LOUIS ‘HOP’ KENDRICK
The daily news, print, radio and television constantly saturate the public with negative stories about Black people, generally youth. These stories are eye and ear catching, because they usually are about drugs, robberies, guns, burglaries, shootings and even murder.
I watch and listen intently, often with a deep sense of anger, frustration and even embarrassment on occasion. I often pray and ask God to help us. I frequently reflect on that period of time Blacks worked, fought and challenged the bigoted system. We did not ask them to open the doors of opportunity, but to just unlock them and we would get in by ourselves. Once we entered the doors millions of Black people entered and availed themselves of those opportunities that could possibly lead to the American Dream.
How often have you heard the expression, “You know we can’t do what they do and get away with it?”
This column is the result of three stories that I read in the newspaper Feb. 21. All three of the stories were extremely distressing to me, because it is my absolute conviction that when Blacks advance they have a special obligation to do their utmost not to stumble and fall. Two stories were front page 1. Former Pittsburgh Police Chief Nate Harper, because of an alleged criminal investigation was forced to resign. Harper was the third Black police chief and most likely the last.
The second story was about Former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. who was forced to resign from the U.S. Congress, because of the misuse of $750,000 of campaign money.
The third story was about the Former mayor of New Orleans, Ray Nagin, who pleaded guilty to accepting $200,000 of bribes.
I would hope that these three tragic stories would inspire those of us who are afforded the opportunity to make a difference on a larger scale, that it is mandatory that they recognize the overwhelming importance of the bigger picture. On a regular basis there are stories about White corporate leaders, politicians, religious leaders, unions heads, who stole money, cheated on contracts, worked hand in hand with organized crime and worse get arrested, indicted and convicted.
It is with great sadness and disappointment that the need exists for me to writer this column, which is titled “Now we do what they do.”
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(Louis “Hop” Kendrick is a weekly contributor to the Forum Page.)