The NY city and state government is failing its citizens in really stark and stupid ways.
The Governor has decided to crack down on subway fare evasion by hiring more police. This tactic, in effect, fines and sometimes arrests people who have no money already. Thereby exacerbating their problems and the city’s problems. Even those who chronically evade subway fare are not always simply criminals or people intent on committing petty crimes, they are often people in a predicament who see no other way out or through their predicament. It is a form of willful myopia to resort to policing the crime of systemic poverty. This, of course, is old news but that is what stings the most. New York is a city full of very smart people, how are we even here? How are we at a place where this was even considered a solution? Meanwhile the subway system is failing paying customers every single day.
As far as those people who ride the subway who complained about the vendors at Broadway Junction and elsewhere. All I have to say is: you are probably on your way to a job that pays you enough to have a decent apartment probably with roommates but maybe decent nonetheless and you are probably college educated. So this person who is trying to make a living selling some foodstuff in a subway station is in your way momentarily as you commute to your presumably better life? Let it go! It’s momentary, also target your anger at the system that places people in impossible predicaments through willful acts of oppression and harm. I had to commute through Broadway Junction, at morning rush hour, last year and I hated it. Yes it was frustrating and I had to maneuver around tons of people to get through, but more than anything it made me sad. Sad that this place that could do so much better for its people chooses not to, so that it can build places like Hudson Yards for people who don’t even live in New York City.
Just last night a Bronx Public Housing building did not have heat for 2,440 people. This should feel humiliating to those that run Public Housing in New York. Instead of taking pictures of yourself in brand new subway stations painted by fancy artists Mr. Cuomo how about stand in front of a public housing building in the Bronx with a family who went without heat on a day when temperatures dipped to the 20’s? Seriously though, we as a community should be more interested in seeing the Governor and the Mayor taking pictures after they have fixed the elevator and heating and rodent problems in public housing units rather than at fancy subway stations or operas or professional sporting events. All those places already have money and recognition. People living on the margins of society and the margins of the collective psyche need to be brought to the center, in order for us to help them.
Books: White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo
Watch: Dolemite is My Name on Netflix. It is funny and beautiful at times.
Sitting still for a few minutes a day or every other day if possible.