In the summer of 1991, a white supremacist from Canarsie by the name of Brian Fining was seized as the suspect of fire bombing of a real estate agency, which took place on July 27. The motive behind it: the real estate agency was showing and selling homes to black and latino buyers in south Brooklyn. Then 20-year old Fining grew up at 9312 Avenue M – an all-white block where residents said no home had been sold in 28 years. Fining lived four blocks away from the Fillmore Real Estate office at 9301 Flatlands Avenue he terrorized. The Fillmore Real Estate office was targeted several times by Brooklyn white supremacists for selling to black and Latino home buyers, as well as other non-white owned businesses in the area that was increasingly becoming less white. At least 13 incidents of racial violence was reported by police in the area that July.
In response to the CLEARLY racial motives behind the terror act and other incidents, 300 black demonstrators protested the incident to be met with racist hecklers who shook watermelons at them; Brian Fining was amongst them and participated in the racist counter-response. Marches and demonstrations were met with counter-responses led mostly by young white men holding signs saying “End Racism — Kill Al Sharpton”,” chanting “Go Home” at protestors.
Officials said other arrests could be made in connection with the firebombing. “We do not believe that there are a lot more people involved,” Mr. Brown said. “Our investigation is proceeding with the assumption that there’s at least one more suspect.”
He said Mr. Fining was being questioned about the earlier firebombing, which was preceded by a call warning that the company would be punished for selling and renting homes to minority families. Other Canarsie realty companies have received similar calls. (NY Times)
Indeed, another person was involved: Frank Scire, also from Canarsie. Fining ratted Scire out!
Mr. Fining identified Mr. Scire as a longtime friend living in the same neighborhood. On the night of the firebombing, he said, the defendant took him for a ride in a car, stopped at a gas station to fill a small bottle with gasoline and drove to the real-estate agency. Mr. Fining added that the defendant put a rag in the gas-filled bottle and told him to “throw this in the window.”
“I went over to the driver’s side,” Mr. Fining went on. “He lit it,” he said, testifying that the defendant lighted the firebomb. “I walked over there and put it inside the window.”
They drove away, he said, leaving the smoking bomb inside the office. – (NY Times)
Between 1990 to 2000, Canarsie saw its shift in racial demographics. Whites fled as an incoming number of West Indians moved in from East Flatbush and Brownsville. This “white flight” landed white Canarsie residents in Long Island, Staten Island and neighboring borough, Queens.
Mr. Palmer found his house in Brooklyn near the border of Flatlands and Canarsie. It is a two-family house that he jumped at so fast he says the real estate broker thought he was crazy. There were just a handful of black families on the block back then. But within a few years, he recalled, most of the white people up and left.
”I guess they see black people coming,” Mr. Palmer said, chuckling. ”And they run away from black people.”
In the decade between the 1990 and the 2000 censuses, the racial makeup of Canarsie changed more dramatically than that of any neighborhood in the city. The black population grew to nearly 60 percent from 10 percent. What many new residents, Caribbean immigrants, say they wanted was an integrated neighborhood; what they have ended up with is increasingly black. (NY Times)
The former white residents of Canarsie didn’t want to be amongst black people clearly. They fought until they could to keep their “white paradise” in a borough that is filled with black people. When they couldn’t fight any longer they decided to up and leave. The lengths that white supremacists go to…
One thought on ““WHITE FLIGHT” & FEAR OF BLACK NEIGHBORS IN CANARSIE, 1990s”
Really good read