I don't for a minute dispute that Ms. Boyd has a right to express herself, no matter how loud, obnoxious, mean-spirited or nasty. In many ways, I've hoped to shed light on a strange corner of the NYC Universe, where one single-minded individual with chutzpah and anger can make a HUGE difference on the course of a neighborhood's liveability. There are still people willing to put themselves on the Community Board in good faith - they too will likely become disheartened that it has become nearly impossible to share opposing views with civility. As a result, City Officials are loathe to deal with us. In one case, staffers at an agency actually picked straws to determine who would HAVE to show up at our door.
How does this play out in the day-to-day quality of life here? Just look around. Public spaces are being neglected. Trash collection is haphazard. Relations with police become fractured. Transportation issues like speeding cars and bike lanes are ignored, not to mention traffic problems and intersection safety. Schools? Public Trans? It used to be you could pick up a phone and a problem would be addressed, if not immediately by Boyd's first victim District Manager Pearl Miles, but at least the message would get to the agency for which it's intended.
Take the lakes that form at intersections after rains. DEP is in charge, but what neighborhoods get the first attention? Not ours, and not because the district is largely black - it's because no one is advocating on our behalf. The committee chairs have been in constant flux - how could they not be with 5 Board chairs and 3 DMs in 5 years? If CB9 were its own City, we'd be bankrupt and run by the State by now.
So now Boyd's on the warpath again, with the Q as her primary target. Personally I don't give a shit - I can take it. But lately she's started demanding that her minions email my colleagues AT WORK to tell them what an ANTI-WOMAN RACIST I am. As a civil-rights loving feminist, these are hard words to hear. But they're protected by the Constitution, and there it is.
The fact is I don't hate blacks and women. I strongly dislike ONE black woman. But I also strongly dislike one white man, and he happens to be my President. So Boyd, Trump. Trump, Boyd. You get the idea..
Friends, don't fall for and of it. She and other vicious community activists (Imani of E4F I'm looking at you) want you to question your right to be here, to be involved in the neighborhood and to express your opinion, no matter how progressive or forward-thinking or (god forbid) yuppie it may be. It is racist to want blacks to suffer, to languish, to not have access to the same opportunities as whites. But it is NOT racist to want your neighborhood to be better, as long as you're not actively thwarting the needs of others. We get better when we debate ideas on their merits, and listen to all voices. We improve our communities when we decide TOGETHER and with as much input as possible. Then we use whatever political capital we can muster to express those needs to elected officials, and the media if necessary. A well-run Community Board can help that process - Boyd wants to shut it down and remove all members who run afoul of her personal vision, which is very much NIMBY, about as NIMBY as you can get in fact. (She loves to tell folks how I coined the phrase Not In My Black Yard as a post title to describe how she wants to dictate zoning based on her belief that black folks don't want it. Of course, she takes it out of context, and robs it of the crass wit. Oh well.
The question the Q must answer is...validate her nonsense by addressing it publicly? I won't deny that it's a bummer to get called an anti-woman racist. Those are kinda the worst things you can call a white dude these days, so I know why she's doing it. She knows I've seen through her shit, and now wants to inflict maximum damage. The personal bait I won't take; I know what's in my heart. My Struggle, indeed!
But today she sent out an email asking her followers to email MY COWORKERS demanding that I be held accountable. Wait..my job? What the hell does that have to do with my personal political life? Next to nothing, I'd say. Ah yes. She's looking to inflict more damage! Maybe get me fired? Now THAT would be grounds for a lawsuit! Monetary damages...maybe retirement isn't as far off as I thought!
I mean look at this shit below - k-r-a-z-y k-a-t. In the actual email she rips off work logos, prints emails of coworkers and practically begs them to reprimand me. As if they're my parents, and I deserve a spanking. It would be pathetic, if it weren't so damn...dare I say, cruel? Truly if anyone deserved a countersuit, this would be the lady. And so...I'm retaining counsel. But I'm never going to take back musings in the past that are clearly my opinions only - taken out of context her to paint a picture of a monster. Because that's the heart of the 1st Amendment, and while the President thinks otherwise, I have a tremendous appreciation for what it's done for the Republic generally.
Now I ask you...would YOU put up with something like the below sent to hundreds of your neighbors? I'll tell you something that might surprise you. I'm fine with it all - she can say whatever she wants - but I'm not fine when she draws in perfectly unsuspecting and uninvolved people from outside the neighborhood with whom I work every day. This is harassment - they don't deserve it.
So Boyd, if you're reading - attack me as you will, but leave my work friends and colleagues alone. It's one step over a line you really shouldn't cross. And if you hadn't noticed, there is one person to whom all of your statements purporting anti-woman racism reflect - you. My feelings aren't general at all. I simply don't like you, your organization, or your litigious ways. Any other reading of my blog is FALSE, and therefore qualifies as exactly the sort of defamation you accuse me of.
And check it out! She's STILL using her non-profit to raise money for MTOPP. Like I said, chutzpah.