A Response To “Harlem Pretenders” Article by Black Press Radio

POLITE ON SOCEITYGood evening folks. I hope everyone is doing alright this evening, and unwinding from this Monday. As you can see from the title above, this article is in response to something that was written about yours truly. When you have been in these social media spaces, it emboldens people to say things about you that may or may not be true. I been doing this for seven years as of tomorrow, and I have had a few people come at me. People may feel like they can say anything, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to let it slide.

On Saturday evening, DC Livers of Black Press Radio decided to jump in my Twitter mentions referring to me as a “Harlem pretender” and a “money hog” with a link to an article titled: Obama’s Black Card in Jeopardy as Harlem’s Pretenders Caught Slipping

I linked to it, because I want you to read this for yourself. Go on ahead. By the way, Jeopardy is spelled wrong in the post and the article headline and the link, and it only gets more peculiar from there. Several people were included on this blog post, but I will only address what was said about me. The other folks can speak for themselves.

Referring to the recent sale of property owned by Dance Theater of Harlem, the writer of the piece inexplicably targeted me for “indifference” I’ll point you to the following excerpt:

“Was “blogger for people” Marc W. Polite, who claims to be a political blogging watch dog for Harlem, was too busy tooting his own horn and focusing on his efforts to climb the blog ladder to care about an influential plot that for the past FOUR DECADES was required to only house cultural nonprofits and was owned by the Dance Theater of Harlem?”

First of all, what gives you the right to throw my name in this story all random? Second of all, are you sure you are upset with the right people? Shouldn’t your investigation into this matter start with, oh, I don’t know.. the folks who run the Dance Theater of Harlem? You’re exclaiming, “how could they not know” when apparently, you don’t have an inside track either. Pretty pointless.

Third of all, if by “focusing on his own efforts..” you mean continuing to cover a myriad of other political issues, then I own up to that. What you fail to understand is that this latest land grab is just the most recent expression of gentrification, an issue that I have been discussing on here for years. Had you been paying attention, you would have realized that. Don’t act like you forgot how to use a search function within a blog. Be for real.

I don’t need a lecture on how gentrification effects the Harlem community from you. Especially, when you have come all late to the struggle, don’t even know who the activists are on the scene, and have your facts wrong on top of it.

Let’s go to another excerpt, shall we?

“After all, where were these “defenders” when Harlem’s Hip Hop Cultural Center and the community’s only Black-owned bookstore, Hue-Man, were both forced to close their doors to make room for the biggest Buffalo Wild Wings (BW-3s). Think about that: Black culture and books were replaced by chicken wings.”

What? You are really going to fix your mouth to allege that I among many weren’t concerned about the Hue-Man Bookstore, when I was part of the book club there? Really? I guess you missed all the posts on here about the store, or maybe you didn’t read them at all. Also, you are 100 percent wrong on your assertion: Hue-Man Bookstore, was not the only Black owned bookstore in Harlem. There is also Sister’s Uptown Bookstore and Cultural Center which is still in operation right now. If you were as “on your job” as you purport to be about Harlem, you would have known that too. At least bother to get the facts straight for the sake of your readers. Letting your readers think that there are no Black bookstores in Harlem does them a disservice, especially for a site called Black Press Radio.

This is exactly the kind of johnny come lately journalism that keeps people in the dark. We have been known that entities like Columbia University play a role in gentrification. Whether people like it or not, the church does as well, as I posted about in a past piece about the sale of the East Harlem Pathmark by Abyssinian Baptist Church. Where have you been? After the fact analyses don’t help us much in the context of a live struggle.

Welcome to the anti-gentrification struggle, and thanks for finally paying attention. Before you attempt to come at me talking about what I am doing or not doing, get your facts straight and drop this lateral hostility nonsense. It’s not a good look.





  1. In life, you should accept the opportunity to learn. You messed up. Simple and plain. The “I’m from Harlem. I was born at Harlem Hospital” line sounds nice but what have you done for Harlem? How have you stopped gentrification or the city’s theft of 420 homes of Black people – some of which are $10 million brownstones that have been in the family for generations? It’s easy to rep Harlem but it’s harder to be a REPRESENTATIVE of Harlem.

  2. Three years. It took you three years to respond to this article and that’s all you can come up with? Seriously?

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