by Alton H. Maddox, Jr.
In June 1990 and amid the trial of People v. Sharpton, Justice Joan Carey of Manhattan Supreme Court announced that the Sharpton’s trial on 67 felony counts would be suspended so that Rev. Al Sharpton and I, in addition to attorney C. Vernon Mason and Moses Stewart, could talk to the leaders of Bensonhurst who were concerned about United African Movement resuming the marches in Bensonhurst over the senseless and racially-motivated murder of Yusuf Hawkins in August 1989.
These white leaders were representing the business community in Bensonhurst. The marches on Saturdays had crippled local businesses. Most of the business revenues are collected on Saturdays. To be honest, we had failed to connect the dots. White people get on their knees when they are hurting financially. Money is not only a medium of exchange but also a powerful, economic weapon.
When we met, I listed what I thought, was our demand. After securing the conviction of Joseph Fama for murder in the second degree and a life sentence of 33 years to life, we, I thought, wanted a list of the other mob members. This list would be handed over to the Brooklyn district attorney’s office. I thought we were seeking “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth”.
Assemb. Frank Barbaro was a member of the Bensonhurst delegation. In his mayoral run for Gracie Mansion, he had enjoyed the support of leading Blacks and Black selected officials but he was wearing different stripes on this day. He was not representing all the people. He was only representing white people.
He unequivocally rejected “our” demand for a list of the mob members. He let us know in no uncertain terms that white people would never “snitch” on their own children even if it meant the downfall of local white businesses. This demand would be summarily rejected by the leaders from Bensonhurst.
I walked out of the meeting. Sharpton, Mason and Stewart remained to see if there could be an economic settlement for themselves. Mayor David N. Dinkins and Rev. Herbert Daughtry were also rooting for an economic settlement. Whites in Bensonhurst were already “steaming” about the unprecedented conviction of Joseph Fama in a racially-motivated murder. Enough is enough!
Last Thursday, state Sen. Eric Adams and some local residents held a media circus for the white media. They wanted white people to know that they were down with “snitching” on their own children. Usually, the solution to a problem arises through cause and effect. Sharpton and Adams only complain about the effect.
Sharpton and Adams are focused on the effect of gun violence. They ignore the cause for fear that the footprints from the crime scene would lead back to the culprit, Commr. Ray Kelly’s front door. The Bible would prohibit them from serving two masters if they were not slaves. This is why they should take the “Fifth” while young people shoot up the plantation. Guns are only prohibited on the plantation.
Sharpton and Adams along with Black selected officials, leading Blacks and ecclesiastical pimps are part of the problem. This problem of gun violence on the plantation has been simmering for years while these so-called leaders have been promoting the interests of white supremacy. “Chickens have come home to roost”.
Over two decades ago, Sharpton was living in a railroad flat in Brooklyn. Today, he is living on the Eastside of Manhattan. Along the way, he was watching the “Jeffersons”. He has arrived. He has become the “George Jefferson” of the “Silver Rights Movement”. To him, the Eastside of Manhattan (“the silk stocking district”) is “hog’s heaven”.
Recently, I stopped by the Cotton Club to deliver some raffle tickets on behalf of Freedom Retreat for Boys and Girls. Freedom Retreat for Boys and Girls has already struggled for eighteen years and it has had to face censorship from the Black media despite its gratuitous claim of helping our children.
Two persons were headed to Dinosaur Restaurant. One of these persons had been known to John Beatty, owner of the Cotton Club, for years. Former Gov. Eliot Spitzer popularized the Dinosaur Restaurant as his thanks to Blacks for their undying, political support. The Dinosaur Restaurant is white-owned. Spitzer chose to by-pass the Cotton Club which is Black-owned.
Blacks have made this restaurant a huge success. It started in Syracuse, NY. It has also started a restaurant in Newark, NJ. Blacks love mistreatment. Spitzer has always hated Blacks. Now, he is a rainmaker. The Dinosaur Restaurant owes Spitzer big time for encouraging his supporters to by-pass Black businesses.
We are financing our own oppression. Red Lobster is about to open a restaurant next to the Apollo Theater. If we stayed away from these restaurants, landlords would have to rent them to us. This is how Blacks got into Harlem which was originally built for whites. Landlords were unable to rent to whites.
If we had Black thinkers and architects, today, Harlem would be returned to us at bargain basement prices. This is a transition period for Harlem. If we would play a smart hand during this transition, it would allow us to get back on the right track. Marcus Garvey would be all smiles on August 17.
There will be a celebration of Marcus Garvey’s life at the Cotton Club on Friday evening, August 17. Mr. Beatty has reduced his normal fee to accommodate Blacks. Next door, the Dinosaur Restaurant will be “jumping” with Blacks. Marcus who? Mayoral control of public schools is paying off for white merchants.
Even for those Blacks who will be attending the social function at the Cotton Club, many of them are unaware of the sacrifices that John Beatty has had to make to give Black people some semblance of dignity. Social parasites should not be welcomed. This is my view. Sponsors of the Garvey celebration may have a different view.
Too honest for the White Press and too black for much of today’s Black Press; bullet columnist Alton Maddox upsets the same people and status quo as he did as an uncompromising Defense Attorney. He is also a founding member of the Freedom Party. Please sign his Petition to save “Like It Is.” Contact him at c/o UAM P.O. BOX 35 BRONX, NY 10471