If You Are Silent On Something It Means You Agree

Upon reading again “Barack Obama His Essential Wisdom”, a passage struck me. “One voice can change a room. And if the voice can change a room, it can change a city. And if it can change a city, it can change a state. And if it can change a state, it can change a nation. And if it can change a nation, it can change the world…Your voice can change the world tomorrow.”

Those words made me think there are not many “Community Voices” being heard about what is or is not going on in the city of Newburgh, regarding “quality of life” issues. Why not? One’s silence towards something means that they are in agreement with whatever is or is not going on. Why have the “Voices” in this city of Newburgh been so “Silent” towards the “Gentrification” that has been going on in the city of Newburgh? Where are the “Community’s Voices” that should be crying “Loud” and “Sparing” not towards this most significant and important issue? Do not those voices realize that one’s “Silence” towards this most significant and important issue means that they are in agreement with what is or what is not going on re: it?

There are very “Significant” changes happening on North Miller, Johnston, Farrington, Dubois, Grand, Lander, South, Third, Chambers, First and Farrington Streets, which are the streets that us “Black” folks started occupying when “The “Promised Land” was stolen away from us during “Urban Renewal!” “Wow! Now, once again, the land that our families were forced to “Rush” to after “Urban Renewal,” is now being revitalized by “Land Banks!” What is a “Land Bank?” A “Land Bank” is a public authority created to efficiently hold, manage and develop tax-foreclosed property. Land Banks acts as a legal and financial mechanism to “transform” vacant, abandoned and tax-foreclosed property back to productive use.

Truthfully, “Land Banks” were created to continue on in communities what’ “Urban Renewal” started, which is the “removal” of the majority of us “Black” folks off of the land. Generally, land banks are funded by local governments’ budgets or the management and disposition of tax-foreclosed property. In addition, a land bank is a powerful locational incentive, which encourages redevelopment in older communities that generally have little available land and neighborhoods that have been blighted by an out-migration of residents and businesses. Land banks also act as a tool for planning long-term community development. Successful land bank programs revitalize blighted neighborhoods and direct reinvestment back into these neighborhoods to support their long- term community vision. Wow! Truthfully, I do believe that the “Land Bank” concept is nothing but a “New” version of “Urban Renewal!” After “Urban Renewal” our families moved into the areas that have now become “Land Bank” areas. Wow!

Where are the jobs that would have enabled the families that were displaced by “Urban Renewal” to be able to purchase their homes instead of having to always be renters? In 2011-2015 a “Section 3 Plan” was developed by the City of Newburgh which was supposedly committed to helping the residents of the City achieve their goals of self-sufficiency by providing opportunities for employment. Through that program the city was to provide opportunities on its construction, demolition and rehabilitation projects by requiring its contractors, in accordance with this City of Newburgh Section 3 Plan to hire qualified City residents to facilitate economic opportunity for such residents. How many local, especially minority residents, benefitted from this “Section 3 Plan?” Truthfully, the question to this should be “How Many Local Minority” residents even knew about this program? The City of Newburgh Planning & Development Department had a role and responsibility in ensuring that these courses of action were successfully pursued. Did They? Evidently, there are some concerns from some citizens re: “Gentrification” for I heard that notices were put on some businesses on Liberty Street re: “Gentrification!”

A lot of very “Serious” questions to “all” of these most significant and very important issues should be being brought forth by your NAACP, Community Voices Heard, Nu Voters Movement, Ministerial Fellowship, and any other organizations that are supposedly being the “Voice” speaking out for the people! One’s “Silence” towards such issues, which has such great significance and importance to the upliftment of the downtrodden throughout our community, means that you’re either ignorant or just not that concerned. “Which Is It?” Let me end this with a message to those that are “supposedly” the voices and leaders of this city: “You Need To Band Together, Becoming That Voice And Force Representing The Poor And Downtrodden Of This City That Do Not Have A Significant Amount Of Money Or Political Influence. If Not, Truthfully What Are You Existing For? Wake Up!
Last, but most definitely not least, take a ride down to New York City’s Harlem neighborhoods, especially 125th Street, and see what’s going on. Caucasions are largely the occupants of Harlem now. It won’t be long before the same thing starts happening right here in Newburgh. In fact, it already has started.

Please continue to wear your mask on your faces, not on your hearts! This is “Lillie’s Point Of View” and I’m just having my say! Now “YOU” can have yours!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email