This was a week that I had no idea what I would write about. However, I was unfortunate to allow myself to engage in a conversation with several colored males that took a very negative direction.


The original discussion had to do with the belief that President Obama would have a difficult reelection, but he will be victorious. I happened to suggest to them that maybe they were placing too much emphasis on national elections and ignoring the local elections, and I elaborated on the fact that there was an upcoming election for the mayor of Pittsburgh. The discussion took on a totally new direction, because the original conversation was about the reelection of a Black man. However, this group of colored males began to list a number of possible candidates for mayor and they included Pittsburgh Councilman Peduto, Pittsburgh City Controller Michael Lamb, current Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato, Pennsylvania Auditor General Jack Wagner. The common denominator was they were all Democrats and White males.

I asked the question what about a man or woman that may not have the slavery mentality that you have, but looks like you, and they went ballistic. I smiled, but not from humor, but because I knew I had stung them.

Now that I put my verbal boxing gloves on it was a mismatch, but most of these kinds of conversations generally are. I asked them the same question I asked the Black community in 2005 when I ran for mayor of Pittsburgh. “How can the Black community in this city that make up almost 30 percent of the population fail to run a Black candidate? How can you sleep, how do you explain it to your children, how do you look in the mirror and not disrespect the person you see?”

The usual answers are a Black candidate can’t raise any money. How do you know, have you ever tried? Or they can’t secure the endorsement, then run without it. A Black person has no chance of winning, but you automatically lose if you fail to run. After an ongoing discussion for another 10 minutes it became increasingly apparent to me that they simply did not understand, and at the conclusion one summed up the flawed attitude of too many people, by saying, “It takes nerve to run.” That’s not true, it takes conviction.

Please remember Kingsley Association.

(Louis “Hop” Kendrick is a weekly contributor to the Forum Page.)

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