Lift a silver-plated shovel full of dirt (with a few politicos ripe for a photo-op) in some razed area, and suddenly you're making some kind of improvement to wherever you happen to be.
Well, it seems simple for the minds (of same) that have brought us to a precipice of what they believe is revitalization for our downtown.
Funny how most of these people won't be in any office after this is well underway (seems I got my crystal ball back from the cleaners just in time).
Do I believe for one minute that turning Fort Wayne into some mini version of Indy with this downtown improvement will enhance MY life in MY part of the city?
Not for one blessed moment.
Will it benefit the city?
Perhaps...someday after Harrison Square has been returned back to Mother Earth and made over into something the PEOPLE REALLY WANT, instead of a blanched mastodon some out-of-town investors (and those they mesmerized into thinking this is the alpha & omega of Fort Wayne's future) wanted to use as a tax dodge for larger fish they are frying elsewhere.
But I digress...
What about those who break ground with the human condition; those people who aren't afraid to say what they think, and show us facets of ourselves we have not only ignored, but have gone so far as to have taken for granted and accepted as "normal"?
"We Got To Do Better" is the latest venue to do such.
It's a BET show (of all things) that take a long, hard look at the black community today, and publicly humiliates, satirizes, and otherwise shames members OF that community while not trying to be called "race-haters", "elitists", and even "Uncle Tons".
Formerly known as "Hot Ghetto Mess" (an apt title in its own right), the show's real intent is to offer social commentary in a context that sparks debate, dialogue, and most importantly, change.
The creator, Jam Donaldson is voicing her disapproval of these perpetuated stereotypes not only on BET, but also her website (hotghettomess.com), which receives 30,000+ hits per day. And this woman has a law degree from Georgetown U., where her late father was dean of Fine Arts. Her mother is a retired federal worker.
So, this girl's "got game".
She says the time has come to "Do Better", and I'm on board with her in that regard. Her show and website would be most likened to a black version of JACKASS. It shows young blacks engaged in various acts of idiocy (she ought to send a camera crew down to MY neighborhood) like street brawls, booty-shaking, etc. The show also puts cultural ignorance on display (people are asked ala the man-in-the-street interviews whether they know what NAACP stands for; they DON'T).
Here's this professional black woman, wagging her finger at her culture and community (sounds a lot like Bill Cosby, right?), basically holding HER people accountable for their actions, all the while saying WE CAN DO BETTER. And the funny thing is...they CAN (but in many cases won't).
In some instances, breaking ground can be HARD (because the ground is so damn dense?). Home Depot has pulled it's sponsorship of the program, and I have to admit that I was shaking my head before reading the backstory to the show.
Now I don't want to tune in to see people bustin' loose on one another or shaking their asses , or even having uber-sized black women wearing halter tops and daisy dukes.
I can see that JUST by looking out my WINDOWS!
Ms. Donaldson uses a very appropriate quote from Dr. King to describe this:
"Nothing in (all) the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity"
Wow...welcome to MY part of town.
This "road less traveled" is never without it's bumps, curves, potholes, or even detours (just ask those who will attempt driving downtown in the next year or so). Whether you're trying to get a point across to the morons of your race by showing them their folly, or even trying to revitalize a downtown area on a wing and a prayer, there ARE similarities when it comes to ground-breaking. The only difference is in the execution and the results. And there are those who will oppose YOU as well as what you are attempting to accomplish.
I say if anyone DOES have a better idea on how to proceed with any type of ground-breaking, take a cue from Bob Barker:
"Come on down"!