Narcissistic Wokeness - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1838718

Narcissistic Wokeness

Michael Daly is again sputtering, with his particular take on the “workforce and affordable housing crisis” [“Courage Is Needed,” Letters, October 28]. Whether speaking as preacher, real estate agent or flack, his pronouncements are rampant with undocumented “studies” and empty-charged buzzwords.

Take his comments on behalf of “community,” for instance — a buzzword that allows him to step out of his “community,” nestled next to a nature preserve in Sag Harbor, to plunk himself down in Tuckahoe; while “crisis” conflated from “need” is a messianic marketing concept.

He bemoans the loss of “our heritage businesses.” Surely during his long and continuing stint as a real estate broker, it must have dawned on him that the major “heritage business” on the East End is real estate. The killer-competitive acquisition of land, re-purposing for the rich, and weaponizing of taxes and development have destroyed what occasions his malodorous nostalgia.

But his real (albeit imagined) targets are the NIMBYs and selfish “bigots” who just can’t get with his current self-aggrandizing enlightenment: “Uninformed local residents who fall victim to the myths (sic) of affordable housing … intimidating even newly enlightened local town and village leaders.” (Question: When was the last time you saw a local official intimidated?) These same NIMBYs have “worked their way onto appointed or elected boards and created restrictive zoning laws and practices.”

He obsessively paints this dark mirror image in contrast to his YIMBY (yes in my backyard) group he founded, although, as has been pointed out ad infinitum, his own backyard is a nature preserve in Sag Harbor.

How many times must this retro-bigot be refuted? No one opposing Concern for Independent Living, which he is hyping, opposes decent affordable housing. It is the location proposed on County Road 39 and Magee Street and the traffic consequences that have been raised against it. It is an inappropriate site in every conceivable way, and questions remain about the uses of the property not included in the plan but a part of it. Surely, as a Realtor, Daly is cognizant of the importance of “location, location, location.”

“Courage is needed,” he demands — and I agree. That and much more if any of his “First Four Actions” were to be put into place. A sampling: decisions in the hands of “local housing authorities with ‘as-of-right authority’ to build as they see fit”; elimination of single-family zoning; creation of workforce districts to allow community housing of up to 100 units.”

“Leave a legacy of having done something about this community housing crisis,” he demands, to berate public officials. His “legacy,” for anyone interested, will be that of hectoring, braggadocio and facts flung to the wind. His is the voice of myopia, narcissistic wokeness and self-interest.

Frances Genovese