Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Right is Never Radical

Right is never radical

The picture is the Board of Education President Sara Davis.

This story is better than fiction. I think.

One afternoon, having lunch with a friend, the idea for this website came alive. A few days later, it was online with my first post and possibly best post “Identity Crisis”. As I write, I remember that although the facts can be disputed, the truth cannot be denied.

I go to meetings, major in Urban Studies at Rutgers, volunteer, read writings by revolutionaries, and listen to reggae all to form ideas of how to get this city to the prosperous and well managed place the residents deserve. I do not get paid for any of this. Not yet.

The True Story

Last night, for the fifth time in a month I was heckled. I tell you this story because I think it summarizes the need for more progressive thinkers to unite, have their voices heard, and take back our city. At the Board of Education meeting, there was a resolution to approve the acting Business Administrator’s contract. There is a new law that requires a public hearing before administrators contracts are approved by the nine member Board of Education. The members voted for the contract, then I pointed out that they approved the contract before the public hearing. The president opened the floor for public comment.

I spoke. I asked for justification for the interim Business Administrator being paid $550 a day after just last month the same board laid dozens of people off and decreased the salaries of another dozen people. Last month, a lady that worked for the school district for 19 years said that the $9,000 reduction in her salary would be hard for her family.

The answer given was he deserves it, he does a good job, he is a popular man, and that is what the last person got. I accepted that answer. By the way you can see all of this on channel 19 if you live in Camden. Kelly Francis goes up and defends the Business Administrator, although my question was not personal. He thought the salary was justified. Okay. He then verbally attacked me. He noted that things have happened in this city before I was here five years ago living in Pennsauken. (Actually, this is my sixth year as an adult resident). When he finished the statement, there were several people applauding. The room was filled with school administrators and only a few people from the public.

I turned around and saw Calvin Gunning clapping in support of Francis’s odd statement. I stated “What are you clapping for?”. Calvin Gunning was the principal of Woodrow Wilson for several years until this August. He represents the problem. He is an arrogant, immature playboy, that was invisible at the school. As Woodrow Wilson had ethnic based fights, an exodus of students dropping out of the then unsafe school, low test scores putting the school’s rank near the bottom of the state, he managed this chaos. He was removed and is now on special assignment in charge of truancy and attendance. This is a position where he has expertise, since he managed to create record dropout at the school. In my mind, he should face criminal charges for destroying the lives of children in this city. Of course there should be many other defendants with the same charges. When the meeting took a break, I saw Mr. Gunning outside and he punkishly walked away, unwilling to discuss his thoughts like a man. I challenge him to discuss whatever issue he has with me.

Those people clapping reminded me of the out of touch republicans that pompously laughed when Rudy Gulianni stated Sen. Obama was a community organizer. Mr. Freeman may very well be a brilliant man who deserves and earns $550 a day, but to insult someone for questioning the board shows a lack of civility or intelligence.

A message to my hecklers

Thank you. In The Prince, by Niccolò Machiavelli, he reminds a leader that if he can be loved and feared, that is preferable, but it is more likely that he will just be feared. Kelly Francis, Calvin Gunning, some members of City Council, and any member of the establishment of failure incompetence, and corruption do and should fear me. I will expose them and work to have their power eliminated.

Keep heckling. That let’s me know that you are an enemy. You heckle is like a racist waving a confederate flag. I will be here until death or the will of God take me away. A bullet will not stop me. Being poor will not stop me. Having disgraced people as enemies will not stop me. I will love my enemies though. There is enough hatred already. Please comment.


Felix A. Moulier said...

You may not want to read this but classifying the people you named in your blog "Enemies" is going to cause problems whenever you decide to run for elected office. You never know when you may need those people down the road. I am not speaking in defense of neither Mr. Francis or Mr. Gunning because I do not know them personally to back or defend either one. You shine light on issues that should be talked about but your objection and tone is what causes conflict. From what I hear in Council Chambers, people constantly say that you talk as you are above them, you lack respect for those who are older, and they feel as you are misinformed from time to time. I am not trying to insult you as you have done to me the few times we have talked but I am trying to give you some advice.

Future Mayor of Camden 20??

TheRebel said...

Felix you stated "From what I hear in Council Chambers, people constantly say that you talk as you are above them". Look at the series of bad decisions they have made over the years. They certainly deserve criticism, which typically is not given as a spoon of sugar, but of vinegar. I am above them, just as every other voter and child in Camden. The people have the power in a democracy, unless it is conceded.

I appreciate your interest and enthusiasm, but you will eventually see that our local government too often is a part of the problem.

Viviana Villanueva said...

SEAN BROWN; Let me say do not believe anything this PUNK Feliz"Assh*ole"Moulier says. This is the same guy who talks behind your back. This is the same guy who has told people that you are a nutcase. The reason why people respect you is not because you listen to what other morons say but because you are you. You already have the respect of people because you are who you are, so why change with your enemy pretending to be your friend.

Hey felix you better watch the things that you say about people because word has gotten around about you saying stuff behind peoples back.

Felix A. Moulier said...

Ms. Villanueva,
First off let me state that you do not know me to be calling me names. I dont have a problem of telling Sean how I feel and dont have to talk behind his back. Whatever you may have heard me saying about Sean was misinterpreted. I will state this now and that is I may not agree with Sean all of the time but he does present some good ideas on how to tackle some of Camden's problems. My suggestion is for you to get to know me before you judge me. You can either email me or give me a call 856-979-6915.

I am not blind and very aware that the local government is a cause of some of the problems. The people you were criticizing in the blog "Right is Never Radical" are not members of our local government so why were they criticized? I am aware of the problems that Camden face but I just have a different approach on how to tackle the issues to create change.

Future Mayor of Camden 20??

Juan R. Rodriguez said...

I truly admire your heart and passion for change in Camden. God knows we need an army of independents to tear the powers that strangle this great city. I for one think that Norcross and his puppets need to be driven out of city council/city hall and the parents/residents need to take the school board back.
However, personal attacks will not help your cause. First of all, Kelly Francis has been a veteran of fighting the status quo. Mr. Francis has been fighting the same folks you now fight for years. Going up against him is foolish. You can not achieve victory by making your potential allies into your target.
As for Gunning, let him reap what he sowed. The new administration at Woodrow Wilson has already shown progress and leadership. Please take this as helpful advice. You must choose what battle to fight and what hill to conquer.

TheRebel said...

Thank you for your comments Juan. I appreciate your insight.

Anonymous said...

hey Sean,
I like you am aware of the negatives that have plagued this city for a long time. many think that the major crimes happen in the streets of Camden when we know there are more backroom deals cut without the mindset of truely moving this city forward. we know of the possibilities because we represent them in our lives.
I have always found you to be a young and inciteful Man who is going to make an impact to bring about some great things here in Camden and where ever you so choose to provide service.

I want to share a few thoughts with you. when I first began to get involved in restoring this city, I chose to start on the psyche of the people as I moved forward I realized there are other needed supports to help establish the change "WE" desire. I also realized there is an accepted REALITY in politics and the power structure in city government and the social service agencies and that reality is, "it is assumed most people in hardship situations choose to be in those situations or should know the way out of their circumstances when actually they don't know the way out." they don't trust institutions to lead them out because of some of the practiced norms you mentioned.

however; both sides are ignorant to the others side's truth, purpose and state of being and they both hold assumptions as facts, fused with some real facts. which still would leave everyone in the void.

Camden will not get better until we stop doing the "blame game" I find that tradition is not always right nor is the new age way of handling things always right.

When some of these leaders first came on the scene they had the same enthusiasm as you "to bring about a POSITIVE Change in this city. and they were trained to do what gets done the way it was getting done and they were taught to trust the process, they may have tried to implement change and was advised, "the way to go about doing things" and time passed and things remained the same. but they may still desire to do those great things you speak of. you could be that spark the reignites their flame.

the thing is you may never know who they are or how they can assist you, you said it your self "WE-CAN ACCOMPLISH MORE THAN JUST me" you didn't quite say it like that but it is what you implied. So don't write those people off they are not your enemy you just happen to have a difference of opinion and way of achieving a said goal.

"there are many ways to fish the best way is always the one that catches the fish, at different times the way may change yet the goal can still be achieved" (kino1will)
I say that to say this, "show them by doing and as they see the sustainability of what you've done they will embrace the way because our goal is to restore this city and bring some vitality to the lives of the residents. those who are about the negative will scatter to the way side because who they are will be visible and many will bear witness and they will have to handle their set of circumstances which will save you from allowing them space in your mind. your mind can do so much more without taking you there. I know your prepared for the battle and you want to see the walls come tumbling down like in jericho, Well that happened because the people put their feet to work and moved consistently and as a result well we know the walls came down. our walk is doing this work, your paper is remarkable "poorlitics" and it bears truth you should have it published. relax, breath keep moving forward. and love even those who may wish to do you harm, in this you shall be blessed. be known for your ideas and empathy for this city not for your disregard of those whom have failed your ethical outlook, Malcom said something about a rooster coming to nest, well, let the rooster do what he do. I also hear the buzz, we are both in that circle, those little arguments become who people start to think you are, and you are so much more than those confrontations. publish the article. overcome ALL things with Love...
peace & love
Henry W