Does Anyone Fully Understand What The Greenwood Chamber Does?

There is a lot to say about the Greenwood Chamber of Commerce like “what do they do?” “What is their function?” “Who do they answer to?” And “how are they funded?” Interesting organization, they seem to love controversy and hate to explain themselves. They are now embroiled in a major tiff with a tenant. And true to their form they brought a heavy bat to the fight. If you do not like the system or accommodations, you eventually get asked to leave.

Leasing space with the chamber is like having an adjustable-rate mortgage on your home; at some point the honeymoon ends and the rate doubles for some inexplicable reason. That is no way to do business and while no one gets to rent free, rates should be reasonable.
So far, they will reply that they are understanding and try to work with the tenants, but their patience runs out and eviction notices fly. Tenants often wonder what they do with the rather high rent? Good question and now, there is a question as to whether they are even the real landlord. True to their ways they do not explain or supply their budget. Are they a private entity or do they rely on public monies? Or are they a hybrid, like a combination of both?

It does not take a social scientist to understand the chamber should be making every accommodation to bring in as many black businesses as possible to the Greenwood area because of the history. That does not appear to be their goal. What their goal is remains a mystery. Conditions need to change, and a public airing needs to occur before the anger gets out of control.

The real question at this point is “do we have a black chamber that is best at kicking out black tenants? If that is the case, there needs to be a reckoning to recreate a real black chamber. The history of Greenwood deserves much better. Until then, there needs to be a moratorium on evictions. There are too many questions at this point. We should find out if the Greenwood Chamber even has the right to evict before anyone is removed.

People Of Color Are Dying From Covid And Denied Testing

According to a newsletter called Coronavirus News For Black Folks, they report that blacks are being turned away from receiving tests, sometimes on multiple occasions. Some died in their own homes with no medical services. Some of the cases were spread throughout the household with deadly outcomes. In midsummer black children died from Covid double that of white children.

Many black workers were labeled as essential workers and had to work in a pandemic environment. Accordingly, their white supervisors worked from home and continue to do so. Even with the advent of the life saving vaccine, the damage of past treatment will spell more devastating results. Black experiences with vaccine and drugs in general are so negative that polls show many African Americans are not likely to take the vaccine.

These problems are present as we as a nation head into the darkest period in the history of this pandemic. Just this week 18 Tulsans died from Covid-19 and the prospect that this will get worse before it improves is disturbing for us all. We can do more about the current situation by doubling down on the community commitment to stay safe. We can reduce our time out of the home, wash our hands and wrists more, sanitize surfaces, remove our coats outside and when possible let them sit in the sunlight, social distance seven feet not six. If you see a place where people are not masked do not go in. Get tested and sign up for the vaccine. Repeat as needed. I guarantee if you do this it will lessen the harm this virus will cause. These suggestions are not the end result; educate yourself, follow CDC and World Health Organization guidelines on ways to stay safe.

This nation has lost too many people to Covid and while we could waste our time and assign blame, we simply do not have the luxury of spending valuable time on useless actions. Please do not overreact to precautions and suggestions. Be safe and well.

Racism In The Time Of Trump

Outgoing President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, will be blamed for the chaos and bitter racism seen in parts of our population. True he stoked the flames of racism, which only means he revved up what was already there laying somewhat dormant. The evidence was always there. The justice system, education, and housing have long been institutions where prejudice was such part of the systemic racism, we have become accustomed to it. Now while we worried about the outrageous cruelty of Trump in other more troubling areas, a new level of racial hatred has started to emerge.

With ruthless bigots by his side and in his administration, Trump literally caged children seeking asylum to pursue a cruel policy of kicking people of color out of America. It has not stopped and because there have been a thousand acts of outrageous behavior that bore attention to the point, we as a nation have forgotten.

It is hard to imagine the pressure and violence aimed at Capitol policemen at the riot in Washington D.C. last week being worse. However, reports from black capitol policemen paint a picture of ugly rhetoric and violence. Despite the special cruelty aimed at black law enforcement they performed their duties with exceptional professionalism. One black policeman probably saved the lives of United States senators hiding in special offices while thugs searched for them when he led them away from their safe places.

In other times, the news might have been the deliberate attempt to execute black men sitting on federal death row. A literal rush to single out black prisoners for execution in what will be the largest list of executions in federal history.

At the riot, a confederate flag was carried throughout the capitol like a conquering army would after a brutal siege. Gallows were erected outside on the lawn as rioters shouted for Vice President Mike Pence to be lynched. January 20th cannot get here too soon. We as a nation must heal.