The time is now that we begin to understand how distractions inhibit our growth in numerous aspects of our lives.
What are some of the distractions?

Sports are major, there are those of us who are consumed with football, namely the Steelers; untold sums of money are spent on jerseys, leather jackets, parties, etc. There is a far greater interest directed toward football than most every other aspect of our lives.


An overwhelming number of churchgoers miss or leave church early to see the kick-off. Too many of us demonstrate more interest in the possibility of the Super Bowl than we do open house in our children’s school. I recall a male [not man] who bragged about his 3-year-old son was wearing a $200 leather Steeler jacket, but admitted that the same youngster did not have a life insurance policy.

We spend tremendous sums of money on buses, traveling to football games in Cleveland, Cincinnati, Buffalo, N.Y., Baltimore, and other places, but fail to have a concern about supporting the numbers of local organizations that need financial support to help resurrect our communities.

Another distraction is the concern about national politics at the expense of local politics. There is an overwhelming lack of understanding that local politics play a tremendous role in our everyday lives. Too frequently individuals profess they only vote in presidential elections and have no concern about who is running locally. I do not totally blame them, but I do hold accountable those men and women who have sacrificed, gone to college, obtained degrees, are gainfully employed, and in theory have the potential to epitomize genuine Black leadership. Too many of them have become distracted by self-aggrandizement. They completely fail to utilize their skills and resources to elevate their presence throughout Alle­gheny County by ensuring that Black men and women are in position to be running for political offices across the board. If they put as much emphasis on involvement in the local politics as they do Greek Alphabets, Blacks here might duplicate what Blacks are doing across the nation, electing district attorneys, mayors, congressional representatives, governors and lt. governors. Western Pennsylvania might even elect a Black state senator.

One distraction, which is troubling but not new, and that almost disappear at one time, is the division between us as a people. If you can recollect during the heights of the Civil Rights Movement Blacks echoed “WE ARE BLACK AND WE ARE PROUD.” Now, however, we more often refer ourselves as the educated, uneducated, inner city, suburbanite, gainfully employed or section eight. A number of us have become 2012 versions of George Jefferson. Do you know someone who fits this description? Of course you do.

Kingsley needs your financial aid.

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

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