Article Comment 

Scott Colom: Creating neighborhoods again


Scott Colom







Since I''ve finished school, and lived in several parts of Mississippi, I''ve realized how much neighborhoods have changed since my childhood. Now, neighborhoods have less meaning. Neighbors don''t talk as much. A nod or wave is commonly the main acknowledgment of a neighbor''s existence. Our children interact less. It''s rare to see kids playing football or riding bikes together.  


Neighborhoods were much different growing up on the southside of Columbus. Then, southside was full of energy. The world centered on what was going on outside the houses. The Harris family''s yard was the neighborhood sport''s arena. On the right side of the house, kids played tackle football until everyone hobbled home full of bruises. The garage side of the house had a perfect space for a field, and we spent Saturday playing baseball with tennis balls and sticks.  


Komisty Harris, the youngest girl in the Harris family, didn''t play sports so she organized parties where everyone contributed one or two dollars for an arrangement of snacks from the store. The parties consisted of fighting over what snacks to get and eating the snacks as quickly as possible.  


During this time, parents also worked together to raise children. One of our neighbors, Mary Frances Peek, baby-sat my brother and I so much that we referred to her as "Ma Peek." Her grandchildren were our age and we often played and watched television at each other houses. Several kids in the neighborhood spent the whole summer at my house playing video games and sports, but also mowing the yard and gardening. My father lectured all of us about the proper way to pick weeds as if we were all his children.  


Much has been written and discussed about the decline of neighborhoods across America. National Public Radio and television shows have discussed this phenomenon. Books and news articles have been written about the subject. What''s always been missing from these discussions is ways to address this development.  


I thought it would be easy. When I moved to a new neighborhood, I would make a point to meet my neighbors. But, day by day, I kept putting it off. I would pull into my driveway after work and have the perfect opportunity to introduce myself to a neighbor. Yet, I always came up with an excuse. I either had a long day at work or needed to check my e-mail or was in a rush to watch a television show. Every occasion felt inopportune, so I nodded or waved and rushed into my house.  


Before I realized it, I had been living in my neighborhood for months and still didn''t know my neighbors'' names. That''s when I realized one of the roots of the problem. Our lives have become so busy with work and social media and text messaging that we don''t prioritize interactions with others.  


Therefore, this past weekend, I took the time to reach out to my neighbors. The neighbors across the street, Rick and Shawn, were outside talking when I introduced myself and asked them about the neighborhood. Both complained about how little they knew about anyone on the street. I talked to the neighbor on the left side of my house named Shaquita Harris, who has several beautiful children, and she also felt isolated in the neighborhood. All my neighbors expressed a strong desire to change this dynamic.  


Taking the time to meet people is the first step in reversing the decline of neighborhoods. To encourage more communication, we need neighborhood associations that welcome new people and coordinate events like block parties that give areas character and uniqueness. This will create pride and increase morale in neighborhoods. We also need community spaces, such as coffee shops and small bookstores, that provide people more opportunity to interact, to have conversations and to learn about each other.  


This revival of neighborhoods won''t be easy or happen over night. It''s become easy for a house to be a castle and talking to neighbors to feel like a chore or the creation of noisy neighbors. But the benefits of a vibrant neighborhood, benefits I experienced and enjoyed as a child, outweigh the negatives. The benefits make a neighborhood more than a collection of houses. In fact, the benefits create a neighborhood.


Scott Colom is a local attorney.


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Reader Comments

Article Comment walter commented at 4/6/2011 3:57:00 PM:

The loss of a sense of community and together-ness needed to perpetuate neighborhoods began at approximately the same time Dr. King was assassinated and was accelorated during an avalanche of sensational articles, stories and documentaries that were the prerequisite to funding and waging the socalled "war on drugs." A "war" which when translated, means an all out frontal assault upon a specific segement of society. Don't trust my assessment. Look at the data for yourselves: 25% of the males of one race in prisons, jails, or otherwise, under supervison of the criminal justice system; caught up in the felonization process (a process to replace 'Willie Lynch'), those same individuals denied equal employment opportunities and other benfits; and, an atmosphere of distrust and suspicion (persons encourgaed to snitch on their neighbors and even members of their own families, in order to receive reduced sentences) makes a spirit of community and unity imppossible.

Recently, the census data was released. Astonishingly, it revealed that the population of African Americans has remained stagnant! Hispanics has increased to 16% of the population and you can bet, the large increase is due less to illegal immigartion than natural births of those already here. If there are viable Black neighborhoods, there will also be strong family and community ties. Strong communities questions why they're being treated differently by law enforcement and the courts; they demand fair, equitable distribution of government services and resources.

Read pat Buchanan's Death of the West. It is quite revealing. In essence, it lamented the decrease in the percentage of whites in America, compared to other races. In asking thr question, as he did, he was also issuing a call for action on the part of white society. The action they took, if you care to honestly research and review public records, is obvious. The silence of the medical profession, when it clearly knows that drug addiction is an illness, speaks volumes about the conspiracy to cripple Black people. Why prisons and felonies for people who are ill?

Our neighborhoods will grow again when Blacks demand fairness from the system of justice. When the stigma is removed from those who are casualties of an undeclared, but vigorous war, are uplifted; when able-bodied men and women can live and share, without the fear of being fingered, either justifiably or wrongly, by those living near them, in order to have a few months or years shaved from their sentences; when the tool of drug is no longer available to those determined to control us, then, our neighborhoods will strive again and our population will reach it natural growth patterns.

Our neighborhoods were attacked and have been under attack for more than three decades, Scott. In order to grow, again, and be what you once knew and what I remember, too, intelligent, conscious, courageous people (both Blacks and whites) must rise to the occasion. We must declare that strong communities are necessary for a strong Mississippi and U.S. That the War on Drugs, like many of the recent wars, was/is ill-conceived and that the un-intended consequences are far more detrimental than the consequences hoped for by those who initiated the war.

It is very encourging to see someone raise questions and do so with tact and such grace. The pen is more powerful than the sword and I pray that you and others, at The Dispatch will write until your fingers are numb. I'm a Conservative, myself, and have no qualms against those in the Republican Party who profess also to be. My fight is with the Preservatives who want to preserve the blessing God so richly bestowed upon the state, country and world, for just themselves and their offsprings. I will fight the latter til my last breathe and hope that others will join in that battle.

My apololgy for skipping about. It is difficult to write when other, overly curious (nosey) folks keep butting-in.


Article Comment zenreaper commented at 4/6/2011 10:46:00 PM:

Awesome article Scott, thank you. While i grew up in a different, more urban part of the country, I, too, remember sitting on the porch, chatting with neighbors, kids playing in the front, stickball in the street, etc.

But why did it go away? Lemme tell you, it was the government (and NOT the way Walter portrays it, as legal prohibition started in the 30's). Today, the Harris family would have lost their home to the lawsuit from the kid who broke his arm playing football. Komisty would have to watch out for kids with peanut allergies and make sure the ADHD kids didn't get any sugar.

"Ma Peek" wouldn't be watching kids because her house couldn't pass the inspection for the child care license from the state and your father would be arguing with a parent who was upset that he told one of their kids what to do. We have seen the enemy, and he is US.

Oh, and BIG time props for meeting your neighbors.


Article Comment knox battle commented at 4/6/2011 11:07:00 PM:

@ Scott: Agreed, but we will probably not see the genesis of a neighborhood awakening any time soon for several reasons. First of all, the encroachment of affordable technology on our daily lives continues at an unbelievable pace. Society is generally lazier today than in years past and people like the simplicity of computers, iPhones, Kindles, and the like. Talking to folks face to face takes far too much effort. Second, entitlement programs that subsidize housing create an environment that does not foster the pride of ownership. People take care of things that they have worked hard for and typically allow the other stuff to fall into disrepair. Great neighborhoods have "anchor" homes that reflect the character of the community. Without the anchors the neighborhood cannot grow roots and blossom. A final consideration is safety. I have lived in neighborhoods that have hosted block parties, kid movie nights, and cultural events. The common denominator in all of them was that people felt safe. They did not have to worry about drugs, gangs, or other assorted criminal activity. Parents set the standards and would not tolerate activity that was contrary to the neighborhood's values.
Hey, I'm with you though. Igniting the neighborhood spirit is a worthwhile cause and one that deserves our attention. It has to start somewhere, right?


Article Comment walter commented at 4/7/2011 3:52:00 PM:

Zen, as you stated, you grew up in "a different, more urban area of the country..." Thus, you have no idea of just how wholesome and neighborly Columbus was and the type of neighborhood that Scott so vividly recalled and wrote about and which I remember so fondly, too. One question, for you Zen: Did/is the city you grew up in affectionately named The Friendly City? Well, Scott's hometown and the city I grew up in is!

Despite other reasons that you might wish to give as explanations for the isolation and detachment of residents where you lived, our city really was unique in the way in which we related to one another. That it changed can be clearly and scientifically documented. Why it changed rests in the minds of those who introduced, enacted and enforce policies, that, on there face, perpetuate dis-unity among a people. Those policies have a definite date of enactment and the interpretation and enforcement of those policies are ongoing. I challenge you to look at the date that the so-called "war on drugs" was enacted! I challenge you to look more closely at the precise manner in which that "war" is being waged and at the neighborhoods where the respect by law enforcement personnel for the inhabitants is least. Make no mistake about it, economic conditions, in addition to the policies surrounding the "war on drugs" are directly responsible for the disruption and destruction of the neighborhoods that Scott and I recall. Distrust and suspicion were sewn into the very fiber of our society by sensational stories in the press, on the television and in the movies, (propoganda, if truth be told) of incidents that occurred thousands of miles away were being reported as though the event happened right there in people's back yards! Of course, if people aren't frighten into believing that the events are happening right there in their community (and sometimes they were0 all of the time, every second of every day, it would be hard to justify billions of dollars for personnel and equipment to wage the "war on drugs." Unfortunately, periodic incidents did occur and it was/are those peridoic incidents that are reported (over-reported) and blown way out of proportion. Len Bias was no criminal; he didn't steal, kill or mugg anyone to get the substance thsat led to his death. Yet, his death triggered a multi-billion dollar phenomenon that has acounted for the destruction of individuals, families and neighborhoods. You see, this is a case of where the medicine (solution) for the ailment is far more harmful than the ailment, itself.

I didn't study your neighborhood/community, Zen. I studied mine/ours. I suspect, however, that the things that destroyed your neighborhood were/are much different from the ones that destroyed mine. I suspect that yours was destroyed and the sense of neighborliness eroded because you all probably suffered from much too much jealousy, inability to keep up with the Jones and inability for spouses to accept that your neighbor could drive a Rolls and you couldn't get one for your wife. That was never our problem, Zen.

Again, our city is called the Friendly City. It got that name for a reason. The conditions that Scott so accurately and respectfully described were created by policies. Policies, which I suspect were introduced to create the exact outcome that we see. Read, Pat Buchanan's DEATH OF THE WEST. A stagnant Black population give some a false sense of security.


Article Comment frank commented at 4/7/2011 4:07:00 PM:

Wally Wally Wally, you got this black victim thing down pat. I have to give you credit there. I also think you are somewhat on the right track by blaming the government for some of your troubles but you are blaming the wrong program. It isn't the "war on drugs" at the root but rather the "Great Society" programs. That is what re enslaved a lot of people and destroyed the family structure. When you pay people not to work, not to marry, and not to educate themselves, you create a slave class that is dependent on you. They are trapped into voting the masters back into office in order to keep the free ride going. They turn to crime when they have no education, skills, or work experience. There went the neighborhood!

I pray that one day people will wake up to what LBJ and the Democratic party was really doing when he created the entitlement systems we have today and realize they were fooled and trapped. There are a few black leaders who have the courage to point out what is happening but not nearly enough. When all minority business leaders, politicians, clergy, and educators, start preaching go to work, get off welfare, go to school, take pride in your family and neighborhood, and tell the government to get out of your way while you succeed, only then will you see a change for the better.

You want neighborhoods, family, low crime rates, and a society that respects themselves and others? It takes a change in attitude from being dependent on the government to being independent. It takes work. It takes the courage to cut the cord and vote the people who are orchestrating this mess out of office.


Article Comment zenreaper commented at 4/7/2011 5:02:00 PM:

Well, Walter, I am really trying to understand you, but you APPEAR to be trying to make the case that neighborhoods would be safer and friendlier if we would stop arresting all of those drug dealers and drug users...huh?


Article Comment walter commented at 4/7/2011 9:17:00 PM:

Or, perhaps, arrest more within your community to balance out the score. Then, I bet, you, and all the others who protest or suggest that persons living in the black community are paranoid, will cease saying it.

But, then, again, there won't be any arrest in your community: white people don't use or abuse drugs, do they? 25% of black males incarcerated or under supervision of criminal justice! Get real! That percentage defies logic, when less than 8 % of young white males aren't operating under the same conditions!

Zen, what I'm suggesting is that you start arresting the drug dealers who import the stuff and those who laundry the money. And, start arresting everyone who use the stuff, instead of just young black males who seldom possess more than a $20 rock... If the whites who use it are made felons and crippled for life in the same degree as are young blacks, your a-ses would have changed the policies surrounding drugs years ago, AND, YOU KNOW IT!


Article Comment zenreaper commented at 4/7/2011 11:08:00 PM:

Sorry Walter, but there are NOT two sets of rules. Yes, white people and black people BOTH use drugs. But when it comes to the DIRECT sale of drugs, at a level in our NEIGHBORHOODS, that can be policed by our local cops, the black communities have a greater number.

You know, maybe instead of asking the police NOT to arrest the drug dealers, you could get the low level drug dealers to STOP BUYING from the higher level drug dealers, no? Of course, they would then have to get regular jobs.


Article Comment gogetum commented at 4/7/2011 11:30:00 PM:

The old expression " there goes the neighborhood" probably was more true than you think. The down fall of neighborhoods began with the intergration laws. I think walter is old enough to remember how crime was so not heard of around here back then--especially black on black. People weren't being born out of marriage like now a days and abortion was almost unheard of.


Article Comment roscoe p. coltrain commented at 4/8/2011 8:39:00 AM:

LMAO Walter, do you suppose the ditch is flooding my house because I'm white? I've wondered about that myself.

Walter, you might want to take up wear a wide brimmed hat as I hear birds don't like black folks much.

I'll let you know if I hear of anyone else who has it in for the black man, ok?


Article Comment nomoneybigsoul commented at 4/8/2011 9:34:00 AM:

If you people think Walter is so ridiculous, why do you respond to all his posts. Truthfully, it seems like you love to take any opportunity you get to express your belief that the government is not the blame for Black people's difficulties in American society. just do your part to help build our neighborhoods and societies for all people and races, and let Walter think whatever he wants. However, it seems like you are trying to place as much blame as possible on Blacks and their dependence on the government and you take pride and joy in doing this. You are just as sad as Walter. A real patriot can criticize and accept criticism of his government when it is due. We are to be loyal to our country and its people, not so much to our government.


Article Comment frank commented at 4/8/2011 11:23:00 AM:

But...we are only trying to help Walter. He is a victim. It is sad nomoney, very sad.


Article Comment walter commented at 4/8/2011 3:47:00 PM:

Thanks for your help, Frank. But, truth be told, you and others like ytou had best began to help yourselves. If you think that you are building greater security for yourselves and your offspring by felonizing young Black males in droves, you, I'm afraid, are merely deceiving yourselves.

Smart bombs aren't nearly as smart as their manufacturers portray them to be. The same young blacks who you trifle with today, shall be your worst nemesis tomorrow. I write not because I feel victimized, but rather, because I feel obligated to warn you, my fellow Americans/Christians/Human-beings that you, your leaders and the policies eminating from you have set you on a path of destruction. Today, those policies impact me and mine; tomorrow, you shall reap the whirlwind!

That you, and others who dislike my comments, express your dislike and attempt to divert attention away from what I've actually written or distort it when you respond or launch personal attacks on me, instead of responding directly and specifically to what I say, comes as no surprise to me. By experience and extensive traianing and study, I anticiapted your responses, even before writing my comment.

You see, some simple sayings are sometimes the best way to clarify what some find to be so very complex or complicated: Those not in the fire, can withstand the heat much longer than those who are surrounded by it; the former can also dispute whether or not the heat the latter is experiencing is real or not. But, shame on those of the former, who, when they have so much responsibility for creating the heat, when they protest that the latter is "paranoid, playing the race-card; playing the victim; simply lazy; un-intelligent, etc."

Of course, if your communities were being shadowed like Blacks, much criminality would be uncovered there, too. But, you are wise, in some things. You know that if you can keep law enforcement focused on Black people, then your dastardly deeds have a much better chance of going un-noticed.

I have a very limited amount of time left on this library's computer. So, let me leave you with this:

If your as-es really understood why Lincoln so-called freed the slaves, you would bow-down at the feet of his monument in D.C. And, like the Muslims who are obligated to visit Mecca, whenever they're able, you would go on not only an annual pilgrimage to the Lincoln Monument, you would do it bi-annually!

My agents have advised me that it would do no good to try to reach individuals of such limited intelligence or honesty. By the way, when you extrapolate the number of whites who read CD and the number of Blacks, then calculate how many of each feel comfortable reading or responding to posts, those of you who dislike my comments had better get on the horn and call your friends. Your numbers, compared to those who like, a woefully too inadequate to discourage me from writing or to convince me that I'm way off base.

As to the individual who wish to refer to me as "Wally." Be advised, it is close to the write pronunciation. However, my friends referred to me as Wali. In fact, it was Wali! Wali! Wali!

Older residents of Columbus rememember Crickett or Crooked Spruell (Spruill), a Sheriff in the county in the 60'S. Blacks could not cross the street without being acousted! "Cum heen boy!" he would almost whisper. Roadblocks were setup at every thorough-fare into and out of the black neighborhoods. None, were ever set up in the white community! People, those incident were real, not a figament of my imagination of the imaginations of other Blacks who recall those events. Our community never recovered. How do you replace the atmosphere of a neighborhood when most of the persons who were the life of the parties have been arrested and imprisoned for silly-sh-t that whites are slapped on the wrist for? How do you replace a star quarterback for your sand-lot football team or the star linebacker or point-guard in basketball?

You M.F.s destroyed our neighborhoods with your policies and practices and you did so by design because of your fear and insecurity, respecting black people! I thought about soliciting some support from a few of my facebook friends by inviting them to subscribe to the CD. I still might do it because it will shed greater light and hoipefully encourage greater dialogue between the two dominant races in the city, state and nation. Unless we talk, and speak civillly with one another, and definitely honestly and sincerely, we will leave this disease that divides us for our offsprings. I rather not do that to yours, nor mine.

Birney, if I direct facebook friends and they direct some of theirs, would they be able to read comments on a guest basis for a limited period of time? Hopefully, some will subscribe, although they're miles away and could only benefit your national advertisemenr, when they buy items advertised in the paper.


Article Comment walter commented at 4/8/2011 4:24:00 PM:

Another patron at the library extended the courtesy of allowing me to write this last post:

The bell you hearing tolling, tolls not for you or for me; it tolls for us both! Haven't you noticed the winds of change blowing all over the world? Are you really familiar with the Book of Revelations?

Re-read what I've posted. But, do so while listening to a song by the Mighty O'jays entitled "Ship Ahoy." Close your eyes and instead of thinking about the plight of the poor humans onboard ships during the middle-passage from Africa to America, reflect for a moment on the advances of the Chinese and Indians (not native-Americans), but those from India. When you continue to cripple young blacks in America with your silly-assed laws and policies designed to control them and the birth rate of black people, you cripple America and yourselves, as well! When you spend money on prisons and foreign wars, instead of education and rehab, you cripple us all; when you destroy our neighborhood, you put roadblocks in the paths of the young people who you will need in order to effectively compete with the mighty Chinese nation!

No, my friends, I'm neither sad nor feeling personally a victim. I feel sorrow for my country, which, by right, ought to be far more advanced down the path of human development than it is. Our progress is being circumvented by white racism and too many Preservatives Republicans, aided by unscrupulous negroes and luke-warm liberals.

Listen to "Ship Ahoy" Absorb the spirit conveyed by the music and lyrics. If you're having difficulty finding it, contact one or more of your "colored friends" They can help you find the record. Then, also listen to Dr. King's speech about drugs...

I'll tell you about another book, "The Large Colored Land-Owners of Lowndes County" one day. I will also explain to you about Lincoln and the real purpose for The Emancipation Proclamation, too. In the mean-time, give me benefit of doubt and trust that I neither hate nor despise you, as a people. It is your policies and your fears/insecurities that I abhore, that lead you to mistreat me and my people, without justification. Your leaders are leading you astray and unless you choose newer, more conscious ones, you doom us to a second-class nation, sooner, rather than later.

I have very poor writing skills. And, I know that. In addition, my wounds are unhealed. You have a brilliant writer, writing for the CD and he is intelligent, conscious, responsible, polite and honest. I pray that he will find the way to help close the racial-divide and unite us.

By the way, for those of you who are culturally illiterate, when Sheriff, Crooked Spruell said: "Come Heen Boy!" he was referring to a 70 year old African American man! I'll tell you more about the "LARGE COLORED LAND-OWNERS OF LOWNDES COUNTY" later. Most of my friends, like most whites in power in Lowndes County, are alreay familiar with the book. If you cannot wait for me to tell you about it, ask some of the powerful whites in the city to do so.


Article Comment frank commented at 4/8/2011 7:25:00 PM:

Get over it Wali. You are living in the past. 1960 was 51 years ago. The old sheriff is gone and most of the roadblocks you see now are figments of your imagination. It is time to go forward. The only people holding blacks back now are blacks themselves.

If you want to do your race a favor, quit teaching the "we were victims and the government owes us something" dogma to your young. Teach them instead to seek education, disdain crime, respect themselves and others, earn an honest living, and live by that Bible you made reference to. If the end is as near as you suggest, the sooner you start the better.


Article Comment walter commented at 4/9/2011 12:18:00 AM:

And, so are all of you who are still advantaged by the separate, but un-equal schooling, employment, legal, and housing policies, FROM THE PAST! If only we could all just start afresh, oh, what a new day we would have. But, are you wulling to forego the benefits you inherited from past mis-treatment of Blacks?

Tea Party members and Preservative Republicans do not want the Federal Govenment to do for us, what it did for them and their ancestors. They want to foster a myth that what they got, they got purely as a result of their own abilities. Never mind the fact that the federal government was very instrumental in providng them advantages over Black people.

All those positive things you suggest be taught are being taught! But, they are also being taught why conditions are as they are now! They are being taught that they are disadvantaged as result of historical events and that the negative events resulted from the concerted efforts of other people. And, that today, those others want us to simply forget and want to hold us to a standard that they made every effort to prevent us from ever reaching!

The end is definitely nearer, rather than more distant for me and many others of my generation. You're late, Frank. I started a long time ago! I am at ease, now, because I feel confident that I've done all that I was directed to do and help ease racial tension by speaking directly and as openly as possible, despite loss of positions and threats and attempts upon me. What you do with it is on you. Dice it. splice it! Ignore it, if you wish. But, know this, Black people aren't nearly as dumb as you think; nor are they the cowards, that you hope. They desire freedom just as people in the rest of the world. And, freedom in America, is not the same as freedom in other places. Capitalism and democracy, based upon color or race, make freedom here unique. Many among us don't have it and someday, the reasons they're without is going to become crystal clear. When that times come, it will do no good to point out how much better off they are than are the Tunisians, Egyptians, Palestinians or suffering classes in Africa. They will say: But, this is AMERICA. IF WE ARE ALSO AMERICANS, THEN, WE SHOULD LIVE ON THE STANDARD FOR AMERICA, NOT THAT OF THE TUNISIANS.

Frank, if it wasn't for the terrible way that I've witnessed our President being treated and heard the comments over talk radio about him, I could accept your criticism that I live in the past. Unfortunately, what was happening 50 years ago is happening now, just a bit more subdues and subtle.


Article Comment roscoe p. coltrain commented at 4/9/2011 6:07:00 AM:

"If you think that you are building greater security for yourselves and your offspring by felonizing young Black males in droves, you, I'm afraid, are merely deceiving yourselves."

Walter, your bats are loose again. These groves of blacks you speak of are "felonizing" themselves when they commit what they know is a crime.
Walter, why don't you quit making excuses for your race. No one is buying your bull Walter except maybe young felons looking to excuse themselves.

And you are really starting to sound like that Louis Ferrethead more and more. Perhaps medication would help.


Article Comment frank commented at 4/9/2011 8:55:00 AM:

"if it wasn't for the terrible way that I've witnessed our President being treated and heard the comments over talk radio about him"

Wake up Bunky, that goes with the job. I have witnessed one President assassinated, one shot but not killed, one forced from office, and another put on trial. I have yet to see one that didn't catch hell from the press and talk radio. Now all these guys were white but somehow when a black President is criticized and lampooned it becomes a "racial" issue. Bulls--t! Just more of your victim mentality. The very fact that we have a black President in the first place probably disappoints you since it takes away from your discrimination argument.

I went to a majority black public school and saw many of my black classmates go on to have great careers. The difference in the ones that succeed and the ones that fail is always attitude, not race. It just isn't the factor you make it out to be. This isn't 1960 anymore. The past is the past, remember it but use it as a rallying cry instead of making it into crutch or excuse for failure.

And stop it with the "race war is coming" crap. Like Rosco said, your bats are loose again...


Article Comment gogetum commented at 4/9/2011 11:54:00 AM:

I think walter is fresh out of prozac and needs to visit his head doctor more regular. I'm white and no government ever took care of my ancestors. If it hadn't been for raising their own vegies and chickens and hogs and wild game I wouldn't be here today.


Article Comment doj commented at 4/9/2011 1:11:00 PM:

Walter, the following was written by Lloyd Marcus, an Unhyphenated Conservative American, probably somewhat blacker than you are. I think it would help your perspective if you would read some of his words.

"Though our ancestors came to America on slave ships, we blacks are extremely blessed to be born in the greatest nation on the planet. It is time we let go of the past. Yes, I know this will infuriate and shock some of you (race profiteers), but it is true. Black overseers and liberals must stop exploiting America's past sins and viewing America from a 1950 point of view. For the sake of our children, blacks must see America for what it truly is today: a wonderful country where if the Obama administration would simply get out of the way, anyone with an idea, a dream, and a willingness to work can succeed. It is time to end "groupthink" and black racism and celebrate individuality and independence. "


Article Comment ckirby commented at 4/9/2011 8:10:00 PM:

I think your words, and those of Mr. Marcus, are lost on Walter and local race profiteers (as Mr. Marcus calls them). I've been reading another web site and it's plain to see that the black racism Mr. Marcus speaks of has thoroughly entwined itself into local politics and it's getting stronger every day with the help of liberals who support the profiteers.
In reading other sites, I've seen that black racist organizations have gained an undeniable foothold on the city council in Columbus. That's a sad situation, given the flight from the city already due to crime, decaying infrastructure, outrageous taxation, corruption in city government and the mismanagement and dumbing down of the public school system. Adding overt and city sponsored racism to the list will doom the city.
It's not the local white Caucasians who are said to control the school system and banks, the local Hispanics who are said to be stealing labor jobs that African-Americans once depended on, the local Jews who are said to be responsible for every evil on the planet that are destroying the African-American family unit.
It's the black pastors and preachers, the the black community activists, the black business owners and the black officials who blame those other groups for black teenage pregnancy, black dropout rates, black drug use, black on black crime and just about every problem experienced by black citizens everywhere.
There's a power structure in the local black community that would be threatened the moment black children were raised knowing they could learn as well from a Caucasian, Hispanic or Asian teacher as they can from a black one. That power structure would cease to exist the moment the black family unit regained its place as the norm instead of the exception. That black good old boy club would lose its power as soon as black men and women were elected who valued the things Mr. Marcus speaks of and what Frank mentioned in his message.
In the last fifty years, a lot of honest, hard working, decent people have worked, fought and suffered for a chance not just for blacks, but all people of every race to have the same rights, the same freedoms and the same opportunities that others had. They must have done some good because Mississippi now has more black elected government officials than any state in the US, yet it also has some of the worst rates for black dropouts, crime, teen and unwed pregnancy in the US. Why?
All that hard work, all that suffering by so many people and what's been done with the opportunities those brave people achieved for those who followed them? Listening to the hate speech of some on the city council and the groups they represent, they make it sound as though all those people, all those fighters and believers suffered for nothing, died for nothing and achieved nothing. All so they can sell the self-serving propaganda of racist groups with no interest in the true freedom of common people. Those are the profiteers. They are who need to go. That is the real problem. That is the system that needs to go.


Article Comment walter commented at 4/9/2011 8:25:00 PM:

I've met more than a few Lloyds in my lifetime, doj. His type is very familiar to me. I bet he is the first cousin of Armstrong and the colored precher out in California.

Yes. Presidents have been criticized by the media. If you think I'm batty and out of prozacs, then you better order a lot of strait-jackets and extra prozac, there are a lot of brothers and sisters who feel as I do: Obama has been treated more harshly than any other person to hold the office, as far as verbal abuse and disrespect.

I'm struck by how those on one side insists we should forget the past and move on. "Get over it!" they exclaim. Ironically, they're the same ones who benefitted most from the separate but un-equal treatment of African Americans...

Look around you, fellow (ckirby)! Young blacks being arrested and made felons throughout the state in numbers far more disproportionate to their white counter-parts. We know from Charlie Sheen, Lindey Lohan and my hero, Willie Nelson, balcks aren't the only ones using controlled-substance. Why are 25% of the young males of the black race being charged?

You who wish to potray any African American who questions what is so obvious as being "baty, on prozac" needs to reload. Other balcks see it as clearly as do we. They've simply have remained silent. One day that silence is going to explode. You're better off being fore-warned that Blacks are no fools and that we're demanding that you change what you're doing. It isn't fair, it isn't just! In fact, what you're doing is is Un-American for this new age that you insist we're living in. What you're doing is of our past and as long as you do it, I will show the connection.


Article Comment observer2 commented at 4/9/2011 9:38:00 PM:

Is it only 25% of your youth that walk around bow legged to keep their pants from falling down while holding onto their crotch like some uncivilized animal playing with themselves? Naturally with the cap on sideways . The "young blacks being arrested" make the decision to commit a crime hoping they can get away with it but thankfully the police catch most of them and put them in jail to protect you and me from any further acts of crime. It's not the police who make them do the crime. Where'd you come up with that number,25%, walter?
I think the cat is out of the bag now, you have come out in the open with a threat on Columbus residents and advising us to lock and load for the upcoming attack from blacks in Columbus led by you. Is that what you really think? Who are all these other blacks that think like you?
Give us some examples of how you were unequally treated and by whom? You're just making a bunch of general hot air statements. Please mention some real examples of harsh treatment this president has been given and by whom? Name a lot of "brothers and sisters" (very racial statement) who feel as you do. It's easy to make irrational general statements walter --give us some specifics. Is it only whites that you point at? I know of one real black man , Alan Keyes, who has sued the Usurper, as he calls him, for pulling the biggest scam in history by being elected to the white house and not being a natural born citizen. Everybody else knows that Obama has spent over 2 million dollars to keep from showing a real birth certificate. If everything was on the up in up , would you spend 2 mil just to not show your proof of birth? You have to admit there's something fishy going on here.


Article Comment walter commented at 4/10/2011 1:11:00 AM:

So, if I, and lots of other brothers and sisters were to march in protest of the obvious discriminatory treatment of young blacks, you intend " lock and load..." It is not I, observer2, who has made a threat on-line, but you. And, it is documented right here for the world to see. Amazingly, you even refer to our President in a negative way, while threatening to "lock and load!"

Any Idiot, capable of reading or who has taken the time to watch something other than cartoons on t.v., would know that the 25% figure is from a compilation of court documents throughout the nation. Coincidentally, PBS, if you have broken away from your favorite cartoon, just the other night, addressed the very same issue: young blacks caught-up in the criminal justice system. Another thing, please to reference Keyes, in support of some position to take respective people of color. At least to yours truly, it/he carry no weight at all!

One last thing, to label me as someone who "have come out with a threat on Columbus residents...' marks you as a damn fool. I encourage, in writings, residents, Blacks and decent whites, to reject racial discrimination in all form. I encourage using all available LEGAL, NON-Violent, means available to us to challenge the powers that be, to treat citizens alike, irregardless of their race, nationalities, class, religion, sexual-orientation, gender, or place of birth. Have you stated the same, anywhere. Check my posts! It documents what I just stated!

SO, ASSHOLE, DON'T ATTEMPT TO PLACE A TARGET ON MY BACK! By your doing so, you prove yourself to be a d--n fool for doing it in the same post in which you parrot b.s. about this nation's first President of Color! That certainly brings you under the radar and will guarantee that Secret Service- many of whom are black, Hispanic, Asians and women- will know who you are, despite your having used an alias!

In a former life, I had occasion to investigate and research incidents involving others, many others. While I have experienced unfair treatment, I write on behalf of the many who, for whatever reason, are incapable or too compromised to speak for themselves. The examples I can give will and have filled several books. Where do you want me to start: land loss; excessive sentences; fraudulent wills; deceptive practices; illegal searches and seizures; planted evidence; coerced confessions; improper interrogation of minors; violation of speedy trail; falsely accused (25-plus brothers have been released from death row, thanks to modern technology) and on and on? I have lived and am experienced enough to `live in such a way as to not trigger traps that the young blindly fall prey to. And, if I am not, I've reached an age, fellow, where God's will for me is totally, completely, absolutely, acceptable to me.



I believe others will take notice of the fact that you distorted my comments. They will also note that you wish to sic persons who are even more sick persons than yourself on me by claiming that I've set out to lead something other than a constitutionally protected public outcry against unfairness in the justice system. It is you, Observer2, who writes of locking and loading. And, it is you, whose real identity needs to be forwarded by the Dispatch to the Justice Department without delay. What killed Dr. King and Medgar were the distortion of their beliefs by manipulative persons like ypourself, who, played upon the ignorance of others of your kind to do what you lacked courage to do yourself. This is new a day! I go on record as saying that it is not the peon who acts at the behest of the Observers2 of the world that must pay for any untoward consequence of the of defamatory commemts, but rather, Observers2, himself, if his subtle order is acted upon...



Article Comment roscoe p. coltrain commented at 4/10/2011 6:33:00 AM:

Walter, if there is anything to your blubbering, it is that blacks in higher percentages are willing to perform that which will get them arrested, and when arrested, may well be unable to afford legal representation that would get them minimal punishment. Ok, I'll let you have that one. As far as "everyone out to get the black man" goes... dude, I don't have enough time or energy to waste worrying about your backside. I.E. I couldn't care less.

But now if you and all those young black brothers and sisters as you put it want to get froggy at my house, I have something for you that will let off some of that steam. I guarantee you, you won't be put up with at all.


Article Comment frank commented at 4/10/2011 9:58:00 AM:

They sure do allow a lot of cussing on those library computers at 1:11 AM on Sunday morning Wali. A fine example you have set for our young readers here...


Article Comment walter commented at 4/10/2011 3:26:00 PM:

You missed my point entirely, Rascal! The point is that despite whites doing the very same thing, the policies being observed today are such that they (whites) aren't subjected to being stopped as frequently as are young blacks. The exceptional times that they are, they aren't being searched as thoroughly. By chance they are searched and even more by chance they are found dirty, they aren't indicted, if even they're charged. If indicted, they are not tried; if placed on probation, they are not violated nearly as often as are their black counter-parts.

Let me relate something to you that was well-known in drug culture of blacks and whites: There was an addict (may he rest in peace) who was chauffered home by a former Chief of Police, after becoming incoherent from his usage. The Chief was right for doing what he did. That same Chief was wrong because he summarily ordered that young blacks in the same situation be transported to jail and forced to confess against others.


Article Comment walter commented at 4/10/2011 3:55:00 PM:

"Get foggy at (your) house..." Man, what in the ---- are you talking about. I don't even know you, nor your wife! I don't sell insurance and I don't mow lawns for a living! What reason do I have of coming to your house, idiot? Perhaps someone else might know you or your wife and might like a late night visit with one or the other of you. But, if that's the case, speak to him...

Frank, I wasn't I would experience another attempt to destroy my system with a foreign virus. Well, I'll have to refrain from posting now, Thanks to you.

I hope others will encourage Scott and CD's other great writers to continue to challenge us to dialogue across racial and political lines. It is good for greater understanding, which in time, will bring about greater respect and eventually mutual concern and love, for one another.

To all that I've offended, it came from my head, not my heart. Those who offended me, I didn't believe in turning the other cheek, although I followed Dr. King's and Ghandi's philosophies to the tee. You struck me with words, and with words i struck you back. That;s the American way, I believed.


Article Comment roscoe p. coltrain commented at 4/11/2011 7:01:00 AM:

Ok, lemme break it down for you Walter since it appears I must have used a big word and you got lost.

You were making reference to "young brothers and sisters" not taking it anymore blah, blah, blah, and to me it sounds like you are saying some of ya'll plan to drag me out of a truck in the middle of an intersection and introduce me to a brick.

You all can wander up and down the street all day, stomping your feet and puffing out that lip to pout about whatever bug it is you have up your backside today, but be warned... the very first one who gets all Reginald Denny with me is going to get a free trip to visit his/her long gone relatives. In other words Mister, if you think you as a black man have some sort of social gripe to make then I suggest you take it up with the correct person because if you come showing your backside around me you just might get it removed for free.

And I said "froggy" you ignorant racist, Louis Ferrethead sounding moron. Maybe if you'd close your mouth more you could see over it well enough to read.


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