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Joe Debro on racism in construction: A study of the manpower...

“Our nation is moving toward two societies, one Black, and one white – separate and unequal.” And, unless immediate corrective action is taken, “large scale and continuing violence could result, followed by white retaliation, and, ultimately, the separation of the two communities into a garrison state.” These are words from the much publicized and relatively blunt report of the President’s Commission on Civil Disorders.

Joe Debro on racism in construction

In November 2010, Joe Debro sent the Bay View a 200-page “book” he wrote in 1968 on racism in construction. His family has generously agreed that it be published in the Bay View. To begin, here is the prolog he wrote in 2010 to update it. In 1968, three of us undertook a study of the manpower implications of small business financing. In 2010, 42 years later, not much has changed.

Claude and DeBray (Fly Benzo) Carpenter: We demand work in our...

Black people have largely been locked out of construction work in San Francisco since 1998. That’s a shame, because construction work is a solution to many of the ills in the Black community. Construction wages are high, and when Black contractors have work, they are generally eager to train Black workers regardless of their school, police or prison records.

City auditor spanks Black council members for trying to bring jobs...

Like President Clinton in his first run for president, Oakland’s city auditor developed her creds in the conservative community by creating a Sista Souljah moment. She publicly spanked two Black City Council members. These council members, Desley Brooks and Larry Reid, were trying desperately to level the economic playing field in Oakland. They were trying to integrate the money.

Welcome to segregated California

As a descendant of former slaves and as an immigrant from the South, I have a unique perspective on segregation. My parents migrated to Oakland from Jackson, Mississippi, in 1944. In Jackson there were signs which posted the segregation policies. In California there were segregation policies, but no signs.

High five to Bayview Hunters Point

Bayview Hunters Point might consider investing Lennar's "community benefits" in a scholarship fund, a community development group, and a credit union that can pool the funds with residents’ own deposits and loan them for higher education, buying or improving a home, and founding or expanding a business to residents who have long been redlined and betrayed by banks.

Why so few Black men are working

On Friday I walked the BART connector project. I found one worker who was a descendant of slaves on this $1 billion project. The minority contractors, who tend to employ members of their own tribe, have contracts whose value is less than 1/2 of 1 percent.

Civil rights hero Ray Dones dies

The nation has lost one of its unsung civil rights heroes: Ray Dones was the Martin Luther King of the construction industry. We lost Ray at a time when his kind of leadership is most needed. We all recognize now that the best way to fight violent crime is with a well paying job.

A West Oakland hero

Washington (Bob) Burnsis a retired pathologist. Unlike most retired doctors, he has spent the past 15 years trying to aid those who have been dealt a hand of poverty and desperation.

Bay Area Black Builders call on Black churches to build Black

On Saturday, Jan. 30, at 10 a.m., the Bay Area Black Builders plan to picket the Lord’s house. Beth Eden Church, a great church in the Black community, indicates that it has contracted with a White contractor apparently chosen by the lender, to build an addition.

We must help ourselves

How do we as a Black community build capacity in our own people? How do we learn to circulate our money in our own community? It is not just Beth Eden; it is all of us.

San Francisco locks Blacks out from building our own library

The Bayview Library is a second home for the children and all the people of Bayview Hunters Point. Now the City wants to replace it with a new building, but who will build it? Low bidder on the project was Liberty Builders, located a block from the library and owned by Bay View publisher Willie Ratcliff, who is trusted to hire from the community. But the City just snatched the contract from Liberty and gave it to KCK Builders, a white contractor with no Black participation. Will the community allow KCK to build the library?

Douse the firestorm, let Maxine Waters get back to the people’s...

In the firestorm created by implicating Maxine Waters in what is called an ethics violation, we take our eyes off of the ball. The community of descendents of former slaves needs contracts. We need Maxine to embarrass Treasury about how few contracts reach our community. We need Maxine’s voice to speak out on how few public works contracts – and the good jobs they create – reach our community.

The stolen life of Jimon Clark

Jimon Clark, a young bright Black male, 13 years old, was executed on the mean streets of East Oakland on Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2010. His execution was a one-day news story. His young life was so much more. We need police who are trusted by the East Oakland community.

The trials of Rep. Maxine Waters: Ethics or payback?

Congresswoman Maxine Waters, who waged a more successful war on drugs than the entire U.S. government, was concerned with people like Ronald Reagan and George Bush, who made enormous profits from this trade by flooding urban America with poison. Her efforts to investigate were suppressed by Porter Goss, who then chaired the House Intelligence Committee. Now Goss heads the ethics office that charged Waters with ethics violations for her legitimate advocacy for Black banks and economic justice for Black and Brown people.

Jobs are the answer

On July 28, the Oakland redevelopment commission met to consider recommending that the City Council adopt a city wide Project Labor Agreement. Such an agreement would put small contractors out of business and keep the unemployed of Oakland out of the work force.

Ethics case: Debro reveals probe’s motives, Waters fights back with the...

Congresswoman Maxine Waters conducts her drug war from the top down. Her view is to follow the money. Our government wages drug war on street vendors. The government’s view is to lock up as many young Blacks as is possible.

Black leaders stand strong for Congresswoman Maxine Waters, champion of economic...

"There was no ethics violation." - Joseph Debro, president of Bay Area Black Builders. "Rep. Waters is far too valuable to our community to give up without a fight!" - Danny Bakewell Sr., chairman of the National Newspaper Publishers Association. "This is a political witch-hunt that singles out advocacy for the poor." - Len Canty, chairman of the Black Economic Council

The Bayview Library story: Sophie Maxwell comes out

San Francisco District 10 Supervisor Sophie Maxwell's legislation that will help Black contractors win contracts and hire workers and on-the-job trainees was unanimously approved. That's another step toward Blacks building the new Bayview Library! If you want a job, come to the meeting of the Bay Area Black Builders on Saturday, June 12, 12 noon, upstairs at 1099 Sunnydale. Sign up so if Liberty Builders does win the contract, you'll have a good chance to go to work ... and make history.

Arizona: Corporate greed for cheap labor

The state of Arizona has just exploded any pretense of civil rights. It has begun the exposure of the American labor hypocrisy. We need our labor cost to be lower than that for which Blacks are willing to work. The reality is Americans will do any job if the pay is right. We should remind ourselves that this argument is about pay.

Letest News

Black History Month in the Fillmore

Black History Month 2019 exploded at the Fillmore Heritage Center with 17 events that celebrated different facets of our very diverse community. There was Fiyah Friday, Fillmore legend LaRon Mayfield’s Aquarius Bash featuring DJ Drama, the weekly Tuesday Bluesday, the Samba Percussion class, a Night of R&Bay featuring DJs DJ 12 and Black Marc, The Global African Experience presentation by the legendary historian Runoko Rashidi, an intimate and epic evening with the Grammy award winning R&B group Tony! Toni! Tone! and the African Diaspora party.

Menthol milestone, the anniversary no one is celebrating

Menthol has been the tobacco industry’s recruitment tool for far too long. It has been added to cigarettes for nearly a century, masking tobacco’s harsh flavor, making the smoke feel smoother and easier to inhale – but that ease comes with a price. The smoothness of menthol allows smokers to inhale more deeply, so harmful particles can settle lower in the lungs. Menthol cigarettes are also harder to stop – people who use menthol cigarettes have a lower rate of successfully quitting.

Celebrate Dr. Hannibal Williams for making a difference – keep his...

Liberation House, the first residential facility for treatment of drug and alcohol addiction that reached out to Afro-American men, is another example of its founder, Dr. Williams, making a difference. During its 30 years of operation, Liberation House was an extremely successful drug and alcohol rehabilitation program which successfully helped thousands of men from every walk of life attain their sobriety.

Why we love Jeff Adachi

Jeff Adachi was the only official in this city we could trust to fight for us, the Black and Brown and poor San Franciscans being bulldozed out by a city drunk on its wealth and power. San Francisco’s jails are 57 percent Black, yet Blacks are down to about 3 percent of the population. Those were his clients.

Celebrate Cultural Landmark designation of the Arthur Coleman Medical Center

You’re invited! Please join us at the Coleman Medical Center on Tuesday, March 26, for an open house from 4:30-6:30 p.m., 6301 Third St. (at Ingerson), San Francisco 94124. Visit this landmark center for Black health! Meet the staff and board of the Bayview Hunters Point Clinic. RSVP please to health@bayviewclinic.org. The event is free.