Thursday, February 03, 2011
Opposing Noise And Litter In Your Neighborhood Is "Racist", According To The Predominantly-Black North Side Old Timers In Pittsburgh
Representatives of the North Side Old Timers in Pittsburgh have characterized community opposition to the group's annual Unity Gathering as "racist", without providing any objective evidence backing up their claim. References for this post include the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and WDUQ News.
Background: The North Side Old Timers is a predominantly Black group that sponsors a "Unity Gathering" at West Park each summer. However, in September 2010, nearly three dozen people who live near the 38-acre park, part of Allegheny Commons, signed a petition saying that events there are too noisy, damage the park with vehicles and equipment, interfere with the community's use of the park and leave it strewn with litter. Petitioners asked City Council to review how the city issues permits and enforces the rules for events. The petition didn't target the Unity Gathering by name.
So the issue came up for a public hearing during the Pittsburgh City Council meeting on January 31st, 2011. Despite the fact that the Unity Gathering has not been specifically targeted by name, advocates for the Unity Gathering immediately became defensive and played the race card. William D. Thompkins, one of the founders of the North Side Oldtimers, said "Yes, preventing the Unity Gathering from occurring is about race". Old Timers supporter Jennifer Russell also said that the problem isn't noise or trash, but about race and about control.
The Post-Gazette revealed the real problem. While those who spoke our about problems at the park were White, most of those speaking out for the Old Timers were Black. Many Black leaders consider criticism of Blacks to be racially motivated, even when race is not the issue. Any racial disparity unfavorable to Blacks is labeled "racist".
Predictably, Allegheny West Civic Council President Tim Zinn said the group's request isn't born from racism, but a desire to address their concerns. Of course, Zinn doesn't yet realize that charges of racism directed against Whites are usually not because any racism actually exists, but merely used as a red herring to distract from the main issues. Thus any pro-White activism in Pittsburgh can be best directed towards encouraging Whites to ignore or deflect accusations of racism. Before Whites can become racially conscious, they must overcome their fear of being called racist, and learn how to turn that into an asset.
Carole Malakoff said that various events of varying sizes have caused problems at the park. One of the most egregious examples cited was the fact that one group brought in a petting zoo. Because West Park is also used as a dog park, the problems of bringing in a petting zoo are immediately obvious.
James Edwards of The Political Cesspool has also picked up the story.
Posted by Anchorage Activist at 12:51 PM