Feb 202015

COAL Commentary – COAL Endorses

CHICAGO, Illinois February 19, 2015 –

We have been conditioned over the past few decades to believe that ‘bullying’ and nastiness and ‘dictatorial’ politics equals leadership.

It does not.

If it did, our kids would be receiving a better education, Chicago’s black unemployment rate would be lower, our neighborhoods would be safer, our business sector would be thriving, we’d have increased parity in City contracting and investment in our community would be more than just another new Whole Foods, Wal-Mart or Mariano’s.

Effective leadership, as most of you know and have experienced in your own lives, while being strong can still be less ‘in your face’ and more collaborative, less confrontational and more about problem solving, less dictatorial and more delegatorial and inclusive. Less dismissive and more empathetic to the plight of everyday people. Less ‘politician’ and more ‘public servant’.

But we’ve been conditioned to miss this.

We’ve also been conditioned to hold our fingers to the wind to determine who might win a given race, and then to ‘jump on board’ regardless of whether the perceived front-runner will address our community’s issues or not – or even worse could exacerbate the issues plaguing our community.

How else do you explain the naked ‘selling out’ by those that profess to be stalwarts in the fight for progress, the fight for community…. But then again, we’ve always had those folks around, and yet, it did not break the civil rights, voting rights and other movements.

We’ve also been conditioned to be risk-adverse, sticking with what we have, when clearly it isn’t working and knowing that to address the complexity of the issues our community is grappling with, requires taking bold action – that the status quo is not working, so why would we stick with it?

Our leaders, from businessmen to preachers to heads of community organizations have been conditioned to be overly cautious, to be quiet… lest the flow of whatever funding they are getting is cut-off – a contract denied, a land request to build an adjacent parking lot buried, a grant reduced, an invitation to the big house lost in the mail – and although these concerns can be real – at what cost to your community, at what cost to your own principles, at what cost to our future…

Something to think about.

It is COAL’s established policy not to endorse candidates.

However, what we do endorse is our community thoughtfully assessing all candidates based on one’s belief in the candidate’s interest in and ability to address our most pressing issues. How else do we move our agenda forward? COAL endorses our community educating ourselves on the issues, thoughtfully, qualitatively and quantitatively, morally, spiritually and yes, even emotionally – shouldn’t we all be seething at the disparities for black people – in health, wealth, employment, our children’s achievement?

COAL endorses us putting in place a means of holding our elected officials accountable and then voting on their delivery on commitments. COAL endorses our community voting in large numbers to use the power of numbers to influence, move and/or force positive change for our community – improved education, increased employment, a growing business sector, safer neighborhoods, a justice system that works for us, increased opportunities for health and happiness, improved preparedness to grab a solid hold of the opportunities that exist and that can be created….

Let others cynically cull the favor of those in power, even when those in power disrespect our community (if it was a strategic means to a strategic end that benefited the community, even this would be OK, but our misguided folk selfishly play ‘very small ball’), rather let us go to the polls, understanding our conditioning, but fighting against said conditioning to chart a new and better course for our community.

COAL endorses breaking the chains of this ‘conditioning’ that elected officials, not delivering for our community, count on.

COAL endorses us voting and endorses our leaders stepping up to promote, assist and fund efforts to get our community to the polls.

COAL endorses each member of the community being accountable for getting family members and friends to vote. Who they vote for is up to each individual, but vote we must. We all own this.

COAL believes that we must be vigilant, if not, we are vulnerable.

And that is the Stone ‘COAL’ Truth…

Click here for a copy of COAL Commentary – COAL Endorses.

Click here for a full copy of COAL News – February 2015 3.0.

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