An overwhelming percentage of people from all races and genders agree that the Jordan Miles situation was an absolute example of excessive police force. This case, as tragic as it is, is a continuation of the absolute power the police possess when it involves life or death.
The newspaper estimated that there were at least 100 people in attendance at the Homewood branch of the Carnegie Library in response to Councilman Rev. Ricky Burgess’ proposed Miles’ Bill. The truth of the matter is that the meeting wound up being a discussion of police abuse of power, which resulted in the death of Jonny Gammage and Jerry Jackson—the miracle driver who allegedly attempted to turn his car around in the Armstrong tunnels, and justice was denied once again.
Every time an incident between the police and a member of the Black community occurs, we take to the airways, streets, etc., but in my estimation, a couple of meetings take place and then we sit down and wait on the next incident.
There are a multitude of issues that affect our communities and we fail to focus on them.
For example, Target is in the process of building a new store in East Liberty in the midst of an unbelievable rate of unemployment and we have not demonstrated that we are ready to say “no more unless we share.”
Another is the North Side Connection Tunnel, which is welfare for the White-dominated unions. Did we ever demand to know if we are involved?
The Pittsburgh Penguins are preparing to build a hotel. Are Blacks included? If not, why not?
Homewood has had more studies done than Iraq and still nothing changes. The problems are a shortage of good homes, staggering unemployment, short money or no money, and an overwhelming number of single parent homes.
A Homewood Marshall Plan (one block at a time) would resolve all these issues and provide people with the ability and opportunity to build and renovate homes. It would enable them to hire a number of people who can’t obtain jobs for a number of reasons. That would solve the good housing shortage and put money in the pockets of those unemployed and help stabilize the single parent households, because fathers would be gainfully employed and able to provide for their families.
We allow corporations to provide us with statistics that state 28 percent of all contracts were awarded to minorities or females. The reality generally is 5 percent minorities, 3 percent females and 20 percent suppliers, which totals 28 percent. Stats are never questioned.
When will we begin to recognize that people in power usually don’t say it? I have taken the position, I don’t care, and they don’t either. If they did, they would speak up and out.
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(Louis “Hop” Kendrick is a weekly contributor to the Forum Page.)