I woke up this morning heavy in my heart about what was going on with the racist NYPD officers and their remarks towards the West Indian community and our Labor Day parade.
I live in Central Brooklyn, which is represented by Congresswoman Yvette Clark (Jamaican descent) and which is also home to the annual West Indian Day Parade.
So, this morning I got into action. I emailed the offices of several council members including Letitia James, Jumaane Williams and Yvette Clark about joining forces with the West Indian youths in a peaceful protest of which I received replies of solidarity.
Though I have never been a big fan of the West Indian American Day Carnival Association (WIADCA), their practices and their lack of structure, I decided that I should also reach out to the “governing” body for the actual event.
So I wrote an email to Briding Newell and Jean Alexander, members of WIADCA, which has been the organizing body for this parade for the last 44 years!
Here’s my email sent at 12:55pm today:
Dear Ms. Briding,
My name is Jay and I was the only press official from the West Indian media community that was present at yesterday’s presser held at City Hall.
I am sure that you are aware of the stories that I have published on my blog and the opinions that have been addressed.
As a young West Indian woman, I am passionate about rallying other West Indian youths to a peaceful protest against the recent racist remarks by the offending NYPD officers in their facebook group, “No More West Indian Day Detail” and I am lobbying our elected officials to stand by us. However, I firmly believe that the West Indian youths should gather together under the umbrella of WIADCA.
Not only is this a powerful idea, but it would do a lot for your (WIADCA) image in the community, especially amongst the youth. From your lack of communication and lack of visible outreach to our community (outside of carnival) our West Indian youths have lost faith in you. We need WIADCA to step up and take the reigns. We need to believe in you.
You are the “governing” body for the West Indian Day Parade and the elderly voice in our community. However, we the young people hold the keys to preserving our heritage and this parade for our future generations.
The bigotry and racial profiling displayed is only but a few of the things our West Indian brothers and sisters endure on a daily basis because of their skin, their accents and even their address.
WIADCA we need you and would like to work with you on a unified front to get the Mayor of NYC, the Police Commissioner and the Public Advocate to take proper actions in to getting those cops fired. Furthermore, we would like to work together with you in fostering better community relations with the NYPD and the West Indian community – year round.
It is no secret where you stand in the eyes of the majority. You have the legal and government backing and we have the youths!
We need you just as much as you need us.
Can we formulate a plan with you for immediate action? Will you reply?
President Lezama-Clark will you stand with us?
I didn’t edit my email to make me look good here, this is exactly what I wrote.
I am sure many of you will agree, but I also sure many of you will dissect this letter and show all the wrong phrases and words I used until there’s nothing left.
I was hoping..again…Briding Newell or someone from WIADCA would prove me wrong but they proved me so right!
Later this afternoon, I followed up on my email with a call and guess who answered? Briding Newell!
I was left aghast when the very same woman I reached out to for help, was rude, loathsome and down right nasty when she laughed in my ear, said she was too busy to talk (because she was writing a grant) and then hung up on me!
This just proves that WIADCA really don’t give a flying two hoots about the West Indian community or culture. The only reason for their existence now, is to fill their pockets!
JAYBLESSED.com has been trying to facilitate discussions and movement in reaction to the offensive remarks, but what is WIADCA really doing?
Flood WIADCA with calls and tell them how you feel about their late response and lack of action here: 718-467-1797 or email email@example.com.
You can call me a firebrand or you can call me a revolutionist but one thing you can not call me is lazy and a bystander!
I am 100% Caribbean and I live in this city and have experienced my own share of injustices and racism.
If YOU are really about something, then I urge you to stand up for our community, for our culture, for our parade and let your voices be heard. Let us join together as a unified front to get action from the New York Police Department and the New York City Mayor.
Those cops need to be fired, point blank!
And WIADCA needs to shape up or ship out!