Mugged in Harlem?

Readers will note from my earlier posts that I really like Harlem.  That makes this a hard post.

 I think I was mugged.  It’s open to interpretation, but I’d say I was.

By the Black Panthers.  Yep, you may remember them.

They got me for the grand sum of $2.  “Voluntarily” handed over…against my will…without explicit threat from them…but while I was surrounded by them….while they oh-so-nicely explained that I had taken their picture without permission…but it was okay if I was a reporter….but it wasn’t okay if I wasn’t…but I could make it right for a donation.

In my opinion:  Black Panthers = Muggers.

In my opinion:  I was extorted.

Here’s the $2 picture:

Harlem Street Party - Black Panthers

That’s them to the lower left.  I was taking a picture of the crowd (I have about 20 other non-Panther crowd pictures which I’ll post some of in a separate Harlem post).  This is a lousy picture.  I wouldn’t have used it if one of their members hadn’t confronted me less that 3 seconds after I took the picture.  It wasn’t any of the guys in the picture.  Instead, some others had apparently been watching me (I was one of a few whites in that particular area) and came up behind me when I was taking the picture.

He was very “nice”, introducing himself as some sort of representative.  There were about two or three others with him that I saw.  He said, very nicely, that he noticed me taking pictures of the Panthers and they didn’t like having their picture taken.  He said such pictures “get all around” and they don’t like that.  However, if I was a representative of the media (and could prove it with a card); it would be okay.  If not…he paused for a moment…I should make a donation.  At that instant, a bucket appeared to my left.

I said I was taking a picture of the crowd.  In fact, I had wanted the Panthers to be part of it, but I wasn’t going to say that.  He repeated his statement about whether I was media or the possibility of a donation.

I was incredulous.  I was being asked to put a value on….me/my safety/my photo.  I was being terrorized.

I offerred “How about $2?”  He said that would be fine.  I guess Famous Ankles now has a proven worth at least two bucks.

His demeanor was very calm and unemotional.  To his right was an attractive female member.  Once again, very poker-faced.  I always figured that muggers would be more emotional.  I never saw the one with the bucket and I had a feeling I was being surrounded behind me.  I know other people (non-Panthers) watched as I pulled out my wallet.  I wonder at the idea of their thoughts about that.  There were hundreds of people within 30 yards of me.  There were cops at the end of the block (we were on 135th Street between Lenox Ave. and Frederick Douglass Blvd).  They were a million miles away.

I handed over the $2.  He said “thanks”.  I walked on.  I’m glad to have kept the camera, my wallet, and my safety.  I regret the loss of Harlem as a favorite part of NYC.  I guess I’ll keep my $1.285 million.  Of course, that’d probably make the Panther scum happy.

I strove to regain my self-respect.  I made sure I walked near the scum twice more before I left.  They don’t own the streets.  I didn’t take their picture, though.


Explore posts in the same categories: Harlem, Wanderings

6 Comments on “Mugged in Harlem?”

  1. Lucy Says:

    Hi famous ankles.
    I am a friend of [“Cuzin Cathy”]. She told me about your blog, and I am enjoying your NY adventures.
    Yes, I agree you were extorted. In fact, isn’t this sort of how the whole Bernie Goetz episode got started?
    Keep up the reports.

    Lucy T.

  2. famousankles Says:


    Welcome to Famous Ankles! I’m glad you’re enjoying it and I hope to have more in the near future. In fact, I had a number of minor “adventures” this weekend and I’ll bring them out over the next couple of days.

  3. […] Street Party It’s my variation on an old joke:  other than that, Famous Ankles, how was the Harlem street […]

  4. […] cool status (and my somewhat dampened love of that place), LES is still cool.  It is also so all-over-the-place that it merits many […]

    • Martin Says:

      LOVE the pic! Hugs and kisses to you both Richard and I are thiinnkg of you HEAPS and hoping that Tegan can get a little comfortable every once in a while. Glad to hear Tim is finally getting a little bit of sleep ONE parent should be mentally capable of listening to instruction in the first 24 hours of this bub’s life! I guess it doesn’t really help at this stage though . Tim’s probably more worried about Tegan than we are!C’mon baby! We’re impatient to meet you!

    • Without a doubt, it is the mainstream media, dying but still poisonous that has made a two-biography narcissist with laughable pretensions into a contender for the presidency.If nothing else were different about BO and he either looked white or was completely white, is there anyone in America that thinks he would have gotten out of the Chicago Augean stable with his paper thin resume and his 100% bad associations? The old saying applies: “Tell me who your friends are and I’ll tell you who you are”. Starting with his wife and substitute father figure, the not so Reverend Wright, Obama has an inner coterie made up exclusively of America haters who want to change everything that has made it the envy of the world. All anti-Americans abroad see him as their dream candidate.His supposed giant Harvard-educated brain thought there were 59 states, claiming to have campaigned in 57 of them but not Hawaii and Alaska!Any one of his scandalous ties or ignorant gaffes would have sunk a white or conservative candidate.The media has made POTUS just another affirmative action job.The MSM is far left of the public (as documented by voting registration patterns of over 80% Democrat among media movers and shakers) and has made this far left candidate the front runner by suppressing all the bad about him including his extreme socialism and presenting him as some cool black rock star Messiah who will do the impossible and rain down handouts on 90% of the electorate from his magic money pot. If there was ever a chap to kill the golden goose, to stomp on an already struggling economy, he’s it!The America that thinks Jon Stewart is a trustworthy news source, the 90% majority black mentality that votes for anyone black who promises handouts (therefore never for black conservative candidates), the PC liberals who get a frisson up their leg at proving their non-racist bona fides by electing an unqualified black to the presidency, the excitable economic illiterates who think a socialist is going to save them from global financial upheavals, these brain dead constituencies are voting for the puppet of George Soros et al, herded like sheep for the shearing.The communist Gramsci plan is coming to fruition. Militant leftists have grown the number of useful idiots to critical mass through their hammerlock on public education and the media that reaches the masses – television.As insurance, they have a plan in place to steal millions of votes through ACORN and other left wing tentacles.The last bulwark protecting Western civilization against the cancer of socialism is crumbling despite grassroots non-statists/conservatives fighting a gallant fight. Tragically, they ended up with McCain who despite basic decency or perhaps because of it, is not the man for the job of exposing and beating a shameless charlatan. To be fair, he’s boxed in by the media. Whatever move he makes against their messiah will be proclaimed evidence of his angry instability and unfitness for office.Conversely, Obama could drop his drawers and moon the great nation he’s out to dismantle, and the media would proclaim it’s the most beautiful full moon they’ve ever seen. Shed tears for America and for the shrinking world that does not want this beacon of individual freedom extinguished.Future historians if they are allowed to write the truth in a post-America world will pinpoint this election as the pivotal point in the fall of the United States. Just as with the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, a perfect storm of other factors will be listed such as Muslim and Mexican barbarians at the gate, loss of equality before the law, official multiculturalism, decline of Christianity, economy destroying environmentalism etc. etc. It’s hard to believe a world without America will have freedom of speech so such future historians will have to write samizdat in totalitarian societies at great risk to themselves and despite a feeling of hopelessness because there will be nowhere to escape to and longer.It’s like watching a Shakespearian tragedy writ large in our own lifetime except we can’t go home at the end of the play but have to live the tragedy.

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