Too little too late
The circumstances described in the last edition of the Willamette Week “Who Prospers” is emblematic of long-standing piecemeal, meager expressions of economic consciousness by City of Portland officials. They just don’t get it but they try to make the masses believe otherwise. While in recent years the rhetoric has changed to imply a concern and empathy, really nothing much has changed. Window dressing is prominent as usual in the form of black faces on the Prosper Portland board of commissioners and they have taken the deployment of frivolous community committees to an art form. But in the final analysis, they are not willing to do whatever it takes to ensure black people can recover from the economic devastation the system has imposed for decades.
Maybe its time to take a new approach. They can start by cleaning house at Prosper Portland from the Director on down. I don’t dislike these people but they carry a minimalist mentality that is a carryover from the previous administrations. They frame everything as if racism has only limited black progress when in fact it has almost eliminated black economic capacity entirely. They have no sense of urgency or what it would take to make black people whole, but more importantly, even if they did, they don’t dare demand change from the inside less they lose their jobs. City officials need to defund of all of their little gimmick programs designed to give the appearance of progress and start all over, similar to what the protesters are demanding with regards to the police. Then they need to bring in somebody who has achieved success in black communities who has substantially moved the needle not tethered to the usual group of financial gatekeepers.
I don’t know what the full extent of brother Crowell’s issue is but I want to tell him he needs to get in the line with his complaint because there is a long list of black folks who have been wounded by PDC’s impotence to change economic condition for black people.