New Census data reveal more than 300 counties now "Majority-Minority"
(August 15, 2007) Nearly one in every 10 of the nation’s 3,141 counties has a population that is more than 50 percent minority. In 2006, eight counties that had not previously been majority-minority pushed the national total to 303, the U.S. Census Bureau reported today.
But what does this translate into for the average Black person who resides within?
Now that the "White folks" who have historically made up the "Good ole boy network" and who have been the primary adversaries for so-called "Black Political Interests" have departed does this in and of itself mean progress for the Black residents that remain?
The local county of Clayton County Georgia recently switched about 5 years ago. This past two election cycles resulted in the new majority population being represented in the array of political representation. (All of the "Good ole boys" that departed office were White Democrats, but that is another story for another day. These new leaders were received by the community with great fanfare. "A new day has dawned upon Black America" it was said. The Black voter was victorious at least for the day.
Since that time Riverdale Georgia and neighboring Jonesboro and Forest Park have had continuing challenges with the new demographic profile and related socio-economic realities that were brought forth. On the positive side there has been continued retail development with several Home Depot" and "Lowe's" being built to anchor new developments. On a more neutral basis - more coin-op laundry centers and check cashing places have opened up - addressing the needs of the new citizens. If this was not the case - these places would close down due to lack of demand.
Most problematic, however has been the increase in gang related crimes and the steady decline in the academic performance in the various public schools within the county.
Despite all of my questions I must allow my endless amount of hope to spring eternal. I notice that there is a sign posted along Highway 85 announcing "The New Riverdale" and a community meeting set for August 20th. Though I don't live there I am will likely attend just to listen in.
The fact remains that the Black community must realize its new bearings. We now have a record amount of "our people" or a least people who we have voted for, regardless of their color in power over the Black community. The tendency to blame outside forces or historical racism as our primary problems must end. A 20 year old Black male was born in 1987, hardly a time of slavery and Jim Crow. The failure to make acceptance of this point also means that these conditions will perpetuate.
The primary problem, in my opinion, is that the Black community lacks the economic platform by which it can execute its own political priorities without asking for "permission from" or "resources redistributed from" other people from the outside of this said community. The basic employment in mind, body and intellect for our people resides in developing a comprehensive platform to build up that which is in our own best interests and that of our communities.
What good it is to be a "majority" in a political boundary yet require that your elected leadership to have their main tasks being to lobby some outside legislative body for funds to maintain your own environment? The history of our major cities resides in the decision to INCORPORATE these once "unincorporated" areas. As the population and industries grew these areas chose to incorporate so that those individuals residing within could benefit from the resources and services that the local economic engine could produce. Today many of these same cities are shells of themselves, with too many of the companies that served as their economic propulsion systems having gone away. All of this within the context of politicians and activists that are HOSTILE to those same entities which served as an essential building block for their growth.
It is time for these community leaders to put aside their ideological bent and work on pragmatic solutions.