LOUIS ‘HOP’ KENDRICK
Too many Black, White, males and females present a general response when an act of criminality occurs, “call the police,” the men in BLUE. It is the responsibility of the police to solve a crime but I have spoken and written for a number of years that men in BLUE are not the preventers; the preventers are those politicians who we have given our votes to for a number of years.
We live in a time frame that GREENESS is spoken in terms of untold millions of dollars being proposed to be spent by Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and the Mayor elect of Pittsburgh Bill Peduto. These two politicians constantly have meetings and press conferences where they stress the importance of GREENESS on rooftops, buildings, old mill sites in Hazelwood, and Alcosan. I am not opposed to GREENESS, but I am greatly disturbed that both of these politicians fail to address the multitude of problems of BLACKNESS with the same fervor they champion GREENESS.
I constantly speak and write that poverty is the driving factor that threatens to devour the Black communities. How? There is no great concern about methods of eradicating crime, single parents, failing schools, incarceration at a record rate, difficulties if not impossibilities of establishing businesses, inability to secure loans, and the destabilization of homes. Yes GREENESS definitely takes precedence over BLACKNESS. When will the Democratic Party ensure that Blacks share in construction and goods and service contracts that will be focusing on BLACKNESS?
There was a time that I served in the capacity of Director of Allegheny County MBE /DBE /WBE, and I was privileged to witness politicians with principle and make positive change that enhanced the growth of Black persons. I have frequently highlighted some issues that took place when Larry Dunn was head commissioner and inadvertently gave some persons the impression that Bob Cramner was not involved and nothing could be farther from the truth. Bob Cramner was a stand up guy and out front on a multitude of issues that had a positive influence on Blackness. He was a resident of Brentwood when the Brentwood Police were totally out of control, Johnny Gammage had been killed and Bob Cramner could have taken a no comment approach, but he did not. In fact he stood up and challenged them at great personal risk. Bob Cramner as an Allegheny County Commissioner was the driving force to secure for a Black man, Craig Edwards, a former Pittsburgh Police Commander a position that no Black person had ever held, Superintendent of Allegheny County Police Department.
In this current year of 2013 Allegheny County Police are comprised of 200 officers and only five are Black. Sixteen years ago the Republican commissioners appointed a Black to be in charge.
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(Louis “Hop” Kendrick is a weekly contributor to the Forum page.)
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