Most of us may be used to only hearing or seeing fireworks on July 4th or on New Year’s Day. I thought I would be only hearing them next week, but I was wrong. Fireworks in New York City have been going off continuously for about a month.
I noticed them in their early days but I did not think I would also be hearing them at 3pm. They usually get worse after dusk. I’m from the Highbridge section of The Bronx and gunshot noises are common, but now it’s a matter of differentiating.
Was that a firework, or a gunshot?
Whatever it was, it’s becoming excessive, and dangerous. This week, a firework burned a toddler after it reached his window.
A 3-year-old Bronx boy watching an illegal post-midnight fireworks show from his 6th floor bedroom was burned by the pyrotechnics — and needed stitches to close his cuts.
His brother, 17, recorded the scary scene from their Highbridge apartment.https://t.co/NS7xmLoBep
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) June 24, 2020
I caught up with a friend this past week who lives in Highbridge as well, and I asked him what did he know about the fireworks. They are usually set off by his building, so I figured he’d have more of an idea.
He shared that men on his block are setting them off for fun. There was no other reason behind it, but–why is everyone in NYC in sync with their fireworks?!
I dug a little deeper and learned that the fireworks, to some, are a form of protesting. It’s a form of making noise in order to not let the Black Lives Matter movement sleep. Sometimes, movements are seen as trends, but this time around, those who support BLM are not letting up.
However, BLM supporters may not be the only ones protesting. According to TikTok user @nomimrx, fireworks are going off starting at around 8 pm to 3 am. Coincidence? I think not.
The user cited videos of fireworks being lit from the back of police precincts. Earlier this week, a video surfaced of police cars driving around in circles in Harlem at 3 am. The cars all had their sirens on, which were extremely loud. This took place late at night. Why would the NYPD do this? If you’re a firm believer of ACAB (All Cops Are Bastards), then this proves your point.
@Nomimrx reported that police use fireworks as a form of psychological warfare against protesters. This causes a lot of negative effects, like sleep deprivation and heightened levels of anxiety.
Reddit user bandicat created a data visualization map representing the amount of 311 complaints of illegal fireworks. He collected the data between June 1 and June 20. The visual shows there have been 6,862 calls during the time frame. The map also uses beige, red, and orange to show the density of the number of calls.
It’s safe to say the U.S. government cannot be trusted. We have seen how our leadership has failed us several times; one instance being the handling of COVID-19. Was New York City ready to reopen?
Not necessarily, but that’s another way of how Black and brown people are at a disadvantage. Groups of color do not have the same access to healthcare as their white counterparts. So, if a non-white person contracts coronavirus, the quality of their treatment won’t be as effective.
This is similar to what is happening with the fireworks. One Twitter user reported his theories on recent events. He shared that the organization of the fireworks is another way to attack Black and brown communities. In other words, the purpose is to distract people from the Black Lives Matter movement.
— Em 🌚 (@emdubin) June 20, 2020
I’m very curious to see what will happen with the fireworks on July 4. A lot of Black people are choosing not to celebrate the holiday because it doesn’t work in sync with their independence. Juneteenth has become our fourth of July if I’m being real.
Will the fireworks heavily increase on that day, or will they cease? We will cross that bridge when we get there. Just know that as long as the fight for Black lives continues, we’re going to be at war with the system for a very long time.