2011-12-02 / Letters

Allow Me To Clarify

Dear Editor,

I suppose it was inevitable that Mr. John Baxter would send in a response to my letter last week declaring the Occupy Wall Street protesters lacking in substance in terms of a unified message. After all, Mr. Baxter had just finished the last few months actively supporting, participating in and writing in favor of this group of self-avowed anarchists, communists and socialists. If I remember correctly, Mr. Baxter was even looking forward to “the revolution.”

He accuses me of not writing clearly enough and lacking in common sense. That’s alright, it wouldn’t be the first time I was accused of that, especially by people not interested in hearing the facts.

In an effort to “clarify” my point, I’ll go ahead and make it again. In calling the OWS protesters a “tent and flea” exposition, I should have been more specific and less figurative by stating that it was actually a plastic tarp, scabies and lice emporium because that’s exactly what the Sanitation Department and the Health Department indicated in reports to the press about the two month-long park occupation. In calling Wave columnist Daniel Solomon unqualified to write about remedies to our economic crisis, I was specifically referring to the fact that he is still in high school, he has said so himself, and I for one would rather not take my political advice from someone still subject to getting “detention” for talking in class. I have no doubt he’ll go on to bigger things as Stuyvesant High School is one of the best in the nation, I should know, I too attended one of the traditional “big three” science high schools here in NYC. My objection to his ranting is the incessant and tiresome one-sided ideology from which he renders his opinions. In his world view, there is no room for compromise. It has always been my belief that one should at least experience certain subjects before writing them off wholesale as Mr. Solomon does practically every time he submits an article denouncing Republicans as the source of all ills in this country.

I suspect, Mr. Baxter is aware of my true point, but is too busy trying to stoke that class warfare once again, setting me up as the haughty “educated,” “one-percenter” attempting to denigrate a young man (Mr. Solomon) making a point. What Mr. Baxter fails to realize is that I am writing from my experiences here in NYC growing up in East New York and witnessing first hand, the effects of social unrest, whether it was spontaneous as it was during the 1970s when Bushwick burned or the 1980s in Crown Heights and Howard Beach when communities clashed or the slow burn effects of failed social engineering during the Crack Epidemic. I realized over time that inciting “revolution” comes at a price. Usually in terms of human lives. That’s the main point, Mr. Baxter. I don’t think that we as a nation, should be pushing so hard to tear everything down just yet, it tends to make the effort to remain civil much more difficult, especially being close neighbors, as we are. For one thing, it would make the chore of walking our dogs so much more difficult every day. I mean, in a revolution do our dogs still get to greet each other on the street?

So, excuse me if I’m not impressed by a group of people, backed by Leftist ideologues from outside this country (Ad Busters), sitting-in on Wall Street to bang drums and advocate for the overthrow of our society. The same society that transfers power peacefully through every election without the gunfire and bloodshed we are witnessing in the Middle East even now. Please do not insult our intelligence Mr. Baxter, by insisting that there are not a significant number of people in the OWS movement looking for the same scene as Cairo, Egypt or Libya to play out in lower Manhattan.

This is not to say we don’t have problems, we obviously do. I am stating that the solutions are hardly to be found in big government policies (see the ongoing Euro meltdown), in Marxist retreads (see Cuba) or blaming the half of society that actually pays federal income taxes. Mr. Baxter you want solutions? Why do you think I ran for office last year? It wasn’t for my health or my wallet! By the way, did I get your vote against the status quo?

DR. HAROLD PAEZ

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