Letter to the Editor

The Perception of We

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Dear Editor,

First of all, let me start by thanking you for having objectivity, as to allow for such a rant from me. Secondly, let me state, for the record, that I represent no city, county, or state official. Nor am I affiliated with any church or non-profit organizations, as I know it would be deemed politically incorrect to stand by what I am about to say.

My opinions belong to ME and ME only! I will probably lose some relationships with this, BUT, if I lose you, you weren't with me to begin with. Now, what will be stated will ruffle feathers and create some enemies. But I was always told that if you don't have enemies, you don't stand for anything. And being that I have never cared for being popular, let's get to it.

Everyone from local greedy, power hungry business persons, who have devious agendas to pastors who normally don't speak on political or social issues have seemed to weigh in on concerns of our great city and have done so using this very medium.

Those that I speak of are white folk who use the word WE under the guise of a pseudo-multiculturalist concept to try to appeal to those who they think are not smart enough to see where the financial power base has resided since this Native American territory was renamed Blytheville.

Some want to imply that diversity (in whatever limited fashion they deem appropriate) automatically means equality and then want minorities to buy into this We Are The World notion when WE (the MANY, minorities, the Black community, specifically) don't seem to reap the benefits from these suggestions that WE (being the FEW that control commerce BCOC, Blytheville Unlimited, etc.) have publicly made to the current city administration. Well being that everyone is tap dancing the elephant in the room, then I will be fearless in discussing what is MY opinion:

1. I, quite frankly, am sick and tired these disrespectful white business persons (Randy Scott/Blytheville Unlimited, Tommy Abbott/Bumper 2 Bumper, Liz Smith, etc.) who continue to try to snow people by hiding behind business suggestions to promote your personal opinions toward Mayor Sanders and his administration. Making such suggestions as having a DEGREED manager to administer city operations is a poor attempt hide your true feelings. Is the mayor not a degreed city official? Please spare the people your ambiguous jargon (let me know if you need help with the vocabulary).

I know exactly what you mean but what you didn't expect is that a Melanated, awakened free-thinker that is well-schooled in etymology, not scared of money nor influence, would call you on it. And I WILL NOT stand by and let you continue to attack my brother in these ways and not say anything. You keep using the word TRANSPARENCY as to imply wrongdoing on the part of the mayor.

Both the Chamber of Commerce and Blytheville Unlimited have used public ambush tactics, suggesting that a TASK FORCE be put into place to keep an eye on things, so to speak. Where were these suggestions when Barrett Harrison (yeah, I said it) was bankrupting this city? The IRS can find fault with him but the Good Ole Boy network will defend their own, right? I know, I know, Liz. Get over it, right? That's the past, right? It's funny how victims are always told to be strong and move on. Sound familiar? How many of feel that slavery is the past and we should just forget about it? Quite a few I would gather. Perception is reality, right? (As so eloquently written by Tom Henry) Well, what I perceive is that you would allow someone, who just so happens to be white, to commit such acts and stand by him (Liz) but steadily hammer Sanders, who just happens to be black, on transparency? What I also perceive is that when you use the two words, TASK FORCE, that it usually implies wrongdoing, as well. Just what are you accusing him of? Be TRANSPARENT with these implications. I, among others, would much rather you stand by your feelings and say what it is. You would get much more respect that way. You have suggested that we replace the whole administration, save one, and guess what he is a part of "The Club" and just so happens to be white. That only strengthens my point. Is this what you call REALLY working together?

2. Why is the Chamber of Commerce trying to run city government? Well, let's break down what a chamber of commerce is/does:

A chamber of commerce is a form of business network, for example, a local organization whose goal is to further the interests of business. (But for whom?) Business owners in towns and cities form these local (private/secret) societies to advocate of on behalf of the business community. (But for which community?) Local businesses are members, and elect a board of directors or executive council to set policy for the chamber. (I repeat, for THE CHAMBER) The board the hires a President (Andy Weld and former President Lisa John- Adams), CEO or Executive Director (Liz Smith), plus staffing to run the organization. (Keep in mind there is very little DIVERSITY within the names I have listed throughout thus limited equality).

Now for a bit of interesting info..... As a NON-GOVERNMENTAL institution, a chamber of commerce has NO direct role in the writing and passage of laws and regulations that affect city business. It may, however, lobby (def: seek to influence (a politician or public official) on an issue) in an attempt to get laws passed that are favorable to businesses (But, again, what businesses?) I perceive that your lobbying with the mayor has been in vein. Could that possibly be the reason for such public ridicule?

A chamber is also suppose to work closely with a number of youth organizations in the community and throughout the country to teach the value and role of business in our society. What minority youth organizations do you support? Who is this WE that you keep speaking of? Not to mention that you have aforementioned individuals using underhanded tactics such as trying to get friends to run against friends as to split the vote. You might as well had typed up the "Willie Lynch" letter yourself and sent it in an email, Barrett. Please don't assume that Melanated people are so desperate that they would fall for such a soulless scheme.

3. And that brings me to number three. How many minority members are in the Blytheville Chamber? One,Two? Does this show TRUE diversity? And for those minority members within the chamber, I hope that you will seek to do more to give TRANSPARENCY to the workings of the chamber and businesses such as Blytheville Unlimited (What do you do, exactly?) and not sit in silence for selfish gain. No? Well, then I have a solution. Being that there are no laws prohibiting a city from having more than one chamber of commerce and there are many precedents for such, I advocate for the creation of a Blytheville Minority Chamber of Commerce (oh yes, WE can think too) to appeal to all thriving minority businesses in the city who seem not to have representation.

I also call for a BUYCOTT of businesses who don't feel the need to include Us in the affairs of commerce in this city. Maybe if we stop spending money with you, you'll get your mind right and realize that our money and opinions matter. And next time try to hide your feelings better or say what you it really is. Now I know some of you will call me racist and say that I am promoting some type of hate but A. One cannot be racist is he/she hasn't the power to affect whole communities and B. Just because a person is Pro-Black does not mean he/she is Anti-white. If anyone wishes to seek an audience to refute my opinion, feel free. But remember you are dealing with awakened Melanated people.

Lastly, I will say that I am no one's puppet nor do I agree with all policies and practices of any politician, but, when I see my people get attacked in such ways I will defend them.

"How is it that you can disrespect a man's ethnicity, when you know we've influenced nearly every facet of White America. From our music, to our style of dress, not to mention your basic imitation of our sense of cool, our walk, talk, dress, mannerisms. We enrich your very existence. All the while contributing to the Gross National Product through our achievements in corporate America. It's these conceits that comfort me, when faced with the ignorant, cowardly, bitter and biggoted who have limited talent, no guts. People like you who desecrate things that they don't understand, when you should just say "Thank you, man, and go on your way. But apparently you're incapable of doing that." - Sin LaSalle

Unapologetically Melanated,

-- Marc Swift