|The old man was beat down with blood on his face by six strong NYPD officers|
We should have a community meeting to chastise the police. This kind of action cannot be tolerated if our community is to acquire its lungs and grow its capacity to assert itself. As Chinatown, as New Yorkers, Asians with a different musical heritage, for our elders to come out this way marks a change in our community's mentality - if we dont defend their right to do so who will? Its their sense of self that's changing and if they feel the need to flex muscles such that we all hear their growing pains then we should recognize whats changing in Chinatown. We have all been guilty of being too quiet, which gets us no where in a democracy where learning how to compete is essential.
Aside from the police brutal ways, on the face of it, this is a noise issue. It doesn't take much to see this is the self expression of an alien culture asserting its rights to be heard. Its the graffiti of Chinese seniors spray painting in the park, thumbing their nose at authority and each other whose tag is louder. They cant play at a capitalist gambling table, thats ok, they got their own turf. And they got their own message, for its not greenbacks they trade in, its music, what we hum in the shower or on the way to work - but only on good days when the world is spinning right, at least for us, not on blah days which may be most of the time.
This is the kind of change we need to welcome, to embrace with open arms. To establish regular hours when its ok to be loud, when special amps are provided for soft, and locations are designated like that for vendors so each has their own corner. Like our indigenous folk artists on the street, we need to see them as assets to our community, take pride in them, honor them, make a special place in our community for them. They make our community unique. They are symbols for what we were, and bearers of a message for our city.
For seniors to feel comfortable to come out of their closet of modesty, it means our culture (symbolized by the dragon) - what they knew and grew up with - this dragon, is rearing its ugly head, finding its feet in the air and realizing its place, its message in this over heated economy. Unwinding from the cold war and now winding down from the financial crisis we may see that money isn't everything and that just living, just taking it easy is ok.
I understand the sentiment in Beijing even midst the Olympic Games is the same. Thats what I heard from Beijing Taxi, the film. Tuning into the common folk like only an artist can do, revealing that for Beijingers its cool to take it easy, just learn to live. Is this not what our elders are asserting? "Hey, put your bags down and play some music with me! Tune into somethin' really different!" Isn't this the message a new Chinatown should assert to all New Yorkers and visitors alike, that midst all the hubbub, Chinatown is a haven for relaxing, that things can be beautiful, that life - just as it is - is good.
Think about it.
WHAT DO YOU GUYS WANT TO DO ABOUT IT?
BASICALLY 3 ISSUES:
1. AMPLIFIED SOUND in COLUMBUS PARK - a) Leading to the arrest of elderly man in Columbus Park b) Overall POLICE treatment/procedures towards Seniors as they
display their cultural talents C) Can this be resolved?
2. SKATE BOARDERS & CYCLISTS in CHATHAM SQUARE - (Posing a PHYSICAL THREAT to COMMUNITY, Damage to Shrines, & Public Property)
3. Do we have a PROBLEM with POLICE & the SYSTEM of ENFORCEMENT? a) Do we need more bi-lingual police? b) Do we need more bi-lingual signage in the park?
1. COMMUNITY MEETING to Discuss these issues, When & Where?, What do we want to accomplish?
2. ASK OUR CITY REPRESENTATIVES, What their plan is? How can we work together?
3. Meet with the COMMISSIONER of POLICE? recommend CHANGES! Course of ACTION!
3. How can we facilitate a solution? Have a rally? Write petitions? Make demands!
These are some of my thoughts, please comment!