After selling its soul for filthy lucre (actually it was more like a paltry $5,000) to give Armond Budish the “Humanitarian of the Year” award, the SCLC was totally disrespected by the county executive. But the question is, how can anyone disrespect an organization that doesn’t respect itself very much? Alas, the answer to that will have to wait for another day and another column.
Budish didn’t even bother showing up to accept the “honor” that he had already bought and paid for with the aforementioned $5,000 donation to the SCLC in December of last year. Did the leadership of the SCLC really think no one would find out about the $5,000 when it was right there in Budish’s campaign expenditure report? If he had cut the check from his personal account no one would have been the wiser, but evidently, he’s too much of a cheapskate to do that. This proves beyond any shadow of a doubt that he’s not the astute businessman or administrator that he’s held himself out to be to the electorate. When you buy something, you go and claim it, right?
The textbook definition of “humanitarianism” is this: “an active belief in the value of human life, whereby humans practice benevolent treatment and provide assistance to other humans, in order to better humanity for moral, altruistic and logical reasons. It is the philosophical belief in movement toward the improvement of the human race in a variety of areas, used to describe a wide number of activities relating specifically to human welfare.”
How, in heaven’s name, does that definition of “humanitarian” square with the vile mistreatment of detainees that has been occurring at the county jail under Budish’s watch? No humanitarian would allow such treatment to occur.
Evidently, when Budish heard there might be picketing outside of the church where the ceremony was to be held by groups of concerned citizens demanding the ill treatment at the jail immediately cease, he evidently quickly reevaluated his commitment to showing up at the event. Additionally, rumor has it that he didn’t bother to call anyone at the SCLC to let them know he wasn’t coming; he didn’t even have the courtesy or respect to take the time to give them some lame excuse, such as, “I’m stuck on the toilet because I got a fart turned crossways.”
This kind of disrespect is something the group — that was originally founded by Martin Luther King Jr. — probably deserved for causing the greatest man our race has ever produced to spin around so rapidly in his grave.
Remember, it was Dr. King who once said, “The church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state. It must be the guide and the critic of the state, and never its tool. If the church does not recapture its prophetic zeal, it will become an irrelevant social club without moral or spiritual authority.” (Thanks to Yvonka Hall for reminding us of that quote.)
This debacle should serve as a teachable moment for the Cleveland chapter of the SCLC, but somehow I doubt it, not as long as the organization is willing to sell out its soul — and Dr. King’s Dream — for a few lousy bucks.
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.