Black History V. Black Future

Black-history4-ndigo-chicagoThis February is strange to me. It is Black History Month and I am trying to figure out where are we. I beg for someone to give a State of the Union Black America speech. I don’t like what I see, we are moving in retrograde, historically backwards. Indeed, there has been major progress for a previous few, The President, the TV Star, the Sports hero and the celebs, but the Black middle class is on a declining sloop. So, this year as I consider Black History Month and the firsts of this and that, the progress, the achievements the success, I am stuck on the now and Black future. I am closely observing the political scene and there are no black panelists questioning the candidates. The candidates have no conversation on urban America. And as I look close at home, the candidates I supported with one agenda item, which was the building of Black Enterprise, I am twirling with uncertainty.

It’s About the Water. . .

Black-history1-ndigo-chicagoWe are watching young kids kill each other. We are watching policemen shoot Blacks kids down in the streets. I am listening to the elderly become afraid in their daily routines from driving on the expressway to visiting certain neighborhoods to drinking faucet water only. Flint, Michigan is real. I have a friend, who visited Detroit about a year ago and he came back sadden, depressed and just down. He said I got to come by and talk to you one Sunday afternoon. Mr. Beck, talked about the bad water and people couldn’t talk a bath with the bad water. He talked about people being taxed for water, that was literally unusable and that they could loose their homes over unpaid water bills.

I was a good listener, I heard him but how could the water be bad, I asked. A couple of days later, a minister friend called to say he had been offered a job in Detroit and he was thinking about moving to pastor a new church. I suggested he didn’t because the water was bad and there was just too much work to do in Chicago, still. A couple of days later he called back and said after talking to his wife, he decided to stay put here in Chicago. The conversation has haunting. I heard it but didn’t get it. The minister, Rev. Williams, left this weekend having worked with Ultra Foods to take the citizens of Flint bottled water. And then the light bulb went off. Mr. Beck, the Detroit visitor, was witnessing the FLINT water disaster, first hand.

It’s about the water. How often have you heard, people say, “they must be putting something in the water.” Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. in 1997 talked about the brown water in Ford Heights. http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1997-04-23/news/9704230121_1_water-project-bottled-water-water-allocation He was determined to get fresh water from Lake Michigan for this poor community, saying that the water wasn’t safe for drinking. The grants he got for the fresh water was one of his greatest congressional achievements.

Flint water

Black-history2-ndigo-chicagoThe Water of Flint is a human tragedy and unbelievable in America in 2016. Flint is America’s new third world country. As the politicians look for cost savings, they poison the water supply to the point that it is not even suitable for the car makers, let alone suitable for human consumption like ordinary water habits, – bathing, cooking and drinking. This sounds like a third world tragedy. And if it were, the President, wealthy philanthropies and celebs with a cause, would rush to the rescue with solutions for fresh water to innovations for clean water to assure its perfect hygiene. Flint is President Obama’s Katrina. He has not visited. He should go and get a bottle of water for the Congressmen and Senators. Flint is a national disaster area and the army should be on the ground. Flint is ranked as one of America’s most dangerous cities. Maybe the water supply was a way to bring safety to Flint. Governor Rick Snyder, must assume responsibility for rerouting the water. He should be tried for a horrific crime. We can march, we can preach and we can scold but the water of Flint is a wake up call. Flint people will have long range, to permanent medical issues. The people of Flint are poor Black people and you must ask how did this happen and who really cares. Could this same disaster have happened in Michigan’s Rochester Hills or West Bloomfield?

Could this happen in Chicago? Chicago has its own sets of problems. Our educational system and police Black-history3-ndigo-chicagomurders are at an all time low and an all time high. Politics will take care of the police department as we watch the crumbling of Mayor Rahim Emanuel who was once a bright shinning political star. Our educational system is being destroyed at every level. The Chicago Public Schools dwindles. The teachers fight the good fight, but if the funding is not there, what do you really do when the only options are close and cut. Raises are probably not in order. Emanuel gave us the largest school closing in the history of America. The City Colleges are functioning without an academic officer and claim rising graduation rates as they award diplomas to the dead and turn the colleges into vocational hubs and not allow full educational exploration to the common man. And then we rise to higher education where the State argues closure for some of the colleges, like Chicago State University, Governor State University and Northeastern University. All of these institutions have majority Black populations. So the school systems from the common schools to higher education are threatened.

Could this happen in Chicago? Chicago has its own sets of problems. Our educational system and police murders are at an all time low and an all time high. Politics will take care of the police department as we watch the crumbling of Mayor Rahim Emanuel who was once a bright shinning political star. Our educational system is being destroyed at every level. The Chicago Public Schools dwindles. The teachers fight the good fight, but if the funding is not there, what do you really do when the only options are close and cut. Raises are probably not in order. Emanuel gave us the largest school closing in the history of America. The City Colleges are functioning without an academic officer and claim rising graduation rates as they award diplomas to the dead and turn the colleges into vocational hubs and not allow full educational exploration to the common man. And then we rise to higher education where the State argues closure for some of the colleges, like Chicago State University, Governor State University and Northeastern University. All of these institutions have majority Black populations. So the school systems from the common schools to higher education are threatened.

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