Where Is The Leadership?
When Trayvon Martin was killed by the neighborhood watch captain in Sanford, Fl., the local leadership was very quiet. The elected officials, the community resident leaders and even the Black pastors were quiet and said nothing, as if it was just another day in the hood. It wasn’t until Michael Baisden, Rev. Al Sharpton and others got involved that the local community leaders decided to push up front as if they had been doing something all along. Why did the local leaders wait so long to speak out?
The community at large learned by default about the proposal for Wal-Mart to come into our neighborhood. The developer, who also controls the property where the neighborhood grocery is to be built, put the plan together without much fanfare. Even though most pastors whom I have talked to think that this store is not a good idea, none of them were willing to go on record and say so. Even elected officials who disagree with this project will not speak out. The elected officials who claim to be for the project are only willing to discuss the issue in sound bite transmissions. What is also puzzling to me is that the so called leaders for the area are very quiet or noncommittal on the controversial topics.
Here is another hot topic, the closing of Richmond Heights Elementary School. I have talked to many people on this subject and not one wanted to see the school closed. I have walked to neighborhoods and talked to people about Richmond Heights Elementary and I could not find one person who said that the school should be closed. Several said that they were supporting their school board representative. I asked, “Shouldn’t the school board representative be supporting the residents instead?” Where have we gone wrong with this? If no one wants to close the school except the school board, why is it closing? Why aren’t the leaders in the community speaking out?
You can see the video of “Where Is The Leadership” here: http://youtu.be/1hSeS5A7zzY
During the Save Richmond Heights Elementary School Town Hall Meeting, held Thursday, May 31, some candidates who are running for elected office were present. Some asked very piercing questions in order to get a good understanding of the facts. At the end of the meeting, all candidates were allowed two or three minutes to share their feeling on any subject they chose. All expressed hope that the school could remain open and tied that sentiment to whatever office they were running for.
When the presentation part of the meeting ended and while people were eating, I talked to some of the candidates. I asked some of them direct questions about the closing of Richmond Heights Elementary. All of them thought that the school should remain open. However, some said that it would put a burden on their campaign efforts to openly support such a controversial topic. In other words, it was much more important to get elected than to support the will of the people. If the candidate won’t support the people, will the elected official support the people? I think not. They will be more interested in getting reelected. A controversial topic may put a burden on their reelection bid so they will support and discuss non-issues only.
This presents a real problem for me. If a candidate won’t make a tough decision now before they are in office, why would I believe they would make a tough decision after they are in office? They won’t even talk about the tough issues. When I evaluate those statements, they are telling me that they plan on doing nothing if elected, except work at getting reelected.
So when I look at our elected officials you know what I see, I see politicians who are doing exactly what they told us they would do. NOTHING.
I look at our leaders, the pastors, the elected officials, the social service organization leaders, the nonprofit leaders, and I am starting to reevaluate their mission and purpose to the community. More and more they want to appear to be helping the community, but in actuality, they do little or nothing.
There are community plans and business ideas being used by other cities and neighborhoods that could work for this community. But our leaders would rather do nothing while appearing to do something.
It is election time. There is a local election scheduled for Aug.14, 2012. Ask the candidates specific questions about something that concerns you. Make them to go on the record for something controversial. If they won’t do it, maybe you should reevaluate your vote.
Please leave a comment. I would really like to know what you think.