Building on the Truth
I had to leave another comment on a website today, the "Watchdog" blog of newsday.com Sportswatch columnist Neil Best. Gaetano found the story, about some zoo-radio fool named Craig Carton who said this to a guest on his show who was going to talk to elementary-school children in Newark about consuming more dairy products:
"While you're there suggest they put the guns down, too. A little dairy is good, but no more guns, ya?"How many Newark elementary-school kids does this Carton creature think are using guns? Would Carton make the same remark about New York City schoolchildren? Suburban schoolchildren? Or are listeners to that show, co-hosted by Boomer Esiason, supposed to wink knowingly and leap to agree that Newark is specially violent? (I don't have any fotos of gun-toting 8-year-olds to show you, so today's pix will show City Hall during and after its renovation this past year.)
Some of the "haters" we have discussed in recent days were out in force, posting slanders of Newark as comments after that story. So I left my own comment. This is the last time. at least for a while, that I will place such remarks here, and that's mainly to let readers know what I see happening and see as well the kinds of things they might want to write in answer to anti-Newark propaganda they themselves might see in the future.
Newarkers are very tired of mindless slander from people who don't know what they're talking about. NJIT [mentioned in one negative comment] is in Newark, and thousands of people attend it for four years apiece without serious incident. For 7 years I have driven at all hours of day and nite in various parts of Newark and never had a problem. I have walked at various times of nite in areas from the Ironbound (far to the east) to Downtown to Vailsburg (all the way to the west) without incident. I've published over 1,700 fotos on the "Newark USA" fotoblog from all over the city, taken day and nite. And people can see the truth from those fotos, even if they can't get into town to see for themselves. But, thanks to the Arena, lots of people ARE now seeing for themselves. And what they see is very different from what they've been told.
There are bad blocks in Newark, as in any big city, but NJIT isn't near any of them. Racists who know to hide their bigotry behind coded discussions about 'violence' or 'crime' are fooling no one. Newark is NOT a "hellhole", tho some people can make even Beverly Hills or Park Avenue into their own personal hell thru drugs, which are the source of the great preponderance of such crime as does afflict Newark -- as they afflict every major city. Newark overall is NOT a slum, tho there are individual blocks and buildings for which the term "slum" is, alas, appropriate. We're working to fix that.
Good people want good things for other people. Bad people delite in others' problems, and do not content themselves with speaking the truth about hard problems but exaggerate those problems beyond recognition, out of malice. Still, over 200,000 people have in the past month alone attended events at the Arena without suffering a single crime. The Newark-slanderers are going to have to step up the lies and increase the volume, because the truth is getting out, and slanders on the Internet don't jibe with the Newark that people have seen with their own eyes. Too bad for the liars that eyes trump lies every time.
Once outsiders become comfortable with the Prudential Center area, we can hope they will want to see other parts of Newark. The police had better start preparing to make all parts of what will become Tourist Newark safe. That means, at the least, from Lincoln Park and the City Without Walls area on the south to Bears & Eagles Stadium and the Broad Street Station on the north, plus the restaurant area of the Ironbound to the east of Newark Penn Station. Ideally, and especially during certain times of the year, the area from St. Lucy's to the lions on the lake opposite the Catheral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Branch Brook Park should also be heavily patrolled. Tourism is free money, but safety, for tourists and residents, isn't free. City and police department officials cannot, however, think in terms of tradeoffs. To make Tourist Newark safe at the cost of pulling police out of more vulnerable areas is not an acceptable tradeoff. You have to spend money to make money, and creating a safe Tourist Newark will repay our investment many times over.