One of the most diabolical things about racism and prejudice is that, over time, it causes some people that are subjected to it to question their intrinsic value as human beings. What I’m suggesting is that some black folk, because they are being daily bombarded with negative messages in regards to their worthiness, they then began to believe what they are being told about themselves by those who hate them. And they soon buy into the notion that they are undeserving … that nothing good should happen in life for them … that, indeed, they deserve instead to always be losers.
They’ll run from winning and success like a scalded dog. You can’t melt victory and pour it on them. Their motto is, “If it ain’t rough, it ain’t right.” But the worst part is that they want every other black person to lose right along with them … they’re like crabs in a barrel.
That’s apparently the situation with a few of my neighbors. A murky group calling itself the Ward 7 Coalition has initiated the process of collecting signatures to recall Councilman Basheer Jones. They evidently fear that he will fulfill the promise and vision that our late, beloved Councilwoman Fannie Lewis had for the ward; that, indeed, he’s going to be successful. And that obviously scares the shit out of them.
The potential for success that Councilman Jones has demonstrated in his first six months in office has astounded everyone and obviously disturbs the losers. But change always disturbs some people, and winning disturbs some of them even more.
I’m admittedly a Jones’ partisan, and here’s why: My wife and I built our home on Hough Avenue over 18 years ago, and for the last 10 years have managed a successful business, the Vineyards and Winery of Château Hough, that employs neighborhood residents whom we mentor and move on to successful employment in a number of fields. So, while some folks are afraid of success, we embrace it. And having been in prison myself, I know how to assist those coming back home from a period of incarceration in terms of helping them to land on their feet.
So let’s think this through for a moment. If Jones is recalled (trust me on this, he won’t be) who would the folks behind this asinine effort want to see take his place: the former councilman T.J. Dow? The same Dow that attempted to put our winery out of business, and even opposed the building of an ice cream parlor in the ward, stating in an open meeting that by doing so children’s lives would be put in danger. I’m not kidding … there is a tape of the meeting where he said that.
Once the curtain is pulled back it will be discovered that many of the people opposed to Councilman Jones are not even residents of the ward. They own nothing in the ward, have done nothing for the ward, and have no skin in the game in the ward. I do, and I’m going to fight very hard to protect the investment my family has made in Ward 7.
Now anyone who has read my writing for any period of time can testify to this: I avoid criticizing other black men, since, as a group, we catch enough hell already. Of course, I made an exception when I strongly criticized Dow in the run-up to last year’s elections. I wanted him gone and so I was scathing in my criticism of him. But that’s nothing compared to how brutal I’m going to be in terms of this recall. The gloves are really going to come off.
From CoolCleveland correspondent Mansfield B. Frazier mansfieldfATgmail.com. Frazier’s From Behind The Wall: Commentary on Crime, Punishment, Race and the Underclass by a Prison Inmate is available in hardback. Snag your copy and have it signed by the author at http://NeighborhoodSolutionsInc.