From The G-Man
Hey people! I was going through letters and emails from readers the other day and I thought it would be a good idea to share some of the questions they asked with you.
A number of you may have wanted to ask me the same question at some point, and sharing this information may help to answer your questions as well:
"I have attended a number of fund raisers for political representatives of Far Rockaway, and they seem to be taking a page from the G-man’s book. All of a sudden they’re talking about bringing cultural centers, job training facilities, computer centers, major department stores and a ‘cyber café’ to Rockaway. These things were never on their agenda, and I recall you being the first to speak about such things. Does it anger you that people may be taking credit for your ideas?"
It would not be the first time it happened. If they are taking credit for birthing these ideas, the people who attend these events, and read The Wave, know what the real deal is. I could get mad and call them out, but after Hollywood stole a script I wrote, I realized that those devoid of talent will always stake a claim on the brilliant ideas of another.
"Does it bother you that people from the west end of Rockaway tend to read your column more than those from the east end?"
Ever since that has been brought to my attention, by the former editor, and the publisher, it has bothered me. It’s a well-known fact that many people from the east end will not read this publication because they feel it’s racist. That is their choice. Let me state, unequivocally, that I write this column for all of the people in Rockaway and the bordering areas. It doesn’t matter what race or religion you are, I try to write about things that concerns us all. However, since I’m African/Native-American, I place a lot of emphasis on Black and minority issues, from time to time, because they are in a state of crisis in this country. I wish more of them knew that a "brother" was raising hell in this paper.
"Comparisons are always being drawn between the people on the west and east end. The west has a much better and safer environment, and the east end is poverty stricken and crime-infested. How do you feel about that?"
Quite frankly, it pisses me off! I have seen prominent people do talk shows and slam Far Rockaway, without acknowledging the many good and hardworking people who live there. They have just as many doctors, nurses, lawyers, law enforcement officials, firefighters, business executives, intellectual scholars and budding entrepreneurs in Far Rock as they do in Belle Harbor or Neponsit. Yes, we have issues where crime is concerned, but you have some outstanding citizens here as well. There is this notion that the "westies" shouldn’t come to Far Rock because they are going to get mugged or "beat down". If that’s their mindset, then they need to be careful about how they lump people into one category. I, and many others here, would be happy to share a beer, or whatever, with them.
"Why do you hate politicians so much?"
I don’t hate politicians. I hate "BS"! If people have to write to me asking for help, after repeatedly pleading with their political reps for help, that’s not cool. Many of these people, past and present, are in it for the money, power and prestige, and they need to be held accountable. I’m a journalist and a 25-year resident. That qualifies me to ask questions and kick ass if I don’t get an answer. Why shouldn’t you be questioned if you’re not getting the job done? Duh!
"There is a rumor that an intense rivalry is brewing between you and a columnist who appears to be making an attempt to reclaim his status with The Wave. Is this true?"
I try to ignore rumors. I have heard this from people on the street, but I don’t pay any attention to it. I’m confident with my role at The Wave, and I won’t be concerned about what anyone else may or may not be attempting to do. This person had a certain style, flair and fan base, and I have mine. If he comes back, then he comes back, but don’t expect me to back down from anyone if challenged.
"In recent weeks, two Chinese delivery men have been senselessly murdered by young people. What would you say to the young people who are considering taking part in ‘copycat’ crimes?"
The first thing I would do is apologize to the Chinese community for the actions of fellow Africans, and I would ask that they have enough love and humanity in their hearts to not view every member of the African-American community as barbaric or inhumane. We have many Asian businesses throughout Rockaway, and they are loved and respected by many. I want them to know that many Blacks are angry and saddened over the deaths of these men.
As far as those considering "copycat" crimes, let me say this. There is enough tension between the races in this city and country. Actions like this only makes things worse, and the good people who care about the community end up paying the price. If you’re thinking about doing something like this, consider the fact that the person you plan to hurt or kill has a family and people who love them. All they are trying to do is make a living, and they should not have to die because of it. You’d better check that ego and "gangsta" mentality or you’ll end up being someone’s (expletive) in a prison shower! That may be
a rough image for some of you, but we’re living in rough times.
Please note that I will be responding to more of your questions in the future. In the meantime, hit me at Mapel2000@aol.com for any comments you may have. Send them in folks. See you next week!