Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Businesses Attacked for Urban Problems

I just finished reading a commentary from the Monday JT entitled "City lacks leadership, vision for the poor and under-served", written by self proclaimed leader Elliott Cohen, CEO/President of Abundant Life Christian Center.

"As one of the African-American leaders in the city of Racine, I am appalled and ashamed of the continuous neglect and absolute disdain for the poor and under-served communities in our city." writes Cohen.

He goes on to describe the laundry list of problems from joblessness, high dropout rates, violence, drug use, as well as some positive developments that mainly "benefit a certain population of the city".

Now here is his final paragraph: "Finally, let's challenge this city economically if situations do not change through boycotts and other effective nonviolent strategies to changing the status quo."

Which leaves me wondering, which business or businesses should be held accountable for the murders, drug use, joblessness and education failures that plague our city? A better idea would be to boycott the government that helps perpetuate these inner city problems.


Wade said...

Part of the problem is apparent in early on in the commentary. Cohen refers to communities with in the city, I view the city as a community. I am sure segregationists thank Mr. Cohen and other self appointed black leaders for carrying there stars and bars banner.
I also see a conflict of the idea of collective rights and individual responsibilities, vs individual rights and collective responsibilities.
Denis,you bring up a good point, who are you going to boycott that affects these issues. I have a suggestion, boycott drug dealers, liquor stores, gangs, enabling government programs, and churches with CEO/Presidents.

Kathy said...


Anonymous said...

Denis, i responded to your Whitey Tax post. Please take a look...(august 2006)

As far as this topic is concerned, i can definitely see i'm in Republican-ville. But thats ok. To say that the city is a community is a jaded view of reality. Their are communities within the city, as is the case with most cities. Their is the community of the haves, and then the community of the have nots.

Now in no way am i condoning violence, drug dealing or gang activities but the reality is that when they are few alternatives, what are people going to turn to?

As Wade stated that he thought the whole city is a community, then my question is, if that's the case, what is the community doing about it these issues? Are you not a part of the community? If so, then that means that you have some accountability to what happens to your own community, right? I think you see that the whole city is not a community because no one wants to be accountable for their place in the community.

We can work to minimize all of these issues by not stereotyping all black and hispanic males, give them opportunities to work along side you, hire them to work in your businesses, take time to tutor them, learn their culture, let them in your world and you'll be surprised how much both of you learn and how you've personally affected one life, and quite possibly saved one.

Denis Navratil said...

To anonymous. I appreciate your contributions to this blog and I hope you keep them coming. But I think your attitude/philosophy is problematic. For example, you write "Now in no way am i condoning violence, drug dealing or gang activities but the reality is that when they are few alternatives, what are people going to turn to?" Sounds like condoning violence to me or at least making excuses for it. The poor in Racine, by historical and worldwide standards, are exceedingly wealthy. And yet you think they have nothing to do but commit crimes. There have been times when I have been bored and jobless. Should I have shot someone?

Anonymous said...

Denis, what makes you different than the folks i talk about is that you have a support network. If things are down, you have a network of people and resources you can access that will help you get through those times.

Alot of these folks don't have this support network you have. Mom is a single parent raising a boy, works 2 part-time jobs, she can't work full-time because she's also going to school to support her kids to make a better life for them because living off of $7/hr is extremely tough. This means, minimal face time with your kid, which often means the streets raise your kid. Kids being raised by the streets = trouble and you know the rest of the story.

Denis Navratil said...

Anon. I don't know how you know so much about my support system as it is not something I have written about. But perhaps you know me well but prefer to remain anonymous. Anyway, I still think you are making excises for criminal behavior. Yes, single parenthood, low paying jobs, etc... are difficult circumstances. But everyone has their battles, their problems. This is no reason to turn to a life of crime.