For the last four or five weeks I have been gathering information that relates to alleged programs that in theory are designed to ensure that Blacks and women will share in the multimillion contracts being awarded almost daily. It is apparent that some governmental bodies and private corporations don’t care what the laws state when it comes to affording Blacks and women their fair share. In the next three weeks this column will reveal that the old saying, “statistics don’t LIE, but statisticians do,” is more relevant than ever.
Two contractors that I confronted looked me directly in my eye and said no one has ever complained, and that answer is why this week’s column is being written.
We have become a race of mutes throughout Allegheny County and by our silence we have become major contributors to our accelerated demise on the issues of professional goods and services and building contracts. It is imperative that we regain our voices, because by our silence we are saying to those who have proven that they don’t care about us that everything is all right.
Have we lost the will to stand up and speak out? Do we no longer care? Are we afraid? If so, what of? Where are the Black voices of opposition to G-20? We continue to be mute about the disgraceful fact that the last three mayors of Pittsburgh failed to appoint one Black person to their cabinet.
Do you remember when we bragged about the ministers who were in the forefront of all activities that would elevate Blacks, because they would simply state my congregation pays us that’s who we answer to? Yes, there were ministers of all faiths—Black and White—and they all stood tall and defiant, singing that old song, “Ain’t nobody going to turn us around.”
Civil rights organizations were marching, picketing, boycotting, holding Black Tuesdays, chanting, “I ain’t going to take it no more.”
Can you remember that there were Black politicians with genuine power who mobilized Black voters and had access to power? There was Dock Fielder, Bubbie Hairston, Zach Winston, Jake Williams and Jim Bulls. All are deceased or retired now.
I asked the above questions with great regularity and the overwhelming answer is generally integration. It is my personal conviction that assimilation and 50I(C3)s are the overwhelming factors that have silenced the voices that had been crying out against injustices.
You hear Blacks braggingly state, “I am one of the few Blacks in my neighborhood,” “My children are the only Blacks in their school.” This is false assimilation.
In the days of physical slavery the slaves were terrorized by the threat of being sold, hung, beaten or worse. The new form of slavery where upon after soliciting grants those who wrote the grants would contend that the money is for the staff and programs, but just look at the money the executives are paid. If the source of money is challenged you may have to stop driving the Lexus, Mercedes, Land Rover, home to the most affluent neighborhoods, or the visits to Martha Vineyard and other places. A majority of the houses of God now have 501(C3)s but always keep in mind I always say, “If the shoe fits…”
Judge Joe Williams was forced to wait two years for confirmation. Attorney Marmo waited three months and not one voice cried out.
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(Louis “Hop” Kendrick is a weekly contributor to the Forum Page.)