The demonstrators came first from as far away as London, England, and they came for a multitude of reasons. There were those who slept in tents, parks and hotels with their children. Some came with the idea of a peaceful demonstration, others came with the expectation of being disruptive and still others just came with their children primarily to brag at cocktails that “we were at the march.”
G-20 came to Pittsburgh led by the most powerful man in the free world, President Obama. The principle players all went to Phipps Conservatory. They admired it and sang its praises, and it is deserving. They spent some time in the Convention Center, but the average resident had no concept of what was being discussed.
A question most frequently asked was what is G-20?
Thousands of police, national guardsmen and security companies, at a cost of millions of dollars, were visible everywhere, but now they are gone. The smell of tear gas and the voices of the marchers are gone. The news media from around the world were present, but now they also are gone, but we are still here. The question that I am asking is what has changed for us?
An honest answer is nothing. In fact, everything goes back to normal.
Homeless people were moved, but they are back. The alleys were clean, but they are dirty again. A sign covered the Hilton Hotel’s lack of remodeling, but it will be coming down. There is still no supermarket in the Hill District and no business district. In fact, I can’t recall seeing any Blacks working on the New Granada.
A section of East Liberty now renamed East Side is growing with leaps and bounds, but across the tracks toward Larimer it looks like a tornado has hit. Homewood, where once we had difficulty buying a home has gone downhill to the point that many are just trying to escape. The Black unemployment rate is extremely high, inability of Blacks to get contracts is criminal and in the near future there will be a court action taken.
In some situations much has changed, but much remains the same and positive permanent changes will never occur until we—you and I—make it change.
The Kingsley Association still needs your financial support.
(Louis “Hop” Kendrick is a weekly contributor to the Forum Page.)