A functional long-term non-government review of distressed African-American neighborhoods is required outside established SAFETY NET processes that have functionally helped degenerate rather than generate new and better lives.
The worst thing that can be imagined about processes put in place to help the poor of purse is that non-believers delete the functional realities of God given men and women power to labor and learn: that both are required for functional generation of communities in progress and stability. Whether Blacks or Whites, a neighborhood is not a community without one another in communion with one another. Organized religion may or may not be part of the functions. There are many African-Americans racially integrated in neighborhood housing but not community functions like birthdays, graduations, picnics, church services, baseball, etc.
Established review processes are limited by constituency dogma imposed by law categorizing both boys and girls on the basis of unrealistic beliefs. For functional purposes of enforcing child support payments to mothers by fathers and government:
... children are named/counted as economic pawns. (1) existed during slavery.
... girls to womanhood inspired to imitate mothers. (2) existed during slavery.
... boyz to manhood inspired to dislike others. (3) existed during slavery.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania metropolitan area is an excellent example of differing census views in which huge gaps exist in understanding how-where African-Americans are born, live and die. It is illogical to stereotype them on the basis of their color or use a non-sexual analogy that ignores boyz to men who do and can make life intolerable for "the least of us."
Young men and women are consistently discounted and undercounted in the census processes dependent upon census takers (mainly young women) who historically have reasons to avoid face counting (head counts) in a given neighborhood; and thus rely upon information provided by a listed head of household and little or no inputs from men that matter such as neighborhood school principals, ministers and police officers.
The plight of functional believers is that a older generation of American thinkers with power to rule, imagined that character of mothers was less important than that of her children. A new generation of gifted and talented scholars (talented tenth) are required to rethink what is wrong and right in the African-American heritage up from slavery: good, bad and indifferent by those who know and know-not such as hereditary mental health conditions.
The war on poverty famously launched by President Lyndon Johnson failed because it was based upon review data gathered and correlated by too many people of power (centered in the new Department of Housing and Urban Development) far away and outside the functional faith that many African-Americans lived and died by, during and up from chattel slavery into the 1950s.
In fact, virtually all of the Colleges, Christian ministers and organized religious bodies that had participated in and supported Dr. King's Southern Christian Leadership Conference: were ineligible to participate in organizing, planning, programming or execution of same. They believed in processes of regimentation including "Roberts Rules of Order" for conducting and recording meetings.
Essentially the historic talented tenth (fraternal organizations, ministries, law firms, businessmen and women, education institutions such as Tuskegee, etc.) were cleverly shut-out of reaching out to impoverished neighborhoods. The war on poverty was relegated to rule that any fifty persons, young or old, in a given poverty neighborhood could vote to elect a neighborhood policy official, employed or unemployed, homeowner or renters, literate or not, to represent a community whether or not such existed. It almost instantly created blind leading the blind wherein the one-eyed man or woman was a neighborhood king or queen. Failure was assured.
William Thomas Frog Kyle Atkins, born 1906 standing top left in above Monessen, Pennsylvania Masonic Lodge image, remembered that in the 1960s Masons were all family men of good standing as home owners and church builders/maintainers/officials in their communities; but were not involved in government funded programs such as Model Cities. All housing contracts in the Pittsburgh metro area were awarded to businesses unknown to Masonic orders or members with experiences and skills in crafts such as cement, carpentry and brick laying historically shut-out of unionized craft labor jobs. New writers might conclude it was a church-state conspiracy to assure failure.
Citing a judicial interpretation to separate church and state, none of the program goals and objectives ever included developing neighborhoods into communities, getting residents to view themselves as brothers and sisters, a common tactic of the past dating back to at least the post-Civil War years as a prerequisite to building anything. It matters to understand why.
Failure was assured by many young scholars and ambitious activists from differing cultural backgrounds who conceptualized requirements on the basis of their beliefs and learned reasoning at places like University of Texas, Harvard, Georgetown, etc. These advisors were born and educated in the same chronological age groups as JFK, MLK and RFK but not joined to their 64th and 65th generations functional faith. Therein was a commonality in caring versus differences in functional concepts and strategies.
In year 1965, President Johnson prompted by advisors (and proponents such as Roman Catholic Cardinal Spellman of New York) on the concepts of nation-building: launched the Vietnam War (upgraded from military advisory assistance to the South Vietnamese Government approved by Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy both of whom had refused to do so).
Though most of Vietnam were of the traditional Buddhist faith the south was ruled by the Diem family and friends of Catholicism with ties to men like Spellman. (right image) Reasoning was not joined to faith in Christianity but rather the fear that Vietnam would be over-run by godless Marxist beliefs/communism that would lead to the spread in other nations falling like dominos.
In the consequent build-up of the war, he had 500,000 American troops, including over 100,000 African-Americans in Vietnam by year 1966. War casualties matter, and motivate American Presidents (from Washington to Obama) more than any other facts or factors.
Weekly war casualty reports that included Black and White casualties (a thousand young men per week) came across President Johnson's desk. He undoubtedly felt morally obligated to do something about the cries of multitudes of young mothers in places like Chicago, home of Milton Olive whom he had posthumously issued the first Congressional Medal of Honor for Vietnam heroism.
Johnson heard their cries and cared to do something; because a lot of impoverished women knew how to cry tears that could make strong men like him do as they wanted: hear their pains and passions for newer and better housing away from where they were born, raised and unhappy. What impoverished women and their proponents wanted was not grounded in prevailing economic theories that governments ruled by.
Mothers' attitudes mattered in shaping mindsets on what matters in civil society. In the case of African-American masses of impoverished households (not all), the main matter was a mother independent of fathers having a nice house or apartment to be happy in raising her dependent children. Manhood matters like fathers having income as providers was of far lesser importance in the short-term, mid-term or long-term years in democratic societies. Seemingly, it only matters most during periods of armed conflict enveloping politicians and even dictators.
In that same above time period, LBJ advised by believer and non-believer advisors and consultants on concepts of community building using the Fair Housing law passed in 1937 by the Roosevelt Administration. It was part of Keynesian Economic Theory to help America recover from the 1929 depression that caused unemployment for an estimated 50 percent of American working men if one includes (African and Native American males normally not counted).
As supported by organized labor interests, banks and home builders, the law as enforced for the next thirty years did little or nothing to advance training and employment of Black men in the skills and crafts such as brick masons, cement finishers, carpenters, plumbers, electricians, heavy equipment and related affirmative labor capabilities. Long before Keynesian economic theories, Booker T. Washington had reasoned that concentrated earnings and spending by African-Americans in their own neighborhoods would help prime the pump for development of functional communities even if racially separate.
The theoretical economics of Oxford scholar John Maynard Keynes perceived that government spending could help increase employment by priming the economic pump. Demands for labor by builders would generate bank loans, profits and income from employment that would be spent buying goods and services. Such initiatives by governments would further expand demands for labor and employment that would help recover and stabilize families of working men and women.
Competitive labor, including strike-breakers in places like Pittsburgh, was propagated by Booker T. Washington as the best method and means to help uplift men into families and thus build communities. His famed Black keys and White keys analogy given at the Atlanta Exposition found widespread support among many enlightened Black and Whites in the former confederate states.
Washington's functional theory was that young men and women should by labor and education obtain hard skills that were marketable to people who needed such. But many gifted and talented men opposed him on the fear that building more institutions on the Tuskegee model would allow government to avoid their hopes and dreams for racial integration at prestigious institutions like Harvard University.
Indeed, for most of the graduates of the great places like Harvard, their only regular sources of employment after graduation were the approximately 100 African-American institutions built on dogma propagated by Booker T. Washington for "the least of us." Howard University in Washington, D.C. was for many years, from about year 1900 until at least year 1960, called by gifted and talented scholars thus employed as "the Harvard of the South" their hopes and dreams for a racially integrated America still unfulfilled.
World War II, far more so than World War I and the post depression years, advanced the plight of Black and White men, young and old. In the first instance, it required over 12 million military age White men pulled out of economic production capabilities and put into uniform along with over one million African-American young men with monthly cash incomes to spend and send home to their mothers and others.
LBJ launched the War on Poverty (upgraded from functional anti-discrimination and equal employment opportunity strategies of JFK Administration). The federal government used the department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as the command center for its war on poverty; and, consequently hired numerous young men in processes, such as graduate education, to avoid military conscription. All cared mostly about their own lives; but many cared less or lacked the capabilities to conceptualize and strategize any kind of war.
Bright and ambitious, Robert L. Moore was one such young man born in Camden, New Jersey was quickly elevated to help create functional policies and priorities for community development. A former college running back, living in Washington, D.C. he was sent out into the poverty wilderness of New Jersey and other dysfunctional neighborhoods based upon academia concepts. He went out without a proof of principal staging deemed unnecessary by strategic planners at HUD. The notion was that grass-roots poor folks could hire consultant experts to help guide them in making wise choices and decisions.
And, HUD certainly lacked any strategic intelligence and planning input from functional entities such as established club and church entities with historic abilities to congregate and organize orderly meetings, and record minutes of the same. By the time Model Cities programming was ended in July 1973 by President Richard Nixon, most of the Model Cities Policy Committees established in virtually all the metropolitan areas cited in the Metropolitan Statistical Areas lacked the local skill sets to research, prepare and publish after action reports for their five-year demonstration programs conceptualized by men and women like Moore, very bright and talented; but lacking functional knowledge of community development spanning generations.
Concurrently, his personal priorities were to avoid conscription by using his lucrative pay to enroll in graduate courses leading to a Ph.D. in education made possible by his new connections and travels at government expense to help train him and others in program, project and budgeting matters. Very few of these new breed policy-makers had ever been business or home owners, nor officials of seasoned civic clubs and churches. But, they used formal education to master the short-court games of power versus the long-term generations of empowerment.
They avoided seasoned African-American political and religious leaders, especially those linked by common cause, to men like Martin Luther King. Prominent and influential men like S. Howard Woodson with abilities to organize across hundreds of neighborhoods in New Jersey were avoided by government employed non-believers as a possible conflict between church and state. Stupid but true.
And from Day 1, the new government funded elites set out to embellish their personal standing in the communities of their youth: often scheming to be acknowledged and praised in the pulpits of local churches, as the new leaders for impoverished African-Americans.
And, thus the war on poverty was lost before any lasting battles could be won, including the Head Start program and Rodent Control cited as success stories.
Assumptions were that former popular local athletes and neighborhood women were talented to conceive and manage knowledge and understanding of neighborhood needs and aspirations. In reality, the federal government empowered "the least of us" neighborhood men and women as leaders with functional power over 3 billion dollars to spend. Money was power in the hands of needy greedy who made it their own personal affirmative actions to advance short-term causes with mid-term and long-term consequences.
The great tragedy is that few of these popularly elected and appointed grass-roots neighborhood leaders had experience and training in planning, programming and budgeting for long-term (10-20 years), mid-term (3-9 years) or even short-term matters of 1-2 years. They were not the talented tenth envisioned by Johnson Administration strategists who perceived democracy would triumph over other functional matters such as character and greed.
Clarence Pendleton was another popular former athlete in the funding pipeline from HUD down through the States and Cities receiving Model Cities Grant funds based on developmental demonstration planning, programs and budgets submitted by neighborhood councils, and concurred in local elected mayors and councils.
A physical education major and college graduate employed as a swimming coach at Howard University, he was appointed to head the Model Cities program in Baltimore. His later published observations were that too many in the national and local leadership positions of Model Cities programs were morally corrupt and inept.
It is still amazing that rather than doctrinal procedures to recruit, test and classify the best and brightest neighborhood youth for responsible program activities: organizing was based upon gathering neighborhood signatures wherein the most popular were designated to lead, regardless of their literacy level. Many, if not most programs directors hired their lovers, relatives and offspring of political supporters or paid them as consultants often from out-of-town locations.
Pendleton, like many other African-Americans born and bred with middle-class aspirations and values in Black College and University education and training tailored to the doctrines of Booker T. Washington, viewed most of his national peers with disdain.
Pendleton perceived that with few exceptions, they all saw and heard different doctrine that perceived the poor as their pawns pursuant power and wealth in war and peace. He perceived left and right ideologies vastly differing from his political beliefs that employment of Black men mattered more than housing welfare mothers and children.
His published views prompted Governor Pete Wilson of California to appoint him in heading the state's Model Cities Program and encouraging him to support Ronald Reagan as Governor and onto President.
As Chairman of the Federal Equal Employment Opportunities Commission, he disdained fellow members and others with comments such as: "White women have won the equal employment opportunities fight."
Garbage in, garbage out, they and theirs concluded that apartments for mothers and education of their children (via busing to White schools) was the a practical way to salvation for Black folks, funded and enforcement by government. Viable fatherhoods was thus a non-issue.
Clarence Pendleton (image on right) thought that such thoughts were degenerate. Black men walking or working did not matter. Jesse Jackson wisely observed, understood and noted the intentional strategy to "move power to the other side of the bed" did not, could not generate goodness. A house is not a home unless occupants labor for it to be such: in good and bad times connecting generations in the cause.
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