The Sell-Out at the Citizens Academy


A really good person thinks that he was a sell-out at a meeting or class he attended at the Citizens Academy, in Syracuse, New York. ,

The Class offered many students the opportunity to learn more about the government and/or how the city of Syracuse and its surrounding counties operated. Each week, a panel is involved as each person who is incharge of their department in Syracuse discusses what they do to make the city of Syracuse a better place to live. Apparently, no one has the courage to challenge its panelists on how non-diverse Syracuse really is. There seems to be monies available for revitalization and getrification in the city but not for much else. The poor in the city stay poor. Crime is rampant and rising as talks about the I-81 infrastructure takes true precedence. The area affected would be the poorest in the city and is the most dire for a makeover. Being that it would be considered a makeover, something or someone would have to go.

Back when Black people were forced out of the 15th Ward to make way for a new highway, those in higher positions turned a deaf ear to the people of that community. Today, with all of the meetings and forums created to supposedly invite voices to be heard about the I-81 viaduct, it seems those souls are being placated and patronized. A decision has already been made to tear down the eyesore known as Pioneer Homes. Although there are those meek souls and gophers who work for Blue Print 15, a company brought in to smooth-over the tempered voices of the soon-to-be decimated area, they steadily expect their check to arrive weekly. The Workers in the House quells those working in the fields. Visions of sugarplums dance in the heads of those truly expecting to move back into their old neighborhoods in a new dwelling alongside the middle and higher income level residents. Does this really seem realistic? Who would or could tolerate such? Why should they tolerate living next to a family that crime follows? Then again, Blue Print 15 was incharge of like communities in Atlanta, GA. Go figure.

But there is also the issue of diversity in Syracuse where it is perceived that persons of color don’t have the proper skill set to hold mid-level positions in companies. As an incentive to bring new companies into the Syracuse area, tax deferments or tax breaks (spread out of years) are offered. Do those companies hold the proper skill set to maintain employees of color. Of course, there are those who would say, “But at least they could have a job making a decent wage.” Is it really a wage that would allow them the luxury of living comfortably without having to secure a second or third job? And, what if the person of color is held to a different set of matrixes, a higher set, that could see them walked out the door of that job before they have met their probationary period?

Aside from and in lieu of all that, the person tried to incorporate Atlanta, GA into a question he asked: What does Syracuse have to offer me? The real question, as the reason he felt he sold-out, should have been, “What does Syracuse have to offer a Black man like myself?” I told him that I’m sure some people understood where he was going with the question, but everybody should have gotten it. Each panelist spoke on the wonderful qualities Syracuse has to offer. It’s just that each panelist, including Deputy Mayor Sharon Owens, knew that there was only one real race, genre, and nationality that mattered. White. A new proposed Aquarium, new downtown loft apartments, all the non-inclusive eateries and clubs that frowned upon the thought of intimidation or fear that accompanied a single or group of persons that did not include at least one white person were just a few joys of one moving to Syracuse.

What does Syracuse have to offer a Black Man? More crime, harassment, discrimination, discouragement, complacency, static. Just how would the panelists have answered that question? Isn’t the Black Man, and even the Black Woman, part of the economy they spoke about? Even the Deputy Mayor wouldn’t be able to answer that question with a stragiht face, since she was trying to save face. Yes, the gentleman could have been a Maverick from seeking an answer to that question. Would it have been worth it? Probably so. Were those waves that should have been ruffled? Yes and No. More Yes.

Ashes


Ashes to ashes

I am still a Buddhist

Loving to Love

The love that knows love

The way Love should be loved

Dust to dust

I am still a Buddhist

Chanting to chant

Chanting for Love

Loving to chant

Like smoke I spread

Disappearing I am still all

And everywhere, I rise

And Fall

I am still a Buddhist

The colorless exhale

Once the wind blows

From ashes to dust

Burning yet yearning to exist

Still, I am Buddhist

 born, created from ashes

The Old Man in Apopka, FL


“Did he need remind them
Of his age and wisdom?
When the bones are frail and
The mind goes back, only then
Can they overcome age and wisdom
Even if blood should be thicker than water?”

Impoverished few
Though constructed into many
Not much you can do
When you’re in search of a penny

Apopka was always home
Just look at Phyllis Wheatley
Though police can make you unknown
And blood covers so neatly

He lived his life
Despite the color and strife
Eleven he made with his wife
Early years lost one to the clan
Karma caught up with them in a van
The beginning of the end of this land

Greedy boys
Who couldn’t see the sky
Craved for better toys
And willing to lie

Strutting with a cane
You could even feel his pain
Remember, he was old and wise

Deserving of his monthly check
Dressed like he had stacked the deck
He never favored the grandkids buys

Had they even looked for a job
Or just something to do?
May as well go ahead and rob
But when it’s one of your own
Who won’t throw you a bone
Get it done, but leave a clue

Laugh is what they did
Sheltering evil in the mind of a kid
Why should anyone else care?
Feeble needing his crutch
Only to stand and walk and such
Without it, why would he go out there?

The Black and Blue made their decision
Based on the deceased mindset
Never was there a revision
No one asked for permission
To challenge his condition
They still just didn’t care yet

It’s easier for a company to decide
The pain and the struggle
of someone else’s ride
Especially when it doesn’t hit home

Let’s just say he was confused
he tripped and fell, that’s why he was bruised
and then just call it a day
But the dead from the river does speak
Maybe in dreams, secrets do leak
Why was the cane left in the house, anyway?

     —A. True Story

I want to know why You wanted to go


 

Beside my bed

Is a brown-eyed dresser

These voices in my head

Should make me the Professor

 

It would take so much more

Just to find the right door

I guess I’m going through a phase

Of Jungle Boogie or School Days

 

Did I read the wrong signs?

Are there thorns in my eyes?

I’m just a lover of all kinds

Helping others see different skies

 

I need to know

Why you wanted to go

Tell Me

Don’t show me

I may not want to join the cast of your show

I need to know

Why you wanted to go

 

Trippin’

There were times I felt like slippin’

Dippin’

There were times I couldn’t stop drippin’

Flippin’

Only you can stop me from trippin’, slippin’, dippin’,

Drippin’

Almost got me crippin’ and hippin’

 

So, I need to know

Did you find a brighter light

That makes you want to go

In a new direction of right?

 

I need to know

 

Strawberries and cream

Passion fruit made of tears at your seam

If you couldn’t shame hang

Why come in for the bang?

 

I need to know

Why you wanted to go

‘Cause if you need to leave

Give me time to grieve