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28546: Leiderman reply: helping HAFAD's picnic (fwd)
I just read today's nicely-worded but roll-over-and-play-dead posting
about HAFAD's problem getting Eisenhower Park for its annual community
picnic. landlords of public property often poke their fingers in the
eyes of minorities. in this case, it's not sufficient for Haitians to
just keep their eyes closed, because the landlords will poke you
somewhere else. defend yourselves!
first, reconsider the value of a strange-sounding acronym such as HAFAD.
whatever it stands for, I'm sure the original organizational name must
sound better and imbue its members with more of a sense of belonging than
such an obtuse five-letter codeword. I can say from experience that
organizations using codewords instead of their full organizational names
will invariably have difficult times securing public buildings, parks,
arenas and the like for their large events. I think more success will
come from avoiding acronyms and from using full names, with pride.
second, at the first sign of permit obstacles when seeking a public
place, I advise going public with the matter and taking to the streets.
do not believe that correspondence and phone calls along will do the job.
public is public, not private; adminstrators and directors of boards of
bodies governing public land and facilities are obligated to all
citizens, not just to members of their country clubs and law firms.
minorities in America ought not to play that waiting game and they ought
not suffer in the dark when such landlords invoke such behavior. a
flurry of inquiries and articles from reputable newspapers and
broadcasters will work wonders.
third, Eisenhower park, of course, is not the only property near New York
City that carries the name of an American president. in fact, Franklin
Roosevelt's home on the Hudson, Hyde Park, may be a more appropriate
location anyway for Haitians to celebrate their existence on this very
expensive part of the planet. a picnic there could feature readings from
from FDR's inaugural and State of the Union addresses that speak more
directly to Haitian causes than Eisenhower ever imagined or cared to
fourth, in the long run, Haitian-Americans in New York ought to have
their own park, if only to avoid begging others for permits for their
events. I know that The Haitian League <email@example.com> has recently
formed a substantial NY chapter; they might take this on as a major
priority. how many acres do you want? 20? 50? 500?
short term, Staten Island's Gateway National Recreation Area
<http://statenislandusa.com/pages/gateway.html> has thousands of acres
set aside for the public. also Croton Point Park upstream on the
beautiful Hudson has always been accommodating
the Clearwater Revival <www.clearwater.org> has been held there for years
every mid-June -- I worked on the festival for ten years -- and I believe
members of that organization, founded by well-known human rights activist,
musician and sailor Pete Seeger, might be willing to help HAFAD plan a
successful event there; he might even be willing to be a featured speaker