Tuesday, July 03, 2007

An Image Problem in Houston's Fifth

We are back in Houston for a few days to visit family and take care of some business. And while it is bittersweet to be "back in the old neighborhood" without Shebird, the kids and I have enjoyed our time back in the Bayou City so far.

Watching the KHOU local news coverage this morning (without Debra Duncan, who I hope is only on vacation), I saw a story on a recent YouTube video that "depicts a rough image of Houston's Fifth Ward," highlighting and even glorifying the gang life and drug use that has long been so prevalent in our inner-city neighborhoods.
The self-proclaimed gang members and drug dealers are bragging about their so-called thug life on a popular video site over the World Wide Web.
Unfortunately, when the news team brought the video to the attention of Houston City Councilman Jarvis Johnson, his reaction demonstrates one of the reasons Houston's traditionally low income, minority majority wards has stayed in such a state for so long.
"They can't be the voice of Fifth Ward," said Jarvis as he watched the video. The councilman's district includes the Fifth Ward.

"The Fifth Ward has such a strong history, a strong culture, a strong sense of pride. I'm angry. I'm angry about a video that portrays such a great neighborhood in such a negative manner."
Not angry that crime, gang violence and drug use have for years dominated these neighborhoods. Not angry that families living in his district must deal with these evils on a daily basis. Angry that a video accessible around the nation is depicting his home turf "in such a negative manner."

And to underscore just how angry Councilman Johnson was about the atrocities shown in this online video, it was left to the 11 News crew to take the video to the local authorities in an attempt to have something done about it.

Tell me again why we call such people "community leaders"?

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Blogger Han said...

In our covert investigation conducted at Victory Christian Center (VCC) in Austin, TX, we collected mounting evidence of how the Republican political strategy is employed from the Bush/Rove White House on down to their base of conservative Evangelical churches.

David Barton, Vice-chairman of the Texas GOP and founder of an organization called Wallbuilders, was invited to be the guest speaker at both of VCC's Sunday morning worship services on August 20, 2006. According to Pastor Lee Boss' introduction of David Barton to the congregation, he's "been used by God to touch more elected officials in this nation over any other organization." Armed with old-time bibles, a swanky PowerPoint presentation, and much jibber-jabber, Barton mobilizes the Evangelical Christians to the polls by replacing the word "voting" with "stewardship". He concludes by telling us that Republican political candidates are the obvious choice in our stewardship if we are concerned with biblical issues.

Karl Rove understands the conservative Evangelical voices are a powerful and very well organized tax exempt, money making machine for the Republican party. As long as these Evangelical church leaders have an insatiable appetite for power and influence, Rove will continue to use them to succeed on his mission of establishing a permanent Republican majority. Watch how all the Republican Presidential candidates are scrambling in a tizzy to court the Evangelical / Religious Right vote. It's funny to see the conservatives salivating at the bit, waiting for the next self-righteous politician with the right outside package that they can rally behind. Ever notice how the GOP have to beat up on a minority group of people in order to rally their base? How Christian or Christ-like is that?


8/30/2007 5:03 PM  

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