I’ve had too much to think tonight – 8/16/06

August 16, 2006


Pensacola is a town segregated by choice. Whites and blacks accept the separation.

Whites don’t see the blacks, can go through their days without any social interaction with a person of color.

Blacks are tired…no point in fighting it. “Keep your head down. Keep moving. Smile when spoken to.”

Three black men are killed in the Escambia County Jail. There is no outrage.

Elderly black couples are evicted from Morris Court, forced to pay double the rent in some cases. We ignore the problem… they’re impeding progress – the construction of more desirable workforce housing. Again no outrage.

The only black county commissioner, Marie Young, smiles and sits quietly. No angry, no outrage, no leadership. She’s no more a voice for the black community than Kevin White.

Black media instead of speaking out, holds its hands out for the white advertising dollar. Don’t upset the good thing.

Non-profits, bank and hospital boards look for the black person of the moment to add diversity. Few board members make any difference. It helps build the resume.

Rebuild struggled because its leaders misunderstood the poor people it was trying to help. Political leaders are clueless. Black leaders are too reluctant to speak out. It’s safer staying quiet and promoting the status quo.

Change will happen when the white community pushes out of its comfort zone and meets with the black community on its turf. It requires listening and not throwing just money at the problem. The black community is concerned about the same issues we are- education, healthcare, affordable housing, better paying jobs.

They don’t need us to solve their problems… listen first, ask for their input and work with them on the issues. Take risks, expect mistrust at first, but in time the walls of segregation will evaporate.


3 Responses to “I’ve had too much to think tonight – 8/16/06”

  1. Shelia Says:

    Wow. Excellent writing. Now I know why you are an editor of a newspaper. Your three part series on “Left Behind” was journalism at it’s best. Much of it moved me to tears. Real investigative reporting just when I thought it was a lost art.

    Please tell us how we can help. The residents of Morris Court or students & teachers at Hallmark Elem., what can I, one person, do to help change this? Where can I start?

  2. GoSaveAnotherCity Says:

    Kudos to Duwayne and your staff for a thought provoking read the past three weeks. While the Daily is writing riveting features about adopting puppies, you are choosing to highlight real issues in our community. Thank you…

  3. East Hill Native Says:

    Too bad the DIB wanted to expand into other parts of the area and drive out poor black citizens from their humble homes as well, huh? I see that the DIB backed off of East Hill and North Hill areas with richer white folks.

    Many of the whites do see the blacks every day. We work with them, talk with them about their kids and their parents who we haven’t seen in a while. We all agree that it’s firggin hot outside and no one should be out in it. I talk with those at the bus stop outside my workplace and when it happens to rain, invite them to stand under the awning.

    Perhaps many white folks of the city do ignore the black, but many of us still call them our friends. My white grandmother’s best friend, especially after my grandfather passed, was an older black woman. She’s still sweet as can be to me as well.

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