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tine or the longhairs freakin' out the shorthairs crap you've beenshootin'." And he continued his rap by laying down a few of the other beefs that the longer residents of the neighborhood had against the hippies.

They were especially upset, he said, because of the hippies' readied willingness to pay the higher rents and whatever-the-market-willbear prices fixed by the slumlords. This overcharging, coupled with the fact that the poor residents of the area knew damn well that most hippies came from the wealthy white suburbs of their American dream and therefore didn't really have to live in their low-class poverty neighborhood, aggravated their already deep dislike for the outgoing, jubilant hippie style, and ticked off a series of violent outbreaks to "wipe the smiles off their faces," because what the fuck were they so happy about anyway!

This spawned an attitude that the hippies could afford to be happy, paying the increased rents and inflated prices with "money from home," while the people who were really poor and not just "tripping," suffered the ironical burden of their presence. Thus they became the fair-game targets of people who needed some quick money fast, which was nearly everyone. The sight of a pair of wellfed hippies walking through the neighborhood, panhandling change against a backdrop of desperate bleakness may have appeared farcical to strangers, but to the people who lived their entire lives in the area, grew up there, it was a mockery, a derisive imitation of their existence and it got them angry. Plenty angry.

Besides this basic false role-playing of theirs and the increase in prices and rents they caused by moving in, Emmett went on to tell them that the hippies were also being blamed for the spreading of infectious hepatitis and venereal disease among the families in the area, as well as for the intensified police campaign of inundating the area with beefed-up squads whose patrols were spreading heat all over the place and putting an impossible strain on all illegal operations. This seriously hurt the community, because those "outside the law" activities were its financial backbone and constituted between 35 to 40 percent of the economy of the Lower East Side.

"So, as usual, it comes down to money again, but that's the way it's always been when a new bunch comes into a territory where another group has previously taken up residence, settled in, and has come to consider it their turf. The hippies present an economic danger to those people who've never been anything else but poor, and they've already proved to be a threat to the community in more ways than [end page 323]


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