For two days now the New York Times has been all over a playground in Bedford-Stuyvesant. People have been very offended by one piece of equipment:
[A]n orange jungle gym adorned with the word “Jail,” a cell door and prison bars has, six years after its installation, set off outrage in the neighborhood and the blogosphere, along with a hasty official response.
I know there’s a NIMBY problem when it comes to building correctional facilities, but this is ridiculous…
First of all, I call BS on a “sensitivity” issue that takes six years for anybody to complain about:
The prison look, including the offending word, was part of the original design of the playground, which was made by a company called Landscape Structures and erected in March 2004, the New York City Housing Authority said on Wednesday.
But it had not elicited complaints until this week, said Sheila Stainback, an agency spokeswoman.
The statute of limitation on bitching about a playground sign surely must have run already.
“We started complaining because it was like promoting kids to go to jail,” said Natasha Godley, 37, who has a 6-year-old son.
Talk about the soft bigotry of low expectations, why does having a playground jail “promot[e]” going to jail? Couldn’t it just as easily promote not going to jail? Couldn’t it promote nothing at all?
Is there any evidence, whatsoever, to support the notion that having a playground “jail” does anything other than facilitate a “cops and robbers” game?
Oh wait, I bet cops and robbers itself is inherently discriminatory.
A ‘Jail’ for Children Stirs a Ruckus in Brooklyn [New York Times City Room]
Playground’s Jail Theme Is Gone, but Perplexity Lingers [New York Times]