Liz Lenton's blog
Why is the horrific incident which occurred in Howard Beach last Wednesday turning out to be about politicians and Al Sharpton? Why do the politicians of record think that they must report to Al Sharpton in matters concerning race? Is Al Sharpton some kind of arbiter on New York Cityâ€™s race matters? Bob Herbert, who admits to being stunned that Al Sharpton is the voice of race relations in America, says that we should investigate the incident, prosecute the offenders and move on. Okay except for the fact that we shouldnâ€™t move on so fast. We seem to have a desire in America to â€œput stuff behind us,
I slept last night in a comfortable bed.
I went shopping today for whatever I need.
The wind swept latte cups all over the ground,
and midtown seemed to teeter with greed.
He was standing at the entrance to Bryant Park.
As the Friday evening heat took hold.
he was handing out flyers to anyone who would look.
He was simply asking them to please read.
At first I thought it was some kind of menu or scam,
or one of those image factories.
But no â€“ his story was about something else.
He was leafletting for Unite/Here.
He wanted the cocktail hour people to know,
that Bryant Park Grill isnâ€™t clean.
Cause its laundry is done in an old fashioned sweatshop.
And the workers donâ€™t have many dreams.
Nobody stopped to listen,
though his manner was mild and kind.
They knew he was not part of their search for pod.
So they passed his message by.
I picked up the flyer and nodded my head.
We said Hola, como esta, â€“ I moved on.
I meant to go over and talk to him some more.
But when I looked up from my laptop â€“ he was gone.
I still have his flyer and his face in my head.
But I donâ€™t know if he is still employed.
Some of his friends found their jobs jeopardized.
North American Linen was annoyed.
The NLRB seems to be on the case.
Though I doubt they are in any rush.
Six dollars an hour and a lack of health care.
Probably wouldnâ€™t bother them too much. read more »
I wonder if the perpetrators who attacked and chased three Black men yesterday morning in Howard Beach, Queens,, inadvertently saved their lives. The article says that the three Black victims were in the all white (.1% Black) neighborhood to steal a car. I don't know if that is true, because the article has a number of problems, including vagueness about the primary victim's military status, and the amount of time it takes to walk a couple of blocks. Plus it doesn't matter if it is true. As the D.A. keeps repeating, at the time of the incident, they had not committed a crime.
Leaving all of that aside, supposing the victims had managed to attempt a car theft. What if one of the newly "tolerant" residents of Howard Beach had caught them. I say "tolerant", because the supplementary article demonstrates that the residents are anything but. One woman asked, " "But what was he doing here at three in the morning, robbing?", as if the only thing they could have been up to was crime.
(The alleged intent on the part of the three men to commit a crime in Howard Beach is currently under dispute, and, regardless, THEY HAD NOT COMMITTEd A CRIME SIMPLY BY BEING IN HOWARD BEACH). The owners of automobiles that the victims might have tried to steal, might have had weapons. They sure sound like the kind of people who have weapons, even if those weapons, rather than unlicensed firearms, are baseball bats or knives. The three men could have been killed or severely wounded. As it was, they were chased, and terrorized. But so far, all three are alive. read more »
Guitar Lessons, Terre Roche and September 11th, 2001.
Every Wednesday evening, I join a group of people in a classroom at the Guitar Study Center on W. 13th Street. I didnâ€™t think I would be able to afford classes, at this place affiliated with the expensive New School, but the lessons are reasonably priced and there are certain deals if you take two classes â€“ for example, an instrument and a theory class. I have always wanted to study the guitar and the opportunity is exciting for me. But there is more than that.
My guitar teacher is a woman named Terre Roche. When Terre walked into the room on the first day of class, I felt like I knew her, but I couldnâ€™t figure out why. Of course I did know her â€“ I knew some of her most intimate thoughts and musical changes as one of the Roche sisters â€œonce you get on you will never get off of the commuter train...
When: Wednesday, June 22, 12:30 P.M., City Hall Steps
What: Candidate for Public Advocate Andrew Rasiej announces his plan to create low-cost Wireless Access ( WIFI) for all New Yorkers.
Please join Andrew Rasiej and his supporters on the steps of City Hall as he describes his plan, when elected Public Advocate, to provide free or low-cost wifi access for anyone in New York. Participants are asked to arrive early if possible so as to clear security and to get signs and stickers.
Rasiej has said that one of his first moves as Public Advocate would be to follow Philadelphia and San Francisco in ensuring that New Yorkers have ready access to the internet via wifi. It will be interesting to hear how he plans to do this. Certainly, his initiative is essential to bridging the digital divide, as broadband access costs upward of 50 dollars a month for most residents.
Please come, even if only for a few minutes.
Trains: R, 6, W