2001-06-23 / Letters

Candidate’s Bad Side

Candidate’s Bad Side

Dear Editor;

I have been a resident and businessman in the Far Rockaway area for forty-four years, and many people know me as "the incense man" who works by the train station on Mott Avenue.

With all of the candidates vying for City Council, on the East end, I feel that the public has a right to know about one candidate in particular, who is running around looking for votes.

On Saturday June 9, at about 10:30 a.m., Mrs. Rey Clarke approached me in front of the Mott Avenue train station. She was trying to solicit signatures for councilman Clarke, her husband. I refused to sign, and was asked why I would not lend my support. I replied, "I’ve lived here all my life and haven’t witnessed one significant thing that this man has done for the youth in this community."

At this point, Mr. Clarke approached us and was immediately defensive when I posed the question to him. He fired back, "I don’t have to answer to you. You’re like the rest of them. You make babies with all the young girls out here and welfare supports them." I asked him what proof he had to substantiate these claims, and he immediately put his hand in my face and said, " Get out of my face and don’t talk to me anymore!"

I continue to press him for an answer. "If you want my vote, then you need to answer my question. What have you done?" He began to threaten me by saying that if I did not go away, he would get a police officer. He flagged down a squad car, and an officer came out by the name of Hicks. Mr. Clarke had indicated to the officer that I was harassing him, and he proceeded to defend Mr. Clarke by saying that I had no right to speak to him anyway I wanted to. I took this opportunity to inform the officer that according to the First Amendment of the Constitution, I have the right to free speech, and all am asking is that a politician answer to the youth and the people he is soliciting votes from. The officer then gave me a parking ticket and threatened to have my car towed if I didn’t leave the area.

As a result of this situation, I realized that it was my duty to inform Rockaway residents of this man’s character and temperament, especially since he has the potential of being elected in the upcoming City Council race. He is a man who deviates from the truth, and we can ill afford to have someone like this representing our community.

DAWUD


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