Incorporating the The Germantown Chronicle & The Northwest Independent

6661 Germantown Ave • Philadelphia, PA 19119 • 215-438-5171 • germantownnewspapers.com

 
 

MALCOLM X ON NEIGHBORHOOD POLITICS

From front page: Phila “Scoop” newspaper


Malcolm X, celebrated black leader who made it his business to keep an open mind and changed his before being assassinated by some of his own, is quoted on the front page of the popular “Scoop” newspaper in their May 19th edition:

“When we control the politics and the politicians in our own community, we can then make them produce what is good for the community.”


“We should be taught just the basic fundamentals: that whenever you take money out of the neighborhood, the neighborhood in which you spend it gets richer and richer, and the neighborhood from which you take it gets poorer and poorer.”


From there he amplifies the importance of establishing and owning businesses and creating employment for ourselves, instead of ultimately boycotting for recognition.


I could not have said it better myself, and I have said these things over the years since 1998 in my written and spoken comments and in the newspapers I have published under the masthead of Germantown Chronicle, Northwest Independent and more recently The Independent Voice.


As long as we allow our elected officials to essentially sell out to their campaign contributors, and in exchange allow them to determine who does business in our neighborhoods and on what terms, rigging zoning, permitting, and sending public money their way; often secretly, the grass roots honest folks will never control outcomes. Nowhere has this been more prevalent than in Philadelphia and look how it has destroyed neighborhoods from Germantown to Fishtown.


Don’t let the glitz and glamour of some so called “reborn” areas that in effect only serve the elites who gather in controlled and selective social enclaves around sub-communities that serve only their own interests, for they are often funded with public money taken from the less successful citizens in the oppressive taxes in this most highly taxed city in the nation.


Who creates the mechanism that does this oppressive taxation, one that pays just about half of the city’s bills with one of the highest wage taxes to be found anywhere? – well, that would be your mayor (who creates the budget) and your City Council, (The highest paid in the nation, and who approves the budget) and the state oversight board, PICA, a bi-partisan sham of appointees who spend more time discussing their vacations than the frauds in pension management and contributions, fat cat city salaries, and overspending on non-necessary jobs and overtime.  Then there is the little matter of reckless and non-performing schools that could easily be managed better and cheaper.


Yes, Malcolm X had it right, and it is the cadre of elected officials from mayor, through a bloated Council and State Reps who keep the patronage and pay to play gravy train running year after fiscal year.


We have reached this year the highest level of public information about corrupt politicians since the Grand Juries of 1947-49; that led to a political revolution.


Lead U. S. Congressman on trial, State Senators and Reps from Philly outed and convicted, judges removed or resigned in large numbers; one Court closed down and replaced, ethics violations and fines levied on many, new investigations announced almost weekly, but corrupt and fixed elections prevail just this year, beginning with the mayor’s race.


Malcolm X had it right, and my guess is that it was those very elected and appointed types that ran his New York neighborhood he had in mind when he said it. Of course, that is why they killed him in such a public manner.




Jim Foster

Editor, The Independent Voice

Recipient 2006 Malcolm X Award

Presented by Chaka Fattah.