Ok I sat back and watched this unfold for a minute before saying anything, and I can’t hold my tongue any longer. This will most likely not be popular and for the haters it will give them one more thing to talk about. But keeping silent and not speaking up on things that should be spoken of, because you care how other people will feel or you are worried about offending someone or losing favor with someone or trying to protect yourself in case this one wins or that one wins is pretty much the reason for writing this in the first place. When we need to show our disapproval in our outrage we usually don’t, but in a petty situation we will make a mountain out of molehill especially during election season while taking our eyes off the bigger picture.
Before I get started this is not a pro Richard Thomas or any other candidate for that matter or anti Davis piece, this is disgust at what I have been seen and read and heard across the board from everyone, type of rant. So listen carefully while you may be saying see that’s what I’m talking about, thinking I’m defending a position you have taken in this situation, you might miss that facts I may be talking about you too.
So on Facebook on or before the 12th of July (lets say the beginning of July for argument sake) a new page titled Mount Vernon Politics was created, set up basically so only post by the administrators will show up in the main section. Now it appears the birthing of this page was to created in the aftermath of the Councilman Richard Thomas/ Council President Marcus Griffith verbal altercation that took place at a June 23rd City Council Work Session Meeting.
So to catch you up to speed just in case you do not watch the news, use Facebook or haven’t been paying attention to anything on the internet in the last week to ten days, Council president Griffith alleged (yes alleged I was not there and there is no recording) anyway allegedly Councilman Thomas called Griffith the N-Word and basically threaten to beat his ass. A letter of an email, Griffith allegedly wrote to Thomas made it way to every car in City Hall parking lot during a city council meeting. To be fair after reading the letter which had too many grammatical errors and typos for me to actually believe Griffith wrote it (unless it was in a fit of rage, which I guess is possible). Not to mention the letter says From: Marcus Griffith, To: Brown, George W, Cc: Raysor, Lauren, but starts off Dear Councilman Thomas. (Why would Griffith write a letter to Thomas, but it send it Brown and Raysor, am I the only one confused by that.) Basically I can’t say Griffith even wrote the letter, but hey it’s campaign time anything is possible…
Then another letter found its way to the MV Inquirer letter to the editor section and there was a big fuss about that, followed by an editorial. Then Fios1 News and News12 utilized the situation to their benefits and basically interviewed elected officials talking about each other (basically not a good look for the city). Davis says that a lot about his adversaries, how they don’t even know the media is using them to make the city look bad as they tear each other down it’s just funny his supporters appear to be taking a page out of that play book, wonder where they learned that.
So now that we are somewhat caught up, back to the Mount Vernon Politics Facebook page, this is where my rant begins…
So I read a lot of comments to the posting of the news coverage or to others who commented, a lot of people I do not ever see or hear from when we have major issues that should have them outraged. I don’t remember seeing any of you, that’s goes for those who appear to be there to attack Thomas and some to defend the greatness of Mayor Davis and some there to talk bad about Davis and defend other candidates, mostly Thomas. Be clear I am disappointed across the board by the behavior or our elected officials and many of the residents of Mount Vernon as well.
Where were all of you a few months ago, when MVHS was on lockdown for a drug raid? Where drug snuffing dogs were brought into the high school during the school day when the school was full of students. Do not remember this much passion on Facebook and all over social media. For that matter where were most of you for the school board trustee election and the forums and debates that took place throughout the city? Everyone talks about how bad the school system is, how high the taxes are which every politicians says the school system takes at least 60% of your tax dollars. Why was there such a low voter turn out? Why were the meet-the-candidate forums turnouts disgusting low? Now I hear everyone throwing around the disgustingly graduation rate, the high property taxes and the fact you can’t afford to pay the taxes and pay for your children to go to better schools. I would think everyone would want to come out and show their outrage to the new school board superintendent. Where was the outrage and demand for answer for the new superintendent after the drug raid? Why wasn’t there a Mount Vernon Public School Facebook page created to complain? For that matter how many of you who are arguing about the use of the N Word or defending either Davis or Thomas, how many of you can tell me the name of the new superintendent, or who ran for school board trustee? The Library election is even more of a joke, I wont even waste anymore time on that.
Where was the outrage when an officer who had cost the city close to a million dollars in lawsuits (paid to families from YOUR TAX DOLLARS) for police brutality, an officer who was put back on the street, by the current mayor and then shot the emotional disturb individual (that’s what the press like to call him, his name is Anthony Smith) nine times (most of the shots came from this officer) on Stevens Avenue? Do not remember hearing the kind of passion and outrage that is being displayed on that Facebook page. Where was the stop police brutality in Mt Vernon Facebook page? For that matter where were all the adult when eight or so young adults, 24 years and younger took to the streets to shut it down to let their voices be heard? There were major marches and protest to police brutality in Yonkers and White Plains but only eight young adult in Mt Vernon and none of who are on this Facebook page we are speaking about.
For that matter where was the outrage when black officers who were born and raised in Mt Vernon were accused and then investigated by the feds for alleged gang affiliations? Where was all your support and where was all of the concerned citizens then? Do you know after being investigated for close to three years and no wrong doing found these officers were never public cleared, but at the press conference after Anthony Smith was shot, Davis was asked why the officer was back on the streets and he responded because he was deemed fit for duty or something like that? He cost the city a million dollars, while black officers were never found doing anything wrong and are still waiting to hear an apology or a public clearing of their names, I’m just saying, I don’t remember any protest or community or Facebook outrage.
Where were all these concerned citizens while council meeting after council meeting went on every two weeks? With all that’s been going on, residents not knowing why the streets were being dug up
and when they work would be completed, last summer. Where were any of you on especially on the south side, when the city had a forum with Con-Ed to answer questions to the residents? Was hardly any residents and I am willing to bet no one who is commenting on that page was in attendance. I see the same faces and hear the same voices at the city council meetings, to air their complaints or some even to compliment the city council and most of you that have been so very vocal in defense on Mayor Davis and attacks of Councilman Thomas or vice versa, I don’t remember hearing your names, when speakers are called to discuss what’s going on in the city (I guess after everyone reads this the next city council meeting is going to be full of supporter from both side).
I could go on and on, but I think you get what I am saying, if not maybe you won’t. What about the alleged closing (some elected official say it wasn’t closed or it was only for one day while others have spoken against the alleged closing) of a firehouse just days before a major fire breaks out down the street, where firefighters from all the neighboring municipalities had to come put out a fire that restarted a few times? Where were any of you in speaking up for our firefighters, who we depend on to be there if God forbid our house catches fire or we are in need of medical attention? Where was the outrage about something that can potentially endanger lives? Didn’t hear a peep on social media from any of you about this or practically anything else before election season began. Truthfully its hard to take some of you serious to be honest, that goes for the elected officials as well.
So while I know this part especially will be taken out of context, but hey… just like in the interview after Allen Iverson’s best friend got brutally killed in the streets and then he lost early in the round of the playoffs and the sportscasters and reporters asked him about a practice he missed and we have the infamous “Practice, we talking about practice….” rant that they chop up and only play part of. I have to say with everything that has and is going on in Mount Vernon, and before the haters say ‘oh he only talking bad about Mt Vernon again” I love this city just as much as the next person and because I love it I am vocal of my disgust for things I feel can and should be much better, but anyway like I was saying with everything going on, the only issue most of you saw fit to speak up on was the alleged use of the N Word, really!
Should it have been used, HELL NO, was it wrong to use it, especially in City Hall at a meeting HELL YES, is it worthy of public outrage if it happened they way, we were told it did, YES, but is this the only issue you all get up, get out and speak up against? All of you who have remained silent for everything else, things that affect our future like the education of our children, ever rising taxes (more than most municipalities in Westchester), the crime and broad daylight shootings in the last few months (even though the mayor says crime is down and hey maybe it is better but any broad daylight shooting should be unacceptable.) Especially a shooting on South Fourth Ave, let forget the fact a sitting city councilman and mayoral candidate had a campaign office there, but because it’s a major shopping area and high traffic area where a lot of young children are and live and are home because school is out and their parents can’t afford to send the to camps. Lets be outraged about that! What about cops who were on desk duty for abusing their power being put back out on the street and shooting almost killing another black man? Or a DRUG RAID and LOCKDOWN of our high school while the students were in the building with no reason to suspect that there was major drugs in the building or some major drug operation going on, (no drugs were found) but hey that not more important that a councilman cursing. I get it.
In closing I really hope and pray that this new-found civil pride and love of the city that has made you become very vocal about the wrongs in the community you claim to love so much doesn’t dwindle after election season. I really hope this means you have realized that you have a responsibility to speak up for the condition the city is in. And while we are in the heat of the moment, I really hope and pray that all of you register, get out and vote and before that, use this new spirit to attend every debate and use this time when politicians come around to complain about the opponents and tell you why they deserve your vote more than the next person, you ask the tough questions with the same passion shown on that Facebook page. Or will this be just another occasion where we make noise about little things while much bigger things that affect us go on in front of our faces unchecked. Understand some of this is a deliberate smoke screen to keep you from looking and seeing the real issues, don’t get it twisted.
Now I know I will see all of you from the Facebook page at the city council meetings and community forums and all those things that affect your life that goes ignored, right? Now I know everyone will have an opinion and something to say, I welcome and encourage all comments good or bad leave your thoughts in the comment section below and let the debate begin.