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View From Here

By David Mark Greaves
Now that white people are beginning to get a suggestion of what terror can be about, let them imagine it one-hundredfold, to the point where language, religion and humanity are taken away, and then think of it endured for four hundred years.   And then follow that up by a grueling one hundred year decline in the terror rating, to a point something less than that. 
If it is thought about for a moment, it can be understood how the great-grandchildren of those centuries could be still vibrating from those blows to their humanity.   And all of those blows and all of that terror, specifically delivered for the benefit of Europeans and others. 
This is why affirmative action, set-aside programs and community benefit agreements exist.  They are not for everyone else in the world, who happens to be of color, as the majority of people in the world are, to use as their ticket to the American Dream.  That’s the African American ticket.  We paid for it.
Other eligible “minorities” and that includes those from: Brunei, Cambodia, People’s Republic of China,  Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, North Korea, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, Australia, Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Taiwan, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan, should fall in line behind every African-American for every contract dollar. 
It is understood that many of these countries have themselves been victimized by European aggression and colonization, but that does not give them the right to a spot in front of African Americans on this reparation queue.
None of those folks are signing for the cameras, but they’ll be signing the contracts when the deals go down.   And they’ll be backed up by their national banks and bankers who speak their language.  
African American ears should burn when they hear people speak of advances with “M/WBE” programs and “minority” designations and watch chests  swell with pride as they deceive in public about how African-Americans should rejoice because of an increase in “minority” participation in the American Dream.  
The thing that matters is the percentage of contract dollars coming to African-American-owned firms. Everything else is public relations.
For example, this from the Community Benefit agreement
Section IV. Workforce Development -Jobs Development and Local Employment Initiatives.
(3) Priority for all enrollment opportunities in the initiatives established pursuant to Section IV, Part B(l) and (3) and Part C(l) below, will be given in the following order of priority, to the extent permissible by law:     
(a) NYCHA Residents, as defined in this document,

(b) Low Income Individuals residing in the Neighboring Community,

(c) Moderate Income Individuals residing in the Neighboring Community,

(d) Low Income Individuals residing in the Surrounding Community,

(e) Moderate Income Individuals residing in the Surrounding Community,


(f) Low Income Individuals residing in the Community generally, and

(g) Moderate Income Individuals residing in the Community generally.

This sounds promising, but it only applies to a pre-apprentice training program, an unemployed union worker job referral service and general training and “first source hiring referral services.” 
Everything else is covered by the  “minority” designation, and the well-meaning intention and “good faith efforts,” of the developers to achieve even that. 
The inclusion of the construction high school initiative is good, and could be a model for the “Bruce Llewelyne school of Food and Beverages,” where students would learn not only the skills necessary to handle the “contracts for food and beverages and other concession activities at the Arena,” but also how to own and operate corner stores, supermarkets, warehousing, trucking  and distribution operations.  These are the jobs and businesses that can’t be shipped overseas, and where family fortunes can be built.
Issues for Black America
Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman addressed the recently concluded NAACP convention in Milwaukee, WI and continued his attempt to set the agenda for African Americans.  And then using sacred names for political gains he spoke of his pride of being “chairman of the party of Lincoln, Harriet Tubman, Booker T. Washington, Sojourner Truth and Frederick Douglass.”   But politics is about “what have you done for me lately,” and here are some things he can do if he sincerely wants African-American votes.
Eliminate the cap on earnings for social security taxation.  Instead of stopping at the first $90,000, tax all earnings including capital gains.  The returns would be so enormous that the overall rate would be greatly reduced, a benefit to poor and middle class people.
Call for Universal single payer health care.  Instead of managed health care businesses with all of their staff, physical plants, executive pay, profits and those ubiquitous painted trucks with the tables outside and “associates” with clipboards, all paid for by health care dollars, let’s dump all that.  Instead have the doctor/hospital send the bill to a government bill-paying entity that tracks payment patterns for evidence of fraud.    And since a medical insurance tax would only go to the medical provider rather than the industry in the middle, the tax would be less than the premium.
Extend the right to vote to the formerly incarcerated.  For those still imprisoned, use the census tract of prisoner origin for the disbursement of federal funds based on population. 
Have as a goal, that 13% of government contract dollars go to African-American firms, there be a “hands off Assata Shakur” statement and a lifting of the embargo against Cuba. 
Do these things and he’ll have the attention of the masses, but he’ll probably stick to the smoke and mirrors and ride that smile with his creased pants and shined shoes.  It seems to be working good enough.

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