'They' Are Not 'Us' - 27 East

Letters

Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1507978

‘They’ Are Not ‘Us’

Is Michael Daly a preacher sidelining in real estate, or a real estate agent who sidelines as a preacher? Either way, to me, he reads like a smarmy, sanctimonious flack, and his exhortations on behalf of a development of high-density 60-unit “affordable housing” on 5 acres, starting with his letter [“They’re For Us,” Letters, August 15], demand scrutiny.

Lest you forget: “They” and their housing are not for “us.” When Mr. Daly pontificates about “local community residents,” “local business owners,” “our parents” and “our veterans,” and says, “These apartments will be for us,” he is wrong — on purpose. They are for anyone who applies, nationwide. “Local” mythologizing has got to be debunked!

Mr. Daly evokes the royal “we” and speaks in the name of “us.” As far as I know, he is only authorized to speak for himself, other than voting on the Zoning Board of Appeals — and he must forfeit that right now, due to his zealous promotion of Ralph Fassano, his organization and this disputed project.

In his sermon, Preacher Daly references, for his flock, a pastoral future wherein the high-density 60-condo enclave, equipped with a training center, off County Road 39, as proposed by Mr. Fassano, executive director, “will be a source of community pride once the application is accepted.” What community? Residents in the surrounding community are opposed to it and have said so in force.

Most incendiary of all, he flings the charge of “racism” at those who oppose this development, proclaiming: “We must stop allowing the words ‘affordable housing’ to trigger our racist fears that ‘poor’ people will move into our neighborhoods and change the quality of our lives. That,” he continues, is “old thinking,” which prevents “the housing that local community members need from being built.”

That is an ungrounded, ugly provocation from an ugly mind that cannot be tolerated. There is a difference between “race” and “poverty,” which he should untangle before setting himself up as a spokesperson of progress and sensitivity.

Nonprofit organizations, proclaiming their do-gooder-ism from the high heavens, are big business, from which a top tier of people profit handsomely. While sometimes doing good, they are always invested in perpetuating their jobs — often at real costs to communities they want to colonize.

In his effort to canonize Mr. Fassano, Mr. Daly lectures that we are “fortunate that Mr. Fassano has the courage to stand up and put his time, energy and resources into our town.” Courage? Medford’s Mr. Fassano’s ample reward, right here on earth, is his salary of $380,000-plus for a “40-hour week,” according to tax documents. His second-in-command is not far behind, at $231,000.

Amen, brothers!

Frances GenoveseSouthampton

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