By Jeffrey Williams-Maisonet (“J-Man”)
Have you ever helped someone out and then realized you were only being used to fulfill an agenda?
Now, I imagine some of you ;might be thinking, “What in the world?!”
Some of you may find the question a bit shocking or even extreme, especially since it’s being posed by a member of Rockaway’s “youth brigade”. Well, my generation, as illustrated through organizations like “Black Lives Matter”, refuses to remain passive or silent while acts of disrespect and injustice are being committed. Sadly, as a result of managing this site, I’ve come to realize that I was just a pawn in sick and twisted game of “community chess” for certain people.
Let this commentary serve as a warning! There are people and organizations in this community that will have you believe they need to be saved on some level, but the fact of the matter is they’re PLOTTING and have ulterior motives. More often than not, those motives are sinister in nature.
Call me naïve, but there was a time when I thought everyone around me was righteous. I probably felt that way because I always saw the good in people, despite their flaws, and I would go out of my way to help them. Truth be told, I still do whatever I can to help. However, “Father Time” has been an excellent teacher. Now that I’m getting older and smarter, I understand that some people can’t be helped or simply aren’t worth saving. My father told me that when I was little. He died nearly three weeks ago, and his words have even greater meaning now that he’s gone. Most importantly, I’ve come to understand that people who approach you with outstretched hands may not need as much help as they claim. In other words, they’re only trying to see what they can get or, in the worst case scenario, they’re trying to see just how far they can go with taking advantage of you or a situation.
In my role as a reporter, I’ve been approached by many people. Most have been ethical, honest and have very good standing in the community. Moreover, they always took a moment to acknowledge me as someone doing something positive for Rockaway. I’ve also come in contact with so-called “pillars of the community” (POC) who constantly bitch and moan about how they’re being ignored or slighted in some way. Despite repeated warnings from extremely credible and exceptional sources, I listened to the POC sob stories and devoted a lot of time and attention to them. Ultimately, I decided to help them because they were very convincing and the good guy in me felt it was the right thing to do. Sounds reasonable, right?
After providing them with continuous coverage, and the community backlash that followed, I realized I was being placed in an uncomfortable position. I was forced to ask myself some hard questions. “Is it possible that certain people are trying to get me to use my news site solely for their advantage?” “Are people trying to get over on me simply because of my age and the fact that I’m just starting out?” It was very hard to accept, but I realized I was being used.
Again, I helped these people by writing countless stories and updates. It got to the point where people in the community were asking me if I was a reporter or public relations representative. It was clear, to me and many in Rockaway, that they were using me to fulfill their selfish agenda of making money and conquering those they considered enemies. I made a mistake by trusting them and have taken immediate action to correct the situation.
My job as a reporter is NOT to advocate for any specific cause or organization. My job is to raise awareness about your cause and possibly put you in contact with people who can help or advocate on your behalf. Make no mistake; I’ll still help people through this news site. But I’m not going to let anyone use or insult me any longer! Don’t think you can take advantage of my age, or the fact that I’m just starting out as a reporter, to accomplish your agenda.
Let me make one thing very clear to the whiny, little POC. I may be young, but I’m not stupid and have a legion of people that believe in and support me. Too bad the same can’t be said for you. Thankfully, most of the people that I’ve interacted with have been very kind and respectful. They’ve also expressed interest in working with me and this site on some level, which has helped me to overcome the negative experiences and people.
Don’t be the next victim. The so-called POC are out there….and they’re PLOTTING how they can get you to join them or do their bidding! As the late, great Steve Jobs said, “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”