“We have to do better. Parents should not be burying their children. We need community leaders, families, organizations and businesses to say “enough is enough.” We need to invest and build our communities into safe havens for our children. We lived our lives now it is time to make the lives of the children better. We need to bring the community together, people like Hawk Newsome, Michael Blake, Vanessa Gibson, Meisha Porter, Ruben Diaz Jr. and organizations like the New York Yankees need to come together for the good of our children. Together we can bring equity to all.”
– Luis Torres Principal C. S. 55 Bronx New York
These were the words of public school Principal, Luis Torres. He has been the Principal at PS55 for over fifteen years. Luis called me after one of the most dangerous weekends in the history of the Bronx. The gun violence here and around the country literally brought Luis to tears. Luis has always been my “go to guy” when the issues in the Bronx get bad. This time, he came to me with an interesting Question. He asked me if I knew a gentleman in the Bronx named Hawk Newsome. The reason Luis asked me about him is because Hawk is one of the leaders of “Black Lives Matter.” Because I have attended most rallies and protest around the city, I was very aware of the Hawk. The one thing that I learned about him is his incredible understanding and love for the people of New York and especially the Bronx. I reached out to Hawk through a mutual acquaintance and we got together. After spending several hours with him, I really appreciated the fact that all this man really wants is an equal plain for everyone. In all my years of being around the Yankees, I have met a lot of the community leaders. I have to be honest with you and say that Hawk Newsome is one of the most articulate and intelligent and I must add decent individuals but don’t mistake his kindness for weakness, he will “bite.” I saw his interviews on television and I thought they were strong, intelligent and positive. Depending on what ears were listening and political views, the perception of the interview was up to the individual listening and watching. I understand why Principal Torres would want to meet the Hawk. Torres loves his children to no end and feels that someone like Hawk could possibly become the hero and champion that these kids need. Throughout the years, people talk a good game and do nothing. I don’t get that feeling from Hawk.
Principal Torres says that The New York Yankees have been consistent in everything that they said they would do throughout the years starting with Yankees Principal owner George Steinbrenner’s initial visit in 2005 , his son Hank and last year, his grandson George Steinbrenner lV. They visited the school to see how the children were doing. Yankees team President, Randy Levine, has maintained total awareness as to what is going on in the community from his individual sources and also from Yankee Vice President of Community relations, Brian Smith. To say that the Yankees love the Bronx and its people would be an understatement. To say that Hawk has the same feelings as the Bronx Bombers would also fall short in the fact that there has always been a love fest there. If you get all of these people together to make the Bronx, New York and America a better place than Luis Torres tears will be that of happiness.