In 2003 a mock funeral service was held at Freedom Corner and a casket that represented the established fact that we as Black voters would no longer allow the Democratic Party to totally disrespect that most loyal-to-a-fault bloc of voters. Here we are in the year of 2012 and it is a proven fact that the funeral in 2003 was truly a mockery because the party has less respect for Black voters than ever before. As the mayor’s race moves into high gear I will highlight the many acts of total disrespect.
Do you recall that people stood in line to become a committee person and dared not dream of being a chairperson? They were positions of alleged influence, but in 2012 do you know who your committee person or ward chairperson is? If you do, what do they do? Do you consider yourself an informed voter or just a voter who focuses on the presidential race and fails to understand the importance of local elections?
The Western Pa. Black Political Assembly conducted the mock funeral and the minister was the still active Rev. Thomas Smith. The purpose of WPBPA is to build grassroots political power that is totally independent of the existing political parties and is pro Black and affirms the value of Black life. Across this nation in places where Blacks came to positions of power they did it by building independent organizations. Mayor Barry in Washington, D.C.; Mayor Harold Washington in Chicago and the very successful campaigns for president by Jesse Jackson. In Jackson’s second campaign he won 13 states and received 88 percent of all Black votes that were cast.
The latest census shows that the Black population in Pittsburgh is 26 percent and if organized can become a dominating political force that has to be recognized and respected. Those who allegedly speak for us now serve not Blacks, but an elected official or a union and have an overwhelming desire to be perceived as H.N.I.C. Too much remains the same.
Many are turned off by politics as they see it, and that is why they should become involved with the WPBPA and become an integral part of decisions that affect your lives. Too frequently we state politics as being rotten, dirty, liars, etc. and that may be totally accurate, but it is an established fact that politicians are involved in every step of our lives from birth to death.
In the year 2003 we made some critical mistakes at the funeral. We did not embalm apathy nor did we bury it deep enough and we definitely allowed ourselves to be lulled to sleep, and like a vampire apathy resurfaced and is back in our communities alive and well.
There are some misinformed individuals who would ask, “Are those people trying to overthrow the government?” The answer is a resounding no, just apathy, complacency and sometimes ignorance. Please remember Kingsley Association needs your financial assistance.
(Louis “Hop” Kendrick is a weekly contributor to the Forum page.)