A few years ago, the unusual occurrence of a Manatee in the Memphis area caused great local buzz and attention. The salt water giant found his way into the waters of the Mighty Mississippi and into the hearts of Memphians as they tracked his movements. Well, in similar fashion we recently had another giant of the sea, a “Shark”, (not the aquatic variety), visit our fair city to much fanfare and accolade. Daymond John, a fashion industry pioneer, is founder of the FUBU clothing line and star of the ABC reality show “Shark Tank,” which features a team of wealthy and successful investors (the Sharks) being pitched by up-and-coming entrepreneurs to invest in their fledging business ventures.
There is much corruption when it comes to procurement. Probably the industry with the most corruption is construction. Keep in mind that corruption is the first cousin of discrimination which is why the establishment cringes at the thought of Black strangers coming into their territory. They want to keep the graft private.
The Rev. Marvin Winans’ remark, “I refuse to be afraid of us,” in the wake of the robbery attack on him by four young Black men at a neighborhood gas station on Linwood and Davison, carries a moral truth is a statement deeply rooted in the belief that we cannot throw our children away or become prisoners in our own communities, afraid to go out because young Black males have become tigers in the hood, on the prowl for their next victims. I refuse to accept the notion that there is nothing else we can do, and that the solution is to dump Detroit and move out as quickly as you can. While such reasoning is politically expedient and the common sense thing to do in a state of fear, it is not the answer to the growing socioeconomic ills facing our community. It is not the answer to halt the violence in our town.
Last week, 24 long-term employees of United Continental Holdings, United Airlines, and Continental Airlines filed a lawsuit in San Francisco, alleging racial discrimination, retaliation and harassment in violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and state fair employment laws. I vividly remember United Airlines television commercials of the 1970s urging us to “Fly the friendly skies of United.” In 2012, the skies appear to be anything but friendly for Black pilots as they seek an equal opportunity to be to be promoted to the management ranks.
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