They're From the Business Community and Here to Help You. Yeah, Right.

Categories: Get Off My Lawn

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The Reverend Gerald Britt Jr. of Central Dallas Ministries (now called "CitySquare" for some unfathomable reason) had an op-ed in The Dallas Morning News yesterday that made my heart ache.

Britt, a good guy deeply dedicated to southern Dallas, recited all the recent population numbers that show an immense outflow of black families from southern Dallas to more affluent suburban neighborhoods.

For perfectly understandable reasons, he interprets this as a bad thing. He's like any guy writing about his own town and his own neighbors and friends. Nobody likes to see everybody leaving.

But then he comes to this awful conclusion -- a sadly common theme from black southern Dallas leadership. He says the trend should be reversed -- a terrible idea -- and that it's the job of the "business community" (read, the money) to do something about it.

"The new mayor and City Council can reverse this trend," Britt writes, "with an unapologetic commitment to a significant and strategic pro-growth agenda for southern Dallas. Efforts to attract major businesses to our city's core, increase downtown housing and add to cultural and entertainment opportunities will fall short if the southern Dallas piece isn't the centerpiece."

Wrong.

The outflow of black families from southern Dallas is all about upward mobility -- a marvelous thing for those families and a wonderful fruition of the Great American Promise. Nothing has endorsed the truth of American democracy more than the dramatic success of black people since the lifting of the barriers of segregation.

But why on earth would successful black families want to keep their kids around the dysfunctional morass of South Dallas?

You want a real wake-up call, take in a city council meeting some day in suburban Lancaster. Their city council is very diverse, lots of black members, and it makes our council look like a really bad day in student government.

The idea that "business" is going to come in with "investment" and fix everything is absolutely ludicrous. Why would that happen?

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The Reverend Gerald Britt Jr.
Richard Allen, the guy behind the Inland Port, found out why all that land in southern Dallas is so cheap and undeveloped. It's because you can't do business there without going through John Wiley Price.

That's not business' responsibility or job to fix. Business doesn't go places to help people. It goes places to make money.

The danger in Britt's thinking -- I know he doesn't mean this, but it's implied in what he says -- is that it sets up southern Dallas to be exploited and made a fool of again by the Citizens Council. We do have a mayoral contest on.

The insinuation is that big old money-pockets, the Citizens Council, will come down and spread the wealth around if the people of southern Dallas will just vote for the right dude.

And, yeah. They'll spread it around. They'll give some to the preachers (not Britt, who is nowhere close to that kind of stuff). They'll throw some business to the preachers' wives who sell real estate. And things will stay just like they are.

That's a trick. Always has been. Always will be.

Success comes from the inside out. It just does not move in the other direction.

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Rooster
Rooster

No business owner in his right mind relocates to South Dallas.

You're just not going to get any business owner on the planet to voluntarily sign up to be extorted for an "equity share" by some third rate politician.

South Dallas will remain what it is as long as it has its current leadership.

Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

How will anything get done with a checker board of Vacant Lots ?

It would be interesting to know how many have come to the area with high hopes AND CITY MONEY only to be driven away by the actual work that would need to be done ?

Letsunshine Shine
Letsunshine Shine

Our black leaders or corrupt and has lost all morals THERE AINT NO GOOD LEADER NOT ONE IN ANY RACE. THEY NEED TO SEEK THE LORD

JimS
JimS

I believe what we have in the case of RandyE below is a case of a fellow who is carrying water for a particular mayoral candidate but lacks the balls to admit it.

Jduwalt
Jduwalt

Noooooo keep those blacks down South! The DART is already ruining our crime-free life up here!

Tragedy
Tragedy

Jim: If moving away from the inner city is a good idea, then why are yuppies and others working real hard to come back to Dallas?

Maps2on2222
Maps2on2222

By Yuppies, I assume you mean young, urban professionals. They don't like the suburbs because they find them boring. Until they have kids.

QUOTE:

"The 2010 census showed Dallas County grew by only 6.7 percent, far less than neighboring counties.

The Hispanic population grew by 242,815 people, while the white population declined by 198,624 people.

County officials say affluent residents are leaving for newer homes and better schools and services."

Enrique De La Fuente
Enrique De La Fuente

If you look at census data based on state house districts, Dan Branch's actually GAINED population. It lost Hispanics, but saw increases in White and Black populations. Branch's district is by far the most urban district in North Texas.

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

80 outside isn't the same as 80 in a closed classroom (with all doors locked) full of teenagers and a wall of glass windows. Ever heard of a greenhouse?

And if you can't open doors or windows to at least allow air movement, then turn on the AC.

The real point is that if you had to decide who should get the AC, would you pick the administrators or the kids? Because if it was deemed too warm at 3700 Ross to go without AC, shouldn't the same be extended to the students?

I don't even know if the AC was on anywhere (the parts of my building able to be controlled by the principal were on Friday--he did what he could to help us all out bc it was really, really hot).

This is another example of DISD's greed. Instead of letting individual schools control their own surroundings, the district cuts costs on the backs of the kids and gives administrators raises.

It was so hot that a teacher felt he had to stand on a ledge to open a window and then he fell 3 stories because he had been ordered to stay in his room with the door locked. He must have been a real whiner, unlike the tough guy that you are.

Max
Max

Um, i went all day friday with no a/c, you know why? Because it was only 80 degrees. If the teachers at Spruce can't handle 80 degree weather they should probably go and get their fat asses in shape,

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

As for DISD, did you hear about what happened at Spruce on Friday due to the lack of AC in the schools?

NO other districts have problems like DISD's problems. Crappy TEA curric? Yes.Overrun by testing? Yes.

Teachers falling out of 3rd story windows while trying to open the window since they are locked in rooms with no AC for 2 hours? NO.

Betcha 3700 Ross had AC on Friday.Betcha the Buckner Bldg had AC on Friday.No one fell out of a 3rd story window there.

No other district has an unmonitored cash trough used solely to benefit adults while the school board, the churches,and the citizens council looks the other way

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

DISD is killing growth and investment in this city, especially in south Dallas.

2 families on my block recently moved....for better schools. The only other family with younger children plans to move soon...because of schools.

We know multiple families with their houses currently on the market--every one of them is trying to get out of DISD and the burden of private school tuition.

Meanwhile, the school board continues business as usual, refusing to fix the problems that drive families out of Dallas.

If more organizations like Central Dallas would call out DISD, maybe things would change for the communities they serve.

Enrique De La Fuente
Enrique De La Fuente

DISD has so many problems because that many more eyes are on it compared to any other school district in North Texas, or Texas for that matter.

Are their problems sure, but even suburban school districts are going to have problems with the proposed state budget. All moving does buy some time before the inevitable collapse of public education in Texas.

JimS
JimS

Sadly it'sbecause a lot of them can afford to put their kids in private schools. Look at the performance rates for black kids in the suburbs and compare to back kids in DISD. The public schools out there are just a way healthier place for black working and middle class kids. http://www.dallasobserver.com/...RandyE: So you think the way it works is that business brings you money to help you out? I believe that's what the anthroplogists call a "cargo cult" -- waiting by the sea for the Kennedys to send you a ship full of treasure. Good luck with that. And if you do a ship out there, be sure not to let the preachers swim out to it ahead of you.

Tragedy
Tragedy

Jim: I understand what you are saying about the state of public school education in Dallas, but, I believe Rev. Britt's comment is centered around upwardly-mobile African-American households moving to the suburbs -- parents who can afford -- albeit marginally -- to send their children to private schools and can definitely send their children to the charter schools springing up in town (not forgetting the magnet public schools). If there is a trend of young white couples coming back (or staying) and raising their families in the inner city, then why shouldn't black couples do the same thing? When African-American communities like State-Thomas and Hispanic communities like and (surrounding) Bishop Arts are transformed into white yuppie enclaves, can South Dallas be far behind?

cp
cp

A couple of the better performing schools in DISD are IN South Dallas and waiting for the chopping block because of a thing called "underpopulation".

Businesses not only take money out of people's pockets but they provide a service in exchange for that money. They also provide jobs, which are solely lacking in South Dallas, putting money INTO people's pockets.

RandyE
RandyE

So you think the way it works.... C- for weak strawman. Britt's not waiting for "money to help you out", seems he to me realizes that in this environment you can't get what you need through white guilt or legislative thuggery. So you keep your eyes open and make a deal. "South Dallas will only improve when the people who live there make different decisions about marriage, education, and family planning." Yes, and have some economic incentives to change and stay. Doesn't hurt to have liberal white boy platitudes in your favor, but you need actual stuff also.

Been reading you forever and treasure your contributions over the last 30 years, but God I'm tired of words.

JimS
JimS

I don't get what you're saying. Are you saying it's a good idea for the black community to look to the White Citizens Council for salvation?

RandyE
RandyE

"The insinuation is that big old money-pockets, the Citizens Council, will come down and spread the wealth around if the people of southern Dallas will just vote for the right dude."

Bullshit. You think an old hand like Rev Britt needs a nice secure white boy telling him about the citizen's council? He's been actually doing something, as opposed to shouting from the sidelines, for some time, They need money, and it doesn't look like it's coming from the government even with your simplistic eat the rich schtick. The money has to come from somewhere and it ain't coming from you and rest of the well intentioned cool kids.

It's gotta come business, maybe other than the big old money-pockets, maybe some of them. Britt's looking ahead while you seem stuck in a 70's style rant. His people need help, not white boy cheerleading and he'll keep his eyes open and take it where he can get it, even when appropriate, from evil white business.

cynical old bastard
cynical old bastard

The money will come to the community on it's own when the residents vote out the corrupt politicians that made the mess that is there today. The money will come when it doesn't have to visit Willis Johnson to be spread around. The money will come when someone stands up and preaches that the same old is over and it is time for a new era without equity for a few.

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

When my son was in first grade, he played on a Y soccer team.

One Saturday, the opposing team was a team of kindergartners.

The dads/coaches came over and told us that they wanted their boys to "play up" even if it meant losing games bc they believed it would strengthen their boys' skills better in the long run.

They wanted our boys to go all out and not hold anything back just because they were playing kindergartners.

This was an all-white group of HIghland Park boys; these were the type of boys most likely to be considered pampered and spoiled and yet their parents were purposely putting them at a disadvantage in order to improve them.

South Dallas will only improve when the people who live there make different decisions about marriage, education, and family planning. Business cannot help them; they must force themselves to "play up" and build a community businesses want to be in.

Asking business or fleeing families to sacrifice for the good of people unwilling to commit to behavioral change will never, ever work.

yeahIsaidthat
yeahIsaidthat

JimIf you take a drive around Southwest Dallas, take South Hampton towards De Soto. See how many churches there are on the east side of the street? Nice big churches with beautiful landscaping on some of them. There's also the multi million dollar Ricky church known as IBOC and then of course, T D Jakes house by Mountain Creek. Then the mind wanders back in time to when the African American churches were the birthplace of civil rights and the lifting up of ones position in society. Where are these preachers today? Why do we not hear about their programs to 'raise the bar' for one's self. You start with the person, then everything else falls into place. These guys (Rev. Brit the exception) are supposed to be leaders in their community and no one is leading.

scottindallas
scottindallas

They're preaching the prosperity doctrine, just as the No. Dallas churches.

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