Letter From The Editor

Letter From Editor: Hypocrisy of Helena And Others Calling Out Black Media But Remaining Silent Against Local Mainstream Media

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BW Editor-In-Chief AJ Woodson [Black Westchester]Since we took the week off from People Before Politics Radio so everyone could share Valentine’s Day with their family, I write this OPEN LETTER to Helena R. Edwards and others who willfully call out and try to discredit Black Media while remaining silent against mainstream media when writing articles or editorials about the new administration in Mount Vernon.

I will first address Helena R. Edwards, a local Mount Vernon blogger and wife of a sitting Mount Vernon City Judge. While there are others who write things on Facebook under fictitious Facebook accounts and do not have the courage to sign their names to their accusations, you are not worthy of even being mentioned but you know who you are.

Mrs. Edwards, wife of Judge William Edwards, writes a Facebook rant calling out the credibility of both myself as Editor-In-Chief as well as Black Westchester because of her bias against Maureen Walker. In the inbox message that took place between us, you stated you; “Don’t be silly. You are praising this dictator Maureen Walker and expect me to not speak on it. I have no issues with you,” “I did it because you wrote the piece which is giving Maureen, Yuhanna, and others a pass while blaming Richard,” “I was pissed the minute I saw you honoring her,” “I have enough of the shit she has done so this honoring would not be good,” and “I said you had a bias because you are honoring her.”

So by your own words because Black Westchester is having a Black History Celebration acknowledging the historical accomplishments of three African-American individuals, Ernie Davis – first African-American County Legislator in Westchester County and longest running Mayor of Mount Vernon, Maureen Walker – first woman, first African-American and person of Caribbean descent to hold such a position, and Terrence Raynor – formerly the only and now the last African-American Police Commissioner in Westchester County. Because of your bias and issues with the Comptroller you thought it was fitting to call out the credibility of both myself and Black Westchester after we ran an editorial, discussing Mayor Thomas overriding the City Council and the Comptroller to hire more firefighters than the budget allows.

You did not do so when News 12 ran their story titled, “Comptroller Slams Mayor Thomas For Not Signing Checks” or their story dealing with the same topic I covered; “Mt. Vernon Mayor Hires Fire Recruits Despite Council Warning,” which included a verbal response from the Comptroller in their news coverage.

So instead of challenging News 12, Mrs. Edwards takes to Facebook because of our alleged bias and writes, “I am calling you out on it.” (see screenshot below)

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Mrs. Edwards and others Richard Thomas supporter (including a brother of the mayor, and those who hide behind fake Facebook accounts) took offense that Black Westchester would write anything that isn’t favorable about the mayor but you didn’t hear a peep from them when The Journal News/ Lohud.com reported unfavorable things about Mayor Thomas and the new administration, like Friday’s story about the halting of a zombie home because the contractor hired by the city to do the job can not show he has proper asbestos licenses.

This happened on Mayor Thomas watch and he called for the community to come out and watch the tearing down of this monument of urban decay. If what was reported is correct, this put the residents as well as The Thomas family including his new-born baby who he carried through the crowd to the podium in danger. Proper asbestos removal was a major concern of then Councilman Pro Tem Thomas and Chair of Public Works, in our August 2014 interview about Memorial Field.

AJ Woodson

AJ Woodson is the Editor-In-Chief of Black Westchester and Co-Owner of Urban Soul Media Group, the parent company, Host & Producer of the People Before Politics Radio Show. AJ is a Father, Brother, An Author, Journalism Fellow (Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism), Hip-Hop Artist - one third of the legendary underground rap group JVC FORCE known for the single Strong Island, Radio Personality, Hip-Hop Historian, Documentarian, Activist, Criminal Justice Advocate and Freelance Journalist whose byline has appeared in several print publications and online sites including The Source, Vibe, the Village Voice, Upscale, Sonicnet.com, Launch.com, Rolling Out Newspaper, Daily Challenge Newspaper, Spiritual Minded Magazine, Word Up! Magazine, On The Go Magazine and several others.

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Peter Roy February 14, 2016 at 9:07 PM

Imma sid with Helena here, It seems BW has published several letters to the editor by people who don’t put their name yet here u mention those who don’t put their name to stuff as a bad thing. Will u stop postin letters to the editor that go nameless? Also, it seems there is a shift in the new reporting from u guys since the election. It went from Pro-Richie to borderline combative and anti-Richie. Publisher Damon Jones who wanted a job has been attacking him publicly as well. The reason people give u so much grief as a black pulicaiotion is because u have injected ya self into the politics instead of being an objective journalist.

Black Westchester February 14, 2016 at 10:00 PM

Respect your opinion Peter, yes we published two, count them (2) letters to the editors without the authors name, actually one used an alias, because they worked with or under Thomas as we did with those who worked for or under Davis. I protected their identity, but I personally know who they were, spoke with them and went over their letters to check out their claims. The rest including Helena’s letters to the editor were signed (search letters to the editor – they are still up). And if you call being combative calling the Mayor out on his mistakes like we did Davis, then I say that’s hypocritical since I never once heard from you when the attention was on the former mayor. Same attention paid to mayors office despite the change in personnel. Yes Thomas looked good in some of the articles about Davis, he was often quoted, like some councilmen are quoted in ones about him, but still same attention was being paid to mayoral seat. But we thank you for your opinion and reading Black Westchester. As far as Damon I will let him answer or not answer for himself.

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