Human life is taken right in front of “human’s” eyes and a subway full of “people” egg the killer on as he’s murdering a man and others record the act as if they’re snuff film directors.
This is disturbing but not surprising. What happen to Jordan Neely could’ve happened anywhere, but it didn’t just happen anywhere, it happened in New York. A place that notoriously touts being “rough and tough.” A place where “no fucks are given,” what good has that rep gotten folks? look at what’s occurred with Jordan Neely and the history of violence due to the lack of regard of human life. I’m not referencing every day violence that plagues many cities in America, not that violence due to poverty and untreated trauma aren’t important. I want to focus mostly on violence and mistreatment of New Yorkers because “that’s just New York.”
We’ve seen and laughed at countless videos of New York natives being extremely aggressive towards people and a number of those people were the homeless. I want to preference this piece by saying this is not an act of hate towards New York or its people. This is not some “New York hit piece” made by a Bostonian who hates everything about New York because of some trifling sports feud. This is just an opinionated writer’s thoughts on a very unfortunate situation that he feels strongly about. The title is clearly an attention grabber. With that being said, I said what I said. Your entire life as a New Yorker should’ve prepared you for moments where somebody said “fuck your feelings.” It’s what you say to everybody else.
Its not all rainbows and “fuck yous” in New York. I had the pleasure in listening to a few natives speak about what occurred just a few days ago. the general consensus from the speakers were the “protesters” and murderer may not be native New Yorkers. One gentleman detailed a few moments he had to step in and intervene because a black homeless person with mental issues was being bullied by someone or a group of people. His point in mentioning that was all of the native New Yorkers have moved to the south or getting nabbed up by Massachusetts state troopers when they see a NY license plate (I added that last part) and if they were present the day Neely was murdered, they would’ve stepped in and saved his life. As heroic as that sounds, I highly doubt everybody in that subway wooing and watching were NYC transplants, so my point still stands. The disregard for human life, especially the homeless plays heavily in the murder of Jordan Neely. Add racism, white privilege, white arrogance and you have the entire genetic makeup for why this situation happened.
I’m not taking anything away from the monster who did the killing. He doesn’t hold all of the shame but he and the other two bitches involved in the killing of Jordan Neely hold all of the blame. I highly doubt every onlooker was a New York transplant and NY natives telling themselves that does not absolve the grimy “no fucks given/fuck your life” culture that New York has created and held onto for decades. Jordan Neely’s murder was a public lynching and nobody is calling it that because there were likely black and other quote on quote “people of color” in that crowd chanting and recording. News flash, it’s 2023. Anti-blackness doesn’t just come in one shade (white).
Question the motives of the protesters if you want to. That doesn’t remove the guilt. If you’re more upset at an “out of towner” specifically a Boston native calling out the toxic and flat out destructive mindset of your city/state than you are at what happened with Jordan Neely and how the homeless/mental ill are treated, you are part of the problem and shit like this will never stop because you can’t accept the truth. It’s easy to point the finger at “gentrifiers” but where’s the growth in that? I partially expect to be flamed by New Yorkers for saying what I said. I will reinstate that this is not a New York hit piece. This is not me removing blame from the marine who killed Jordan Neely. Being from Boston has nothing to with my disappointment with the reaction to the situation but I will say it’s mighty funny and hypocritical of anybody to say that I can’t speak on places I’m not from when everyone not from Boston (and myself, the one Bostonian who constantly brings up racism in Boston) love to talk about how racist Boston and I let them do so without scrutiny because it is true. It’s the ugly truth about the city I was born in. Maybe if more New Yorkers, Minnesotans or other other natives out there were honest about the places they were from it wouldn’t take an “outsider” like me to wake things up.
Rest In Peace Jordan Neely.