Houston Blacks Continue Fight Against Present Disparities
Houston, TX (BlackNews.com) - President Barack Obama has managed to bailout Wall Street, major banks and now offers his Stimulus to help states and cities generate jobs and programs to help boost the weak economy. Sounds interesting but Black communities and businesses in Houston feel they are excluded from the Stimulus and fight presently against the alarming out of control disparity against them. The Black Contractors and Business Owners (BCBO) continues voicing its outrage before the Texas legislature, city government and mayor and federal agencies and demands that enforcement of existing laws occurs immediately to curtail the devastating disparity.
"The disparity of Black businesses in Houston reflects the reality that Blacks are excluded from the contract award process," says Gladys House, founder and board secretary, "while Caucasian men receive at least 98.6% of non-HUB contracts and Caucasian women receive at least 96% of HUB contracts with the state of Texas." HUBs (historically underutilized businesses) cater to small businesses to ensure a fair share of contract awards but House and other Black small businesses are concerned that there is no enforcement of Texas Government Code 6121 to monitor and make sure justice is applied. House adds that the city of Houston stats are identical as with any and all state funded entities and state agencies, and that no one appears to care that Black small businesses are being shut out of the contract award process.
BCBO has testified within the past two years before local, state and federal governments on the need to curtail and dissolve the devastating disparity. Blacks feel that they are not receiving the regular funding produced by their tax dollars and take the position that they will not benefit from the Stimulus funds either if elected officials do not take immediate action.
Black Congressional members Al Green (District 9) and Sheila Jackson-Lee (District 18) represent Houston's core Black community and business but did not support their colleague Gene Green in signing his letter dated September 15, 2008 requesting the U.S. Small Business Committee conduct a field hearing in Houston on the disparity issue. Gene Green is Caucasian and represents Congressional District 29 that is largely Hispanic. Constituents of Jackson-Lee are outraged that she is often on the opposing side of their issues rather than defending their wishes. Lately, the Black media blasted Jackson-Lee for coauthoring HR 848 to heavily tax radio, a financial burden that threatens to close or sell Black radio stations nationwide. House says that the disparity is found in the Black community at large with unemployment double that of Caucasians, poor healthcare and education, lacking city services and government accountability, police harassment, an unjust court system and more.
"One of only two Black state senators, Rodney Ellis, has an all Caucasian staff at his state house office and this practice is duplicated by other Black state representatives," shares House. "The anti-progressive movement of the Black community is being implemented by the BKKK." House says that the Black KKK consists of Black elected officials, preachers, so-called leaders and even those holding positions of authority and power, but all have their part in helping to destroy what remains of the Black community and small business in Houston and Texas.
BCBO has been joined by other groups with similar concerns and the first of a series of meetings begins June 6 at noon, Northeast Multipurpose Center, 7146 Tidwell, Houston, Texas. The public is invited. The Black community will focus on implementing the Plan used by Blacks subsequent to emancipation that empowered Blacks to build and support their communities, businesses and entire social development of education, health, human rights, selecting quality candidates chosen by the community, jobs, training and development for basically a self-sustaining neighborhood. House adds that Blacks constantly invest tax dollars on all levels of government to merely be excluded from the reinvestment of those dollars into the community, economic and social development of their neighborhoods. Incumbents must be replaced with statesmen charged with representing the interests of the Black community if justice is to be served and soon they say. House feels it is not too late to re-direct Stimulus funding, along with regular funding, to the Black community and business, but that it is going to take the quick action of Blacks to demand accountability of their elected officials.
"Blacks achieved more during the Reconstruction years of 1870-1901 in Congress than those we have today," reflects House. "Check history during then and the era when there were no Blacks holding Congressional seats from 1901 to 1929, and compare achievements. We are in serious trouble."
House says she has yet to receive any response from President Obama on signing an executive order awarding reparations to African Americans as a result of enslavement of their ancestors here in America.