#Justise4All No. 22

⟦ An Open Letter to Susan Edelman, Editor for the New York Post ⟧

I was holding off on doing another #Justise4All post until something came along that was worth my writing. Of course, in a society whose foundations are based in racial division and xenophobia, I knew I wouldn't have to wait long before a story peaked my interest. Case in point? Local alt-right rag, p/k/a the New York Post, and its "editor," Susan Edelman, decided to run [what they thought would be] an exposé on Hip-Hop Artist and New York City Fire Department Captain, Kaseem Ryan, a/k/a Ka. With the incisive subtitle, "FDNY captain who moonlights as anti-cop rapper," Edelman goes on to try and defame Ryan and label him as some sort of rabble rouser.

I won't post a link to the original article. Lightweights don't deserve my attention. However, you can read about the outcry by New Yorkers and the Hip-Hop community in Spin's reaction article: Click Here

As I've said, as much as I do write, I only write when I feel strongly about something, and given my family history, one can understand why this completely rubbed me the wrong way. That said, below is the letter I wrote in response to the NY Post's continued tradition of unprofessionalism and slanderous media parade, sent to Susan Edelman herself earlier this week.

Ms. Edelman:

Your choice to do a smear piece against Kaseem Ryan aka Hip-Hop artist, Ka, shows just how low your rag of a newspaper is willing to go in defaming Black citizens regarding their ongoing struggles w/their broken relationship with national law enforcement. This poorly written, simple-minded, compartmentalizing piece of “journalism” is aimed at painting Kaseem Ryan as a gun-toting, violence-inducing “thug,” when the opposite couldn’t be more veritable. Captain Ryan - for that’s how you should be referring to him - is, as you said, a veteran FDNY member, having fulfilled his duties as a hard-working Fire Officer and dedicating his life to helping others. This drummed up 440 [words] or so pitiful attempt at libel in some abstract support of the NYPD is far more destructive at sewing the seeds of division than any lyric he has put down on paper in his career as an artist.

As an Out Man of Color living in New York City, the adopted son of another FDNY Captain, as well as a family full of retired Fire Officers, I invoke my full privilege as such in calling this article - and your false journalism - for what it is: tabloid garbage. Until you have lived the life of a racially marginalized individual and experienced what it’s like to be seen by law enforcement as a potential threat or a moving target simply because of your identity, you have no right to excoriate those who do. Until you know what it’s like to have a job where the very real threat of mortal danger in the process of saving lives is an everyday occurrence, you haven’t the agency to speak on the lives of anyone who does. And until you realize that this kind of “reporting” is the very thing that’s tearing this country apart and the true culprit behind issues like racism and vigilante justice, you should keep your opportunistic, intellectually dishonest, ignorant opinions to yourself, instead of sharing them with millions of people.

It is, I think, safe to say that your “work” at a sewage plant like the New York Post, is, in every sense of the word, a disgrace. Shame on you.

Joseph P. Murray