The development will include a new arena for the New Jersey Nets whose owners include Jay-Z.
After reportedly forking over $400 million to the appropriately named Ratner, the arena will be named Barclays Center. Barclays was one of the banks that financed the slave trade.
The Brooklyn Paper reports:
The future home for the Brooklyn Nets will be emblazoned with the corporate logo of a British bank that was founded on the slave trade, collaborated with the Nazis and did business with South Africa’s apartheid government.
That an old, established, global bank has some skeletons in its closet should not surprise anyone. But the particular nature of Barclays’ skeletons should have given Ratner pause.
Those who downplay the significance of having the Barclays name atop a publicly subsidized arena that African-Americans will walk past every day — and where African-Americans will earn their living, both on the court and in the concessions stands — should put themselves in the shoes of the descendants of the slaves that Barclays family members once traded as property.
Naming an arena after a slave-trading family is a slap in the face, akin to a developer building an arena in Borough Park — with its high population of Holocaust survivors — and naming it “Volkswagen Field.”
And we know that would never happen.
Jay-Z and his partners must think Barclays is “irreplaceable.”