by Hermene Hartman
The world is forever evolving, but I am beginning to struggle with some of the changes and what I consider to be standard behavior.
What happened to courtesies like thank you, excuse me, hello and please? Where is politeness? Where did the outrageous and unnecessary rude behavior come from? Social media is to blame. We are working in silent silos and manners are affected.
Fat Is A Killer
I went to a funeral last week, and the person literally ate himself into his grave. The speakers all spoke of his greedy appetite. They spoke of his special breakfast club where he had two meals.
Another spoke of the meetings that always had to be lunch meals. Another spoke of how he had to have dinner before he went home to have dinner.
I looked around the room and there was nothing but fatness. People were moving slowly with aches and pain on their faces because most were grossly overweight.
At the end of the service the minister said, now let go downstairs to the repast and salute the deceased by doing what he did best. Let’s eat.
I wanted to cry out, don’t you understand it is not funny that he ate so much. While we are celebrating his death, we need to pay attention to his habits that brought us here. I saw young people looking far beyond their years, because of their weight. What happened?
Where did pride go? I read an article in the newspaper saying that some Black business owners don’t want to identify as Black business owners any more. They suggest they are better off not being known to be Black.
They place their white employees in front of their businesses to suggest ownership rather than reveal Black ownership. They think their Blackness conflicts with their business revenues.
In the white world, they suggest that whites will not want to do business with them because they are black. Racism I suppose. And in the Black world, they think Blacks are far too critical.
In either case, if they are known to be Black they believe they are penalized with negativity. This is a real mouthful.
What happened to pride of Black ownership? For years I have argued about the concept of being a “minority business” for a different set of reasons.
Businesses are all seeking revenue. No one is looking for the minority status. Simply said, we don’t pay minority taxes, or minority rent, or minority light and gas, so then why should we do “minority” business, which means sometimes less than, which sometimes means a meager share of a part rather than the whole.
When do we begin to do business based on merit and capacity? Perhaps the minority status gets you through the door, but should it be removed?
Perhaps the model we should use is the world of entertainment so we can all get paid like Beyonce. Why can’t we just be hip and trendy and if you dig it, let it be?
The Study On Racism
And then there is the police study that concludes that there is racism in the ranks of the police department. No stuff. Really now. That $500 million could have been saved. Anybody standing on the worse corner in Chicago could have told you that. Study not needed.
The mayor at least asked the question, now that we have declared the racism, what do we do about it. It is shameful that we are still dealing with the dumb racism factor in 2016.
I watched the Jackie Robinson documentary by Ken Burns and indeed the racism was evident, but the white male baseball chief dealt with it head up.
He also saw the economic benefits of allowing Jackie Robinson to play ball. A whole new market opened. A Black market was born and the stadiums filled. The Black sportsman in all sports came alive and so did the ticket buyer. A star was born.
So, why not borrow a page from Mr. Branch Rickey and deal with the racism straight up? Call it like you see it and stop playing.
The Closing of Chicago State University
On May 1, if there is still no state budget, Chicago State will probably close. It means about 4,800 students will be without a university.
Eagerly, the Black colleges and local colleges are approaching students to give them alternatives. The state is playing a game of racial politics.
Senator Donne Trotter has put forth a bill for emergency funding for higher education, safety net hospitals and child care services to prevent closure to these institutions that mostly serve African Americans.
I shudder at the thought of what happens if these institutions close and the impact it will have on our community. Illinois’ budget impasse is historic in that no state in America has ever gone this long without a budget. Once again, African Americans are the real losers.
Senator Emil Jones III painted the picture with a doom brush. He explained that if the student grants are not granted from the state before graduation, the students will be personally responsible for the debt.
The average grant is $6,000. If the state money does not come forth, one day after graduation, many will forfeit graduation, because of unpaid university bills.
It’s time for all hands to appear on deck to save these schools. Perhaps the real plan is to let Chicago State close, then consolidate it with another university, and then save the other universities.
I am now of the opinion that the state requires arbitration. If the principles in this mess – namely Gov. Bruce Rauner and House Speaker Mike Madigan – cannot work out their differences, how about bringing in mediators to get the state up and running?
Some of the names that come to mind that might help negotiate us out of this dire situation are former Mayor Richard Daley, Bill Daley, Frank Clark, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sam Zell, Ron Gidwitz, Lula Ford, Emil Jones Jr., Judge Ann Williams, and James Compton.
We need to think beyond the political content, to secure solutions for this terrible dilemma we find ourselves in. Now is the time for all people of Illinois to come to the aid of our state.