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Baitball Blogger

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Current location: Seminole County, Florida
Member since: Sun Mar 18, 2012, 09:16 PM
Number of posts: 40,016

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Systemic racism and income inequality do reinforce each other

This is a battle that will be fought on two fronts.

On one side, we're working with the ever hidden hand of the status quo. The status quo consists of the most economically and politically-connected individuals. Currently, that means rules for the police, school programs and job opportunities are gamed to improve the lot for a white demographic, because that is the composition of our status quo in America.

This is a no brainer. Even Sandra Bland mentioned it in her video that to be successful, you have to learn to work alongside of the white culture. That means learning how to fit into their culture, at least, if you want to earn an income. And that's how it will be until minorities can make it in great numbers into the status quo equation, where they can make the rules more equal, so they can retain more of their self without being penalized for it.

And that's where the second front comes in. The one where organizations like BLM will make a huge difference. BLM is creating an urgency and building a groundswell that will put minority issues where they need to be for any change to even be considered by the current status quo.

That's the only way that this country has ever made concessions to minorities. And let me tell you, the first Civil Rights movement did a magnificent job, but it was only the beginning. Affirmative Action did a great job to help minorities overcome obstacles that once kept them from gathering the kind of training and experiences that would help them climb the ladder. But I can tell you that once you get up that ladder and take two steps away from any Federally mandated occupation or environment, you'll find yourself in the same backwater hole, where the old style status quo has been allowed to thrive, undeterred by any effort to diversify.

No question that some of those Federal programs need to be updated. Introducing minorities into any small town environment where the system is gamed in favor of white residents is fool-hardy. It's insanity to think that we can offset the existing political networks in these established communities by building multi-family communities on the outskirts of town. The reasoning behind these programs is that multi-family homes are more affordable, hence, minorities will be able to move in and change the political demographics. But that isn't what happens. We are essentially recreating the very segregated style of communities that the Civil Rights movement tried to put an end to.

The only right way to break through, is to raise the economic well being for minorities, so they can afford to move into the high priced gated communities where the power is pooled. But we have to do it in numbers because these communities have further pitfalls to consider.

You can see the edges of social engineering wherever covenant restricted communities are selectively enforcing their documents. Business Associates and cronies are allowed to do whatever they want to do on their property, infringing on the rights of neighbors. To someone who is victimized by the process, it does look like a concerted effort to push you out of the community, because the HOA is reinforcing a hostile atmosphere.

To add to the tumultuous environment, the HOA board members can pile it on by increasing the Association fees. This will not have a negative impact on residents who are connected to one another through the poli-economic networks that small towns are known for. These residents won't even bat an eyelash when those fees keep climbing because the cost can be mitigated through business opportunities that will spring up through their business associations. Everyone else is on their own.

This will be particularly daunting for minorities, wherever racism is an issue.

Those fees become a challenge because they must be paid, or you lose your house. It's simple mathematics. It is a major pitfall to home ownership, especially for minorities who finally make it to the top to discover a society where the rules are unlike any other that they have experienced before. You pay for a dream home, just to discover that you're on the outside of an entitled, insular society. And if you look around, it is not much different any where else.

So you will continue to pay those fees, and unwittingly feed the system, because your house can be sold right from under you if you don't. This will not change until the demographics of a community change, to make it harder for insular societies to set in.
Posted by Baitball Blogger | Mon Jul 27, 2015, 10:31 AM (0 replies)

Equal Economic Impact is the Remedy to Crony Government

Hey everyone, full disclosure: I posted this in other forums and it pretty much went flat on its face. But I thought it might interest this forum because it was inspired by an article that described how black residents approached their City Hall to ask for a fair share of the public works projects that were being planned for their city. They managed to get a vote of agreement from the commission, but it's not binding.

I thought about writing this screed because a similar project was planned in my city fifteen years ago and we're still dealing with the repercussions from the back room deals that undermined those who tried to appeal their situations in an open meeting.

I see it as a relevant topic for the reasons I point out below.

Equal Economic Impact is the Remedy to Crony Government

When we talk about improving the economic conditions for minorities, the first step is to recognize when an opportunity presents itself. The most obvious example occurs whenever a local government decides to sponsor a large public works project.

If the plan is to ensure that these projects don't get hijacked by the crony groups, it's important to keep an eye on the local government officials and their advisors. Specifically, are they conversing with members of private organizations in order to curry support for the public project? Is so, who are they pulling in at the ground floor?

It is important to identify these entitled groups because people who are pulled in through outreach programs will bring in their own agendas. As the government body cultivates the social relationship in order to find issues that will help induce support for their public cause, they can entangle themselves in private matters that will leave a permanent stink in a community.

So, it's imperative for someone to keep track of those private conversations, especially if equal access and equal representation is a concern.

An Example: Apopka, Florida

Right now, Apopka, Florida is gearing up for a large town center project. There isn't enough information in the newspaper to determine if there are private groups that are getting sneak previews, but it is an issue that someone should look into.

In the late nineties, my city, Winter Springs, had a similar town center concept and they did target "key people" and "key organizations" in order to gather support. The ultimate result from pulling in people into these inside circles, was to create a dichotomous society that still stands today.

People who were pulled in during the early stages, learned that the city and its attorneys would circumvent the rules under the right conditions. It was insight that would influence how they viewed government and leadership roles.

That conclusion is prima facie because people who experience this kind of indoctrination will never have respect for the government process. Once they see how rules are ignored to facilitate the decision-making process, they will never look at a rule as an obstacle, again.

And, if they don't respect the due process and due diligence requirements of government, don't expect them to respect it in their community leadership roles either.

So, in sum, let's agree that dichotomous societies are not something we should be striving for these days. If Apopka is using the same closed-society mentality that my city used in the nineties, I can guarantee that equal economic impact will not be a direct result of the process.

Equal Representation as a Remedy to Cronyism

There is a factor in Apopka that was missing from my city in the nineties. Apopka's demographics are half white, a quarter black and a quarter Hispanic/latino. With those high numbers in minority groups it is no surprise to discover that black leaders stood up in an Apopka meeting to pitch their cause. In a public meeting in March, they made their case and the commission agreed with their position, at least, ceremonially.

Black leaders seek more diversity, opportunity in Apopka

It started as a simple statement about equal opportunity..

A resolution proposed by black ministers called on city leaders to ensure that "no person or community is left behind" during the expected surge in Apopka's economy.

Known as "One Apopka for Progress," the measure proposed that Orange County's second-largest city should strive for "justice, jobs, and a joyful and safe quality of life for all people within the city limits," where, according to census figures, whites make up half the 46,000 residents, Hispanics account for 25 percent and blacks about 21 percent.


The resolution was eventually approved 3-2 by the Apopka City Council, after a rancorous debate during which one citizen stood to remind the mayor that "slavery is over" and another referred to a 1937 city ordinance that segregated Apopka, restricting black businesses and homes to the city's south side.

However, it was just a ceremonial vote, for, as the city attorney pointed out:

City Attorney Cliff Shepard said the resolution was full of "platitudes" but lacked binding language to commit the city to any action or programs.


Final Word:

For my two cents, At the local level I have seen very little commitment from small government proponents to engage residents who are not part of the inside circles. If you're not a member of one of the favored organizations, chances are that your interests will be undermined. So, the answer is to tie any federal dollars to programs that will result in equal impact for minority communities. This step is necessary to avoid the business as usual oversight from the crony networks.

In addition, someone should watch who receives the subcontracts once the Master Developer is selected. Because, it's not unheard of that job assignments, like landscaping architecture, ends up in the hands of local insiders.

- - - - -

Here are clips from a current paid subscription article that has an update on the plans:

Apopka eyes major transformation, new city center

"We've been waiting on a downtown forever," said Richard Anderson, who served 31 years with the city fire department and nearly a decade as Apopka's chief administrative officer.


The targeted area includes another 108 privately owned acres that could be pulled into the development, a University of Central Florida business incubator and Martin's Pond, a 14-acre body of water. Private property owners could negotiate their own deals with developers if they chose.

The city wants a developer with a "proven track record" of building large-scale urban projects, which it defined as having a value more than $50 million, and not many developers can clear that hurdle.

Also, the intersection of "441 and 436 for years has been a mess," Anderson reminded City Council. "We've argued with and state officials a long time about that."

Posted by Baitball Blogger | Sun Jul 19, 2015, 07:17 PM (4 replies)
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