2002-05-18 / Columnists

From the G-Man by Gary G. Toms

Here Comes The Hurricane

Okay, okay! I’ve been very comical the last few issues, but now it’s time to return to classic G-man form. This week, I’m going to get wicked. It’s the kind of wicked that makes you want to slap your neighbor for trampling your precious flowerbed. I’m going to get nasty. It’s the kind of nasty that made Dorothy want to bust up the Wicked Witch of the West when she said, "I’ll get you my pretty, and your little dog too!" Oh, yeah. I feel it coming on folks. Hold on to something because "Hurricane Gary" is about to hit the east coast with a vengeance.

I’m taking full responsibility for writing this week’s editorial, "Billboard Buffoons." It was high time that someone addressed this disturbing situation, and I’m just the man to do it. I don’t care who you are; you cannot give me a reason valid enough for promoting negative stereotypes in our community. I hold the record companies accountable for pushing these images on our kids. Billboards featuring names like "C-Murder" and "The Outlaws" promote images that Rockaway parents and schools have been battling for years. Oh, and don‘t give me any bull$#@! about how people are just trying to "keep it real." Their attempts to keep it real are degrading and insulting to those who are doctors, lawyers, police officers, nurses, many hard working people, and exceptional high school and college students in this community. The billboards reinforce negative stereotypes, and until the situation is corrected, I’m going to be their (the advertiser’s) worst nightmare.

HOT 97 has become the latest corporate idiot to target kids from low-income areas with their sleazy form of promotion. I’m taking them on too, and if they don’t like it, tough! I’ve been looking for an opportunity to rip the morning show team of "Star and Buckwild", so they’d be smart to keep their big mouths shut for once, especially on this issue. Their billboard on Beach 35 Street is an outrage. It has to go, plain and simple. I don’t have a problem with labels promoting an artist, or a radio station promoting itself in the community, but I do have a problem with how and where they do it. In the case of HOT 97, you do not advertise sleaze two blocks from a grade school.

You guys at the malt liquor companies are a joke too. I’m so sick and tired of seeing ads for "Red Bull" and "St. Ides" plastered all over billboards in low-income communities You advertise in an area with nearly 30 percent unemployment, and where hopelessness and despair reign supreme for many disadvantaged youths. You are contributing to their destruction, and for what? For sales and profit? You need to take your ads and shove them. You sick freaks!

The jackasses behind these tasteless promotions don’t think twice about going into Cedarhurst or Belle Harbor to promote this garbage because they’d be run out of town. Why in the hell do we allow it to exist in our community? The Far Rockaway is not a community that is solely interested in bouncing their heads to hip-hop music or getting high off watered down booze, and it doesn’t deserve to be stereotyped as such by these stupid billboards. If I have to lead the charge to get the community riled up, then I only have one thing to say. Get the hell out of my way because I’m coming through!

Finally, I’m going to tackle an issue that has been ignored for too long. It is a sore spot for many, and some people will interpret it as me trying to be divisive. That would be most unfortunate if they did. They can take it any way they want, but here it is. There are some horrible perceptions that people throughout the peninsula have about Far Rockaway. Some are justified. Many are not, and the whole thing centers on the issue of race. I can’t tell you how many people have stopped me on the street, or came into the office, and said, " You know G-man, if they just got rid of the projects, Rockaway would be on the upswing once again." Another common statement is, "The people in the projects don’t want to do anything for themselves. They are either on welfare or selling drugs. You know it’s true G-man." Oh no the hell I don’t!

Listen up! Number one, you have good and bad in any section of this peninsula. The same dirt that is being done at one end of the peninsula is, without a doubt, taking place at the other end to some degree. So, stop the nonsense. Number two, it is extremely insulting to me when people take it upon themselves to come to me to air their "peeves" about Black people, and then get mad at me for not agreeing with them. So, stop the nonsense!

My mother, family members, and many dear friends reside in Redfern, Hammels, the 40’s and other sections of Far Rockaway that some people feel should be "blown up." I am infuriated by such comments because it shows a blatant disregard for those who are hard working, decent, and want to live a good life. It’s just a few that make it bad for the rest living in these areas, and that needs to be kept in perspective.

Finally, I am saddened by the recent shootings in the Far Rockaway area. If anyone out there has any information on who may have been responsible for the killings, The G-man is asking you to come forward. We don’t need to have these killers roaming our neighborhoods and making our community look like a community of lawless, insensitive brutes.

See you next week!


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