I attended the State of Black Chicago Congress’ Saving Our Children event that was held June 1 at Chicago State University. The subtitle to the event was “This is not business as usual.” Unfortunately, when I got there and saw the “usual suspects” who were in charge, I was guaranteed that the outcome would indeed be “business as usual.”
I was initially attracted to attend the event because one of the honorary chairs was Ed Gardner. He is the former owner of SoftSheen and a gentleman who has been leading marches on the South Side against Menards for its failure to hire black people to build their new store at 91st and Western. And in a classic case of “business as usual” Menards isn’t concerned about black folks building the store but they sure have their greedy palms out willing to take in dollars that black folks will be spending.
“Business as usual” was truly in play when at the beginning of the event, Clerk of the Circuit Court Dorothy Brown was heralded with accolades for convening the event. This is the same person who jumped into the mayor’s race when another black candidate had already thrown their hat into the ring back in 2007 against Daley. Yet she was very MIA in 2011 when Emanuel, the carpetbagger, rode into town claiming to be a Chicagoan after Daley’s sudden retirement. Current elected officials rarely upset the apple cart simply because to continue in their jobs they need to be re-elected. And we all know that in this city, county, state and country, black politicians are self-serving more than serving the black populace that elected them.
The second honorary chair was Lupe Fiasco and he lived up to his last name. His appearance was a complete and embarrassing fiasco. He couldn’t be at the event in person, so he Skyped in via the Internet. His giggles, casual attire, and lack of professionalism in his presentation all said he wasn’t taking the event serious. I wish I could report on something profound that he said, seeing that he is in the age group that the event was focused on saving. but his unprepared ramble as opposed to a concise speech left little worry to anyone watching about the mindset of young black America. The Huey Newtons and Fred Hamptons are not being bred in the hood but we will be having plenty of Lil’ Wayne(s) and Flavor Flav(s).
“Business as usual” was the order for the day in terms of the panelist. I find it moronic that the event was entitled “Save Our Children” and yet they who are in need of rescue were not the first to be presented. It would be nice for once to hear from those needing saving as to what it would take as opposed to those who are the general creator of the problems. The elders in the community need to first listen to the young before offering solutions to what may not even be the problem. As one young man told a group of elders at a different event when asked why young black men didn’t marry their babies’ mama in light of the successful marriage of Michelle and Barack Obama, he replied, “I’m dealing with Sheniqua and she ain’t no Michelle Obama!”
I couldn’t stay for the entire day. I left as the last panel convened. I also left without getting any type of marching orders, like registering voters for the mid-term elections or what the follow-up to such a massive undertaking was going to be. Many of the black elected officials didn’t show up at all.
Their names should be sent out and their transgression noted. Especially the Chicago aldermen who will be running for ward committeeman in 2014, since that is where the true power lies.
Several years back, I wrote about the 5 E’s that could resolve all of our problems for both young and old.
They are: Employment, Economics, Education, Ex-offenders and Excuses – non accepted. Solve any of the first four by using the fifth and we can be on our way to the promised land.