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Dear Clinton Avenue Residents…

June 25, 2008

            There’s been an acussatory email circulating from the Clinton Avenue Residents(whoever they are) that has accused the young men who congregate in front of 400 clinton ave. of “running an organized drug operation”. The email goes on to speculate that 400 clinton ave. is a “distribtution center” of drugs and that they hate to see the residents of clinton avenue terrorized by this “gang” . As one of the young men who sometimes congregates in front of this building I find these accusations atrocious, unfounded, dividing and dare I say racist. There are a lot of us longtime residents who grew up with each other from the time we were knee high to a grasshopper. We like to see each other kick it and converse IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD(you know how urban residents USED to do!). After being harassed out of the park by police, disallowed to hang on the corner, is there anywhere longtime residents who are black males can chill in the hood without the assumption of doing something illegal?! Now I’m not going to lie, the only thing in the email that had a ring of the truth was about smelling marijuana. Yes a few guys puff some herb…So what?!  They aren’t harming or bothering anyone. And think about it, if you want the police on a marijuana crusade(I suggest reading the book of the same title about the NYPD) then that stops police from paying attention to more serious crimes…you know like muggings!

            It’s very dangerous and irresponsible to circulate something like that without concrete evidence to back your claims. I also find it curious that this email is from clinton avenue residents when almost ALL of us that hang in front of the building are working men that were BORN and BRED on clinton ave., the older residents of clinton ave. watched us grow up and most of our parents remain on clinton ave. It is accusations like these that create the divide between new residents and us oldtimers.  WE love and have loved this hood before most of you even knew where it was located. WE are a family…We are the fathers of the hood, the sons of the hood, the brothers of the hood…WE are a community and WE will NOT take these accusations lightly. WE will be seeking a sitdown with a local prominent minister in the community as well as local elected officials. WE refuse to be treated like outsiders or “terrorists of clinton ave residents” in our own neighborhood.

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