Tuesday, November 06, 2007
A Street of Poverty and Crime by Akindele Akinyemi
I was reading an article by a sister who made a very interesting observation. She was talking about how every urban community has a street named after Martin Luther King Jr. Mind you, this street is always in the worst spot of the city.
Back in the late 70's and into the early 80's, urban mayors and city councils across this land decided to throw a stick to the black community by naming something in town after the late Reverend. Of course, blacks were so impressed by this symbolic gesture that no one stopped to question why Martin Luther King's name seemed to be slapped only in high crime areas.
All across black America, there are Martin Luther King streets, avenues, drives and boulevards and each has one major thing in common: they all lead to the most crime-ridden parts of town. What is also shocking are the number of schools named after Dr. King that have metal-detectors, cops, birth control centers and gang containment programs--not to mention tragically low test scores.
Here in Detroit, MLK Blvd runs through the hood. MLK High School on Lafayette used to be one of the best high schools in the state. Now it's just a regular high school that is going down hill.
In Flint, MLK Blvd is in the hood.
In Saginaw, MLK Blvd is in the hood.
In Pontiac, MLK Blvd is in the hood.
In Lansing, MLK Blvd runs through the hood.
The writer points out the following:
Does Black America remember that Martin Luther King, Jr. was raised problems areas in a staunchly conservative and deeply religious home on a quiet middle-class street? Has Black America forgotten the ambitious young striver who was admitted early to Moorehouse College? Surely someone recalls that Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream of equality and the hope that one day Blacks could finally be allowed to take their place on the forefront of the American scene? Why isn't Black America outraged that his name is attached to the crime-ridden ghettoes and schools where no one is learning? What kind of tribute is this to Dr. King's legacy?
We are not outraged because many of us feel do not even know the truth about Dr. King. we have no clue that this man lived on conservative principles and that he would never live on his own street named after him if it looked like Linwood or Dexter.
It's worse here in Detroit. We have a street named after Rosa Parks (12th Street). Here is a street that runs through the worst spots in the City of Detroit. Do we want to remember Rosa Parks like this?
Also in Detroit, parts of West Grand Blvd is also known as Berry Gordy Jr. Blvd. Have you looked at West Grand Blvd lately?
The Shrine of the Black Madonna on Linwood calls a portion of Linwood Rev Albert Cleage Jr. Blvd. Rev. Cleage is the founder of the Shrine of the Black Madonna. Again, have you seen Linwood?
Speaking of Linwood, near Davison Ave they call that part of Linwood Elijah Muhammad Blvd and further south on the same street it is called Rev. C. L. Franklin Blvd. For those who are out of town reading this message Rev. C.L. Franklin is Aretha Franklin's father.
Meanwhile, Linwood has a very high prostitution rate, drugs are sold like CVS, AIDS is rampant along this stretch and the failing Detroit Central High School sits at Tuxedo and Linwood. So why would we want to remember these great men on Linwood when all we see on Linwood is crime and poverty?
I have often said many, many times that black nationalism, black liberalism and black socialism is deeply rooted in poverty and criminal activity. If you think I am lying then visit these streets yourself and see for your own eyes.