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.