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The house was packed for the San Francisco NAACP Freedom Fund Gala, “We Shall Not Be Moved Until Justice Rolls Down Like a Mighty Stream,” at the Union Square Hilton on Saturday, Nov. 9, when Tavis Smiley, named one of “The World’s 100 Most Influential People” by TIME magazine, broadcaster, author of 16 books, publisher, advocate and philanthropist, took the mic. Beginning with excerpts from his introduction by San Francisco NAACP President Dr. Amos C. Brown, here is Tavis’ provocative and profoundly moving address:
Like the country it governs, Washington is a city of extremes. In a car, you can zip in bare moments from northwest District of Columbia, its streets lined with million-dollar homes and palatial embassies, its inhabitants sporting one of the nation’s lowest jobless rates, to Anacostia, a mostly forgotten neighborhood in southeastern D.C. with one of the highest unemployment rates anywhere in America.
Perhaps those who are quick to implement the “stop snitching on Obama” policy on Cornel West should stop trying to counter his argument by telling West to remain silent. Instead, he should be silenced with relevant and meaningful action on the part of the Obama administration.
Let Liberty Builders build the new Bayview Library! The people of Bayview Hunters Point deserve those good construction jobs and trust Liberty Builders, owned by Bay View publisher Willie Ratcliff, to hire and train local workers. But City Hall is holding up the award over bonding, a problem they can easily solve. Help them do the right thing by signing the petition at http://www.petitiononline.com/LB4BL/petition.html and contacting Mayor Newsom at (415) 554-6141 or firstname.lastname@example.org and the Board of Supervisors at (415) 554-5184 or Board.of.Supervisors@sfgov.org.
No notice has been paid to the root causes of violence in the Black community. On CBS5, I suggested unemployment in the Black community is directly related to Black people being locked out of the public works construction and that white people might be in danger working in a Black community without a diversified crew.
My call last month for an end to the lockout of Blacks from construction is catching fire. This month, let's get some work! Everyone who wants to work construction, pack the BART board meeting Thursday, Jan. 8, 9 a.m., Kaiser Center, Third Floor, 344 20th St., Oakland. Dr. King taught us, "Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability but comes through continuous struggle."