Monday, September 11, 2006

Job Loss Didn't Make Indianapolis' Underclass

A recent addition to the blog links on this site is the Indiana Minority Report, which provides an alternative look at Indianapolis politics and culture within the city's African-American community. If you're in search of a different perspective than you get from radio talk show host Amos Brown or the Indianapolis Recorder, this is the place to go.

Specifically, I would call attention to an excellent and thoughtful report, which is currently featured on the site. "Job Loss Didn't Make The Underclass" is an excellent and thoughtful analysis by Dr. John McWhorter, a Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, of the evolution of Indianapolis' African-American community. As the title indicates, McWhorter debunks the myth that the de-industrialization of our inner city is the root cause of the economic and social plight faced by many inner city African-Americans. His analysis of the history of Indianapolis concludes that "culture is mightier than economics."

An insightful part of McWhorter's analysis compares the competing leadership in the African-American community as symbolized by Mattie Coney and Snookie Hendricks. McWhorter writes:

Out of the shadows crawled black “leaders” whom the old black Indianapolis would have run out of town in a week. Even before the 1969 riot, a petty crook, Snookie Hendricks, got the ear of a local white establishment jittery from seeing the race violence engulfing other American cities. Claiming that he was uniquely well placed to “maintain stability” among blacks, he won from city officials a municipal position—only to lose it for dealing drugs on the side. Fred Crawford, a Black Panther from Oakland, set up shop in Indianapolis, spouting regulation Panther rhetoric: “I don’t feel we can gain our freedom without a revolution. This could only happen if the white man raised his fist off the black man’s neck, but I don’t think he’ll ever do that.”

The old, go-getting black Indianapolis hadn’t completely vanished. Its spirit motivated schoolteacher Mattie Coney to found the Citizens Forum in 1966, just as things began to go bad. The Forum helped blacks clean up their increasingly disordered neighborhoods and point their children toward success. It established more than 3,000 block clubs over the years to sweep up trash and “de-rat-ify” vermin-infested buildings. It distributed a pamphlet urging black parents to teach their kids about cleanliness and polite conduct, and to take pride in themselves. Coney came from a solid working-class family that taught her that blacks’ road to salvation was to “quit feeling sorry for ourselves and take advantage of opportunities.” Lyndon B. Johnson granted her a special award for her efforts, and she won accolades from Presidents Eisenhower and Ford.

But in the new black Indianapolis, the Snookie Hendrickses seemed to outweigh the Mattie Coneys. The efforts of Coney and those like her weren’t enough to prevent inner-city breakdown. By the early nineties, the damage was inescapable and catastrophic. Blacks, just 21 percent of Indianapolis’s population, now committed 56 percent of its rapidly increasing violent crimes. Roughly one in ten of the city’s black males aged 16 to 24 was in jail; black boys were 43 percent of those in juvenile detention. In 1989, the city had 68 homicides; in 1991, 101; in 1998, 160. The majority of these were black-on-black murders . . .

The new black ideology taught that dressing down whitey for the sins of the past was “blacker” than facing what needed doing in the present. Under this new mind-set, someone like Mattie Coney, tirelessly seeking the uplift of the black community, was inauthentic—an “Aunt Jemima,” working for the racist establishment. Mmoja Ajabu, who during the nineties set up an Indianapolis branch of the New Black Panthers and tried to assemble a “militia” to overthrow the government, exemplified the authentic approach. “We know we are talking about death and destruction and grief in a whole lot of people’s families,” he said of his plans for social improvement. “But only then will they come to the negotiating table and talk candidly about getting something done.” Ajabu became embroiled in an arson case and then spent a year behind bars for threatening a prosecutor in another case. Some leader.

McWhorter offers two possible explanations for the city's current underclass. "Choice one: a new culture emerged of dependency and self-destructive hostility toward mainstream culture. Choice two: it got a little harder to get to work." He concludes, "A black history that endorses the second choice while dismissing the first substitutes playing the underdog for common sense."


Anonymous said...

McWhirter's unmentioned Choice Three:

Indy's minority community leadership has not moved into the 80s, let alone a new century.

Another unmentioned and unfortunate "split" in the inner-city, predominantly black neighborhoods: The construction of I-65 and its path, which inevitably split neighborhoods. You can see it by driving around today.

Those in power at the time were not unhappy to see those neighborhoods split up.

It changed voting patterns forever.

Mmoja Ajabu's reward for his "civic involvement" (which no one in minority leadership condemned, by the way)-- his oldest son planned and helped carry out the murder of two Carmel kids.


Wilson46201 said...

Mmoja Ajabu was always considered a well-meaning but loud-mouthed fool. He had little community support -- he ran against Carson in 1996 and got creamed...

Wilson46201 said...

in the original article, the author erroneously assumed it was the Democrats in the 1920s with the Klan. Nope --- the Hoosier Klan was GOP.

The political affiliation of the city powers-that-were in the 70s and 80s were oddly unstated. The GOP controlled Indpls politics. No Blacks got elected to any County office until Democrat Frank Anderson. The GOP shut out African-Americans.

Black leadership here has tended to be conservative. The Urban League, not the NAACP, spoke loudly here. Rev. A.J.Brown was a nominal Republican. Black Expo was 'non-partisan' but Rev.Charlie Williams also was GOP.

I've been working in (and puzzling about) for over 30 years Indpls Black political development.

FWIW, Snookie was hired and courted by GOP Mayor Dick Lugar...

Gary R. Welsh said...

Check your history Wilson. There were plenty of Democrats in the Klan in Indiana as well. It's just that the Republicans were the majority party at the time so there were more of them.

Anonymous said...

"An inciteful part of McWhorter's analysis... " = Freudian slip?

Wilson46201 said...

in Indiana, the Klan functioned thru the GOP. True, there were individual Democrats in the Klan but the political leaders (Mayors and Governor) were GOP which were sustained by the Klan. In Southern states, the Klan had power thru Democrats. In Indiana they used the GOP.

Last summer, I learned of the family secret that my own Grandpa, a small farmer in Western Indiana, was a Kluxer. In retrospect, it shouldnt have been surprising but he died when I was 10yo ... yup, that side of the family was GOP!

Wilson46201 said...

before we get side-tracked by minutiae of Hoosier politics, its important to recall much of the social problems of Black youth can be found equally in any major urban area. It's a lot more than Mattie Coney (bless her flower-loving soul!) or Snookie Hendricks. Chicago, Tallahassee, Oakland, etc all have similar difficulties to Indianapolis.

Gary R. Welsh said...

I don''t think McWhorter would argue with that Wilson. His analysis, however, was focused on Indianapolis. The lack of jobs is most often cited as the cause of the problem. He explains otherwise.

Anonymous said...

I Googled McWhorter and read some of his stuff.

He's out there---way out there.

Still, interesting reading.

A linguistics professor...hardly a social and psychological expert.

I'd value his opinions about as much as anyone else's.

I get the sense he's real happy with Clarence Thomas and that's where we part ways.

This post proved why I've added blogs to my regular news mix. I'd never have heard of this author otherwise. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I read McWhorter's book "Losing the Race" and he makes a lot of sense. I'm more libertarian on a lot of "morality" issues, but a good chunk of Black America needs a good swift kick in the ass to get them moving.

Wilson46201 said...

before this thread is over, I expect Jocelyn to log in with one of her multitudinous aliases and blame the Decline of Black America on Julia Carson. Then we'll get the real inside scoop how Julia allegedly poisoned Jocelyn's pussy 23 years ago!

Anonymous said...

Hey Wilson46201, a quote back at you, "Be Nice!"

Wilson46201 said...

yeah, I know: "Be nice!" Eric Dickerson knows you can't beat somebody by beating up on people.

Anonymous said...

Minority Media Report and AI, kudos for writing about this.

I agree that I-65 was destructive on neighborhoods and an important part of the city's backdrop. Father Boniface Hardin is a black Catholic priest who also deserves credit in this walk down memory lane for leading the fight against that, to no avail.

One point McWhorter doesn't make -- that's the role the powerful white-owned media has played in celebrating the Ajabus of that day, the Soulfests, all that. Before he was an arsonist, before his son was a convicted murderer, Ajabu got more than his share of ink. He even tried to run out decent Korean families who had a beauty supply business and the Star made him out to be some sort of hero. I think his perceived glamor and his anger is what won people over. White guilt, anyone? Or was it radical mau-mau chic time in Indy then? He may have been a fool, Wilson, but for a time, he was our fool.

FYI, this was in the day when the Star would bend over backwards to run Page 1 bleeding-heart profiles of (black) guys getting executed on death row. Poor Lynn Ford had to cover the electrocution up in Michigan City. See, not everything was perfect under the old regime. (I can't think of the name of the gang members who were being executed, but the Star was taken to task for turning it into a lovefest for the convicted men, members of a family who shot a cop).

And as an aside, McWhorter's allegiance to Clarence Thomas is fine with me. I became a "black Democrat" during the Thomas hearings. All one had to do was turn the tv to c-span and see those dour pro-abortion witches stalking all over Capitol Hill in an effort to defeat Thomas. The fact that he might actually balance out the supreme court's pro-abortion mentality -- shoved down the nation's throat in 1973 -- made him an honorable choice.

Anyhow, good reading.

Anonymous said...

Wislon46201-Telling the truth is not beating up on someone. You have seem to have a problem with the truth.

When did you become an authority on the black community leadership and who they will support?

How long have you follow the ones you support?

Anonymous said...

African Americans, Catholics and Jews were targets of racial hatred the KKK.

Has anyone noticed the Klan has not rallied at the Statehouse since Evan Bayh went to Washington.
They were very comfortable with him in the governor's office.

Could it be? Vigo County is known for Klan activity.

Anonymous said...

Wilson46201-There were 7 candidates in the 19996 race for congress. Name all the candidates.

Anonymous said...

Martin Luther King, Jr. Was a Republican

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McKinney Disgraces Her Office

Economic Growth Continues

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Debunking Democrat Myths

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Queen916 said...

Wilson46201-The Truth!
NBRA Radio Ad listen here Visit From The Grassroots To Join The NBRA Donate To The NBRA Order Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a Republican Products Visit Our New NBRA Store Promote Economic Freedom For Black Americans Why Martin Luther King, Jr. was a Republican

By Frances Rice

It should come as no surprise that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a Republican. In that era, almost all black Americans were Republicans. Why? From its founding in 1854 as the anti-slavery party until today, the Republican Party has championed freedom and civil rights for blacks. And as one pundit so succinctly stated, the Democrat Party is as it always has been, the party of the four S's: Slavery, Secession, Segregation and now Socialism.

It was the Democrats who fought to keep blacks in slavery and passed the discriminatory Black Codes and Jim Crow laws. The Democrats started the Ku Klux Klan to lynch and terrorize blacks. The Democrats fought to prevent the passage of every civil rights law beginning with the civil rights laws of the 1860's, and continuing with the civil rights laws of the 1950's and 1960's.

During the civil rights era of the 1960's, Dr. King was fighting the Democrats who stood in the school house doors, turned skin-burning fire hoses on blacks and let loose vicious dogs. It was Republican President Dwight Eisenhower who pushed to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1957 and sent troops to Arkansas to desegregate schools. President Eisenhower also appointed Chief Justice Earl Warren to the U.S. Supreme Court which resulted in the 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education decision ending school segregation. Much is made of Democrat President Harry Truman's issuing an Executive Order in 1948 to desegregate the military. Not mentioned is the fact that it was President Eisenhower who actually took action to effectively end segregation in the military.

Democrat President John F. Kennedy is lauded as a proponent of civil rights. However, Kennedy voted against the 1957 Civil rights Act while he was a senator, as did Democrat Senator Al Gore, Sr. And after he became president, John F. Kennedy was opposed to the 1963 March on Washington by Dr. King that was organized by A. Phillip Randolph who was a black Republican. President Kennedy, through his brother Attorney General Robert Kennedy, had Dr. King wiretapped and investigated by the FBI on suspicion of being a Communist in order to undermine Dr. King.

In March of 1968, while referring to Dr. King's leaving Memphis, Tennessee after riots broke out where a teenager was killed, Democrat Senator Robert Byrd, a former member of the Ku Klux Klan, called Dr. King a "trouble-maker" who starts trouble, but runs like a coward after trouble is ignited. A few weeks later, Dr. King returned to Memphis and was assassinated on April 4, 1968.

Given the circumstances of that era, it is understandable why Dr. King was a Republican. It was the Republicans who fought to free blacks from slavery and amended the Constitution to grant blacks freedom (13th Amendment), citizenship (14th Amendment) and the right to vote (15th Amendment). Republicans passed the civil rights laws of the 1860's, including the Civil Rights Act of 1866 and the Reconstruction Act of 1867 that was designed to establish a new government system in the Democrat-controlled South, one that was fair to blacks. Republicans also started the NAACP and affirmative action with Republican President Richard Nixon‘s 1969 Philadelphia Plan (crafted by black Republican Art Fletcher) that set the nation‘s fist goals and timetables. Although affirmative action now has been turned by the Democrats into an unfair quota system, affirmative action was begun by Nixon to counter the harm caused to blacks when Democrat President Woodrow Wilson in 1912 kicked all of the blacks out of federal government jobs.

Few black Americans know that it was Republicans who founded the Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Unknown also is the fact that Republican Senator Everett Dirksen from Illinois was key to the passage of civil rights legislation in 1957, 1960, 1964 and 1965. Not mentioned in recent media stories about extension of the 1965 Voting Rights Act is the fact that Dirksen wrote the language for the bill. Dirksen also crafted the language for the Civil Rights Act of 1968 which prohibited discrimination in housing. President Lyndon Johnson could not have achieved passage of civil rights legislation without the support of Republicans.

Critics of Republican Senator Barry Goldwater who ran for president against Democrat President Lyndon Johnson in 1964, ignore the fact that Goldwater wanted to force the Democrats in the South to stop passing discriminatory laws and thus end the need to continuously enact federal civil rights legislation.

Those who wrongly criticize Goldwater, also ignore the fact that President Johnson, in his 4,500 State of the Union Address delivered on January 4, 1965, mentioned scores of topics for federal action, but only thirty five words were devoted to civil rights. He did not mention one word about voting rights. Then in 1967, showing his anger with Dr. King's protest against the Viet Nam War, President Johnson referred to Dr. King as "that Nigger preacher."

Contrary to the false assertions by Democrats, the racist "Dixiecrats" did not all migrate to the Republican Party. "Dixiecrats" declared that they would rather vote for a "yellow dog" than vote for a Republican because the Republican Party was know as the party for blacks. Today, some of those "Dixiecrats" continue their political careers as Democrats, including Democrat Senator Robert Byrd who is well known for having been a "Keagle" in the Ku Klux Klan.

Another former "Dixiecrat" is Democrat Senator Ernest Hollings who put up the Confederate flag over the state capitol when he was the governor of South Carolina. There was no public outcry when Democrat Senator Christopher Dodd praised Senator Byrd as someone who would have been "a great senator for any moment," including the Civil War. Democrats denounced Senator Trent Lott for his remarks about Senator Strom Thurmond. Senator Thurmond was never in the Ku Klux Klan and defended blacks against lynching and the discriminatory poll taxes imposed on blacks by Democrats. If Senator Byrd and Senator Thurmond were alive during the Civil War, and Byrd had his way, Thurmond would have been lynched.

The thirty-year odyssey of the South switching to the Republican Party began in the 1970's with President Richard Nixon's "Southern Strategy" which was an effort on the Part of Nixon to get Christians in the South to stop voting for Democrats who did not share their values and were still discriminating against their fellow Christians who happened to be black. Georgia did not switch until 2002, and some Southern states, including Louisiana, are still controlled by Democrats.

Today, Democrats, in pursuit of their socialist agenda, are fighting to keep blacks poor, angry and voting for Democrats. Examples of how egregiously Democrats act to keep blacks in poverty are numerous.

After wrongly convincing black Americans that a minimum wage increase was a good thing, the Democrats on August 3rd kept their promise and killed the minimum wage bill passed by House Republicans on July 29th. The blockage of the minimum wage bill was the second time in as many years that Democrats stuck a legislative finger in the eye of black Americans. Senate Democrats on April 1, 2004 blocked passage of a bill to renew the 1996 welfare reform law that was pushed by Republicans and vetoed twice by President Bill Clinton before he finally signed it. Since the welfare reform law expired in September 2002, Congress had passed six extensions, and the latest expired on June 30, 2004. Opposed by the Democrats are school choice opportunity scholarships that would help black children get out of failing schools and Social Security reform, even though blacks on average lose $10,000 in the current system because of a shorter life expectancy than whites (72.2 years for blacks vs. 77.5 years for whites).

Democrats have been running our inner-cities for the past 30-40 years, and blacks are still complaining about the same problems. Over $7 trillion dollars have been spent on poverty programs since President Lyndon Johnson's War on Poverty with little, if any, impact on poverty. Diabolically, every election cycle, Democrats blame Republicans for the deplorable conditions in the inner-cities, then incite blacks to cast a protest vote against Republicans.

In order to break the Democrats' stranglehold on the black vote and free black Americans from the Democrat Party's economic plantation, we must shed the light of truth on the Democrats. We must demonstrate that the Democrat Party policies of socialism and dependency on government handouts offer the pathway to poverty, while Republican Party principles of hard work, personal responsibility, getting a good education and ownership of homes and small businesses offer the pathway to prosperity.

© National Black Republican Association, 2006. All Rights Reserved

Anonymous said...

Wow. What can you say to that visit into revisionist history/conspiracy theory?

Gotta run...Grassy Knoll Association breakfast meeting.

Queen916 said...


1. What Party was founded as the anti-slavery Party and fought to free blacks from slavery?
[ ] a. Democratic Party
[ ] b. Republican Party

2. What was the Party of Abraham Lincoln who signed the emancipation proclamation that resulted in the Juneteenth celebrations that occur in black communities today?
[ ] a. Democratic Party
[ ] b. Republican Party

3. What Party passed the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments to the U. S. Constitution granting blacks freedom, citizenship, and the right to vote?
[ ] a. Democratic Party
[ ] b. Republican Party

4. What Party passed the Civil Rights Acts of 1866 and 1875 granting blacks protection from the Black Codes and prohibiting racial discrimination in public accommodations, and was the Party of most blacks prior to the 1960’s, including Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Booker T. Washington, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.?
[ ] a. Democratic Party
[ ] b. Republican Party

5. What was the Party of the founding fathers of the NAACP who were themselves white?
[ ] a. Democratic Party
[ ] b. Republican Party

6. What was the Party of President Dwight Eisenhower who sent U.S. troops to Arkansas to desegregate schools, established the Civil Rights Commission in 1958, and appointed Chief Justice Earl Warren to the U.S. Supreme Court which resulted in the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision ending school segregation?
[ ] a. Democratic Party
[ ] b. Republican Party

7. What Party, by the greatest percentage, passed the1957 Civil Rights Act and the Civil Rights Acts of the 1960’s?
[ ] a. Democratic Party
[ ] b. Republican Party

8. What was the Party of President Richard Nixon who instituted the first Affirmative Action program in 1969 with the Philadelphia Plan that established goals and timetables?
[ ] a. Democratic Party
[ ] b. Republican Party

9. What is the Party of President George W. Bush who supports the U.S. Supreme Court’s University of Michigan Affirmative Action decision, and is spending over $200 billion to fight AIDS in Africa and on programs to help black Americans prosper, including school vouchers, the faith-based initiative, home ownership, and small business ownership?
[ ] a. Democratic Party
[ ] b. Republican Party

NOTE: In the The Black Republican magazine on page 51, all answers are "Republican Party" and on page 52, all answers are "Democratic Party".

10. What Party fought to keep blacks in slavery and was the Party of the Ku Klux Klan?
[ ] a. Republican Party
[ ] b. Democratic Party

11. What Party from 1870 to 1930 used fraud, whippings, lynching, murder, intimidation, and mutilation to get the black vote, and passed the Black Codes and Jim Crow laws which legalized racial discrimination and denied blacks their rights as citizens?
[ ] a. Republican Party
[ ] b. Democratic Party

12. What was the Party of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and President Harry Truman who rejected anti-lynching laws and efforts to establish a permanent Civil Rights Commission?
[ ] a. Republican Party
[ ] b. Democratic Party

13. What was the Party of President John F. Kennedy who voted against the 1957 Civil Rights law as a Senator, then opposed the 1963 March on Washington by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. after becoming president, and later had the FBI (supervised by his brother, Attorney General Robert Kennedy) investigate Dr. King on suspicion of being a communist?
[ ] a. Republican Party
[ ] b. Democratic Party

14. What is the Party of current Senator Robert Byrd who was a member of the Ku Klux Klan, Senator Fritz Hollings who hoisted the Confederate flag over the state capitol in South Carolina when he was the governor, and Senator Ted Kennedy who recently insulted black judicial nominees by calling them “Neanderthals” while blocking their appointments?
[ ] a. Republican Party
[ ] b. Democratic Party

15. What was the Party of President Bill Clinton who failed to fight the terrorists after the first bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993, sent troops to war in Bosnia and Kosovo without Congressional approval, vetoed the Welfare Reform law twice before signing it, and refused to comply with a court order to have shipping companies develop an Affirmative Action Plan?
[ ] a. Republican Party
[ ] b. Democratic Party

16. What is the Party of Vice President Al Gore whose father voted against the Civil Rights Acts of the 1960’s, and who lost the 2000 election as confirmed by a second recount of Florida votes by the “Miami Herald” and a consortium of major news organizations and the ruling by the U.S. Civil Rights Commission that blacks were not denied the right to vote?
[ ] a. Republican Party
[ ] b. Democratic Party

17. What Party is against the faith-based initiative, against school vouchers, against school prayers, and takes the black vote for granted without ever acknowledging their racist past or apologizing for trying to expand slavery, lynching blacks and passing the Black Codes and Jim Crow laws that caused great harm to blacks?
[ ] a. Republican Party
[ ] b. Democratic Party

© National Black Republican Association, 2006. All Rights Reserved.

Anonymous said...

AI, can't you make it stop?

Anonymous said...

What's frightening is that the same black leaders are being used by our City Administration to "Lead Us".

Lead us where I ask?

If they knew how to lead us, they would have already lead us there.

Let's just take a moment and reflect on where they have lead us thus far:

-African-American males with the highest dropout rate in the United States.

-Last in Welfare Reform

-Crime rampant--our people killing themselves and others.

-Public Safety professionals furious over internal politics and political corruption.

-Trash not being picked up regularly.

-Potholes in downtown Indianapolis.

-A Black newspaper that's economically constrained from revealing poor black leadership and their political corruption.

-And the budget, well let's not even get into that...and all the while, our city is supporting adding more nightclubs targeting this group of conditioned victims.

Hey world-class city, enough is enough, pass the baton!

Wilson46201 said...

cut&paste boilerplate spam is a good way to ruin a blog comment thread.

Anonymous said...

Bart's scared to go against the Center Township gang of "leaders."

(Translation: Center Township leaders are black Dems whom the Congresswoman blesses)

Some are good. Many are incompetent.

How else would you explain three city council presidents in as many years; and the compromise current prez has the style of a thug ("Use the juice if ya got it")

There are more qualified leaders on the council, and the mayor could've weighed in if he weren't scared of the results.

The council prez must be black.

So be it.

Kinda gives leadership a bad name.

Anonymous said...

The Klan was certainly an equal opportunity discriminator and the Democrats are not without their racial sins. But in their usual we're-never-wrong-about-anything" style, Hoosier Republicans are loath to admit to admit that their party and the KKK were essentially one and the same during the 1920s. I dearly loved my grandfather, but he was a 19th century racist, a Klansman and an active, staunch Republican. He described for me in very clear terms that Republican Party and KKK membership were one and the same during that time in Indiana and that D.C. Stephenson was planning to ride the Klan movement to the Republican nomination for President. He also said some horrible things about the Republican Party being the only hope for the white man. One of the reasons I am a liberal Democrat.

As I wrote, Democrats are not without sin. Many 21st Century bigots vote Democrat, and many vote Republican. However, do not try to absolve your Party's sins, my Republican friends, by revisionist history.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Outside Indiana Doug, the Klan affiliation was largely limited to the Democratic Party--that simply is a fact. And historically--the Republican Party has led the fight for civil rights--an indisputable fact. It is a relatively recent phenomenon for Republicans to be affiliated with opposition to civil rights--a result of the takeover of the party by the religious right which fled the old Democratic Party.

Anonymous said...

What are the sources for those "simple facts" Gary beyond your own assertions? And why are you so reluctant to admit the simple documented facts about the KKK in Indiana in the 20s? I've readily admitted to sins of my own party. Go ahead any try it. It feels okay and the world won't end.

(BTW, kudos on the picture of Eli Manning. I wonder who turned straight guys onto treasure trails . . .)

Gary R. Welsh said...

Doug,I fully acknowledge the KKK's control of the Indiana Republican Party in the 1920s. I've written much about it on this site in the past.

Anonymous said...

Historically, the GOP has led the fight for civil rights? Are you kidding me?

And don't go quoting Lincoln.. Let's talk last 75 years...I'm convinced if Lincoln were alive today, he'd be a Libertarian or a liberal Dem. A mentally ill Dem, but hey, who knew?

The poster boys for each side of the civil rights fight skew the true picture.

If the modern (post Civil War) CR movement has a hero, it has to be LBJ. Against tremendous odds, he pushed through the first Voting Rights Act of 1964. He borrowed heavily on his Senate Majority Leader days, and twisted arms mightily. He lost several longtime southern friends over it.

"Facts" are facts, Gary.

Anonymous said...

Take a good look at the investors named in this article. What problem have they solved in the black community? None!

They have taken our votes for granted once again to open another nightclub.

We don't need another bar or liquor store in the black community. There are too many alcoholics, pot smokers and cocaine users.

Does Mayor Peterson have an opinion on this private club?

Another "Sweetheart Deal"

September 13, 2006

Matthew Tully
Who's backing bar? A lot of power players
September 13, 2006

Last month, while reporting on the silly proposal to put a bar in the Julia Carson Government Center, I called City-County Council President Monroe Gray.
Gray had made an appearance at a little-noticed zoning session at which the bar won initial approval. The council president's appearance was curious, so I asked Gray why he was there.
No reason, he said.
I asked if his appearance was meant to signal support for the bar because some of his political allies have led the charge to put the bar in the Carson Center.
Nope, he said.
I asked if he even supported the plan to put a bar in the government center at 300 E. Fall Creek Parkway.
To that question, Gray told me had no opinion and no interest whatsoever in the issue.
So it was quite interesting the other day when someone pointed me toward a filing with the state Alcohol and Tobacco Commission. The filing includes a list of "partners" in the Carson Center bar plan. It's a who's who of local power players.
One partner's name is Teresa Gray. President Gray is married to a woman named Teresa, so I called him to ask whether that particular bar partner was indeed his wife.
"Uhh, it could be," he said.
"It could be?" I asked. "You don't know for sure?"
"Oh," said Gray, who hates to answer questions directly. "I'm sure it is."
Believe me, it is.
Gray dismissed my questions, saying despite his wife's interest in the bar, "I still don't have an opinion on it" and "that's her investment, not mine." He said he has not been involved in the bar and appeared at the zoning session for another case.
He grew irritated.
"Why do I need to discuss what my wife does?" he said.
Here's why.
First, Gray's top council deputy, Lonnell Conley, is married to the zoning examiner who gave the bar early approval. Second, Gray has taken campaign cash from lobbyist Lacy Johnson, a bigwig in Democratic circles who is the bar's lead investor. Third, angry residents have contacted the council, asking members to stop the bar.
Still, Gray kept his family's financial interest in the bar quiet.
It turns out you could fill a corporate board with the bar investors listed on the Alcohol and Tobacco Commission filing.
In addition to Lacy Johnson, Teresa Gray and local businessmen Al Oak and William Mays, the investors include a pair of interesting names.
One is Indiana Black Expo President Joyce Rogers. Another is Indianapolis airport spokeswoman Patzetta Trice, who sits on a number of local boards, including the United Way.
"My personal investments are private," Trice said.
Not in this case, they aren't.
Not when you're an investor in a plan to put a bar in a government building. Not when your plan initially included paving over parkland. Not when government bodies must approve that plan.
Of course, winning government support hasn't been a chore so far. The city's Parks Department and zoning staffs have been nothing short of boosters. And Center Township Trustee Carl Drummer, a Democrat who runs the Carson building, is the bar's biggest backer.
Mayor Bart Peterson has kept disappointingly quiet, even though he has been eager in the past to speak out on zoning issues that didn't involve such political allies. Gray, meanwhile, isn't going to stand in the way of his wife's investment. And U.S. Rep. Julia Carson says she opposes a bar in her namesake building, but bar backers, who have close ties to Carson, D-Indianapolis, say she isn't really opposed.
Several of the investors gathered at the as-yet-unopened bar last week to defend it. Their points, which I will explore further in Friday's column, are worth listening to.
With so much growth up north, for instance, Rogers pointed to the need to invest in struggling Center Township. The Black Expo leader called the upscale bar a place for people to network.
"Right now, you've got to go to Broad Ripple or Mass Ave.," she said.
That, however, doesn't mean putting a bar in a government building is the right thing to do. And it doesn't mean clout should rule.
So what's next? The city's Metropolitan Development Commission -- made up of members appointed mostly by the mayor and the City-County Council -- will consider the issue Oct. 4.
It's hard to expect much.
So far, it seems, the people charged with representing the public just don't care.
That shouldn't be a surprise.
After all, the bar idea is being pushed by a few of the city's most prominent names.
It's no surprise the bar idea has gotten this far. But it certainly is depressing.