Beyond The Rhetoric

Jacksonville, Florida Refuses to do the Right Thing

Section 3 of the HUD Act (24CFR Part 135) is a beautiful piece of legislation.  It was enacted in 1968 in response to the first Watts Riot of 1965.  It was later enhanced after the 1992 Rodney King Riot.  It requires recipients of HUD funding i.e. states, cities, housing authorities, counties, etc. to employ people living in public housing or under the poverty level to have preference on new jobs.  Up to 25% of new HUD funded jobs should go to Section 3 residents via contracting Section 3 businesses on HUD funded projects.  The intent is so American.  Funding economic development and affordable housing for those in need should also offer employment to assist those in getting out of that public need.  There was just one big problem with this program - no one was complying with it.

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Your Grandfather didn

What a perfect response to a naïve question.  Last week in New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin held a press conference to formally announce his 35% Disadvantaged Business Enterprise procurement goal for all City projects and contracts.  He made the announcement at Baker Ready Mix which is a concrete plant owned by National Black Chamber of Commerce Board Member Arnold Baker.  A Fox News reporter approached Arnold and asked the question "Why is the Mayor doing this?  Can't Black business owners network their own way into business development without such affirmative action?"  Without raising his voice or showing his anger Arnold simply said, "Here's the deal - your grandfather did not and would not play golf with my grandfather.  In essence, this is why we are here today."

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This Election Let

Collectively, we African Americans have been voting as a block since the late 1960's as the Voting Rights Act began being implemented throughout the South and other venues.  We have been very kind especially to the Democratic Party and to anyone who is Black running for a local office.  We have elected officials who have spent an entire career in some slots without having anything of substance to claim as an accomplishment.  African Americans have been the least selective and least demanding of all blocks of voters.  Poverty, crime, legal injustice, unfair taxation and unemployment have become household terms to us and for some reason we accept it.  We do not hold our elected officials accountable - especially the Black ones.

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The U.S. is Afraid of China

The President of the United States stood before world television and declared the little nations of Syria, Iran, Libya and North Korea to be evil empires.  It was bold and asserting.  However, the most evil empire of all has never been called out in such fashion by an official of this nation. Those stated evil empires are fueled through weapons trade, and even weapons of mass destruction, by China.  It is China that gives them the technology and courage to do what they do.  Yet, we won't approach China about these sinister actions.

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Time for Africa to Get Its Share of U.S. Trade

With the collapse of the recent trade round in Doha the United States must examine what its economic priorities are around the globe.  As the world's foremost military and economic power, we have the ability to encourage economic development, trade, and stability in countries whose people live in conditions unimaginable in the U.S.  Specifically, the citizens of many nations around the world suffer from abject poverty, HIV/AIDS, and have almost no opportunities to lift themselves out of their dire condition.

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