Tuesday, August 8, 2017
I have consistently followed the steady, drip of the process to disenfranchise Black Folk in 2017 Society. The latest debacle concerns Excellence Academy.
As I passed down Forsythe Avenue yesterday. The marquee read about the Neville Alumni and Friends Association of which the School Board Superintendent is an adherent of.
The bottom line goal of the "Northside Neville-ites" is to seize control of the present and return it to the "days of yore"! There is the golf course, the seasoned community of generations taught the same ideals and the indoctrination of those coming from the outer limits of the area.
In the effort to "back-down" and further demoralize the black community, the underbelly of the real Monroe is re-emerging. From local media, highlighting deathification in the community, but failing to recognize the effects of "media-masturbation" on any subject in the negative of black-folks concerns.
Under any circumstance, Excellence Academy was a "beacon of hope" for the black community. For whatever reasons, Brent Vidrine, the School Board and its unwillingness to fight for the continuance of a "positive venue" in the "Greater-Monroe, West Monroe, Ouachita tradition" has back tracked to lesser gods.
This is a horrid defeat in the ears of A. G. Facen, P. Rayfield Brown, Morris Henry Carroll, Alex Burns, H. H. George, Jimmy Andrews, George Muse Jr., and John I. Reddix.
And, so Negro Citizens of Ouachita Parish have been challenged in their desire for self-determination. It is akin to the abridgements of the fifties. A government jurisdiction, called the Monroe City School Board, led by a former principal of Neville High School; which in the recent past, 2013-14; sought charter school status and was denied, has in the midst of a federal desegregation court moderation; denied funding and did not do all the diligence to bring the Excellence Academy into "school system policy compliances", monetarily. Economicly?
A school, that the Governor recognized in a recent (2017) visit at the Mt. Zion Community Center in the heart of Monroe.
The underbelly, the evilness of 1965 desegregation in Ouachita Parish.
The all of it, is absolute, in the present necessitated appeal process headed to the 2nd Circuit of Louisiana.
*This Story Will be Updated
Thursday, December 22, 2016
This ordinance, allows for the "government" to enter owned property and owner/occupant may be forced into court for not allowing an officer of code enforcement to enter his/her property.
After notice has been given, "Any inspection conducted pursuant to an order permitting right of entry"; is done still in violation of a person's right to privacy, and unreasonable searches.
The fee schedule passed at Tuesday's city council meeting specifies the fines for high grass and weeds, inoperable vehicles, littering and derelict/unsecure structures. Each fine class was reduced by $50 before final passage. All fines not specified in the fee schedule will be set at $50 for a first violation, $200 for a second and $450 for subsequent violations. News Star Article
It is not, for certain if there is any fees reduction, for seniors; and certainly nothing is in place for the disabled, veterans or otherwise.
Injunctive relief is necessary for further review.
At the least an elected official, should request an Attorney General's Opinion on the validity of this ordinance. However, it would appear, that every political office holder is in lock step, with this egregious attack against basic civil liberties of a specific group in this society.
Wednesday, August 10, 2016
Just recently, a mishap led to dire consequences.
Over Fifty (50) years of endeavor, nearly lost, affecting thousands.
I can only imagine, the depths of the agonizing disbelief of the efforts ancestors of our deliverance from captivity in Ouachita Parish, West Monroe, Louisiana and the twin city Monroe, must be reeling from in their resting places.
Things really began to melt, with the debacling circumstances of the South Monroe economic development apparatus devolving in to chaos; at the same time a Bail-bonding business was the scene of a double murder.How, could it thusly be so rude of an awakening to the public, under the gaze of "hard-fought desegregation" memorial pillar of the Wildcats Stadium.
Economic Development, Murder and School Desegregation.
The most recently debacle of the Ouachita Multipurpose Community Action Program and the thread like hanging on of its continuing through September 30th, of a hallmark "head start" program. 2016 is an unforgettable year.
OMCAP Head Start program to end
A watershed, Landmark program. Coupled with the recent up-stir at the Monroe City School Board; this latest incident should be proof, that we need to fight for "hard-fought" gains. When, School Board Officer Brenda Shelling, stood & disrupted the Board meeting, calling a white-male board member out, as an instigator, subjugater and "inside facilitator" for the destruction of the predominantly black, City School System.
The good doing white-folks' negroes, said Shelling needed to stop being a disrupter. From OMCAPS Head Start, to Neville High School's repair, the bastion for the "white seperatist, under the guise of desiring to participate in the federal court's mandates the white board members thoroughly disguised themselves, as seekers of justice.
And the gullible, "can we all just get along crowd" crowed in this garden of gethsemane, against the Truth. OMCAP's demise is the proof.
I would imagine the members of the court-ordered bi-racial committee of the early 70's, by federal injunction; are saying, "i'll fight you till hell freeze over" as A.G. Facen said, back then. But, this tired generational residue from back then, don't believe in " agitate, agitate" no more.
I can remember, my father's comments about the Rev. P. Rayfield Brown and the constant efforts in the formation of the "CAP" program. It dealt with Poverty and the affects of it; in education, health and housing. Folks had issues. Integration and desegregation were the watch words. Everyone in position were required to maintain the cause in their position(s).
In a lot of ways the ball has been dropped. And, when someone grabs the ball; those in position now, act like they don't know what is going on.
The Federal Courts in 2016 still dealing with desegregation?I recall not to many months ago, the superintendent, pushing "the Neville pull-out plan with BESE.
But, we want to act as if we are not aware, that the same folk are trying to desolve the Monroe City School System.
Shelling turned and shouted at board member Bill Willson, saying he was smirking.
Board member Jennifer Hanline said after the meeting; that it isn't a time to pick sides and board members should want to see the community get better.
She thinks Shelling's actions were unacceptable and that sort of behavior gets in the way of progress especially with a board working to help the school system.
"I want to say I'm so sorry we are suppose to represent our community and we're suppose to represent the people who elected us, and the children that are coming to our school", Board Member Jennifer Haneline said. Community-Members--Leaders-react-to-the-Monroe-City-School-Board-Meeting ..
What we need to understand is the suit, Jimmie Andrews et al was filed by black folk disenfranchised by segregation. And so, in the midst of a federal hearing of the status of Monroe City School Systems, everyone goes off their rockers, like they don't know; that the white-folks crying foul, cause they ain't invited "to the D.C. federal DoJ meeting".. .In the memorandum, Willson, Dayton and Haneline attest that board President Rodney McFarland and Vice President Brenda Shelling have frustrated their efforts to participate in implementing the consent decree by:
According to the memorandum, these statements "establish nonfeasance and bad faith on the part of the MCSB and, potentially, collusion between certain MCSB members and the United States with respect to the appointment of a court monitor. ...
"The United States was either complicit in the actions of the MSCB or, through nonfeasance of duty, ignorant of MSCB’s backroom tactics to select EPG as the Independent Court Monitor."
Discouraging them from attending a September hearing on consideration of unitary status. Failing in to adequately inform all board members of the ruling on unitary status.
Refusing to include all board members in the negotiation process for the consent decree adopted in December.
Refusing to include all board members in the process to select the independent court monitor required by the consent decree.
Soliciting the votes of board members Daryll Berry and Brandon Johnson to adopt the Educational Planning Group without prior discussion of the group with all members. Monroe City Schools
The illusion, that the very same set of folks who are the descendants of those, who perpetrated separate but equal; should be involved in conversations with DOJ is the epitome of white privilege.
Neville Group sought to intervene. To none effect. It is noted here because, folks is forgetting the doggone avarice amongst these illegitimate usurpers.
At a midday school board meeting Wednesday, Doug Lawrence, the board's attorney, said that five
communications from the court had moved within the past 24 hours. Those were:
The Tuesday order by Hayes that permitted NAFA, Jones and Hanks to intervene;
an order from Hayes vacating that order filed Wednesday;
notification that Hayes will no longer be involved in the case and setting all motions before James;
a notice referring the motion for permission to intervene before James that was filed Wednesday;
and a corrected caption on the notice filed the same day.
"Judge James personally is taking over the entire case, which is inclusive of the petition to intervene in the lawsuit filed by an outside group, so the prior judge that issued the prior ruling is no longer involved in the case," Lawrence said.
Court documents state anyone who opposes the request of NAFA and the two parents to intervene should file a memorandum in opposition within 21 days. After that, they "may file a reply within 14 days after the memorandum in opposition is filed."
Additionally, court documents indicate James does not plan to set a hearing date on the matter.
One Judge Overseeing entire Case.
Finally, the outcome of South Monroe Economic Development, is critical to Black advancement in Northeast Louisiana as a whole.
We do not have the leisure or the time, to linger and prolong "the real elephant that is in the room.We got to meet ourselves, and come to a conclusive outcome on the infighting amongst US. Whether it is on the streets or in the Council Chambers, Board Room, News Media or whatever.
We need to meet, "by the River at midnight" if need be, for Us to discuss Us!!
When the white-folks plot against black-advancement, where do they meet? Bayou DeSiard Country Club?
I Ain't Done Yet; but I got to go!!
Tuesday, January 5, 2016
President Barack Hussein Obama is being blamed for the execution of a Shia Cleric in Saudi Arabia, amid the insanity of a presidential campaign in which a megalomaniac is inciting global implosion on an altar of "pseudo-religious sacrifice" of "jihad john's" Islamic Faith.
America's fascination with a "megalomaniac" who doesn't really give a damn, about Islam; but does give a damn that Barack Hussein Obama was famously accused by the same Megalo, of being "unamerican or nonamerican" and himself [POTUS] a Muslim.
This is the same President, who was famously derided in his christian-belief under the tutelage of the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, and the Reverend's Liberation Theology. Which theology is a basic staple of "the true black church"! In affect, american "robbed the african president of america" of his religion.
Historically, a twice done "damnable heresy" ! His african-father would have been born a Muslim, converted from christianity. This constant slight of his opponents with the Islamic adherence issue; is a "colonial-masters" racist attack, returned to the vestiges of the american slave market!
A note of interest, United States of America, and its causcasian demigoguery: Black America will not forget, how your voices harangued incidiously against your own President. And how your tea party, GOP, NeoCon republican movement has gotten us all the way to Oregon. There is no turning around, now. Hell and chaos is on the american horizon.
If Mr. Obama had more-aggressively attempted to save the Iranian Cleric, the republicans would all has further said, the prexy was a true "muslim-lover". No different than the ostracisation of caucasians who were "termed" nigger-lovers.
Finally, the "gun control" executive action is a necessity.
However, it is my hope, that clear-focus, would be taken to In-Custody-Deaths. It is our position, that this is a human rights issue. The killing of Americans, in "incarceration-centers" or in-police-custody; is a violation of human decency.
In Morehouse Parish Louisiana at the court-house, was the scene of a tragically killed inmate, while being transferred by a Fourth JDC, courthouse official police, the man committed suicide by-cop.
Inmate dies in Morehouse courthouse shootingA
Following a shooting at the Morehouse Parish Courthouse, one inmate is dead with no other injuries reported.
According to Sheriff Mike Tubbs, the MPSO responded to a shots fired call at the courthouse at approximately 2 p.m. on Tuesday. An inmate in the courthouse, whose name has been released as Keith Atkins, age 43, was confirmed dead via suicide following a scuffle outside of the courtroom. According to Tubbs, no personnel or civilians were injured when the incident occurred because of the location.
On February 16, 2015 Atkins was involved in a hostage situation involving his estranged wife. After Atkins was taken into custody — the hostage was freed after Atkins came in contact with the MPSO — he was booked on charges of second degree kidnapping (domestic violence), aggravated assault on a police officer, possession of schedule II (meth) and possession of a firearm while in control of a controlled dangerous substance.
According to Tubbs, as MPSO personnel was involved in the incident, the LSP was called into investigate. Tubbs said LSP detectives were at the courthouse Tuesday afternoon and will be releasing additional information as it becomes available.
The courthouse was closed for the remainder of Tuesday but is expected to reopen Wednesday morning.
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
Saturday, September 20, 2014
And if the world or any parts of the global society thinks for one minute that "this" at this point going to just fade into the sunset.
Everyone is wanting for this to just go away and be over with; the citizens of St. Louis, Ferguson, St. Louis County, the state of Missouri and most likely national leaders on every level. However, this is the one that get's every one straightened on their extra-curricullar racial attitudes. America, just better get itself prepared for what's to come. The local justice apparatus is not about to indict the police officer who killed Brother Michael.
And when that doesn't happen, all hell will break loose.
From the "Beer Summit" we collectively dropped. the ball. This issue is a must to be addressed. And, Ferguson, Missouri "must be" the place where this issue is finally clarified and put in its place. This "must be" is not as if there's a likelihood that its not going to happen. The thing will occur. There,"must be" rectification of the situation created over time, culminating in the death of Michael Brown; which evolved into an "insurrection" and which insurrection is still in process, in Missouri, in the center of the country.
This Mason-Dixon Line Southern State, with its dixiecratic ways, needs 250,000 citizens to descend upon, St. Louis' Ferguson to get this point of "non-compliance to the racist mores and attitudes" engrained in the stateside processes. Missouri's reticent ways date back to the Dred Scott processes of immorality of human "ownership".
And here we now reside, in a 16th century mentality forced upon the mindsets of a 21st century people, who are determined to rebel against the debauchery of the malaise. To live in such past is pure insanity. That is why, it then becomes okay to fire stun grenades and tear gas on what is considered non-humans or three/fifths people.
While Russian Jets are turned around, by Canadian and U.S. Jets at the Alaskan demarcation; Citizens of this nation demise planning to strongly enmasse in Ferguson. As an individual vaults the White House fence, and is stopped by government agents, only as he enters the door. Even while the White House is evacuated.
Doom & Damnation awaits, if the Matter of one Michael Brown, Jr., is not handled properly.
Saturday, May 18, 2013
Malcolm Shabazz, his death in Mexico City and the international implications of the same are issues that must be addressed in a larger forum than just the United States government, obviously.
A formal announcement by any agency of the government of the USA, has not come forth. The ancillary entities have not come forth with any demands in lieu of the government's inaction. It should be obvious why this has occurred. There has already been a funeral service in Oakland, California. That service was held at an Islamic/Muslim Center.
It has been stated, El Hajj Malcolm El Shabazz, will be interred in New York state, along side his grandparents. Born Malcolm Lateef Shabazz, Young Malcolm's death on foreign soil is "an affront; for all Blacks, Negroes, African-Americans, sharecroppers decendants and the progeny of formerly enslaved Africans worldwide.
Now. It is evident a problem exist in the current, retaliative society, globally. Specifically though, in America and the now "high profile", targeted killing of an American Citizen in Mexico City; a heightened alarm should be sounded.
In the state of Florida, USA, Trayvon Martin; targeted by a "neighborhood watch" patroller, is killed. It is without doubt, that Young Malcolm was targeted.
Mr. Doudou Diene, a Sengalese lawyer and United Nations Human Rights Council special rapporteur on racism toured eight American cities in 2008. A cross-border special rapporteur must be dispatched in reference to the killing of El Hajj Malcolm El Shabazz in Mexico City. This incident began at the San Diego-Tijuana border.
Saturday, November 17, 2012
A vehicle in a motorcade carrying former CIA Director David Petraeus leaves Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Nov. 16, 2012, after Petraeus testified before closed-door sessions of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
secure fashion as was utilized in the congressional committee hearings on yesterday. It is quite strange how all of a seeming sudden, the security of the nation is become so invaded. Don't get it wrong, it should be absolutely understood how Benghazi occurred. Absolutely, it was such an exclaiming event when that country was no longer under "the tyrants" heel, maybe. It should now also, be better understood, why involvement in Syria, has been more closely scrutinized.
Who did mastermind Benghazi? Was it retribution? After all the ambassador was a participant with the "agents of change", who now run Lybia. It is stranger still, american agents had trouble acquiring support vehicles, once on the ground.
Monday, October 17, 2011
The folks attempting to Occupy Wall Street are Anarchist, and they are operatives of the Tea Party. The goal is to overthrow the United States Government, that is why the CIA is in NYPD!!! The "groups" who are against the black-man in the white house are hellbent on destroying him at any cost. In the tpartiest, republican, gop-ish mentality a black-man cannot and will not go down in history as the person who fixed THE WHITE MAN'S problem.
Remember, the collapse of 2008. RED LINE-ING.!! Remember the NAACP filed suit against all those MORTGAGE COMPANIES. And you WONDER WHY, the AtlantaOccupiers didn't receive John Lewis; they ain't study-ing about Dr. King. They just want the method. Oh yeah, they've educated themselves on the mechanisms of protest. But they don't give a tinkers about what King stood for. These are overthrowers. There are LEADERS alright, of the occupiers. They intend to spin this country out of control, and John Boehner and Jim Cornyn and Rick Perry will listen intently as the fiasco occurs.
You need to repent and back away from your rhetoric, you BROTHERS who is giving up Brother President the same way, Malcolm was talked in to a martyred destiny. America need to "Get Re-Jena'd" - This time  six-million blacks need to descend on the GOP Convention, and lock that city down. THAT'S RIGHT 6 ~SIX~MILLION Negroes, African Americans, Blacks, Molattoes and Creoles and every thing else we been. Forget about, descend on the Democratic Convention, they'll get the picture. It is the conservative, neo-con operatives, who have spinned this country into chaos. The culmination of this chaos and anarchy is what Charlie Manson's goal was.
CIA Director David Petraeus has described him as an adviser, someone who could ensure that information was being shared.
From Whom?? - A PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE WITH A CAMP ON Niggerhead. The CIA has a file on all theses guys. They been knew Perry was gonna run. And they knew his, VP would be a little known Presidential candidate from Louisiana named Roemer. Now the Occupiers are gone global. Yet, in America, the tpartiers OAKTHKEEPERS are prepared for any "contingency", collateral damage and all.
There is no doubt, this is what the anarchist on Wall Street, wish to happen in America. Remember, King in Alabama wanted a dramatization of the absolute tyranny of Bull Conner. The Anarchist have studied the methods and are deploying for a violent confrontation in America.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
And so, when the master-operative, tweeked a video, deployed it on a blog; got busted and caused apologies ad infinitum-- has to my knowledge, as of yet not been held accountable. Andrew Breitbart, vehemently defended the actions of the NOLA trio. Today, as the President spoke to the Centennial convention of the National Urban League; the incident of late was mentioned. The Speech in Washington, DC was full of signals for all to grasp.
It is indeed a sad commentary in our society, that the various issues continue to evolve in to the race issue; which no one wants to address, fully.
Is it because we do not want to exist without demeaning another, and so we leave the race issue intact, so we can always revert back to it?
Strange twist in race and Politics, as Suit to be filed in Breitbart Defamation and further Federal Internet intervention is on the horizon as a result of recent occurences. It should be further noted, when we stop to look at the "oil clean-up" in the Louisiana Gulf, residents are complaining of the "outsiders", who the NAACP Legal Defense Fund have cited a state collaboration with the petroleum giant, utilizing inmate labor. Prison Industrial Complex? Yes!
But, what we 'gon do about it? And Black on black crime? And violence precipitated by the police!
On the southside of Monroe, Louisiana, where Richwood Police Patrol & the sheriff department patrols. A 20 year old was arrested for burglary. 'The story goes, that this youngsters, name was posted on the S.O.'s website. The affidavit was said to have listed the youngster as telling on all of his accomplices. [of course the affidavit is no longer there] And so, all of this boys accomplices, and gangers have been randomly threatening the young'en and his extended family. This boy's jaw was broken --from the eye socket to the jaw bone-- he is scheduled to be at the doctor's office in a day or so. On this early A.M., an incident occurred at the boy's mothers home.'And So!!! This is really the first time, anyone has come with something to this magnitude in this, the 21st century. Maybe, since Jena. Or, possibly up to Oscar Grant and Baron Pikes. And So. The stage is set for the beginning of the millenium breakdown. Will the Millenials stand for this un-americanism. They believe the Constitution.
They were sent back & forth from the S.O. to the Richwood PD. This is a case of you won't help us, we'll help our selves.
Finally, out of exasperation, they called some one, who knew some one! Hopefully, this doesn't escalate into a full scale gang war. Or, is this the intent, of the powers-at-be!!?
July 29, 2010 Arpaio's Arizona Protesters Arrested
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Change-ing the Conversation in Amerika!! | C-SPAN Black Agenda coverage.
So much is occurring all at once. At last, the conversation has been forced to the forefront. Who can stop it. It is surprising, however; that everyone thinks you can discuss, openly our agenda. The strategy developed in the former-days, by the former-right's leaders were not put in place in the "wide-open" for all too "circumvent". We need to converse seriously in secret to control-the-change.
Attorneys general from Florida, South Carolina, Nebraska, Texas, Michigan, Utah, Pennsylvania, Alabama, South Dakota, Louisiana, Idaho, Washington and Colorado are joining in. Other GOP attorneys general may join the lawsuit later or sue separately.
The lawsuit was filed in federal court in Pensacola.
One issue at the heart of the suit is the constitutionality of the the so-called "individual mandate," which requires most Americans to have an insurance plan or else pay a federal penalty.
The Constitution gives Congress the authority "to regulate commerce." In other words, once someone engages in commerce, the government has the power to regulate that activity.
But opponents say that the "commerce clause" does not give the government power to require an individual to buy something — especially insurance for the health of one's own body.
Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum is taking the lead in the lawsuit.
13 GOP States file suit against healthcare
21 March 2010 | Obstacles & Ill Feelings
The Current Injusticide.
It remained nasty this weekend. Several thousand “tea-partiers” gathered on Capitol Hill on Saturday, as lawmakers met to lay down the rules for yesterday’s vote. “Born in the USA not the USSR” and “Buck Ofamacare” said their placards. A protester called representative Barney Frank, who is gay, a “faggot”. Another spat on representative Emanuel Cleaver, who is black. Two other African-American congressmen, John Lewis and André Carson, were jeered as “niggers”. “It was like a page out of a time machine,” said Carson.
Protestors fade | "Tea Party" Protestors | Daily Mail -"Congressman Jeered" | The Two Way | H.R. 4872 | Text of Healthcare Legislation | HR 3590 passed 2145-hours. Reconciliation in progress 2158-hours
What about Justice?!
Thomas Hagan, the only man who ever admitted involvement in the assassination of Malcolm X, will be getting out of jail next month. Hagan was granted parole on March 3rd and is scheduled to be released on April 28th.
Hagan was convicted of shooting the civil rights leader, along with Norman 3X Butler and Thomas 15X Johnson. Both Johnson and Butler consistently maintained their innocence and provided alibis for the afternoon Malcolm was killed on the stage of the Audubon Ballroom, on Broadway and 165th Street, on February 21, 1965.
Protest of FOP party for reinstated officers
By Sam Wood
Inquirer Staff WriterCarrying signs that read "So This Is Something to Celebrate?" and "Justice Really Is Blind in Philadelphia," about a dozen people demonstrated yesterday in front of the Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police headquarters on Spring Garden Street.
The FOP had announced that it would hold a party last night to celebrate the return to the force of eight police officers who had been fired or disciplined after a television news helicopter filmed them beating three shooting suspects in 2008.
Last week, an arbitrator ruled that the officers, who had been cleared by a grand jury, should get their jobs back or have their punishments greatly reduced.
"Our Guys Are Back!" read a flier posted on the FOP's Web site that promised an open bar, food, and music at the party. "Come out and show your support."
On a concrete island in the middle of Spring Garden, members of the Philadelphia chapter of the National Action Network, a civil-rights group led by the Rev. Al Sharpton, gathered yesterday afternoon to express outrage.
Michelle Wood waved a cardboard sign at passing rush-hour traffic.
"There's no reason to celebrate," said Wood, whose son Pete Hopkins was one of the three men kicked and punched by police. "My son was beaten almost to death."
Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey has described the events of May 5, 2008, as a black eye on the department. At the time, police were conducting a citywide manhunt for the killer of Sgt. Stephen Liczbinski.
Police chased Dwayne Dyches, then 24; Brian Hall, then 23; and Hopkins, then 19, from the vicinity of a Feltonville shootout that left three people injured. After a 21/2-mile pursuit, officers dragged the three men from their car. Fox29 footage of the beating made international news. Ramsey fired four officers, demoted one, and suspended three others.
At 4 p.m. yesterday, as protester Pam Africa yelled an obscenity-laden harangue into a megaphone, off-duty officers on Harley-Davidsons began to arrive for the party.
"Welcome to the nonevent of the year," said FOP president John McNesby, who described the party as nothing more than a weekly happy hour.
"We do this every Friday," McNesby said. "Just because this week we issued a flier about our members' being reinstated doesn't make this a big deal."
Chicago News Cooperative | News Analysis
A Delicate Balancing Act for the Black Agenda
Published: March 18, 2010
What a difference hard times make.
Until recently, most black discontent with the Obama administration — especially in Barack Obama’s hometown, Chicago — was largely kept in the family and out of the mainstream press, even as black business, civil rights and political leaders quietly grappled with and debated how best to support and challenge the nation’s first black president without hurting the causes of racial and economic justice.
But as the economic crisis continues to slam black America disproportionately hard, while bonuses rain down on Wall Street, the debate has spilled into the open and will get its loudest and most public hearing yet on Saturday, in a forum held just a few miles from Mr. Obama’s house in Kenwood, at Chicago State University.
Tavis Smiley, an author and talk show host and a frequent — and until recently rare — black critic of the president, is scheduled to convene a panel of civil rights leaders and scholars called “We Count: The Black Agenda Is the American Agenda.”
The discussion will be nationally televised on C-Span, and the invited panelists include Cornel West, a Princeton University professor; Louis Farrakhan, the Nation of Islam leader; and the Rev. Jesse Jackson, president of the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition.
“A black agenda is jobs, jobs, jobs, quality education, investment in infrastructure and strong democratic regulation of corporations,” Dr. West said. “The black agenda, at its best, looks at America from the vantage point of the least of thee and asks what’s best for all.”
During his run to the White House, voters, black and white, projected all sorts of hopes and dreams onto Mr. Obama, no matter what he said or did. When it comes to race, for example, Mr. Obama has forcefully tried to avoid the subject. The one notable exception was his now-famous speech in Philadelphia in 2008, and only then when his campaign was in peril from the fiery words of his former Chicago pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright.
Mr. Obama’s black supporters were willing to give him a pass, to give him “time to learn his way around the White House.” But too many homes have been lost to foreclosure, too many fathers have lost jobs, too many mothers are losing hope for his most loyal bloc to be happy with what many are now saying is more symbolism than substance coming from Mr. Obama’s administration in regard to black America.
Others, though, like Jacky Grimshaw, a senior adviser to former Mayor Harold Washington, are reading more into the timing and location of the black agenda meeting 14 months into Mr. Obama’s presidency.
“If the idea is to embarrass the president,” Ms. Grimshaw said, “this is a good way of doing it.”
Given Mr. Smiley’s vocal criticism of Mr. Obama — raising questions about the president’s effectiveness in pursuing the agenda many black voters favor — some see the meeting as a sign of a division among blacks here and across the country. On one side are those who believe Mr. Obama is doing his best under tough circumstances. On the other are those who feel let down by a perceived lack of action by Mr. Obama on behalf of black Americans. By hosting the forum in Chicago, Mr. Smiley seems to be spotlighting the discussion in a place most likely to draw national attention.
Mr. Smiley said the goal of the event was not to attack or embarrass Mr. Obama in his Chicago backyard, but to pressure other black leaders to develop and press for a black agenda, an action plan for tackling poverty, poor schools, infant mortality and an unemployment rate among blacks that is at least twice the national average.
“Black people are getting crushed,” Mr. Smiley said.
No one argues that point. But since announcing the event last month, Mr. Smiley and the Rev. Al Sharpton, one of Mr. Obama’s most vocal supporters — “Barack’s pet preacher,” as one Chicago activist put it — have conducted a sometimes heated debate on black radio about the wisdom of convening the “We Count” panel discussion.
Mr. Sharpton seems to have the numbers on his side. Support for Mr. Obama among black Americans is hovering around 90 percent in polls.
Mr. Sharpton said he would not attend the Chicago gathering. “Yes, we need a black agenda,” he said. “But the president shouldn’t be leading it. Black leaders should be.”
Herman Brewer, the acting president and chief executive of the Chicago Urban League, expects to attend, although with some trepidation.
“I think it’s O.K. if folks are critical of the president,” Mr. Brewer said. “But I wouldn’t want it to be viewed as a condemnation, a smackdown of the president. Hopefully, it can be viewed as constructive.”
Mark Allen, a longtime civil rights advocate on the South Side, said that just a couple of months ago if he had made even a mild public criticism about Mr. Obama’s not doing enough for the poor or for small businesses in the inner city, “black middle class folks would curse me out.”
The message was clear: If you are black, you just didn’t air complaints about “our homeboy,” Mr. Allen said, certainly not in public where the news media could see and hear. Doing so was seen as undermining the first black president, of giving comfort to the enemy, of betraying the race.
But these days, even in Chicago, Mr. Allen said: “It’s not as taboo anymore. You get cursed out a lot less.”
Some blacks in Chicago seem to be having a case of unrequited love.
“Barack is ignoring the black community,” said Ms. Hartman, the publisher. “There’s no communication, no reaching out, no speaking out. Every black business I know is hurting. Trickle down is not trickling down.”
Mr. Obama worked 20 years ago as a community organizer in the Altgeld Gardens public housing development on Chicago’s South Side. There, Bamani Obadele, who runs a youth program in Roseland, and Cheryl Johnson, who runs an environmental justice organization at the sprawling development, recently discussed Mr. Obama and the We Count event.
Mr. Obadele said Mr. Obama attended several antiviolence rallies that Mr. Obadele organized in the Robert Taylor Homes public housing development in the 1990s.
“He helped me carry a casket through the streets,” Mr. Obadele said, referring to an antiviolence mock funeral. “He absolutely understands the struggle of black folks. But he’s not the same Barack I knew. The Barack I knew wouldn’t bail out the banks and let the people go hungry. I think his advisers are giving him bad advice.”
Ms. Johnson said: “It’s complicated. He’s inherited a mess we haven’t experienced since the Great Depression. Let’s give him some time.”
Mr. Obadele added: “I hope we don’t end up being a national embarrassment on Saturday, fighting about the black president. I hope something positive comes out of it. But we have to do something. There’s just too much suffering out here.”