We, you and I have often been misled, misguided, misdirected and even lied to by persons that we had too much faith in. These persons were both Black and White and too frequently, they were persons with titles. We had too much faith in these persons and too little in ourselves. We too often failed to prioritize our problems and allowed others to prioritize them for us.
In the early years of my introduction to politics, I was absolutely convinced that sophisticated voting was our complete answer to the multitude of problems that confronted Black people. However, time has proven me to be partially correct, because persons, Black and White, once they were elected to political positions, civil rights positions, even ministers, have fallen short of the mark. They capitalized on their positions, name recognition, financial opportunities to feather their own nest. All of the political debates that I have attended are the same, the incumbent states they have experience and are familiar with the politicians of both political parties.
It is my personal observation that I have witnessed very little change over the last 30 years or longer. For example, when Crawford Square was being built, persons marched and picketed, laid in front of bulldozers and stopped construction because we could not work. William “Bill” Robinson, the former Pa. state Legislator, exposed his political party because they denied all Black contractors from active participation on either side of the stadiums being built on the North Side.
The Democratic Party called the HOUSE NEGROES on Bill, with orders to defeat him and they were successful.
Governor Wolf stated that Black politicians had not informed him that Black contractors are denied state contracts in 2018. The incumbents constantly talk about the educational system, particularly Pittsburgh Public Schools, but never focus on the deplorable political system that denies Blacks an opportunity to work and own a business where they can stabilize their family’s economic status. They often use the weak excuse that Blacks are totally outnumbered in Harrisburg, so they are hampered. My rebuttal to this weak argument is that they have an obligation to publicly expose all of the roadblocks that stand in the way of our becoming first-class citizens.
East Liberty has been almost totally rebuilt, and Black contractors and workers were almost invisible, but our political leaders never said a mumbling word. I have written and discussed this deplorable situation from the first day ground was broken. I do understand that when a person stands up and speaks the truth, there can be a price to pay.
(Louis “Hop” Kendrick is a contributor to the New Pittsburgh Courier.)
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