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Archive for November, 2008

This blog represents the first in a series of blogs that will attempt to chronicle “what’s wrong & right with the City of Gary, Indiana”. The blog is written with the sole purpose of creating forward thinking dialogue on how to improve, not lambaste, the City that I grew up in.

No, I no longer live there. However, it’s where I was born and raised. My parents raised my family there. Worked and lived there for 30 years. I have a connection there that will and cannot ever be broken. The place has so much to do with who I am today as well as “how I am” as a person.

As I told my wife the other day in a conversation, I believe in laying blame. I know, I know. I’ve been around many a situation in the corporate setting where a “leader” has espoused the type of statement that “placing the blame is useless” when addressing a major issue that needs fixing.

The thing about the topic of Gary that differs from that of say a business setting is that what ails Gary is of a social nature. Yes, business or lack there of, is a major component of what ails Gary. But from a social vantage point, I believe, we first have to solve, or improve, the social environment of Gary before ANY type of viable business structured solution can be brought to the City.

In solving, or improving the social environment, we’ve got to call out those who seek to continue or contribute to the spiraling fall of the city where I was brought into this world.

Yes. Gary is a predominately Black city. I therefore feel that it’s problems are predominantly those of the Black citizens of the city. Essentially, I get the impression that my former neighbors who have decided to stay in Gary and “tough it out”, feel they are powerless at effecting change in Gary. They do vote. They pay their property taxes. They are not the problem. They have aged and contributed to the city and the elected officials there have let them down in return.

Sure, this sounds like the post is going into the direction of, say, a Post-Tribune or a NWI Times editorial written by some outsider person of the White race who, it seems, takes great joy in pointing out the ills of Gary.

However, I am not White. Though I am now an outsider, I still have a connection to that city in which life long friends and neighbors still traverse the mean streets of Chase St, 5th Ave, Grant St., Broadway, Burr St and Taft St., among others.

I understand when a friend who calls me and tells me he just came from Gary, helping his mother purchase a lawn mower and comments on how bad the city looks, or that someone I grew up with just died and how they died, I understand the sorrow in their voices. It’s different then the tone of a editorial written by some White resident who lives in Merrillville or Hobart or Crown Point who harbors a stereotypical mindset towards Blacks due to the history of the existence of Blacks in the Lake County area. Gary in particular.

That tone is one of innuendo and hate filled propaganda. The tone of my friends when they tell me things about the city they still live in, there is a tone of hurt, despair, and love. They dearly wish the place would see better days. The tone of the Post Tribune columnist is one that gives the impression they couldn’t care less if the people in Gary all killed themselves and died a horrible death.

So Fuck Them. (This the only time you will see such an offensive statement in this blog about Gary, I promise)

The emotions that I have on the whole issue of my UNDERSTANDING as to how Gary ultimately arrived where it is today, is fueled by my distaste for those people who essentially have kept a death grip on Gary financially while living outside of it’s boundaries. Those would be the “White Flighters”.

I have purposely, in the recent past, traveled to Gary with my daughters who for the first time were old enough to see Gary and remember it after the visit. I can argue that the place looks nothing like it did when I first took them there when they were very young, that type of thinking is directed towards the neighborhood I grew up in. More importantly, the house I grew up in.

I loved that house. I loved my street. I certainly remember the days, years, that everyone (well most everyone) took pride in how their homes looked. Kept up their quarters. I had a beautiful childhood on 8th and Taney. I would not trade it for any other type of childhood experience. And yes, it was a 100% and viable Black neighborhood!

There are some who think there was no way this was possible in the City of Gary. As far as most Whites in particular are concerned, Gary has been a  S-hole since at least the early 70’s. Well I can attest to the wonderful upbringing I had in the city. I take the good memories with the bad.

So I’m driving down Broadway with wife and girls and showing them our sparkling, dynamic downtown. Yes, the first thing they notice is that all, yes every building is boarded up. I ask them to take a CLOSER LOOK at the boards that were on the store fronts. I asked them to take a close scan of the buildings that were dilapidated. I then asked them to identify one sign that informed anyone as to how to purchase or lease any of those buildings.

THEY COULD NOT FIND ONE! Then I explained something to them that I found out when I returned to Gary years ago at a time that I myself was a business owner in Nashville, Tn. I had an interest in how one would go about purchasing one of those buildings. The thing I found out is that for the most part, they are not for lease or for sale!

Most of those entities who abandoned Gary in the 70’s under the guise of White Flight has retained ownership of the business store fronts they abandoned while relocating their shops and businesses in places like Hobart and Merrillville. They have a vendetta against Black Gary citizens. Yes the Black ones who essentially voted in the nations first Black Mayor of a major city, Richard G. Hatcher.

The way Hatcher ascended to power contributed to the lingering resentment that those former White citizens of Gary have towards Blacks today.  I explained to my girls that Hatcher ascended to the position of Mayor of Gary on the coat tails of the Black Power Movement of the late 60’s. I explain to them that even today, any type of black political figure that was or has been associated with the “Black Power” movement of the civil rights era, is a hated figure in the racist part of the White community and is often identified as examples of racist blacks by modern mainstream media and White politicians the like.

I explained to my girls, there is a deep hatred towards Black citizens of Gary by the suburban White citizens of Lake County Indiana who still own those store fronts on Broadway. Essentially, Blacks stood up to what was then a racist City of Gary government that treated black citizens as second class citizens much like the way Blacks were treated throughout the country at that time.

The big thing was that Blacks in Gary chose to use ideology more in line with Malcolm X then that of Martin Luther King to effect change.

You know. The line Bernie Mac used to use to open his shows on Def Comedy Jam.

Well for now, read this article in the Post-Tribune for an example of one our own (Black Men) who clearly has been taking the citizens of Gary for a ride with their tax dollars…

Glen Park group forgets about ‘that’ $100,000

Like I said. The Post Tribune does a good job at making sure the ills of Gary are on display. I’ll use it to make a point. I promise to dig deeper then the sarcastic tone the journalist who wrote the piece clearly has taken.

(to be continued…)

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This post kicks off the 2008/2009 Gary Indiana Boys and Girls Basketball season. If you’ve found this post and you either live in Gary or are formerly from G.I., please leave a message on your feelings/thoughts on this upcoming basketball season, as well as those types of thoughts on past seasons.

I just find there is a lack of such a place on the net and decided to give this a shot. One thing you can count on; I myself will be posting a weekly statement on my thoughts from afar on the state of G.I. B-Ball.

Please, feel free to chime in with scores, hype, trash talk or just plain thoughts down memory lane…

GO WEST SIDE!

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They are to blame for the mess that we are in today. They gave us this:

And was hell bent on giving us this:

http://www.abcnews.go.com/Nightline/Politics/Story?id=6196407&page=2,

Today, they have the gall to post crap like “Obama supporters and Obama are going to ruin this country” crap.

YOU HAVE RUINED THIS COUNTRY WITH YOUR PAST UNEDUCATED VOTES FOR BUFFOONS!

You have the nerve to state that “most of the new voters voting Democrat should not be voting because they don’t understand the process and could choose someone UNWISELY.

!@##%$^^^&*

(TRANSLATED NICELY, THIS IS WHAT YOU FOOLS DID THE PAST 8 YEARS WHEN YOU VOTED FOR DUPYA!)

I will not rest and let you fools get away with what you did. Number one, GOP/Conservative/Red State/Republican supporters have lost all credibility. Every time you try to spout some type of ill conceived notion that “see that, see this” is an example of Obama going against his word, you need to remember that NO ONE CARES WHAT YOU TRAITORS TO OUR DEMOCRACY THINKS.

Your attempts to destroy our democracy is not going unnoticed, Nor are will your attempts to further harm it go unchallenged.

This is precisely why Obama chose Rahm as his Chief of Staff. He is equipping his staff with “people who carry big sticks”. Obama is smart enough to know what the right is going to bring.

BRING IT…

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Everyone knows that Fox News is the talking head of the GOP. It’s only fitting to highlight a report of Sarah Palin’s ineptitude that reinforces what I believe a majority of Americans came to believe prior to the November 4th election. That Sarah Palin was and is unqualified to be anywhere near the White House…

Republicans. You guys don’t get it. The most important factor of the election of Barack Obama  as President was the fact that WE NOW ALL KNOW THAT HE IS AN INTELLIGENT MAN.

Male or female, I believe the next President after Obama should at least meet this criterion. George Bush was and still is an idiot. John McCain could not hold press conferences without a teleprompter or looking down at his written speech throughout the event; and Sarah Palin, well let’s just say that we also know that George W. Bush does not read newspapers, magazines or books. How different can she be from ole Dupya? Not much at all.

Republicans, in the future it’s going to take more then good looks, the ability to put your fingertips together to portray an “executive” posture while speaking (see any video of Rudy Guliani, Sarah Palin or ole foot in her mouth Carly Fiorina) and references to statements that your regular folk just like everyone else, to convince the majority of “regular folk” to vote your butts back into leadership.

The cat’s out of the bag. Dupya, exposed you all for what you really are, self serving liars who don’t give a rats ass about the middle class. You only care about your membership in the upperclass and your fellow upperclass members issues.

Stop ascending stupid, stubborn, angry people to your leadership positions (see Sarah Palin, Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Chaney and Tom Delay) and you might make some inroads in the future.

Ditto heads.

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Could not resist. It’s clear Republican ideology of “leave big businesses alone in the candy store and workers will prosper” has demonstrated that leaving big business alone in the candy store gets them fat with profits/bonuses while workers have to clean up their throw-up from eating too much candy.

Then they get laid off.

If Obama does not follow through with equipping federal agencies with the wherewithal to actually “enforce the regulations we already have in the books that effect essentially every key area of our economy”, then we should be alright.

THIS IS SOMETHING THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION DID NOT DO. IN FACT, IT WENT TO EXTREMES TO MANDATE THEIR APPOINTEES TO INTERNALLY QUASH ANY ATTEMPT AT PROPER ENFORCEMENT OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS TO THE DETRIMENT OF IT’S KEY CONTRIBUTORS, BIG BUSINESS.

If the Obama Administration bows to the special interest (e.g. lobbyist from the pharmaceutical, oil industry and their likes) then Democrats will have to suffer the wrath of the working American People!

I believe that once the lobbyist are told to back off and are shown that the White House is closed for business (of their sorts) , he’ll be able to affect REAL CHANGE that WE will begin to see by the end of his first term.

This means lights out for the GOP. No business of making deals with lobbyist as usual. And beware. There is another election coming in two years. Don’t want to risk losing more Senate seats. Now do you?

You better behave…

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WE have come together and affected change upon America and the world. Today, is the start of a new tomorrow for this great country. I look forward to giving it my all to help make this country better.

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Took today off. Thought I’d write and just record my thoughts about this historic day. Will update as the day goes by…

Watched some CNN video of what Kenyans and Egyptians thought about the prospect of an Obama Presidency. It sent chills down my spine. It dawned on me that Obama has a direct connection to people in Africa and white people, but not really black Americans.

I don’t have a problem with this. i don’t think Obama owes anyone anything, But as a country, the US owes Africa plenty. I hope Obama finds a way to effect REAL CHANGE in that continent during his Presidency (IF he wins). One things for sure, McCain, a direct descendent from the reasons the US owes Africa (it’s chronicled how his family was VERY involved in the slave trade), won’t do a damn thing for that continent. In fact, I believe he will do less then Dupya did for the continent of Africa if he’s elected.

The reason I took today off was because after viewing the CNN video interviews of Africans, I got a sense of excitement that came over me. Maybe my people here will take to doing better among themeselves with a black man now President.

I foresee some black males rejecting this type of conversation. But I see quite a bit of them embracing it.  The statement “now is the time for us to get our selves together” popped up in my mind. Why not use Obama’s Presidency myself to motivate me into improving some of the areas in my own life that I know need improving?

I have decided to embrace this concept. It’s probably a good reason that I even wrote this blog. I wanted to record it. If don’t follow through with the improvements, I’ve got this blog to go back to and call myself out.

I know, I know. Those of you who are white (and even black/other) are probably wondering why I would need an occurance of an Obama Presidency to effect such a change. For me to embrace such a change.

I have long been the type that believed that i would hold up my end of the bargain when it came to carrying on the struggle for equality for black people in America. While I believe I have done a pretty good job at that, I certainly see an opportunity to further advance such a cause with the onset of a Black man becoming President and my becoming the best that I can be at being a hsuband, a dad, a co-worker and a friend.

Like other cliche statements, I too never thought I would see this day. I’m only 40. if you had asked me the probability of Obama becoming President a year ago, I would have said NO WAY. I pride myself in being a realist. Though it was clear the brotha had what it took to make it happen, I just never thought I’d see the day that whites in mass numbers would be swayed to vote for a black guy for the President of the United States of America. AND WITH A NAME LIKE BARACK OBAMA AT THAT! This country never seems to amaze. That’s the beauty of it and how great it is!

This goes to show you how much George Bush and the Republicans messed up the past 8 years. They got in there and acted plum fools. Essentially caused significant damage to a Republican Machine that had been, up to now, a well oiled machine in using fear tactics and scapegoat rhetoric as a key weapon in gaining power and persuation among the “white working class electorate”. THEY WERE LIKE KIDS IN A CANDY STORE WITHOUT REGULATION. Their tummy aches will be on display after today (I hope!)

Just got a response from a guy commenting on my post predicting an 8 point Obama victory. He says that “ofcourse I’m voting for the black guy”. I guess he’s right. But the story of this election is not that blacks voted for the black candidate in record numbers (that was a no brainer). It’s that WHITES voted for a black candidate in record numbers.

Just what does this mean? There will be plenty written on this in the future that will provide a clear understanding of this phenomenal occurrence. Maybe it had all to do with Bush and the Republican’s performance these past 8 years.

No matter how you spin it, you guys F’d Up!

Update: 1pm

Some reports via CNN say that a precinct in Wake County NC had some problems. Didn’t say where. Said the ballots were wet and would not go in the scanner. Now how did the ballots get wet? So what it’s raining. I bet you these ballots are the only ones that got wet and that they belong to a South East Raleigh precinct.

Geesh.

Essentially, the election coverage via the internet sucks this early in the game. (My opinion). However, I am finding that the BBC coverage and CNN International coverage is very good. it’s refereshing to see the world take on our election.

Fox News had these slugs on this morning who were just lambasting Obama. I’m curious as to how their ratings have been lately.

O.k., O.k.. It appears the reason the ballots were wet is from the fact that voters themselves are wet from standind in line outside in the rain. The water from their hands and sleeves are more then likely getting the ballots wet causing the problems and not any “funny business”.

I stand corrected… Maybe I am a little paranoid. O.K., After 2000, I way PARNANOID!

It was interesting to see a report out of Virginina that the head of a Library over slept causing the polls open late. The polls at that site should be extended open the exact amount of time the “head librarian” was late to the polling place.

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Somewhere Harold Washington is smiling. I was young lad when Washington won Mayor of Chicago. I was old enough to understand just what a significant achievement it was for a black man in the city of Chicago to achieve such a feat. The man behind that plan, David Axelrod, did his thing again. Fact of the matter is, Harold Washington was on his way to becoming a fine Mayor of Chicago prior to his untimely death.

Update: 7pm

Had to step away and be a normal person/dad/husband and do some things. Well for the most part, it seems, overall, that things have gone O.K. My daughter is a vollunteer at a local polling place and she text me on her break saying that things had gone pretty smooth so far.

I see FoxNews is up to its old tricks…

This is certainly a desparate attempt to garner some type of attention. Essentially, since the GOP is not the toast of the politics atmosphere today, Fox News has got to do something to show it’s a legitimate news organization. This is not it. (As the interview with the poll manager in the Youtube video demonstrates above)

Now it’s “prime time” and the games really begin. Time to fire up streaming broadcasts of all of the major news sources (to include BBC and Asia Times.com)

What is all of this nonsense about “minority rule” and “blacks taking over”? These types of comments only show just how much preoccupied some white people are with race. A President is a leader of the People. ALL PEOPLE. Not just White people, but every single citizen of this country.

This has been the problem in the past. In fact, I believe that alot of White voters who are voting for Obama don’t have a problem doing so because they feel that Republican Leadership has not been looking out for all people, but just “rich people”.

This is the story of this election. Not the fact that Obama is black, but the fact that whites voting for Obama in mass is a statement that they too had had enough of tax breaks for the well to do. It’s really time for the common man to make some inroads on living a decent life IN THE GREATEST PLACE IN THE WORLD.

Gotta quote Don King, “Only in America. Only in America.”

7:24pm: Fox jut called Kentucky for McCain. We’ll see if that comes to fruition (wouldn’t be a surprise though) ABC shows that McCain has an 8 point lead in Florida and a 7 point lead in Virginia 9with less than 2% of votes counted)

It switched just as quick as that. ABC now shows Obama with a 48% to 34% lead in Florida. I know I can’t do this all night…

Text messages being sent to black voters telling them that they can vote Nov 5th. Facebook messages as well. The tricks of new millenium racial politics…

11:30pm:

OBAMA WINS!

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