January 13, 2007

A Story Untold Eventually Dies

Allen Toussaint - What is Success?
Barrington Levy - Robin Hood

Do a Google News search titled "Barry Bonds" and you'll come up with nearly 1,400 hits. Let me do the math for you: Black + athlete + drugs + attitude = NEWS. Even better: try a Google News search titled "rapper," and you'll come up with 136 articles about NORE testifying at a murder trial. NORE? Who shot who? Who shot ya? Who the EFF CARES?

Drugs, urban safaris, and black people fit into the American puzzle just right. It just feels right, like apple pie and baseball. Like a white picket fence. Like young black thugs. All just pieces of the American puzzle. Black athletes. Black criminals. You can take 'em outta the hood, but you can't take the hood out of 'em. Animals. Everything fits. No questioning your longstanding beliefs. You can sleep well tonite. The world is how it always was and always will be.

Do a Google News search titled "Mo Vaughn" and you'll come up with three hits (two from the Daily News and one from the Post). While we gossip about the latest Rosie vs Trump feud, Mo is about to buy a 385-unit housing complex in Brownsville, Brooklyn. Period. No drama, no glitz. Just a brother helpin' another brother out. Simple as that. Many of the tenants faced eviction, as their slumlord wanted to convert the apartment complex to a homeless shelter. Somehow, that's legal. Somehow, if Mo hadn't stepped to the plate, the slumlord would've been paid 5.8 million dollars yearly for providing a place to keep homeless people out of sight (and, preferably, out of Manhattan).

Mo's plan involves renovating the complex, allowing all of the residents to keep their apartments at their original rent. This isn't the first time Mo has come through for NYC. The last time, he was able to keep rents at about $270/month.

Don't talk about it, BE about it. RESULTS. When have the residents of Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, and beyond WITNESSED a promise become a REALITY? When has Mr. I'm-for-the-hood-I'll-die-for the-hood hip-hopper stepped to the plate? It's a testament to our bureacracy that the residents of Brownsville and Mott Haven have more faith in Mo Vaughn than their own government. Disenfranchisement ain't dead. Thankfully, Robin Hood ain't either.


Anonymous CB4 said...

Wow, huge props to Mo Vaughn... I hadn't heard about that.
Doing something like that, he is the type of rolemodel that people need, yet never hear about. Good work finding that - thanks Vik.


2:06 AM  
Anonymous rafi said...

Good news doesn't sell.

Also any story of Mo doing good for the city has a major hurdle in order to take hold because his time on the Mets is widely considered a major (and costly) bust.

Most people reading the newspaper will take their Mets far more seriously than whatever housing projects.

The Mets have direct impact on their daily life after all.

2:18 AM  
Blogger POPS said...

i'm feeling this. just last week, a local rapper did something similar out-of-pocket on the low to help someone in need.

4:15 PM  

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