Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Our Relationship with Black Politicians

As I was perusing Facebook today, I came across a post about my city. Our Mayor, Michael Coleman, announced yesterday that Columbus is being honored as one of the most intelligent cities in the world and that there will be a free public celebration with community leaders... Ok, I was excited. How great that the city that I live in is being honored like that, right? Right?

 Clearly, I need to drink more haterade, so that I can be on the same level as other Facebookers. I mean, you should SEE some of the comments that were left on this announcement. It was so bad that I felt the need to comment on these people (obviously). There were the run of the mill "Congrats" which I guess I expected. Then there were the "April Fools" comments since it was posted on April 1. As I scrolled down, though, my heart began to sink and my anger began to rise. Who is shocked by that? No one? Ok, moving on.

I will quote the comments...

"it sure is april fools...if we were that intelligent we wouldn't keep electing this demonrat moron."

To be expected also... I think. I have never really grasped the reasoning behind liking a page on Facebook of someone you dislike, only to leave hate filled messages when they post something. Who has time for that? And really, why would you want to do that? Next one:

"Intelligent only because we have OSU, CCAD, CSCC, Franklin, ITT, DeVry in close proximity. However, they get educated and LEAVE because there's nothing here. Especially for the film, music, art community."

Also, to be expected... though this comment is incorrect. There are tons of arts and music to be had and made in Columbus. There are TONS of people who come here for school who fall in love with the city and never leave (Lefty, for example). And, I have to say, unlike Cleveland and Cincinnati and other bigger cities in Ohio, Columbus is booming with business, jobs, education and family friendly venues. I feel like I always have to defend where I grew up to people who have never been here, but if you live in Columbus and think it has nothing to offer my one question would be: Why don't you move? Be a part of the educated masses that "LEAVE because there's nothing here." Wouldn't we all be better off? I mean, you wouldn't have to take time out of your oh so busy day to leave ridiculous comments on the Mayor's Facebook page. Comments that 1 - probably won't hurt his feelings and 2 - he is NOT likely to read, since he is, you know, busy running the city.

Here is a funny one:

"Oh dear, I clearly haven't been factored into the intelligence measure." I chuckled when I read that!

And here is the kicker:

"The poor condition of Black African Americans in Columbus has a direct correlation to your leadership. There are still artificial barriers intentionally designed that deny Blacks access to city, county and state programs that dole our our tax dollars. City Council just gave $500,000 to TechColumbus, but did anyone ask to see their track record of funding Black African Americans? Black Entrepreneurs must leave Columbus and Ohio to achieve any success due to racist policies that Black Faces in High Places help to maintain. That's a dam shame!"

Ok, how do I say this without offending people? Oh, I don't- here goes: Seriously, what? Michael Coleman is NOT in charge of all Black people in Columbus, simply because he is Black. This guy wants to see the track record of funding for Black people--  I want to see the number of Black people who actually applied for funding and what they wanted funding for. Racist policies? Clearly this man has never lived in Chicago, where nepotism rules the roost; or some places in the South, where racist is overt and dangerous.

I have said this before and I will say it again- Black politicians cannot be looked at like they will/can "save" the Black race. That is ridiculous. Our community has problems, like any other. Those problems were not brought on by one person, so one person cannot solve them. Black or not. President, Mayor, City Counsel member, whomever. Some barriers that block Black people are self built. Having Black people in every part of government/leadership is not going to fix all that ails the Black community. At some point the Black community, or any other community that is having trouble, will have to realize that certain problems need a hands on approach. We cannot continue the attempts to pass the buck to Black politicians to fix "us." And, more importantly, if we have problems, why on Earth would we allow someone else to fix them? Problem solving for an individual starts on a personal level, right? If there is a mess and you want it cleaned up, you pick up a broom and some rags and get to cleaning, right? So, why then are we comfortable handing over the reins to one person to fix a problem that, ultimately, starts at home?

If there is no funding, where are the protests? If there is a history of unfair treatment, where are the marches? If there is an overabundance of violence in our community, where are the calls to the police? The cries for justice? The fight against the hoodlums? The fight against stereotypes? The fight for innocence? The passion for the betterment of our community? Where is it? Are you producing that fight, or waiting for a Black politician to give you the podium? What are you waiting for?



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