Jill Labbe, Editorial Director of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, leaves a bad taste in my mouth by something she wrote in her editorial, “Scramble starts for new congressional seat” (November 26, 2011).
An unnecessarily bias commentary on the candidacy of Pastor Kyev Tatum for the newly redrawn U.S. District 33, Jill Labbe writes:
African-Americans do, which could be why the Rev. Kyev Tatum also is eyeing a run.
He doesn't have a prayer against Veasey or Hicks, but even being mentioned in the same breath gives the community activist legitimacy beyond the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
"We need someone in that district who is concerned about the issues of the neighborhood," Tatum told the Star-Telegram's PoliTex reporters Friday.
Note to Tatum: Neighborhood issues are the real estate of the City Council. Perhaps a run for one of those seats would be a better place to launch into the world of elected representation.
What does Jill Labbe imply? First of all, Tatum does have a prayer, at least from Eddie Griffin. He is a good brother and dear friend, a comrade with me in battle, and a man faithful in support and defense of our community and one who comes to aid in times of crisis. He has been a voice for the voiceless and has drawn public attention to many issues that would otherwise have gone uncovered.
Does Labbe imply that this grand Office of U.S. District 33 is too big for Tatum, that maybe he should first cut his political teeth at the City Council level?
How arrogant an assessment! It’s insulting!
Maybe Jill Labbe should begin with a Planet Earth perspective. What is U.S. District 33, but a minor piece in a bigger mosaic? Even more, District 33 is now our little piece of the rock. After all, it’s our 'hood. We have monolithic demographics (seen one, seen them all), a community of mutual common interests, 66% minority (thanks be, if the court decision stands). Again, I would say: This is our turf, our neighborhood.
How then can Labbe prejudge the internal workings of ‘hood politics? By demeaning and insulting Pastor Tatum, she demeans and insults all us hood rats. [I speak for Zip 76104]. Put the zip codes together, Labbe. The Election of 2012 will be a district-by-district dog fight, back to the White House.
District 33 is just a small piece of a bigger puzzle, a link in the chain of our access to real political power.
Historically, Zip code area 76104 (the Historical African-American district) and adjacent minority communities of similar demographics were carved up like a chicken, and divided among Republican-dominated districts. Thereby, they dominated and dictated our socio-economic future. It must be remembered that Zip 76104, once the world class Mecca of the African-America, is now the poorest district of all the districts, with the highest infant mortality rate, and the highest concentration of poverty and despair. Contrary to its outward appearance, however, it has one of the lowest crime rates, because of men on the ground like Pastor Kyev Tatum.
What we need is hope, not more politics as usual. We will take this district ourselves for ourselves, and determine our own destiny.
Therefore, I endorse the candidacy of Pastor Kyev Tatum because he is the most fitting piece in the big puzzle, in a grander scheme to reelect President Barack Obama.
District 33 is a passionate, enthusiastic, and energetic community that loves the incumbent President Barack Obama. And, quiet as it is kept, our ‘hood benefited somewhat from the Obama's Economic Stimulus Plan. [I know. Eat your hearts out.] But we would want more. We deserve more than the under-representation we have been receiving.
We would turn District 33 into a central command center for solving community problems.
In the meantime, Washington, D.C. can have its gridlock. But District 33 would become a gridlock buster, no thanks to Labbe.
And even so, as big as Washington, D.C. may seem to be, it is but a speck on Planet Earth. No matter what powers there be, are they not ordained from above?
Eddie Griffin, BASG