2000-04-22 / Columnists

From The G-Man....by Gary Toms

From The G-Man

Asking The $900,000 Question

Hey people! For those of you wondering what happened to my column last week, there was a slight technical problem. You see, I email my work into the office, and there were Internet related problems that prevented my article from arriving by the time we went to press. I apologize for any confusion, and I assure you that I will make up for it in this installment.

I read the comments made by Howard Schwach last week, and I wondered what the hell happened to make this guy so irate? Not only did I sense the rage you have for Al Sharpton, but I also felt the loathing you have for those who give him the slightest bit of credit. Now, I’m not going to waste a whole lot of time on this because there are more important issues to deal with in the Rockaways, but I take serious issue with the fact that you were trying to paint me as a racist and anti-Semite. That was a big mistake.

Schwach stated, "You say that we white people should ‘let go’ of the Tawana Brawley case," and my exact words were, "some people just can’t seem to let that go." I was making reference to people of all backgrounds. How the hell did you interpret it as white people in general? Next, you went on and on about how Sharpton did so many horrible and terrible things. I never claimed that this man was not subject to review or scrutiny. I was simply making the point that he does not receive the credit he deserves in light of his recent actions. People can judge him solely on his past if they choose. I don’t give a damn about that. I care about here and now, and how he kept certain people, from thugs to "gangbangers", from throwing their guns in the air and ravaging this city. The fact that you won’t even give him credit for that, when many types of people in this city and state have, says a lot. You would’ve been up that proverbial creek, without a paddle, if angry mobs had shown up at your doorstep after the verdict. You need to think about that.

You want to call him a liar and a racial arsonist, fine, but don’t you dare say that I am being an apologist for Sharpton in order to retain my credibility. Don’t go there Howard! The last time I checked, the number of retractions you had to make in this paper far outnumbered mine. So I suggest you leave the issue of credibility out of this.

The last thing you did to piss me off was twist my comment about how there are some Jewish moguls who own record labels and profit from negative images of African-Americans. I pointed out how there seems to be a double standard regarding the word "kike" and the "n" word. Simply put, if they went after Michael Jackson, and made him take the word "kike" out of his song, then why is it okay to profit from rappers who say the "n" word? That is not right! I also ripped the ignorant Black producers and owners for using the word as well, but you conveniently left that out. Then you made some ridiculous statement that Jews have never forced Blacks to use the "n" word in their music. Duh! That was never my argument or point. I’ve been a DJ, and re-mixer, for over 20 years. I know the music industry, and unless you’ve worked in the industry, to see these things first hand, you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about.

I spoke with two dear friends. They read your statements. One writes for Time Magazine, and the other writes for The New Yorker. They’re of Jewish decent, and they don’t even understand how you came to your interpretations. They agreed with how there seems to be a double standard. That’s all I was saying. I don’t know where you got all that other crap from.

I’m done with this! If you choose to carry this on into the next issue, that’s on you dude. Fighting with you has no importance. The people of Rockaway and the issues concerning it are what are important to me. You want to try me again, you go right ahead. Just don’t ever make the mistake of taking my silence as weakness. I’ll be busy trying to help people.

Okay, let me make sure I understand this. Far Rockaway was given a grant of $900,000 for economic and social reconstruction. Then, a meeting was held, between Rockaway Development and Revitalization Corporation and members of the business community, in order to determine how the money could best be allocated. Gregory Meeks and other elected officials attended as well. So, I

guess the question is, what are some of the ideas that the money may be used for?

In the time that has passed, since this meeting took place, I have had access to a number of documents that illustrate just how much money has been pumped into this peninsula, with the hope of turning it into an economic juggernaut. I can’t understand why this has not happened in almost 15 to 20 years. I have a few ideas, but I’m not calling names or making any accusations at this point. I would love to do so: especially since one elected official in question just dissed me big-time. He knows who he is. Not to worry though. Every dog has his day, and "Fido" will get his. I guarantee it!

In the meantime, I have a suggestion. The next time business people and the elected officials get together to decide what is in the best interest of Far Rock, I think it would be a good idea to let the people who live there know what’s going on. You may even want to set up a town hall meeting, with charts and graphs detailing the expenditures. If you really want to show that you have the community’s best interest at heart, have the elected officials send copies of the plan to all of their constituents. If you can send them a little summary of what you do in office every so often, then this should be a piece of cake. Moreover, the people of Far Rockaway should write, or call, each of the elected reps and request to see something in writing. This way, unlike years past, you can hold someone accountable for continuing to rape Rockaway. If you have to keep calling, and writing, to the point where you are seen as a royal pain in the ass, then so be it. This grant is partially yours. You ought to have a say in how it is dispersed, and politicians should allow you the chance to be heard. You gave them your vote. They owe you!

Finally, someone asked me recently, and quite rudely I might add, "Why don’t you write about how there are no parks or playgrounds for the kids?" You want parks? You want playgrounds? Computer centers? After-school facilities? Hey, now’s your chance. I won’t be able to get them for you by writing them in a column. Pick up a phone, or a pen, and state your demands clearly and loudly. If that doesn’t work, then do the following. Stroll over to your elected official’s office bright and early. Walk inside, and hold out the biggest damn dinner plate you can find. The receptionist will ask, "What are you doing?" Look at her, smile and say, "I’m here for my piece of the pie."

I’m waiting for you at

GeeMan1025@aol.com. Take care, and I’ll see you next week.

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