Thursday, July 5, 2007

Independence Day

I asked around for some suggestions on how to commemorate the 4th of July on this blog. I received a statement from Linda E., and I am putting it up in full.

The Economic Development Corporations desire to confiscate and demolish the historic homes on Duffield Street appears inconsistent with their stated goals, and there are many ways to calmly argue against their decision. I think the EDC's policies are so deficient that all I believe they really need is exposure.

That is not to say that I am not passionately opposed to the Bloomberg/EDC determination. I would like to use this Independence Day to share some of the moral outrage at the attempt to destroy these properties.

Without further ado, here is Linda's statement:

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The open taking of property is going on more and more openly. Because people don't expect these things to happen here, many are unaware of what is happening. These atrocities are happening all over the world.

We are supposed to stand for something. People are dying for these principles; these inalienable rights. People cannot sleepwalk any more. Everyone has a responsibility.

How can a black grandmother responsible for many grandchildren, a person of great character who has devoted herself to others, have her home and place of work taken away by a developer using our government agencies as a conduit to take this extraordinary historic site from its rightful owner as a parking garage, or anything else. This obscene parking amenity can be put under their proposed luxury Sheraton Hotel, as other parking garages are. They OBVIOUSLY DO NOT NEED THIS SMALL YET PRICELESS AMERICAN HISTORIC SITE.

What ARE they doing? This is not just a national issue but a violation of human rights. HERE where we least expect it. It must stop, and certainly must continually be exposed.

This is also the only Black owner of the houses on this extraordinary and important historic street CALLED ABOLITION PLACE.

Have we fought the Civil War or any war for this? Has our great country been the culmination of peoples' dreams for this atrocity, this heinous act, to take place? Is this the basis for a positive future for New York?

The heinous attempted obliteration of Black and American history for which people have died, is a denigration of the actions of the most courageous people our country has ever known. This historic house represents something that cannot be bought and sold and the hope for the future. It represents black and white people working TOGETHER to save lives and for what they believed in. It represents what is best in the human spirit and the triumph of the human spirit and of what is right, in a time of stress and crisis. It is what we all need to know and bring out in ourselves. It is more important now than ever before because all we have is now, to create a humane and great future for us and for those that come after us.

That requires real intelligence and brings real economic development where everyone thrives and the highest quality of life is achieved; not the fleecing of New York.