MANSFIELD: Will Cleveland Rise?

Photo by Anastasia Pantsios

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all of the well-intentioned folks that attended the Cleveland Rising Summit last week could simply join hands, sing Kumbaya, and the world would dramatically change right before everyone’s eyes? The old prejudices, bigotries and double standards that have effectively kept a portion of the populace locked out of the attainment and enjoyment of the profound bounty America has to offer would fade away, soon to become a distant memory.

What the well-intentioned folks who organized the summit have to realize is there is real, organized, and determined resistance to any notions of changing the status quo. There are some folks that will go to any length to protect the white privilege they were born with, and honestly believe they are entitled to. These are the folks that would rather change our form of government, essentially move to a totalitarian dictatorship, if that what it takes to keep the white man firmly on top and in control of our culture and society — as they have come to know, practice and enjoy it.

The question then is one of “how far will the proponents of equality go to ensure fair treatment for all”? To what extent are the folks behind Cleveland Rising willing to go to disrupt the status quo and thus bring true parity into existence?

Is the media ready to become muckrakers, to call out injustice wherever it’s found? Will the folks at Cleveland Rising take a hard look at companies large and small, and praise the ones that hire and promote fairly while calling out those that do not? Will charts and graphs that show how fairly or unfairly companies hire and promote minorities be utilized and publicized? Will banks that redline and deny credit to minorities on a fair basis be taken to task publically? Will the executives that block true change be called out by name and title? Will the masks of anonymity finally be ripped from the faces of the practitioners of racial hatred and division?

Indeed, until the good folks behind Cleveland Rising are willing to do the heavy lifting that is required to ensure parity and a level playing field for all, until they are willing to shame the maintainers of the status quo into doing the right thing, they are only fooling themselves about their commitment to being serious proponents of real change — but trust me on this, they are not fooling anyone else. It’s show time folks.

From CoolCleveland correspondent Mansfield B. Frazier 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

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