing this.

    • Amen.

    • “As important: share with your children that all people are equal and deserve to be treated fairly, regardless of skin color, religion, gender, sexual orientation.” Words to live by! Well said.

      • It’s so easy to do nothing, or look the other way.

        Here are some downtown excursions we have taken – each creates an opportunity for an age appropriate conversation.

        Visit the African Burial Ground on Duane Street at Elk. We went there the morning after Charlottesville to talk and play. I was incredibly depressed, and didn’t share the details of what happened, but found that it was a good place to talk about the difference between people who chose to come to America and people who were forced. It’s at once solemn and playful – and very well designed. https://www.nps.gov/afbg/index.htm

        -Visit the Irish Hunger Memorial in Battery Park. Explain that each of the stones on the path has the name of a county. Read the words in the entrance, and talk about native plants. It’s a good entry point for why immigrants come to America – it is a better place than their current situation (and you can see the Statue of Liberty around the corner). Also a great place have a talk about why we shouldn’t waste food. It’s way more fun than screaming “eat your peas” for the millionth time.

        – Visit the Museum of the Native American Indian downtown. I often remind my child that there were people in Manhattan before the buildings, cement, and the many waves of immigration. One activity you can do is research local tribes where you live, or in a place you visit. My child has African, European, and Native ancestry, so we talk about Columbus day and Thanksgiving with perspective. We talk about why school is off but it’s not celebrated by everyone. We celebrate Thanksgiving, but also skip all the romantic notions/lies that I was taught. My child would not have existed if not for this world history, but at the same time, we can talk about what was right or wrong about the past.

        Also on questions:

        When my child asked why there are girls-only coding classes, I explained that some people *think* that girls can’t code. We talked about why that might be, how it’s not fair, and what we need to do to make safe spaces for people.

        On the questions “Can boys marry boys?” and “Can girls marry girls?” The answer is yes, love is love. The follow up is going to be “But how do they make babies?” And it’s easy: “they get help!” This is actually how we ended up talking about adoption more broadly.

        Once your kid recognizes race, get the book “The Colors of Us.” Wait, even better, make sure your kid has books that represent people of different races, religions, and cultures from day one.

        Net/net: Kids are smart and avoiding the difficult conversations only leads to preconceived notions later.

        • Great ideas and thoughts. NYC has a rich (and poor) history of race relations that we can look at and learn from, many of which are within a close proximity to our neighborhood. Hopefully this too can be a teachable moment.

  4. The family’s level of privilege is nauseating.

    “Plasco said that they didn’t owe her any more money because there was no contract, and that the suit is just “extortion.”

    “I’m not someone who has millions of dollars lying around to just pay off people that are coming after me for extortion. And now you’re playing straight into her hands,” fumed the banker, who once ran the UK’s biggest brokerage firm.

    “My wife was two months off having a baby, suffering from a very difficult situation. You’re going to go after someone like that? That’s not a very nice thing to do.”

  5. I think this story illuminates the casual racism that is rampant in our community especially as it relates to nannies. I was told by a well-meaning friend not to hire anyone from ‘the islands’ because they are lazy. When I did anyway (a wonderful hardworking ‘islander’), I can’t tell you how many times she had her picture taken in parks to ‘report her’ (to whom??) for the fact that one of my children fell off the monkey bars or some such nonsense. It happened so frequently that I had to put a letter in the stroller from me to hand women who felt entitled to tell my nanny how to do her job. These incidents would never have happened if she were white. There are a lot of well-meaning moms in this neighborhood who have no idea how racist their basic instincts are. Maybe we all do a little introspection.

  6. On another note: good to see ol’ Johnny Rotten in the NYT. I often listen to “Never mind the bullocks here’s the sex pistols” while walking my pup just to keep that spring in my step! It was a blast 40 years ago and is a blast today. It was sheer youth and anger battered together into the perfect mash of punk. Nothing like it but from which many other bands born.

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