AFRICANGLOBE – I’ve gotten relatively few responses on the piece linked below. I would have thought people would have been falling all over one another to defend our cultural heritage, but I guess many Black people are not up to fighting for their culture. We only tend to REACT when something goes desperately wrong, instead of being PROACTIVE in an attempt to ensure that life and justice works in our favor. That explains a lot about our position in society, and why our children have to go to Google (if they have access to a computer) or the public library to DIG for self-esteem. We’ve got to do better than this. If we don’t, within a few years Black people will only be a memory in Leimert Park and many other Black communities across this nation. We’ll be dispersed, filtered into, and hopefully tolerated, within the communities of others, and without one scintilla of political clout.
That’s why Los Angeles’ Leimert Park and it’s environs is much more than just a neighborhood; it’s also a cultural and political stronghold that’s worth fighting for. Without it, the Black culture and our political clout will be effectively erased in the city of Los Angeles – and that’s exactly what many forward-thinking social manipulators have in mind. You see, the demographics are changing, so the powers that be are out to dilute the impact of as many minority voters as possible. So this issue is much more important than sharing recipes online, folks. This is probably the most important issue that the Black community has ever faced in this city.
Many of the problems that the Black community is facing across this country is a direct result of our tendency to be reactive rather than proactive. Take Ferguson, Mo, for example. The Black community could have avoided the problems they had in that city by simply voting. The Black population in Ferguson is 67%, yet only 7% turned out to vote. As a result, the police department is 94% White. In the last election they corrected that problem with record Black voter turnout, but it was a little too late for Michael Brown. So let us learn from the Ferguson experience and be PROACTIVE in our response to what’s taking place in Leimert Park, because much like in the case of Michael Brown, it’s going to be much too late to try to demonstrate AFTER the fact. So NOW is the time to get up-in-arms.
If we fail to address this issue, Black people are going to be run out of the area, the park itself is going to be bulldozed, and our young people are going to be subjected to being stopped-and-frisked for just coming into the area. The social manipulators will have to take those steps just to make rich White folks feel safe enough to visit their new up-scale art galleries.
Tatia Dokes of Denver said:
“We are facing this same issue in my neighborhood. The last historically Black neighborhoods in Denver. We have gentrification meetings and how to combat it every month with less than 5 Black folks there and the rest are white folks wanting to “understand.” Then when I’m walking my dog all I hear is the few Black folks left complaining about the skyrocketing rent, none of their friends live in the neighborhood anymore and all the white folks. I just want to SCREAM! BUT YOU DON’T DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT! I go to these meetings…voice my opinions…looked at like I’m militant and aggressive but I don’t care…I will not be driven out without a fight! We just had an election for city counsel members. 20,000 ballots for our district were sent out and only 5000 voted and I bet it was mostly white folks! I’m so tired…so so tired!”
So brothers and sisters, if we don’t organize and get the attention of the politicians – who were elected to protect our interest in the first place – we’re going be erased – no history, no community to call our own, and no political clout. Actually, our politicians are being shortsighted as well, because once the area is gentrified they’re going to be voted out of office as well. So again, if we don’t act NOW, they’re going to turn us into a “community” of nomads and cultural refugees. Remember where you heard it first.
Please view the link below for a suggested plan of action.
By: Eric L. Wattree