If you are a talk show listener or a reader you will constantly hear or read persons with all of the answers to the array of problems that occur daily, not only in Pittsburgh but also across the nation. The AME Church offered what they perceived as constructive criticism to the NAACP. In reality, the Church collectively, which at one time stood at the forefront of insuring Blacks could share in the American dream, has fallen short of the mark, and they need to reevaluate themselves.
There was a period of time when Blacks were denied the right to vote, but currently our turnout has been dismal. In fact, in the last Allegheny County election the overall turnout was 17 percent and less in the predominately-Black communities.
I listen intently to these regular voices of criticism and vilification, but rarely do I hear any concrete solutions. Across this nation in the last presidential election, Blacks were against Donald Trump, Republicans, Democrats, organized labor, and the news media, but someone voted for Trump, because he is the president. Many fail to focus or may not understand all of the wasted effort attacking President Trump. In the Black communities, prior to the last election the statistics demonstrated that in every city in the nation that has a substantial Black population, criminal behavior is out of control and it is fed by unemployment, single-parent families, no growing middle class, and mortgage denials at a record high. As the president and Russia get all of the attention, Black problems continue to multiply.
A young man stopped me last Sunday and stated he was hungry, so I invited him to come with me and I bought him breakfast. As soon as he started to eat he said to me, “Donald Trump was the most stupid man in the nation.” I simply responded, “Donald Trump did not ask me for breakfast.”
Too many of us have lost focus about those things that affect ourselves and our families the most. We have the opportunity to improve our status in life, but we must begin to look inwardly and ask ourselves “What do I do?” We must begin today to become more concerned and involved with the issues that affect every aspect of our lives and begin to question, challenge and replace those individuals that we have elected and demand that they represent their Black voters first instead of the Democratic party bosses. The plight of the condition of Black people in Pittsburgh is not new. We have had a multitude of problems since the city was founded. A number of Whites and Blacks alike truly believe that the problems of Black Pittsburgh did not occur until the ‘60s, and prior to those years everybody got along fine. A number of Black persons believe that the first Black voices were Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, but I assure you there were local voices of protest prior to the 1960s. There are some of us still living who witnessed these voices stand up and speak out at great personal and life-threatening risk.
(Louis “Hop” Kendrick is a contributor to the New Pittsburgh Courier.)
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