Thursday, December 20, 2007

Our Readers Respond...

A Message From Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins

Dear Editor:

I would like to take an opportunity to thank everyone for your support during this difficult time. The outpouring
of sympathy from my friends, supporters, and the entire community has meant so much to me and to my family.
Tom and I were married almost 30 years and raised three beautiful children. His loss and the love our family
shared is immeasurable but so is the generosity of spirit and love my family has received from all of you.

Know that we are strengthened by your thoughts and prayers and have been able to endure this trying life experience because we know we are surrounded by love. Your good wishes uplift our lives and help us to move forward in Tom’s memory.

Tom would have been overwhelmed to see all those who attended the services, sent food, cards, and flowers,
and called to convey their sympathy. His legacy of quiet strength and unwavering support for his family will always be remembered.

Again, thank you and accept my wishes to all for a safe and peaceful holiday season.

With deep gratitude,

Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins

Ernie Busy At The Shredder

Dear Editor:

Ernie Davis and his cohorts are busy trying to cover up his criminal tracks before he gets out of the Mayor’s office on Dec. 31st. I work in City Hall. The Copy Room person (Ms. Harris’) job was to work on Ernie’s campaign. That’s all she did in City Hall. Now she is seen taking files out of the Mayor’s office for shredding.

Ernie said in the article in the Journal News about the FBI investigation of Wayne Charles that he did not know
Wayne Charles. This is a lie. Wayne Charles, his brother-inlaw Tom Terry, Gerrie Post and Ernie went to China together; expenses paid by Mount Vernon taxpayers. Tom Terry is Ernie’s Commissioner of Management Services. Ernie is shredding these records.

Ernie’s personal accountant (Mr. Hakim) works in the Planning Department. He is being paid out of Urban Renewal money to work on Ernie’s scheme to cover his tracks from the federal investigation. Lisa Copeland is one of Er-nie’s cohorts trying to cover up his crimes before he is indicted.

I encourage my fellow City Hall employees to snitch on the corruption that they know about Ernie Davis.

Honest City Hall Employee

Reader Takes Issue With Prior Respondent

Dear Editor:

I am writing in response to Mr. Warren D. Gross’ letter to Guardian columnist Eridania Camacho. While I respect his intent and passion for immigration reform, I was very disturbed by Mr. Gross’ description of African-Americans as the “new White community.”

Firstly, I am American who is a descendant of African slaves. I can trace my American heritage to three of the original 13 colonies - Virginia, South Carolina and Georgia. The United States is my country, my only country. I find it disturbing that in 2007 there are still Americans who discount and dismiss the important contributions
and experiences of those who are descendants of African slaves.

It is scary how many Americans, whose ancestors migrated to the United States in the late 19th and 20th centuries are unaware of, and willing to minimize, the contributions of their fellow citizens; especially citizens whose ancestors pre-date the founding of our nation and who played a significant role in building the nation’s wealth and molding the Civil Rights Legislation all of us hold so dear.

Mr. Gross apparently is unaware of the fact that despite how Americans of African descent were treated, the majority never left America. This was their country; all they ever knew. Leaving, even if they had the resources, was never an option; “The American Dream” was theirs, too. After all, three Amendments to the Constitution
were drafted in the 1860s in response to the treatment of these citizens; citizens who had to wait nearly another hundred years, until the 1960s, for the passage of the Civil Rights Act to enjoy what was rightfully, socially and historically always theirs.

Americans of African descent watched wave after wave of immigrants from Europe come, and eventually be allowed to enjoy many freedoms that they, as citizens, could not. Americans of African descent fought in every war this nation has engaged in; worked, if allowed, and attempted to be educated, if allowed, and still remain
loyal and faithful to a nation that refused to acknowledge their citizenship and legacy.

Finally, in the 1960s, a reprieve came with the passage of the Civil Rights Act. The passage of this act provided not just the citizens who were descendants of slaves with the right to participate within American society, but millions of other people of color, women, and a whole new wave of immigrants.

The Civil Rights Act is the engine behind the rich cultural life we enjoy now in the 21st century. I fear Mr. Gross is unaware of the strict immigration laws that were in place up until the 1960s. With the breakthrough of the Civil Rights Act, those who immigrated after its passage were automatically awarded protections my ancestors, Americans from the colonial period, would not even dare to believe they could ever have enjoyed. Some of these new Americans entered an America with no idea of the history behind why they were now able to find opportunities and build a new life.

I honestly take offense to Mr. Gross’ blatant disrespect for American History. If, and when, such a minimization or disregard for genocide, slavery, and bias, in other nations is uttered, Americans are up in arms. But, when it comes to respecting fellow citizens whose ancestry resides in the earliest days of our great nation, it seems perfectly respectable.

Jennifer Walford, Yonkers

The Problem With Political Correctness

It would truly be a very sad day, indeed, when image totally outweighs reality in the realm of jurisprudence, legislation, and the fundamental processes that comprise the operations of our democratic society, our supposed
representative form of government, “For the People and by the People.”

Nevertheless, over the past few decades, a mind set, an inhibition, has slowly been working its way into the American psyche, with, We believe, a very corrosive impact.

Perhaps the phenomenon is due, in part, to television, movies, and the entire shift in emphasis, over more than 50 years, toward the visual component of public communication, the image. Whatever the underlying causes, we have become entirely too concerned with the packaging and not nearly concerned enough about the content, a particularly unhealthy trend as it pertains to candidates for public office, and their offerings.

The notion of political correctness, with all of its implications, has grown like a fungus on the tree of American politics, obfuscating and distorting the necessary exchange of ideas and passion with respect to fundamental
issues and problems confronting our great nation at every level of governance.

As a consequence, what a candidate has to say has become not nearly as important as the way in which he says it. We found it nauseating to watch ten Republican or Democratic candidates for President of the United States almost all saying the same things, avoiding the same phrases, and tip-toeing around the same issues, at the
recent nationally-televised, so-called debates. Few, if any, ever attacked an opponent’s track record, or position, for fear of being accused of negative campaigning. Few showed the kind of passion born from conviction and principle; and those who do are often criticized and avoided.

In this respect, hard-working American taxpayers and citizens are getting what they deserve due to the unwillingness of many to hear and to accept the truth, at times an ugly truth. If history has taught us anything, it is that turning a deaf ear to reality; rejecting the truth about issues that make us uncomfortable because it may challenge our long-held beliefs, will not resolve matters, will not bring about justice and fundamental fairness.

Only the delusional believe they live in the image. Those who are both sober and sane must deal with reality.
If we, as a free society, are to not only survive, but also to continuously strive to improve our circumstances, locally, nationally, and globally, we must be ready and willing to face issues, no matter how upsetting, head-on.

We must not reject either the messenger or the message merely because they may jolt us out of our stupor. There’s nothing desirable about political correctness if it keeps us from knowing what we need to know when we
need to know it.

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