When it comes to selecting role models, Queens provides its residents plenty of worthy options to choose from. It’s up to us to make sure we elect to follow the right people. And making the choice isn’t always easy.
This past week, our borough has been connected to several stories with national implications that show our role models may not be who we expected.
On one hand, we have famous rapper Cardi B., who was in Flushing earlier this week to surrender herself to police at the 109th Precinct following an August incident at Angels Strip Club.
According to police, Cardi B., whose real name is Belcalis Almánzar, was charged with two misdemeanors, assault and reckless endangerment after she allegedly ordered an attack on bartenders at the club.
Less than a month ago, Almánzar was escorted from a New York Fashion Week party with a huge lump over her eye following a scuffle with fellow rapper Nicki Minaj, who grew up in Queens. The two rappers got into a public scuffle that allegedly started when Almánzar’s skills as a mother were questioned.
These incidents may be isolated, but the truth is, it would benefit us to look beyond popular culture to find our role models.
Take last Friday’s events in Washington, D.C. Ana Maria Archila, an Astoria activist, confronted U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) on an elevator in the Capitol Building after he announced he would vote to confirm Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, who is accused of sexually assaulting Dr. Christine Blasey Ford when she was 15.
Archila’s confrontation garnered national attention, and rightfully so. In our #MeToo world, we have seen countless people find the courage to tell their stories of abuse, no matter the consequences. The movement has given us new role models to look up to — role models who are willing to put themselves on the line and fight for what’s right.
Given where we stand as a country today, those are the type of people we should aspire to be. Kids and adults tend to turn to athletes and celebrities for inspiration. And while there certainly are some popular figures worthy of looking up to, it’s become clear over the years that most will let you down.
People in Queens — and throughout the country — should reconsider who their role models are. We have countless heroes in our borough —whether they be elected officials or ordinary citizens who fight for what they believe is right — who we should model ourselves after.
It’s up to us to decide to put aside fame and glory and pick new idols who can truly make a difference.