2002-06-08 / Columnists

From the G-Man by Gary G. Toms

The Truth Hurts Like Hell

I'm inspired to write this week's column for a number of reasons. One reason is because of the fact that Mike Tyson may be the undisputed heavyweight champion on the evening that this paper comes out. Sorry, but that just does not sit well with me. I have a problem with it because Tyson is out of control, and many kids will look at him and think that his reckless behavior is acceptable.

I can tell you exactly what's going to happen if Tyson wins. He will act like a lunatic! He will prance back and forth in the ring, while snarling at people, and he will scream one obscenity after the other.

"Yeah! That's right. I'm the (expletive) champ! You hear me? I'm the baddest mother (expletive) on the planet! Can't nobody beat me! I'll kill any little (expletive) who tries to take this title from me. I'm the (expletive) champ!" I hope that I'm proven wrong, but chances are that is exactly what you will hear him say.

Many young males, of all colors, who are trapped in poverty and crime-ridden areas have enough rage built up in them already. Half of them are just itching for a reason to let loose on someone. The ones choosing to hold on to this rage will be in absolute awe of Tyson if he defeats Lennox Lewis. This is not a good thing because they do not need a person, or character, like Tyson entering the national spotlight as the poster boy for "thuggery."

I can cut the man some slack because I realize he has more demons to deal with than a Vatican priest who performs exorcisms. However, you can only give a person so many chances to get their act together. Tyson has shown no effort to do this, and he's only getting worse. That spells disaster, especially for young kids growing up in his native Brooklyn and the inner city. As it stands now, Mike Tyson is poison in the veins of the young, Black community.

The next thing I'm going to say will probably make an enormous amount of people, Black political candidates in particular, very angry. Oh, how my heart is freaking breaking! It's no secret that people are going to be taking shots to obtain the Assembly seat, which is currently held by Assemblywoman Michele Titus. So many people who ordinarily avoid The G-man are now coming from all directions for interviews and advice. One of them really pissed me off when they tried to "politicize" Career Day at P.S. 43 by running me down to talk about their campaign. I was there for the kids, not to hear some stupid political pitch! Who died and made me BET's version of Ed Gordon? Get away from me with that madness before I slap you in the head with some pickled pig's feet!

I have no problem giving anyone equal time to present their agenda for Far Rockaway, but here's what I do have a problem with. Rumors have been floating around the political stage that this group or that group doesn't want a certain person in power. Other rumors state that "the machine" is in full effect and pulling the strings to get their person into the Assembly seat. If you listen to the "insiders" and people on the streets, you are left to draw the conclusion that east end politics is so fragmented that there is no possibility of people ever coming together. I suspect that politics at the west end are no different because politics is politics. The closer you get to any given election, everyone starts jockeying for position and divisions, inside political parties and communities, become commonplace. You know what? The situation makes me want to vomit.

I have to ask myself, "If these rumors are true, what the hell are people thinking?" All this backbiting and political backstabbing does damage the parties, but no one is damaged more the residents of the community. Yes, I know some of the "pollies" are reading this and asking, "Who the hell does he think he is saying this stuff?" I'll tell you who I am. I'm a 27-year resident of Far Rockaway who is tired of having potential candidates blow smoke up my beautiful, black, well-rounded booty. I'm saying it loud, and I'm going to get away with it because so many people know that, like Alan Keyes, G-man is making sense!

Again, if there is any degree of truth to these rumors, the time to come together is now. The primary for the 31st Assembly district is in September. It is not known if Assemblywoman Titus will be able to withstand the tremendous opposition that she will face, but there is one thing that is certain. The major players and candidates in the political game, on all levels, are going to have to find a way to sit at the table with community representatives and civic leaders, at least to establish a dialogue. This is not happening currently, and it is causing mistrust and dissention among many in the Far Rockaway community.

I am not trying to grandstand or slam people. I just want the situation to be corrected so that the people of the Far Rockaway community can unite and honestly seek to bridge the gaps that have been created as a result of continuous political infighting.

Finally, I have something to say to the developers of the Arverne-By-Sea project. There are a number of people that have expressed concern to me over the construction. The low-income residents, young and old, along that area are afraid that "Rockaway's Godsend" is going to cause them to be displaced or routed out of the area all together.

"We don't have any say. They see people in public and low-income housing as a problem to begin with. Property values will increase, and we will not be able to live in Rockaway any more because we won't be able to afford the rents. It's not fair. They want us out of here, and Arverne-By-The-Sea is the first step in accomplishing this feat," said Sarah Brown, a woman who has lived in Arverne for over 20 years.

There are many people touting this project as the greatest thing to ever happen to Rockaway. That may indeed be the case. However, if certain people are going to be excluded from it, and if people are going to be forced to relocate from the only home they have ever known because of rising land values, then it will not serve the community well at all. I intend to stay on top of it, and if it starts to take a turn for the worse, I'll be right there waiting to take on the big boys. You can count on it.

See you next week!


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