Thursday, October 29, 2009

RANT: Birmingham, there is nothing to cheer about yesterday's verdict

I have to give it up to John Archibald, Birmingham News columnist, because he said it best, there is sadness.  I'm saddened that Birmingham has come to this point because there is so much anger, confusion, and sadness.
In 2007, the city had a chance to elect somebody different and that person was Patrick Cooper, but chose to elect somebody with name recognition and a group of attack dogs like Frank Matthews among others.  I know Langford, via my late paternal grandmother who was a major socialite in Birmingham, and he has always been a man that was troubled and a beacon of controversy even back then.  When he was elected Birmingham's mayor in 2007 I said these exact words, "Lord, this is going to be a circus", and low and behold it has been a circus for the past 2 years (to the day).  Langford was a leader of much promise and great ideas, but he let his own ego and greed get the best of him thus the verdict.  I'm the last person to cheer about that verdict because it says Langford and the citizens of Birmingham failed Birmingham by letting this happen again. 

Nobody in their right mind could speculate that Birmingham would be as lost as it is right now, where people like Carole Smitherman is interim mayor (only a month at the most because she can't be reappointed City Council President since she is now mayor and Council President becomes interim mayor).  Smitherman's platform is just as faulty as Langford's since she campaigned against her District 6 opponent with the same tactics that Langford via Matthews did by calling them "not black enough" or "friends with those over-the-mountain".  Those type of politics is what keeps Birmingham from moving forward on a social perspective where politics of divide and conquer rather than politics of ideas to fix the city is pushed forward aren't given a valid chance.  I don't like the most of the "over-the-mountain" elected officials anymore than most socially progressive citizen of these region, but you can't continuously push this divide because you think it's politically expedient to your election.

Black folks need to get it together in Birmingham, particularly those in the western portion where politicos like Arrington (who faced similar charges to Langford back in the 1990s but was acquitted), Langford, Smitherman, etc. have major traction because the color and demographic composition of the area (90% black, lower-income, low education attainment, and very alienated from the political process due to the history of Birmingham).  There you have so many people who are so angry at the system per say that they will vote for anybody that sounds like them rather than seeing that somebody doesn't have to talk or think like them to understand their issues and problems associate them.  The issues that have brought down Birmingham is more racial than anything else on all sides, so there is your problem.  However, unlike our peers in other Southern cities, Birmingham majority black electorate has made its decisions based on name recognition and "blackness" rather than platform and ideas.  This has to cease and desist immediately, and those who were Langford fans shouldn't use this anger to further divide the city by trying to work to elect another socially regressive black politician.

My description to those white folks that seem to hate everything black and Birmingham, screw you.  If you can't be open-minded and see that Birmingham is for everybody and that it matters to you just like those blacks then you are a part of the problem like them.  Too many white citizens want to either have a racially bias perspective on things then they would rather trash talk anybody that doesn't stand with them on their ideology.  Also the majority of them are the ones electing officials in suburban areas that have this "fiefdom" mentality where they have no foresight on how their decisions could affect all of the region if they don't try to work in united front.  You guys are just as guilty as the black folks when it comes to his screwed up political equation where you feel as those somebody disenfranchised you when you chose to run to the suburbs and let the city falter.  You have your chance to get involved by voting out of office idiots like Tony Petelos and replace them with more regionally minded officials that wants to see a united Birmingham.

Now I'm not giving Cooper a pass because he decided to purchase the $12,000 Rolex watch that Langford had received as a "gift", but quickly sold it.  Also Cooper is very buddy, buddy with a number of individuals in the business community that makes me give him the side-eye.  However, at least he would have been somebody that attempted to bridge the racial and ideological divide that has persisted in the city for decades.  The man tries to reach across the table to those other elected officials of the suburban and exurban municipal governments since we all need one another for Greater Birmingham or simply Birmingham to get somewhere.

Now if those officials don't want to work cohesively with the Birmingham mayor then call them out (like Obama said with health care reform) and show them how idiotic and shortsighted their stance to not work together.

OH YEAH, the swap by local NBC affiliate, WVTM "NBC 13", reporter John Paepcke is a textbook example of what I call the media bias of the area's media outlets.  That EXTRA garbage he thought was poignant just shows why I don't care for any of the area's media because too many want to be funny and push their agenda instead of being non-bias, objective journalists.

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