In response to a letter to the editor, where Chief of Staff Kathleen Long referenced my commentary as “disparaging”, I cannot help but to feel compelled to completely disagree. I was not aware of Mrs. Long’s history, place of birth or educational background, and although I am happy to have been properly informed, her upbringing or place of birth had absolutely nothing to do with my response, which was an involuntary reaction to what I viewed as an insensitive expression.
So, after sharing this educational moment with the public, as to the extent of your education and experience, as a fellow Patersonian, I am yet again left torn. Extremely proud of your accomplishments, cum laude from Georgetown on anyone’s resume is very impressive, but very disappointed. Disappointed in the thought that anyone who has managed to accomplish so much is truly absent of any excuse of ignorance! Although my compassion has tugged on me to possibly give a benefit of the doubt, this moment has charged me even more to find comfort in the notion, there is an agenda that lurks beyond the expression in which you claim to have been a simple smile.
I am no Georgetown graduate, nor did I have the privilege to forge my young adolescent education at Immaculate Heart Academy, in Washington Township, but I would gather the advantage gained by my public school #21 education, truly allowed me an understanding of being absent from sarcasm and insensitive gestures.
You see Mrs. Long although I have the ability and capacity to send my children to schools with such long prestigious backgrounds, I chose to keep them here, so they would not innocently miss what is most prevalent in Paterson’s inability to move beyond a poverty strickened city, that manages to fund so many private educations for children of those endowed with such elite status, and indoctrinate auras of superiority! Which I could not help but feel on two occasions. Sadly, even the choice of the characterizing word “Disparaging” adds to the insult. Never once have I made an attempt to devalue, or lend an expression of little worth, obviously someone with such an impressive background bares great value, but the intent is where I lay judgement.
Despite my consistent concerns, very few of my points are ever discredited or left with an explanation. Someone with such an impressive background should be able to explain why would we ever pay such terribly high rates for things that have much less value? Why are we embracing such activity that has been proven to be a recipe for disaster and litigation? Why are the most challenged members of our community being left out of the equation of this administration in which you are helping to lead? Could it be the fact that most of your adolescent years were spent concealed from the realities that the young people I am willing to champion for?
Could your lack of sensitivity have anything to do with your poor choice of an analogy, that left a sour expression on my spirit, and left me to wonder how you could possibly think a large portion of OUR community could relate to renting a beachfront house for a week? When a great deal of constituent calls, I receive directly relate to the inability to cover the months rent. Mrs. Long, although we are both Paterson born and bred, I cannot help but to feel, now more than ever, we are from two different sides of the tracks, and we are operating with two different agendas! My sole reason for taking on these challenges is to make sure those who have been forgotten for years are no longer disenfranchised, to ensure equality and access.
To see an end to senseless killings on the streets of Paterson, to encourage those who have endured the decades of insensitivity, have an opportunity to climb from under the stronghold of ALL who have arrived to gain from their condition, without the effort to pay it forward! Yeah, I am that guy! So, in the future, if there is anything you feel so compelled to educate me on, you have my number. As fellow Patersonians we should be able to venture across the tracks of divide and share a cup of coffee and ideas!