Category: Opinion Written by Courier Newsroom
If we had believed all the horrid, negative TV ads put out by right wing media advertisers against President Obama last year, he would not have been re-elected. Fortunately we saw through the false rhetoric. We now have Republican media operatives working against Bill Peduto to manipulate the minds of African-American voters. Disappointingly, some African-American voters are blindly drinking the poisoned Kool Aid fed through TV and mailings, believing the falsehoods that Peduto did not support Homewood and the Hill District. Seriously folks? Have we forgotten the lessons we learned just last year about ads? They can be purchased lies. The statements about Bill indeed have been lies.
Last Updated on Thursday, 16 May 2013 14:54
Category: Opinion Written by Raynard Jackson
(NNPA)—I have travelled all over the world and have spent many years of my life studying the history of the world and can’t recall any instance of a surviving civilization without an intact family structure—mother, father, and children.
I fully understand that the march towards modernity waits for no one. In communications, we went from teletype to telephones; from newspapers to radio; from radio to TV; from TV to mobile devices.
Last Updated on Thursday, 16 May 2013 10:01
Category: Opinion Written by CNN
President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder at the 32nd annual National Peace Officers Memorial Service, May 15, 2013, on Capitol Hill in Washington, honoring law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
by Ruben Navarrette
(CNN) -- "Government should be transparent. Transparency promotes accountability and provides information for citizens about what their Government is doing. ... My Administration will take appropriate action, consistent with law and policy, to disclose information rapidly in forms that the public can readily find and use." -- President Barack Obama, memo to heads of executive departments and agencies, 2009
Last Updated on Thursday, 16 May 2013 05:00
Category: Opinion Written by Courier Newsroom
by Fred Logan
We are all very sad to hear that the August Wilson Center is in deep financial trouble and may close its doors. But don’t let anyone try to tell you that the local Black community is to blame for AWC’s plight. The May 11, 2013 Post-Gazette reported that AWC has a multi-million dollar debt and is laying off its staff.
Some fools are bound to argue what they always do: They will also charge that the Black community does this and that with its money but doesn't support black institutions as much as it should. Even if this is true in general, we still, in this case, are not the blame for AWC.
The local Black community at large never pledged or signed an oath that it would take on ACW’s financial burden. It was never polled on support for AWC.
On a very bright, but cold and windy weekday morning several years back, I was at the AWC’s groundbreaking with Aisha White. We stood there trembling in the cold under a great big white tent. Bill Robinson, Dan Onorato, and several other elected officials were on the platform to speak. At the time, Neil Barclay was AWC’s CEO. He said the center had raised $27 million of its $38 million total costs. And it looked to raise most of the $11 million shortfall in the Black community. That was my first time hearing that.
Aisha White stays up on what’s going on around town. So, I asked her if she had heard that before. She said, no she had not. I asked her if she thought AWC could raise the money in the local Black community and she said she doubted it very much. I agreed with her 100 %. A lot of Black people I have talked with since then were also very doubtful. Time has proven us correct.
Richard Adams told me several weeks ago that he was surprised and impressed to hear recently that Black people in Allegheny County have the combined annual income of some $1 billion.
That is a lot of money. But what are the total annual living expenses for Black people in the county? Subtract the basic living expenses, food, shelter, clothing, transportation, education, etc. from that $1 B and what is left, if anything, is the Black “discretionary” money for things like AWC.
A very important financial question to ask here is this. If the Black community had pledged to underwrite the center, did AWC have the staff wherewithal to collect the money? It would be a major labor-intensive task to collect that money which would come in in dribbles from local Black people. We can argue abstractly on what the Black community should do. But the official government statistics have said that Black people in the greater Pittsburgh area are the most poverty stricken Black people in the top 40 US metropolitan regions. That says concretely what we can do.
Fund raising is organization as much as it is commitment. The African American church assemblies its congregation weekly and collects offerings from its members who need what the church provides. It is very difficult to image a more efficient revenue raising mechanism.
In contrast, the local Black community loved the Harambee II Black Arts Festival during the festival’s heydays some 20 years ago, and would have given the festival financial support. But the Harambee organization was over burdened with programming, logistics, etc., and did not have the organization to collect individual contributions. One year, Harambee made donation envelops and forgot to put a return address on them. The late Beverly Lovelace was a staunch Harambee patron. On her own, she sent a donation to Harambee each year during its heydays. I ran into her once and she laughed and told the truth. She said she know you all need the money but are too stretched out to solicit it.
That was Harambee.
Carl Redwood, Dessie Bey, Vernell Lille, Connie Bailey, Vickie Bey, Sam Black, Augustus “Gus” Brown and some other sophisticated Black arts patrons have pointed out to me a variety of important issues to ask about AWC. I will only ask one of these non-financial questions.
I knew August Wilson only well enough to speak when we met. I saw five or six of his plays and read some of his essays on art. I saw his 1989 lecture at the Harambee II Black Arts Festival and a year or so later heard him speak at the Hazlet Theater on the Northside. Based on this and from talking with people who knew August much better than I did, for example Rob Penny, I ask, would August himself preferred, and would the Center be more politically and culturally situated and more financially solvent, if it was located on Centre Avenue in August’s beloved Hill District and not on Liberty Avenue in downtown Pittsburgh?
Someone is bound to say the question is based on hindsight. Yes, that’s true, but it is still a valid question to ask.
Since the steel mills left town decades ago, countless multimillion dollar projects have gone belly up, Lloyd and Taylor’s, ad infinitum. In each case, we are told the blame was the local market, a recession, mismanagement or some other systemic economic factor. What you have never heard argued and what you will never hear argued, by Black or White folks, is that the local White community at large is the blame for any of these White led failures because the White community did not support them.
In the face of this, fools will still try to blame the Black community for every Black led project that comes along and fails. We are morally, politically, and culturally obligated to tell them they are wrong, not that this will convince all of them, and defool each and every damn fool.
Your comments are welcome.
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Last Updated on Thursday, 16 May 2013 19:46
Category: Opinion Written by Louis 'Hop' Kendrick
LOUIS 'HOP' KENDRICK
A couple of weeks ago I wrote a column recognizing those Black people, who served in the role of judges at every level. Several people reminded me that I had omitted two Black females and both have served in Wilkinsburg. The first Black magistrate elected in Wilkinsburg was Judge Alberta Thompson and she served until she decided to retire. The second is the incumbent magistrate, Judge Kim Hoots, who currently is serving her second term in office.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 May 2013 15:20
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