Wednesday, 22 May 2013 07:57
It is our intent, with this limited report, to provide a snapshot of the status of African American participation in the life and times of Pasadena. It is a city with much talent and much to offer its citizens and the nation. The African American participation is significant.
The past year has seen many changes in the position of African Americans in Pasadena setting up what should be a good year for progress in the City of Roses. The dilemma is the same one that African Americans face across America. That dilemma simply put is that with the giant steps made by some African Americans in public life there will be a tendency in the celebration of the giant steps, to think that racism is a thing of the past. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
An article about the benefits of a college degree education in the April 26, 2013 Chronicle of Higher Education points out facts that lead to the conclusion that even with degrees racism still is rampant. The article, while not about race, per-se, says "There are 115,000 janitors with four-year degrees. Fifteen percent of the taxi drivers have college degrees now." The long held theory that Blacks are the last hired and the first fired is evidenced everywhere we look.
In Pasadena, the staff at the Community Health Alliance Partnership (CHAPS) gives the appearance of one of the most blatant examples of racism in the city of Pasadena. One recent visit by this writer (May 2, 2013) demonstrated that this agency that was created by a Black Male Forum and funded in part by government money hires all races but Blacks. The agency is in the heart of the Black community but gives the appearance of being in the community but not of the community. There seems to be an invisible sign that says " BLACKS NEED NOT APPLY." It seems to be ripe for demonstrations pickets and probably lawsuits for discrimination against Black employment.
While there has been great progress nationally in the fields of sports, entertainment, and politics, including the giant step of Barack Obama being re-elected president of the United States, locally the problems of lack of equality in education, criminal justice, housing, health care, employment, and employment opportunity still suffer from the sickness of racial discrimination. In the meantime, the purveyors of racism have new tools. Those tools include, (1) words and phrases like American and individual exceptionalism, (2) the continuing bigger than life image of competition for employment and educational competition between racial and ethnic groups specifically Blacks and Browns, and (3) a growing crisis in the loss of the leadership class that the Black community has always depended on. Specifically, Black America has seemingly lost the leadership of an unselfish Christian ministry that has substituted the liberation model of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Jeremiah Wright, and Dr. James Cone and adopted what appears to be a heightened love of the theories of selfish prosperity.
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