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.

Good Night Glory


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Let me tell you a story

About a young buck South

In his nighttime glory

Getting high off his tunes

To later use one or two spoons

Minding his own business

Short of a neighborhood

Where his own kin lived

But that wasn’t enough

Came a lone-star stranger

Hoping to strut his stuff

Alerting the Po-Po

About his urge to blow

One whose smile was hard to glow

Stay back, they said don’t go

Like jumping from a rooftop

He made the kid stop

The pistol told a different story

For the cop and

Lone-Ranger gunning down

The nighttime glory

 

Stand Your Ground

Was the law they found

To cover up gagged and bound

And rid themselves of a Bassett Hound

Happens almost everyday

When night takes a walk in the day

The wrong way

Nighttime brings about fear

When things become missing it’s all too clear

That it must have been them

The ones who used to swing from a limb

But what’s past is past

Not in the midst of a law built to last

Maybe it’s just a slap in the face

Getting back at the darkness who won the race

Shame on America

When an unjustified death won’t disparage ya

A stalker is the aggressor

It’s doesn’t take a rock scientist or professor

To see that

It’s still about dollar signs

When a repressed Black man is bombarded with wines

And spirits

Damn near Whip-Its

Keeping his head underwater

He barely feeds his daughter

Let alone his son

Who’ll always be on the run

Because the Judge became executioner

Placing the blame on a juror

Who arrived with furor

After a brief tour of

The decision she would rise above

Six out of twelve

That was all was needed to send the dead to Hell

The Defense made a rinse

Out of the Prosecution probably made to straddle the fence

Jesus died for the Jews

Saved a man with a name who helped hide all the clues

With Justice

Because it just is

Now they all can take a pill

Shoot at will

Aim to kill

Yet and still

Until

A lighter shrill

Gets a fine thrill

From Tonto at the mill

Then nighttime glory

Gets paid for his fatal story

Stand Your Ground Law

Shole does have a fatal flaw

Those who lied

About what they saw

Need only be despised

By their mental claw

We know they saw much more

Women telling untruths so their butts won’t sore

Or

Men of his peers

Who supported a cause like one against steers and queers

Is it still envy toward the young buck

Who has all that hangin’ and still down on his luck

Whoever wrote “The Message”

Needs to come out of hiding and re-write the passage

Of the Black man

Who can’t even stand

When there’s a rule

That calls him a fool

For being a tool

In a tar pool

Even if he has gone to school

Where is Glory?