2001-05-05 / Columnists

From the G-Man by Gary G. Toms

Praying For A Calm Summer

Hey people! I considered responding to several letters that came in this week, Steve Yaeger’s and Martin O’Gara’s in particular, but I decided it wasn’t worth it. Instead of trying to convince them that they totally missed the point of my column about "European" teachers being hired in favor of minority ones who are waiting for a spot, I’m going to let what they said slide. All I will say is that any statement I made was based on information that came to me from tenured teachers within the New York City Board of Education. I was not playing the race card! If they want to challenge some of the school systems’ seasoned professionals, they are more than welcomed to do so. I believe in these sources, and I’m standing by them.

In keeping with the education theme, I would like to submit a portion of a letter that was distributed to parents of children attending P.S. 104Q in Far Rockaway. The letter is dated April 30, and it reads: "A meeting has been scheduled on Tuesday, May 8, 2001 at P.S. 104Q at 7pm sharp to meet with our Community School District 27 Superintendent, Mr. Matthew Bromme.

It has been very difficult to arrange a meeting with Mr. Bromme to come out and address our needs and concerns, primarily the issue of Principal instability. It is very important that you attend this meeting! Because we are a Parent-Teacher Association, we are asking for the support of both our parents as well as our teachers. It will not get done unless we do it together! Thank you!" The letter came from the Parent-Teacher Association.

I do not know if this meeting is being called as a direct response from the coverage P.S. 104Q received in last week’s edition of The Wave, or if it’s being called because of related stories that appeared in Newsday two days after The Wave story broke. Whatever the case, I’m glad to see that some type of action is being taken to address the concerns of many frustrated parents. I won’t even being to claim credit for anything. There are too many stupid critics who think I do that anyway, and they all can go to "blazes".

With the alarming number of shootings, and killings, that have taken place in Far Rockaway lately, I have some serious concerns about public safety as summer approaches. In the last three weeks, as reported in The Wave, two more people were victims of gun violence, and this is starting to happen far too often. It is of particular concern to me because it is happening in minority communities, and as a young Black man, I ‘d be a damn fool if I did not continue to write about it.

So many people run around talking about how we have to stop talking and writing about what’s going on. We have to actively become involved. Well, that’s what the police, politicians and community leaders are for. They all do the absolute best that they can to curtail the situation, but they can only do so much. Marching down Beach Channel Drive can only do so much. For those who say writing about it does nothing either, step back, shut up and let the G-man do his thing.

If I have as many fans as people tell me, then I’m really going to push the envelope by asking all of my "peeps" that are strapped to put the guns away. If you don’t want to listen to the politicians because you think they don’t give a (bleep) about you, then listen to me. If you don’t want to listen to the ministers in church because you think they want to convert you to a religious life, which isn’t a bad thing, then listen to me. If you don’t want to listen to "Officer Friendly" because you feel four other "Officer Friendly’s" got away with murder recently, then listen to me. Put down the damn guns!

There are times when G-man gets really "heated" about how screwed up "The Rock" is too. I get upset because of how certain people are living in the projects, from Redfern to Hammels. I see how little there is for the youth out here. I see the drug dealers, the "playas", the "playa haters", the broken families, hopelessness and despair. There are times when I feel like I want to take it out on the next "jigga", but I stop and think about the consequences, and you have to do the same.

When you think about pulling that trigger, stop and think about the fact that the person you’re about to shoot has family and people who love them, just like you. There is no, "Ain’t nobody got love for me" because I don’t care who you are, there is someone out there that has love for you. You just have to give yourself a chance for them to come into your life. It could be a police officer, lawyer, doctor, coach, preacher or the guy you think is "corny" because he has a 99 average in school. You will never get to find out if you end up rotting away in a jail cell. You’re already off to a good start in having someone love you because I’m putting it out there. Are you feeling me?

Another thing I want the young people who are "packing" to consider is this. If you have children, who is going to be there for them if you end up with a gun possession or murder charge and you’re facing 25 years to life. I know there are some proud, young fathers out there who would do anything for their kids. Well, the best thing you could do for them is allowing yourself to become an active part of their life and guide them. Our "sisters" can’t do it alone, and they shouldn’t have to. Don’t be afraid to stand up and lead by example. Don’t hang with that sorry bastard who just wants to get high and do nothing with their life. That’s just Satan in baggy jeans and some Timberlands. Don’t allow yourself to be suckered in by some criminal minded jackass who calls himself your boy. If he really were your boy, he wouldn’t put you in (bleeped) up situations where you could end up being Bubba’s butt buddy in cellblock 26. Think about it, and remember, G-man’s got love for you. So reach out to me if you have to. Call the office or write me. I will respond either way. Let’s stop the violence…please!

See you next week.

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