Category Archives: Um Tellin’

NAACP Letter to Mayor Jackson – Water Crisis

Dear Honorable Mayor Jackson,

January 26, 2018

With a climate of uncertainty, fear, and mistrust, citizens are doubtful about how our city is
being governed and managed. The recent crisis at the Trenton Water Works (TWW) and
the subsequent mismanagement of them, as you no doubt know, have caused public health fears, and
mistrust among Trenton residents as to your administration’s ability to efficiently manage this,
and other pressing City issues. This letter is an attempt to bring clarity to the
public pronouncements made by you in your official press statement and the email addressed to me by
your Chief of Staff both dated January 18, 2018.

During the monthly NAACP Trenton Branch meeting members found the following to be
contradictory:

1). Paragraph 1 – “First let me be clear, TWW has operated according to state and federal
standards, supplying water to its customers that either meets or exceeds federal
standards.” There have been temporary operational issues, but the water quality and the public’s
health was never in danger, and we addressed each issue as we normally do, expeditiously,
professionally, in concert with our high-quality contract consultants, and with the engagement of
the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) every step of the way.”

2). Paragraph 2 – “For many months now, my administration has been communicating, holding meetings
and advising principals including outgoing Commissioner Bob Martin and his staff at the NJDEP
since the agency shared its concerns with us on the need to correct staffing and other issues at
the TWW.”

3). Paragraph 3 – “we are contracting with a water management company with the
expertise and know-how to run the water filtration plant. This expertise will be available to us
immediately.”

4). Paragraph 5 – “we will continue to advise and accept input from the NJDEP, a
regulatory body of Trenton Water Works, about our comprehensive effort to modernize Trenton Water
Works operations for our current base of customers and for future generations.

In regards to paragraph 1, your statement implies that the State has signed off on the quality of
water we are drinking. If that is a fact, we would like to have a copy of that letter, and also to
have it reprinted in both Trenton papers, as well as the African American and
Hispanic newspapers in Spanish and English.
In regards to paragraph 2, you indicated that the city has been working for many months with Former
Commissioner Martin, his staff, and “advising principals” on correcting staff and other issues.
Please direct your Chief of Staff to provide us with your staffing updates and changes within the
TWW to improve water quality and customer service.
Paragraph 3, implies that what was stated in paragraph 1 may be flawed. Paragraph 1 indicates that
the TWW is working with “high-quality” contract consultants to address temporary
operational issues and that NJDEP was engaged every step of the way. Paragraph 3 indicates that the
city will be contracting a water management company with expertise and the know-how to run the
filtration plant. The expertise will be available immediately. Clarity is certainly needed here:
please provide a detailed explanation of the “high-quality” contract consultants and what their
function is/was as it relates to water services for the customers of TWW. In addition, please
provide a detailed explanation as to what the expert water management company will provide that is
inclusive of or different than what the TWW employees or high-quality contract
consultants aren’t, can’t, won’t or don’t know how to do.
Paragraph 5, “the city will continue to advise and accept input from the NJDEP, a regulatory body
of TWW about our comprehensive effort to modernize TWW.” Commissioner Martin stated in a news
release, that TWW had acquired many violations over the nearly 4 years your
administration has been at the helm of the city, and if these issues are not addressed fines will
be imposed upon the city. Please provide under OPRA a chronological report of those violations and
the remedies taken to fix said violations. If violations have not been corrected,
please provide the reason why they haven’t been corrected and if the violation is pending
correction or if the correction is no longer, and remains logged as a violation why?
Also, what is your projected total cost to modernize TWW, timeline from start to finish, funding
source, and projected increase in property and other local taxes, expected source of Federal and
State funding.

 

In conclusion, please understand that most long term Trenton residents understand that
the structural, financial and political problems of the TWW, date back at least three
Administrations. And they have persisted, in PART, because of a lack of positive
communication, and Team planning between Trenton, surrounding municipalities, as well as most
State, County and local elected and appointed officials. This lack of mutually beneficial
leadership must stop, because all concerned are harmed. The NAACP Trenton Branch, as well as NJSC
NAACP stands willing to meet with you personally as soon as possible to finally address and resolve
the problems of TWW that can be traced back at least 30 years.
I thank you in advance for your quick reply to pressing issue.

Yours in Advocacy for Civil Rights,
Jonette C. Smart President

Gaddafi’s Green Book – Western Democracy is a Dictatorship

Listen to this video and then read Gaddafi’s Green Book and decide for yourself if he was a mad man as he has been portrayed by Obama et el. The man was killed and his country ruined along with the dream of a unified Africa.

 

This is a link to a copy of Gaddafi’s Green Book online

 

Alexandra Burke and the trouble with reality TV and race | Television & radio | The Guardian

In a damning piece for Black Ballad, its editor, Tobi Oredein, described how this series of Strictly had once again seen flawed and damaging stereotypes foisted on a black reality TV contestant. “The ‘problem’ the public has with Alexandra Burke exposes the hypocrisy and racism that still has tight grip around the neck of the British nation,” she said.

Oredein said the treatment of Burke was indicative of how some members of the British public remained uncomfortable with a black woman outperforming the white contestants. “Alexandra is a self-assured black woman who is infiltrating a world of entertainment that is seen as an extremely white space,” she added.

“To the British public, how can this black woman be better than her white counterparts, show emotion and be beautiful?”

Source: Alexandra Burke and the trouble with reality TV and race |The Guardian

Editorial #4 No Words On How To Stop The Violence

 

Link to The Nubian News newspaper online Vol 1 Number 4 10/27/2017

Do you trust your mayor?

If you do, what he said at his 3rd State of the City address Wednesday evening left you breathless.
If you don’t trust him you probably wonder what he’s been smoking.
I think the truth of our mayor lays somewhere in between. It rests with a people who hopes his plans and works will finally lead us down a glory path without his selling our souls and the city to the devil.
He said Trenton had attracted $634 million in investments during his three years. I wondered who did those thousands of jobs go to. You figure if you’re paying $50,000 a year you can hire about 12,000 people with that kind of money. Trenton wouldn’t have an employment issue if that had happened.
He spoke about Starbucks opening next month and the jobs that would bring. I’m interested in the faces who make up those position when it comes.
He said, “On September 21, we celebrated the grand opening and ribbon-cutting of Maestro Technologies, a big data technology company that is bringing approximately 200 jobs.” Are they bringing 200 people in or are they hiring 200 people from Trenton. You know that answer.
He says “I am fully committed to the residents of Trenton.” I hope that is true I want to believe it is true. I don’t know if I do though.
He has left in place a Police Director who has said some of our residents are ‘Hood Rats”. The relationship between us and the police has never been good and may never be good. For it to be as good as possible takes leadership who at the least respects those under him. When the top man demeans any of those he is there to serve trust cannot be established. Mayor Jackson doesn’t accept this.
He said, “I’m very proud of our police force, and Police Director Ernest Parrey, Jr., who has weathered a politically motivated storm for his terrible choice of words. We’ve talked about it privately at length and the behavior will not happen again. Our community supports Director Parrey because he’s effective, accessible, communicative and deferential.”
It doesn’t matter if he says it again, we now know its what’s in his heart. And holding his tongue is not going to change what is in his heart. George Wallace stopped calling Black people ‘n****r’ but most of us know he never changed his heart. The only motivation behind our concerns are Parrey’s words and deeds.
Unlike the mayor very few of us believe what Parrey thinks has changed because he’s holding his tongue. To relate to all the people most effectively there must be new leadership in the police department.
The mayor said, ‘Our city is on the global map again, a place where ideas can translate into opportunities for everyone who wants them. . . We’ve worked hard—not just in our leadership, competency and effectiveness, but in the momentum of our city’s transformation.”
For this city to transform, the relationship between the residents and the police must first be dealt with. How do you move forward if you don’t trust your best interest will be upheld by those who are supposed to protect and defend you? You can’t. Why would we believe someone cared about us and our sons who thinks of us a vermin? We don’t. Without trust in a relationship there is no relationship.
For the good of the people Director Parrey must go.
Speaking of the people – the mayor didn’t say much about us. He hasn’t stayed in touch with us and from the sound of it there is no plan to change that. Communications is key to any endeavor. He serves us. How can he be of service to us if he doesn’t talk with us and we don’t talk with him?
What’s up with the West Ward? I’ve heard nothing from anyone especially from our councilman. North Ward? Nothing tonight. With all the money spent in Trenton we should be in a far better place than where we are. It’s like the school system, we spend billions and get so little return on our investment. Mr. Mayor we now expect more for our money, much more. Pay close attention Mr. Mayor. The times they are a changing.
He introduced the new superintendent of schools, Dr. Frederick McDowell. He said, Dr. McDowell would, “lead our district to a new level of excellence and achievement.” If they think we’ve been experiencing excellence they know something we don’t know.
Education and jobs got a very light touch in his speech. The way we see it those are the most critical activities which need to be addressed. As The Nubian News grows we will reach out to the mayor and the superintendent to learn their exact plans.
They want to be leaders, we expect them to do the work of leadership. So far we are not impressed. As they say you don’t have to listen to the words – the proof is always in the pudding.
Overall, though not overwhelmed by the speech, we aren’t dismayed. We stand with him now (though Parrey has to go). But come May, we expect more meat and potatoes on our plates.
The people of Trenton are rising, going to a better level, hopefully Mayor Jackson will lead us there. Regardless, we’re going.
Our children are dying, our mothers and grandmothers are crying, our young men are despairing but not one word on the plan to stop the violence. Come on Man!
‘Beat You’

Editorial #3 Mayor Jackson Must Replace Police Director Parrey

Police Director Ernest J Parrey has characterized his remark calling some of the people of Trenton, “Hood Rats” as an unfortunate use of the term.
We think he got it wrong. Our take on the remark is it was demeaning and insidious not unfortunate.
We think it is very indicative of his service to the people of Trenton. He may say it has nothing to do with race but we don’t believe him. We are jaded by years of racial references and overt bigotry and we simply do not trust him at his word or words.
He says this thing then he says it’s not this thing. He expects us to believe him even though he speaks from both sides of his mouth. Years ago we would have given him the benefit of the doubt, now we believe it’s he who must understand, his words can never be undone.
Therefore we call on Mayor Jackson to replace the Police Director with someone who has never called the group of people he is there to protect and defend out of their name.
There is too much going  on in the country for us to have to worry about where this man is coming from.
Police are killing Black people. They are not held accountable for their crimes, and in seems as though Black lives don’t matter because they are Black lives.
Having a Police Director who might or might not judge people by the color of their skin instead of the worth of their being is a question mark we don’t need at this time.
The situation, the uncertainty, needs to be cleared up.
Stand up for those who put you in office Mayor Jackson. Your appointee can fend for himself.

Putin Reveals What Future Technology Will Be ‘More Terrible Than a Nuclear Bomb’

“One can almost imagine that people will be able to create human beings with specific characteristics. This can be a brilliant mathematician, or a brilliant musician, but it can also be a soldier – a human being capable of fighting without fear, without compassion, without regret, or even pain,” Putin said.

Source: Putin Reveals What Future Technology Will Be ‘More Terrible Than a Nuclear Bomb’

Chuck Berry Took His ‘Ding-a-Ling’ to No. 1: Rewinding the Charts, 1972 | Billboard

The rock‘n’roll legend’s only Billboard Hot 100 chart-topper was a bawdy novelty song that, unlike his other hits, he didn’t write.

Source: Chuck Berry Took His ‘Ding-a-Ling’ to No. 1: Rewinding the Charts, 1972 | Billboard

Petition · We’re calling on Governor Brown to sign Californian rape survivor civil rights, AB1312, into law

California is close to passing a Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights that will guarantee comprehensive, common sense civil rights for survivors like me.

In March of 2015, I was sexually assaulted by a man I was dating. When I tried to stop his unprotected advances, he forced himself on me.

It’s hard to put into words exactly what one goes through after such a trauma. I think the best way to describe my experience is something akin to being on a roller coaster during an earthquake in the midst of a storm.

Source: Petition · We’re calling on Governor Brown to sign Californian rape survivor civil rights, AB1312, into law

Secrets of the South

Meet the United Order of Tents, a semi-covert organization of black women.

The women settle back down and the president of this chapter, Lodis Gloston, stands and begins to call out to the members present. “Raise your hand if you are 85 or older,” she says, and about six women raise their hands. “Raise your hand if you are 95 or older,” she says, and three women keep their hands raised. The South Carolina chapter’s oldest member is 106 — Donella Wilson. She was photographed this past November casting her vote for Hillary Clinton. She’s not here tonight, but the oldest woman in attendance is Queen Logan, who is 99 years and nine months old. The Tents give each other honorifics: everyone is Sister, but women who contribute to the organization with the most service are called Queens.

Source: Secrets of the South

Editorial #2 – We Need A Seat At The Table

“If you don’t have a seat at the table you are probably on the menu”.

Back in the day when we didn’t have many choices but to serve, we were told to build a table. So we built a table and some chairs. When we were done we were sent back to our place. We never sat at the table.

It was at the table where so much was decided. Our futures were decided at that table. War and peace was decided at that table. That table saw and decided the path the country would follow. But we never sat at that table. We served it. We heard everything that went on, whether we understood it or not.

But we never had a seat.

Come up to today and there are many tables where we still don’t have a seat.

Do you realize there are thousands of boards, commissions, tribunals, committees, authorities, regulatory bodies, courts, chambers etc. all over the state? Most of these we have never heard anything about. But these bodies dole out millions, nay billions of dollars every year and we don’t know what they’re doing or who they are giving money to.

One thing we know, our communities are not getting any better financially. They are spending $300 million on renovating the state house while saying they will give Trenton $18 million for various projects. Imagine if they spent that $300 million on Trenton and the $18 million on the state house how much different out city would look.

We need seats at the tables where decisions are made as to who get these public funds. I was at a New Jersey Economic Development Authority meeting a few months back. They gave out about $100 million that day. But none to any Black faces.

Sometimes there a African Americans on these Boards but I question whether they are there to represent the Black community or do they think they are there to represent the entire state. I want people who will represent and fight to get our communities and our businesses funds to improve our lot.

It doesn’t seem as though the distribution of wealth has come home to us. This has got to change. We pay our just share of taxes to the state coffers. We need to get our just share of wealth coming back to us.

At the moment, we don’t have the businesses and other structures to utilize all the funds due us. But that’s because of past injustices. The injustices have been long and painful. It has to stop.

Our plan is to sit in on every commission and board and authority and court session brought to order in New Jersey. We intend to bring together a mass of volunteers who will spread out and join in every ‘sit-down’ in the state.

We are going to have a seat at the table. It may not be an official seat but we will know what is going on and we will report back to the community who got what and for what. We’ll also say if there were people who looked like us who actually represented us or they were there for the status quo.

Enough is enough. We may get a Democrat for governor in November. If we do I want to know what he is going to do for us. We’ve supported democrats for ages and now it’s time for them to support us with the same fervor.

So if you are tired of being tired we’ll need your help to do this. We have to roll up our sleeves and dig in. We can, we must do this. The future well-being of our children and grandchildren rests with what we do now.

I’m not easy on me and I’m not going to be easy on you. We have a job to do.

Like Michael said, ‘take a look in the mirror and make a change’.

“Up you mighty race, you can accomplish what you will” Marcus Mosiah Garvey