For the black community the I-5 Rose Quarter nearly 3/4 of a billion $$$ construction project is more than just a highway expansion

More than a just a highway expansion.

For black people, It’s a chance to repair wrongs and chart our own destiny. 

For the black community the I-5 Rose Quarter nearly 3/4 of a billion $$$ construction project is more than just a highway expansion 2


The I-5 Rose Quarter Project is a $650 million Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) construction project that is designed to help alleviate the bottleneck congestion on I-5 through the Rose Quarter corridor. The project will build a cap/lid on top of the freeway and complete some additional widening to speed the flow of traffic in this area.

Many of you may already be aware that this project is in the heart of the historic Albina neighborhood that at one time was a thriving

African-American community. Like the ‘urban development’ that happened to so many Black communities around the country, this community was targeted and decimated by many major infrastructure projects that routinely displaced minorities. Examples include the initial construction of I-5,

Memorial Coliseum, Emmanuel Hospital, the Oregon Convention Center, and many other Portland developments over the past 70 years.

The Black community was further destroyed by “redlining” and later the gentrification process that followed around this same time. Furthermore, to add insult to injury, the community did not receive any economic benefit as a result of the wealth that was created by these projects. Minorities were systematically locked out of employment opportunities and our businesses were unsuccessful at winning meaningful work through the diabolical utilization of federal wage rates, unions, low-bid, and pre-qualification policies.

For the first time in its more than 100-year history, ODOT is using the Construction Management/General Contractor alternative delivery method to procure this project instead of the traditional low-bid process. They hired general contractor Hamilton/Sundt Construction company, who subsequently teamed with Black-owned Raimore Construction, who is intimately tied to the community. The entire project team is empowered by ODOT to utilize this project to start the economic empowerment of Black and other minority communities through living-wage employment and entrepreneurship.

Understand, this is the same community that has historically been marginalized and oppressed by systemic policies that have institutionalized racism and white supremacy. We have an opportunity to start the process of restorative justice for our community.  Although some development is included, it generally does not meet the needs of minority populations the way living wage jobs and entrepreneurship does. Indeed, living-wage employment is critical to homeownership, which is the biggest wealth creator for individuals, families, and small businesses and is the cornerstone to wealth creation for our nation.

The I-5 Rose Quarter project is a perfect catalyst to start this process due to its size and the fact that the construction will run over a 4 to 5-year period. It will create many living-wage jobs not only in the trades but in the areas of administration, engineering, project management, marketing, accounting, finance, human resources, and community relations. The duration of the project will provide an opportunity to go from entry employment to creating long-term living-wage career opportunities for our people. That is especially important because it generally takes 2-5 years to become a journeyman or to gain proficiency/competency in this work field.

As usual, community factions are working subversively to prevent this project from moving forward, including the No More Freeways group, the Elliot Neighborhood Association, and Portland Public Schools. Push back to these objections point to recently conducted traffic studies that show that idling stop-and-go traffic creates more pollution than free-flowing traffic. Subsequently, fixing this bottleneck should aid with reducing carbon emissions and thus increase and improve air quality. In contrast to this, the timing of PPS’s concerns about increased air pollution at Harriet Tubman MS is telling. Now they want to raise the pollution concerns for children, although this school has been attended by Black and Brown children for decades.

We all know that the health of the minority community has never been part of any environmental consideration, which is why the freeway was built through the heart of our community in the first place. Consequently, the levels of pollution were never questioned previously when the school was attended primarily by Black and brown children. Certainly, we all should be concerned about global warming and the environment and its impact on people, the community, and the world.  It appears that environmentalists, the neighborhood associations, and uninformed communities are being bamboozled into fighting a battle to delay the building of this project for other disingenuous reasons.

Economics through living-wage jobs and industrial entrepreneurship has always been the goal and is essential to establishing and building a healthy and vibrant community. Black people must have consistent means of bringing dollars into their community. And once these dollars are in the community, we can now start the true re-building process by our own hands and build our wealth by keeping those dollars circulating throughout the community. This is the only way Black-owned businesses such as beauty and nail salons, barbershops, restaurants, art and entertainment venues, professional offices, and other service-oriented businesses get established and grow. They all make up a healthy vibrant community, all following and flowing from a strong economy.

Although it is not the only form of a developing economy, the construction industry is critical to a vibrant community. This is primarily due to the limited barriers to entry without the need to incur major capital or debt. All you need to be successful is to show up consistently, have a positive attitude and strong work ethic to establish a living-wage career in the field. In addition, there are many professional positions that one can grow into without requiring formal education, including becoming a small business owner which again is the cornerstone of wealth creation in this country.

To sum up, all these factors are why the I-5 Rose Quarter project is so important to Portland’s Black and other people of color communities. These various arguments against the project should not be allowed to impede its progress.


Senator Tim Scott; but Portland has it’s own brand of Gate Keepers.

Like Tim Scott there is a New generation of Gate Keepers on the scene in Portland

Senator Tim Scott; but Portland has it's own brand of Gate Keepers. 4

New Gate Keepers blocking black economic progress.

It seems that the more things change, the more they stay the same. I’d like to think that I have a historical lens and can see why things in Black Portland haven’t changed much or for the better in the last 40 years. One aspect of this sad situation stands out above all others and that is the evolution of the white-infused Black gatekeepers. Generationally, I guess I was hoping they would organically die out. But to my dismay, they have flourished across those broad boundaries.

These gatekeepers have been paid by white people to tell us that it ain’t all that bad and that they are working on changing it. And we should just look on the good side and count our blessings. For years these folks have been providing a false platform to give the impression that there is significant progress when in fact, there has been little. This circumstance is especially true for the masses of Blacks living in Portland. Now we have new black gatekeepers working surreptitiously on the part of white developers and newly arrived environmentalists scheming to impose a new vision that is ultimately designed to disenfranchise black people again. In some cases, it might not be intentional but the results are the same.

The situation is reminiscent of the house Negro, the ‘field nigger’ dichotomy from slavery. These new-age house Negroes are constantly telling us, “the massa is OK”. What’s new and frightening about this whole NHN phenomenon is that they are even actively organizing others to misdirect us. They dare to criticize other Blacks for using social media to lay out their grievances and express their opinions. Hypocritically, on the other hand, they are willing to use social media to present grandiose visions and lie about the ultimate beneficiaries of their proposed visions.

So who ordained and endowed them with the special privileges to be the arbitrators of Black thought and disposition? Those self-aggrandize, self-serving operatives ought to shut up because if they haven’t already noticed, Black folks still have the highest unemployment, school dropout and incarceration rate, the lowest home and business ownership rate, and the highest health and wealth disparities rate than any other racial group. Indeed, the list just goes on.

While intent on establishing credibility among most Blacks by throwing out these illusionary visions and success bones, please note that these same NHN are equally engaged in discouraging any justifiable dissent. They rather we cover up the mess rather than expose it. They are constantly selling and pitching this utopian notion that we are on a path towards reconciliation and offering the “….. can’t we all just get along” BS.

There is a not-so-subtle attempt to fanaticize and romanticize current Black achievement and historical progress. But when put up against any white success, progress, and achievement, everybody knows we are way behind and have a profound right to be alarmed. But we can’t just be alarmed, we have to take action by any means necessary. We can’t be lulled to sleep by these compromising NHN’s, because like their predecessors, no matter what they say or claim, ultimately they mean you no good and are working at the behest of their “Masters.” Their actions are designed to assure no change in the status quo for us for another 240 years.

There are some distinct characteristics of these legendary Black gatekeepers to keep in mind:

  • They constantly seek the face and favor of powerful and influential white people;
  • They cultivate audiences and platforms focused on assimilating Blacks into the mainstream white world;
  • They always speak metaphorically about Blacks’ progress;
  • They see Black progress in increments, i.e., “ We got plenty of time to achieve white people status”; and
  • They have made a great living financially over massaging the misery of Black people.
  • They want to mainstream black efforts seeking economic remedies for past racist injustices

Hence, we should all beware of those who want to chastise and choke off Black dissent for the sake of Black unity and white acceptance. No more preaching pie in the sky while we wither on the vine. They are despicable and are perpetuating a façade dedicated to our demise. and overall, this is an affront to our economic survival and self-determination.




Outstanding by the grace of God.

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I normally don’t pay too much attention to birthdays on FB because I think it is one of FB’s biggest gimmicks.  But at 75 I think I must thank God from whom all blessing flow. Although I have had tremendous lost in the last several Covid-19 months, God willing, I plan on moving to the next 75 years.  I’m going to stop hanging sheetrock in the basement for today and just do a little grooving with the music and celebrate life with my beautiful family.  Y’all can jam with me if want to.  Here’s my first “Jam” which sums up how I feel at 75.  I like this version but the original Gap Band cut is Dope too.

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Thanks to my all family and friends for the many happy birthday wishes.

BTW. Please don’t say black don’t crack. Ask my knees, shoulders, neck and Sacroiliac.

A snake raises it’s ugly head

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I thought going into 2021 we could leave behind the despicable people who misrepresented our values for honesty and decency. The former President of the Portland NAACP (E.D. Mondaine) was a straight-up disgrace and now he wants to try and rehabilitate is his horrible record with a disingenuous editorial of encouragement for the new leadership. It’s sad. This man is sick. Somebody needs to find him some help. As one other respondent to his article said, public officials who enabled him ought to apologize and acknowledge being complicit in his harm to the community. Until they do, it is also a stain on their leadership and character. And I don’t plan on letting them forget.

The Portland Observer newspaper ought not to be a platform for his poisonous lies and misrepresentations. And the Community ought to hold this paper accountable.

I was wrong as two Left Shoes


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Needless to say, I was wrong as two left shoes about Georgia. No one could be happier than I about how black people and many whites showed up to change the national narrative about this state and the progressive prospects for this region. There is hope but we must not let our guard down now and put our shoulder to the wheel to take advantage of this enormous change. Still, 74 million folks voted for a racist lunatic. If that ain’t scary I don’t know what is.

Georgia’s True Colors will show on the January the 5th

Raphael Warnock

I hope I’m wrong but I don’t see how Warnock can win in Django country. For me, Georgia regardless of their nearly 12.000 votes blue win for Biden, epitomizes America’s hate for black people. Regardless of Atlanta’s reputation as the Black Mecca of America the rest of Georgia is KKK country and the land of the Red Necks. I hope there is a miracle on January 5th but my instincts tell the real south will rise again to show its ugly racist head. Anytime these confederate states can walk the plank for an imbecile like Don Trump and sell out democracy for the devil of white supremacy we just need to know we are all in trouble in 2021 and beyond. Somebody tell me I am wrong.

A True Faith Leader

The Reverend Dr. T Allen Bethel 

Gone but never to be forgotten.

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December 2020 has been brutal to me. Rev Bethel is just one of the loved people in my life gone forever. Many words have already been spoken but with my arm around him a few years back, a picture is worth a thousand words.

A true faith leader

JoAnn’s Chickens coming home to Roost

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JoAnn’s Chickens

I think I have some personal insights viewing your bleeding acknowledgment about your relationship with this alleged predator. You were repeatedly warned emphatically about evidence depicting the deceitful, deviant, disruptive, abusive behavior exhibited by this tragic individual. You chose to ignore the glaring evidence. Not only did you choose to ignore clear evidence, but you attempted to demonize those who brought corroborating information. Dismissing many as agitators and malcontents, and troublemakers.  Now all of a sudden when chickens are coming home to roost you are feigning hurt and disappointment. Instead of listening to people who would tell you the truth early on, you stopped attending regular NAACP general meetings as if you were on some sort of elevated pedestal. You abandoning the real work of the organization that gave you the platform to become a City commissioner. What’s even worse is you manipulated the processes to install, promote, and glorify this person in the NAACP branch and the general body of politics. It’s like you were the gateway to legitimize all his perversion. You are complicit as if to spread a virus. As someone who has worked on your behalf and believed in you, I feel like a victim for trusting your judgment. And our community just needs to know, you are not the pure, moral, infallible leader you would have all of Portland to believe. Maybe you will learn from this and do better in the future but I am not holding my breath.



I am saying: It’s about time a Black Man represents on Portland City Council.

And it is not just because he’s black man but he is also highly qualified more so than others currently on the City Council. He will bring a black man’s perspective and act as a counter balance to the more left wing contingent on the council. They need that balance whether they know it or not. So Go Vote For Mingus, I did.