Yes it’s that time of year again and the Steelers banners are flying; flags on the cars and pickup trucks; black and gold leather jackets; all sizes of expensive official league jerseys; taverns, cafes, restaurants, hotels, homes all having parties. There have been huge rallies where celebrities and all politicians participate.
It becomes almost the equal of being in New Orleans. Yes happy days are here again everywhere you go and people are in a festive mood. In neighborhoods where crime and unemployment statistics are dismal there is Steelers mania.
The news media saturates readers, watchers and listeners day and night about the possibility of going to the Super Bowl. I read of a church having a service where they prayed for the Steelers to be victorious, but suppose another church prayed for the other team, does God take sides in a football game?
Yes, “Pittsburgh is going to the Super Bowl” is the number one song across the county. Let’s focus now on the Super Distraction and the detrimental effect it has on our communities. On Dr. King’s Day, the Homer S. Brown Law Association held a program and in years gone by there would have been numbers of politicians–Black, White, Democrat and Republicans–but this year only two elected officials took time to attend.
I continue to remind us that they don’t respect us. Our religious institution’s effectiveness has been reduced because of their 501C 3 status soliciting the cash. Our children still leave school in record numbers and there is no sense of urgency or enthusiasm like we have for the black and gold. There have been a record number of studies done about the rebuilding of Homewood, but no action and once again we just sit around not upset or angry about a lack of positive movement, but there are a dozen football parties going on. A brand new hotel just opened on the Hill and I have yet to see any verification that Blacks had any real or significant input. The Hill District super market will soon be awarded to a contractor; since we did not build the hotel, will Blacks build the new market? The unemployment of Black men in the Pittsburgh area is at an all time high, and so is the incarceration rate; there is a correlation. For a number of years there have been those of us who have advocated a Marshall Plan, which would address the potential of Black contractors to grow and provide these men with jail records an opportunity to become responsible citizens, instead of perpetual punishment.
However none of these issues will be resolved as long as we allow ourselves to become so distracted that we fail to focus our energy on positive solutions.
Party time must take a back seat.
The Kingsley Association still seeks your support.
(Louis “Hop” Kendrick is a weekly contributor to the Forum Page.)