There is a funny type of math going around that is similar to
what I saw as a child. It was the type of arithmetic that my older cousin
would use whenever he divided up the Oreo cookies that we purchased together.
He would first empty the entire box of cookies out on the table and then issue
us both small brown paper bags to put our share of cookies in. After doing
this he would start using the funny math.
I can still hear his voice saying, "one for you two for me, one for you two
for me." As clock work I would then object and say, "Hey
something is wrong with that order." He would satisfy my complaint by
changing the order. Cousin would then say, "two for me, one for you,
two for me, one for you." Little did I know that the change in order
still produced the same outcome. The full scope of the results was
hidden from me because both our shares of cookies were concealed by the brown
bags that they were in.
This same math is being used each day against America's communities of color.
Graduating from the same school of thought city, state and federal governmental
officials are duping us into thinking that we are obtaining our fair share of
resources and governmental positions. An example of this on the federal
level is the appointment of Secretary of State Condelezza Rice. On first
glance one would commend President Bush on making her the first African-American
woman Secretary of State. All across America citizens are using this
appointment as a barometer as to how far Blacks have come.
A closer examination will reveal that this appointment uses my cousin's funny
type of math. When using this math all one has to do is move one person around
many times to several different positions and this will give the impression that
barriers are being torn down. If you take note that when Ms. Rice was moved
from her previous title as the National Security Advisor. An African-American was not moved in her
place. The result has therefore left a mathematical net loss of one Presidential
Cabinet position. To compound this lost we must look at her
transfer over to her new Cabinet position. She is replacing Colin Powell,
a male Black. The total sum of her move equated to the lost of one cabinet
position and minus one male Black off the Presidential Cabinet. The
question becomes, "where is the gain?"
Similar forms of this type of math is used on the state level where our school
districts receives less funding then their statewide counterparts. State
officials used all sorts of equations to justify this shortage, but it still
comes down to the same fact, we obtain less monies per student.
City officials are not immune from using this math. All one has to do is
look at some of the recent appointments that were made by city agency heads and
you will see that my cousin's funny math is alive and well.
Commissioner Kelly's recent appointment of Chief Joyce Stevens to the Deputy
Commissioner of Community Affairs position is an example of how the math is used
on the City level. The local media and the Commissioner's spin doctors
were quick to jump on this appointment and comment on how fair minded Raymond
Kelly is. If we take a closer look at this move we will see that
"funny math" again.
Joyce Stevens at the time of this appointment was the first and only
African-American woman to reach the rank of Chief in the New York City Police
Department. By being in that rank she was in line to possibly becoming a
Borough Commander or possible Chief of the Police Department. Both of
these ranks are a stone throw away from being the Commissioner of the entire
NYPD. They are titles that have an awesome amount of power, prestige and
authority. When Raymond Kelly moved her from her chief position he took
her out of that career path. Her previous Chief position will not be
replaced with another Black male or female, but a white male.
The current as Deputy Commissioner of Community Affairs was once held by a
detective. To those outside of police circles let me informed you that a
detective has no supervisory responsibilities at all. In spite of how
Detectives are portrayed on TV, in the real world of policing, the rank is one
step above police officer.
This form of movement and math is taking place all over city government. A
close look at the transferring of power and positions shows that Blacks are
being relegated to insignificant roles in how this city is ran. This is
being done out of public sight and behind the close doors of government board
rooms, the new brown paper bags.
I can almost here them say, "one for you, two for us, one for you, two for
Co-Founder of 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care
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