So much for black political power when residents of the
"inner city" either are not registered to vote or do not
vote on Election Day. It goes without saying that if the
"inner city" wards do not come out in gangbuster numbers,
the "white suburban" voters can rule the day and negate any
smiley photo opps of black preachers and black mayoral
As I have said in past guest opinions, do the smiley
preachers, in those worthless photo ops, have the power to
get the mayor on the phone and get instant perks for their
community, even if it is just a pack of summer jobs for
their teen members?
Somebody throw a custard pie in my face but for all the
years I have been commenting on politics in Toledo, I have
not seen smiley black preachers getting any bang for their
photo-op bucks from City Hall.
It is as if by the sheer dint of the presence of such
photographs of dozens of black pastors standing behind a
black mayoral candidate that somehow that bespeaks of:
"We got the numbers to get this done!"
No...it only says that you were courteous enough to
agree to be in a photograph of smiley black preachers and
for your graciousness you may have thought that maybe, just
maybe, my congregation or the conglomerate black community
would benefit from our collective stance with the mayor.
So sorry for your losses! Next time when the photo bus
rolls around and you are solicited to stand tall in the
photo opp, that you have the political savvy to make sure
that you are getting something for your tried and true
The unendorsed Democratic Mayor Elect...Wade...opted out
of the smiley black photo spread and probably said to
himself, "Naw...don't need it. I can win without it!"
The moral of the story? If you and your black mayoral
candidate have not run a tight and robust voter registration
drive, going door to door, and also having means of
delivering thousands of people to the polls, winning the
mayor's office will just be a smiley photograph opportunity
that will become scrapbook history in a few months.
(2) Why? When you consider that murdering or shooting
someone is a desecration of life and an affront to God, why
would not the affected neighborhoods cooperate with other
affected neighborhoods and start a 10-year campaign to
reduce or eradicate senseless black-on-black violence?
The best resource for such an extended campaign and
which has the various locations already in place to launch
such an ambitious attack is....wait for it......the ever
present black church.
My hunch is this: If each black church, be it the kind
that has maybe five persons that show up for Sunday worship
or 500 that show up, there are enough resources to undertake
a campaign to reclaim the affected and downtrodden
neighborhoods that suffer from gun play and other sorts of
crime. No, you will not eliminate it but you can reduce it,
if the will is there to reduce it.
I know...I know...there are "start and stop" campaigns
both in the past and the present that have the mission
statement do such an worthy endeavor, BUT until both David
and Goliath come together and each offers his unique
resources and talents, nothing will be done.
Now, remember I said that this will be a 10-year
campaign at least because you have to change aberrant
generational habits and thinking and, without such a
commitment, why start it in the first place?
I offered the black church as the focal point of such
an initiative because the black church is the biggest but
temporary banker in the black community due to the wealth
that it accumulates on Sundays and Wednesdays before it
dutifully turns its weekly collection offerings over to
white folks and their banking system so that white folks can
get rich off of those weekly tithes and offerings.
You know and I know that black wealth does not tarry
long in the black community but leaves rather quickly and
finds a warm reception in white banks, credit unions and
merchants who are as pleased as punch to get those bags of
money come Monday morning bank counting time.
But...that is how we roll in Toledo.
The black church has the goods and the talents and the
skills to take a vibrant and powerful message of hope and
change and education to its surrounding communities but will
it or will it cling to its stained glass windows as a refuge
from the secular storm?
Imagine if you can, that once a month EACH black church
selects a day in the week where congregants, among other
activities, walk the streets and with both a personal
presence and a lit drop, begin to re shape the community
into a model that will eschew drugs and violence and adhere
to positive community and spiritual values that would
advance the current and next generation.
And as to the prior comment about black dollars escaping
the black community, recall if in the past 30 days you spent
any of your hard-earned money on any of the following
services IN the black community: (1) floral shops (2) barber
shops (3) beauty parlors (4) credit unions (5) car dealers
(6) restaurants (7) carry outs (8) real estate agents (9)
black doctors (10) black lawyers (11) grocery stores (12)
jewelry stores (13) auto repair (14) accountants (15)
insurance agents (16) furniture dealers (17) plumbers and
electricians (18) clothiers (19) contractors (20)
If you have noticed by now, some of those categories do
not even exist in our community or, we do not even know who
is who is some categories and which shows the need for a
black directory of businesses including all black churches;
and the dire need to channel our youth into entrepreneurial
businesses...or we will simply continue to exist as a
conquered colony for the merchants who live in Perrysburg,
Ottawa Hills and Maumee. We export our money and we import
their goods and services!
Some things I will never understand.
Contact Lafe Tolliver at
Ed. Note: The Truth is currently compiling a just such a
database of black-owned businesses. Please feel free
tocontact us at
firstname.lastname@example.org for information about your