Alive Soul
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Alive Soul

The night is beautiful, So the faces of my people. The stars are beautiful, So the eyes of my people. Beautiful, also, is the sun. Beautiful, also, are the souls of my people. -Langston Hughes

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Welcome to Passive, New York

As Andy Henriquez, a 19 year old from Washington Heights lay in his cell dying from a tear in his aorta, an artery that supplies blood to the heart, he asked a guard if he could call his mother just to say goodbye.  For days he suffered in pain barely able to breathe as the blood made its way down to his groin.  He request was denied.  His fellow inmates knew something was wrong.  They screamed and kicked doors in a failed bid to get Andy some help. 
A doctor who visited him earlier that day prescribed him hand cream and wrote the prescription in the wrong name.

Hours later he was found dead on the floor of his cell.  

This happened in April of last year, New Yorkers are just hearing about it today because a suit has been filed by the lawyer of Mr. Henriquez’s family.  

In this last year I have been thinking about some things….

I have thought about the death of Eric Garner and the muted outrage that followed.  

I have thought about all the black men who were set up by Detective Louis Scarcella from Brooklyn, who have languished in jail for years and are just now having their cases reviewed after it was discovered Scarcella was crooked and the silence that followed.  

I have thought about how everyone just accepts that Stop and Frisk is a thing of the past and that the rights of black and brown men here in New York City are not still being violated.  

I have thought about how slick it was for our Mayor to parade his black family in front of the cameras to get elected and how New Yorkers have yet to check him for basically being Bloomberg 2.0.  

I have thought about those who live in the projects whose stewards, NYCHA, last year said they had a surplus of money to fix them and are now saying this year they have no money.  

I have thought about how “affordable housing” here means you must make damn near 100k, yet no one seems to believe that this city hates its poor.

I have thought about the fact that this city has the highest rates of workplace discrimination lawsuits in the country, yet no one wants to address racism in the workplace.  

I have thought about how gentrification of this city has made many neighborhoods I once loved and enjoyed unrecognizable and in my view turned its residents into the quietest, softest, most passive lot of New Yorkers I have ever experienced in my lifetime here.

Who the fuck are you people?

There will be very little outrage over Mr. Henriquez’s death.  This lot of New Yorkers would be more outraged if you kicked a cat than if you choked a young black man to death or allowed one to internally bleed to death on the floor of a jail cell.

Welcome to Passive, New York

As Andy Henriquez, a 19 year old from Washington Heights lay in his cell dying from a tear in his aorta, an artery that supplies blood to the heart, he asked a guard if he could call his mother just to say goodbye. For days he suffered in pain barely able to breathe as the blood made its way down to his groin. He request was denied. His fellow inmates knew something was wrong. They screamed and kicked doors in a failed bid to get Andy some help.

A doctor who visited him earlier that day prescribed him hand cream and wrote the prescription in the wrong name.

Hours later he was found dead on the floor of his cell.

This happened in April of last year, New Yorkers are just hearing about it today because a suit has been filed by the lawyer of Mr. Henriquez’s family.

In this last year I have been thinking about some things….

I have thought about the death of Eric Garner and the muted outrage that followed.

I have thought about all the black men who were set up by Detective Louis Scarcella from Brooklyn, who have languished in jail for years and are just now having their cases reviewed after it was discovered Scarcella was crooked and the silence that followed.

I have thought about how everyone just accepts that Stop and Frisk is a thing of the past and that the rights of black and brown men here in New York City are not still being violated.

I have thought about how slick it was for our Mayor to parade his black family in front of the cameras to get elected and how New Yorkers have yet to check him for basically being Bloomberg 2.0.

I have thought about those who live in the projects whose stewards, NYCHA, last year said they had a surplus of money to fix them and are now saying this year they have no money.

I have thought about how “affordable housing” here means you must make damn near 100k, yet no one seems to believe that this city hates its poor.

I have thought about the fact that this city has the highest rates of workplace discrimination lawsuits in the country, yet no one wants to address racism in the workplace.

I have thought about how gentrification of this city has made many neighborhoods I once loved and enjoyed unrecognizable and in my view turned its residents into the quietest, softest, most passive lot of New Yorkers I have ever experienced in my lifetime here.

Who the fuck are you people?

There will be very little outrage over Mr. Henriquez’s death. This lot of New Yorkers would be more outraged if you kicked a cat than if you choked a young black man to death or allowed one to internally bleed to death on the floor of a jail cell.

Notes

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