A few words to open up The New Year 2015,
Our parents used to say oh, “sticks and stones will break our bones, but names will never harm us.” How well-meaning, yet how wrong our parents were. During those times we actually had something akin to a well-rounded vocabulary, words we pretty well knew were malevolent in meaning and often an invitation to a fist fight.
And, many of us were also taught that you should mean what you say and take whatever consequences they led to which usually was a bloody nose or a deflated sense of self. Good times, brought us good men and women; on reflection, heroes and heroines. They could be as notable as a New York City Mayor who spent his Sundays reading us the funny papers, or he nice little rosy cheeked lady next door who never let a Saturday morning go without offering us a home-made cookie as well as some well-meaning advice to stay away from Charlie; he was a bad one whose family never had any time to raise him properly.
Sounds sort of boring and in this age of violent video games, dramatic drops in worthwhile books, and killing innocent children who may have been out on the street too late for the health, but the damn bullet fired wildly from a careening car, was far worse. This baby is no longer among us.
I have been having a particularly bad time due to this because I actually thought perhaps I could do something about it at a local level that could serve as a building block for some collective action that would grow like a seed sown in fertile soil. I have developed a cancer; issues with my head, as well as the return of an impulsive rage disorder that I thought began to fade sometime around 1990 or so.
I was paradoxically both wrong and right; wrong in the sense that I lacked the foundation, the patience to accept that much and build upon it, so I found myself having little or no influence on those who could make a difference. Sadly, I saw people who could decide that the presumed or promised gains of political gain would lead to some benefit; more for them than for the causes they seemed once to believe in so strongly. They were not liars for the most part, they simply lacked the capacity to see and understand that we are all going through enormous changes which presently at least, bring us less good than evil. The Internet is a perfect case in point. While poisoning our children’s love or need for the written, inspirational work, the elegance of a solved mathematical equation, the beauty of a Bach Sonata, they chose to live in a society of restriction and censorship where one group of misguided, unled and children with little confidence due largely by uncaring adults and communities, permit the word niggah, nigga, nigguh, and God help the “racist” of some other skin color to utter the symbolically horrid word, nigger. There is a bullet coming his way in short order.
This is not the most of it; for your white, brown, or yellow critics who are silent on such an issue, consider that many fine African Americans despise its use or any other symbol of servitude: the prison uniform, the rejection of formal education, and more. Yes, there has been a long history of servitude, and it does deserve a non- Erick Holder monologue but a true dialogue involving people of meaningful intention such as Gregory Canada and John McWhorter, Henry Louis Gates, plus representatives from the more silent Hispanic population and unless you are a scholar, the lesser known White, and Yellow skinned population.
Or we can immediately bring together those people; many clergy who truly understand that the only four letter word that will prevail in our never ending universe is LOVE, not hate, not kill none other. As I begin to recover from my personal pain and sense of total inadequacy, some bright lights shine forth; perhaps the brightest being Blessed Pope Francis. How much do any of you know about this sainted man and what he has begun to turn the axis of a misdirected world into one where all people are what they actually are; the same, the absolute same in origin before their creator. Two truths matter; facts are largely irrelevant; they are at best situational or temporary or often used cruelly as in the murder of the two New York City officers and before them the death of That poor soul, Eric Garner. Perhaps we need to think about how much we know about others in our midst; does Reverent Sharpton understand anything remotely resembling scripture surely not literature, where John Donne educated us centuries earlier that “every man’s death diminishes me.”
No, he does not! He mocks God for self-gain. Let others work on the excesses on creating justice within Law Enforcement. Seems like Erich Adams could do us well here along with many others current and former police of all colors and sexes who want to create Justice that truly is not as blind as the legend suggests. Sharpton, too many black families are suffering enormously pain and grief because you will not use your talents, perhaps even your calling to make that your life’s work. Get to work.
Di Blasio, get your head out of the clouds, your family out of the headlines and understand that the rule of law is not the imprint, the unspoken, even the spoken words denoting attitude. You work on changing behavior lead or get out of the way. Cuomo, stand for something other than being re-elected. Your mind is not good. The State is not better than it must be since you arrived in Albany. Stand for something and only change what your stand for if something better comes along. Good God man, living in Westchester County is almost untenable. Help the Mayors; most are as self-interested as you; self-interest trumps plan common sense. Send us Di Napoli or someone like him so we can stop the sophistic, nonsensical rationalization and put repair and restore before anything that adds one penny to the expense budget.
Can we also throw onto the scrap heap words such as diversity that have little applicable value unless hat word offers equal opportunity, entertainment and employment that is open to all and not used as a substitute for meaningful growth and development. You want to understand diversity? Fine, do what Booker did; live where the poor and those not like you demographically and seek acceptance as a person and family. This turned out for me maybe the only real honest “reaching across” I have done in my life.
I confess before my God and Savior that in terms of how I am seen by many of my community, all of my elected officials, and many in office, as a pain in the ass or worse, a mental defective.
But, oddly enough I can help because I have seen the composition of the universe is really Love, nothing else. But we deal with brick and mortar so let me say only two things more…..(1) you saw crowds of agitators with little to do in life a few days/weeks earlier supporting anarchy, death of order, death of law and order. How courageous these largely spoiled and ignorant children were.
Several days later, a man deeply troubled, full of hate and violence took the lives of two young policemen in a cowardly fashion. One was a, man of yellow skin, the other of brown skin. They died for you, and men, and they have my love and support and yes, Eric as well. But, did you notice the large amount of primarily black and brown woman in the neighborhood bearing candles, flowers, and songs.
I close with the words of Norman Lear. He wrote not very long ago that “I can’t imagine how difficult it must be today to believe that the world was created for them, so awash in anguish are they as they deal with that world. There is no longer any dispute that the foundations of modern society, especially here in America, are being shaken to their depths. We are living through a wrenching transition --- economically, culturally, and spiritually. The old centuries are gone, and the new ones are yet to crystalize.
Wishing everyone a Happy New Year with a hope that change and insight will come. Perhaps for the New Year, The City of New Rochelle, our City Council and our somewhat reclusive Consultant team and Development Team can understand the basics of situational assessment and planning. I do and I am likely a tad touched in the brain. But, yet my Love for you is permanently displayed on the roof of my blessed Holy Trinity St Paul where you can join others in looking over your stewardship in the years to come.
Warren Gross Citizen!