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Date: Feature Week of February 27, 2005
Topic: Black Press Business/Economic
Author: William Reed
Article ID: article_ema022705


What’s Up For Us: Investment or Disinvestment?

“True compassion is more than flinging a coin at a beggar; it comes to understand that the edifice that produces beggars needs restructuring.” - Dr. Martin Luther King

The State of Black America is sad.  From our beginnings to our ends, America’s status quo for African Americans is the back of the pack.  For decades, urban blacks’ infant mortality rates, health standards and facilities have ranked with those of Third World countries.

In reality, much of our predicament is of our own making.  Quoting Malcolm X: "You've been had. You've been took. You've been hoodwinked, bamboozled, led astray, run amok."  With the Black Community’s dependency on government for their betterment, it’s ironic that their elected representatives are firmly ensconced among America’s Establishment, subordinating our representation to that of their perceived responsibilities to the status quo.   Yet, our electorate continues returning them to office.  The average number of terms members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) (including family members succeeding family members) is over 10 years.

Sadly we don’t have Malcolm or Martin around to tell the predominately-Democrat CBC that: “the American system is not working for the masses of our people, and it cannot be made to work without radical and fundamental changes they have to initiate”.   Most CBC members were not elected yesterday, and therefore, cannot continue to be given a pass when it comes to the sad state of affairs among blacks.

Instead of addressing conditions of poverty, lack of decent housing, high rates of unemployment, poor medical care, and inferior educational facilities and funding in Black communities, members of the CBC are busy pushing disinvestment in Sudan, Africa’s largest country.   Instead of providing assistance toward innovative urban capitalization initiatives in our communities, half of CBC members’ attention has been directly half a world away to hamper the growth of black people America’s Establishment doesn’t like.  Instead of demanding that the corporate chieftains who finance their campaigns and political actions committees (PACs) make investments to help create jobs and revitalize our neighborhoods, members of the CBC are going along with the Congressional Establishment Congress who seeks to punish Sudanese that refuse to kowtow to America.

Because they’ve been mesmerized to buy into a political system that does not address their needs, local Black American activists are not addressing their own needs.   They allow Black America to remain in the nation’s sorriest state.  We are isolated in neighborhoods without living wage jobs or public transit to access employment in other areas.  Our children struggle in poor quality, deteriorating schools and live in communities plagued with poor air and water quality and toxic sites.  Our neighborhoods lack important services and amenities like grocery stores, banks, safe parks and inviting public spaces; yet, we allow the CBC’s political agenda to direct our attention and resources to further destroy infrastructure in Sudan.

The most flagrant example of black people shooting themselves in the foot is homage they pay to Harlem Congressman Charles Rangel.  The 70-year-old Democrat has made a home in the House and over the last 30 years has become one of Congress’ most powerful members.  On the black-hand side, Rangel is a leader in the campaign for disinvestment in Sudan.  On the side of the Establishment he is one of the Democrat’s most effective fund-raisers.  Rangel is a darling among corporate bankers, investment chieftains and others needing congressional considerations due to his status on the House Ways and Means Committee, yet there is little evidence of the presence of his broad corporate connections having invested in the people of infrastructure of his district.

Regional growth and development patterns profoundly impact the life circumstances of low-income people and communities of color.  Isn’t it time to demand our representative focus attention on bettering conditions where we live and assure we’ve involved in growth and development patters they’re involved in all the time?


© 2000-2004 William Reed - www.BlackPressInternational.com


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