Watch the clip from the TV One special with Judge Mathis entitled "Mean Streets". In fact go and watch the entire episode that is composed of 7 clips on YouTube. After you watch all of them take a step back and digest the words and then the messages that you have heard.
This is what I did.
As I listened to this piece I was stunned by several points:
- In Oakland as well as Newark the "Mission Accomplished" sign in the "American Political Domain" has been posted on every light post around the city. Despite this the people on the street are still grieving about the basic painful facts about their city which those who are now in power ascended into power with the promises of a fix.
- In response to the questions of their political leadership nearly all who were suffering within the malaise where willing to grant this leadership "more time" for a fix. They liked the mayors personally. They liked each of their plans. Yet no one bothered to put a proportionality filter upon these solutions. It is one thing to "like" a solution set. It is yet another to make measure of the problem and confirm that these solutions are to scale. Regardless of the effective results that are had - these people are going to "keep trying"
- "Corporate Abandonment". Never heard of the concept before. It makes the case that after the community supported the corporations for so long they took off in pursuit of more profitable arenas. In addition others mentioned that the existing corporations that remain have the obligation to open up their corporate coffers and fund much of the rehabilitation of the city (in that case Newark). For some reason these same people are blind to the part that they played in the relationship. It comes as no surprise to me that these among the progressive activist community saw their enemies and it was indeed the corporate "consumers of labor". They protested against the exploitation in pay, the work rules and environmental damage, I am sure. Now that the adversary has departed for a place where they are not the bad guy - those who stood against them while they were present accuse them of "corporate abandonment"?
- In listening to Mark Curry I was impressed that he "got" the problems. It was listening to his solutions that were problematic. What good is it for young people to know these who struggled against the "SYSTEM" in Oakland? Does Curry expect them to stand against Mayor Ron Dellums today? Of course not. Curry and others have little clue in how to operate in a time and place when "They now run things" and are "all alone by themselves, required to field a set of solutions that work for the people".
- WHO are the "THEY" that don't want to educate Black kids? Possibly the people who are running the school systems - just as the people voted them into place?
- WHO are the "THEY" that cut school lunches? Does the community have any particular responsibility to feed their children per their need?