The long awaited and highly anticipated meeting of Jewish and African American leaders took place last night, without any real black leaders in attendance other than a few select. The meeting organized by Cortly ‘C.D.’ Witherspoon – commonly referred to outside as Mr. Slitherspoon – was the most outrageous and ridiculous atrocity of mismanaged leadership I have ever witnessed in this town. Being a former resident of Park Heights for years, growing up down the street from this planned meeting on Belvedere and Park Heights Avenues, I saw the real leaders of the community I still represent to the fullest, standing outside in the cold, while lacking the proper invitation to this circus of a meeting.
Witnessing countless Jewish leaders enter the building adjacent to the Jewish Community Center located off of Park Heights Avenue, there were little to no real African American leadership present. Banning all media outlets from attendance, only allowing for a brief photo shoot of the attendees in the beginning of the meeting, they [participants] acted as if this was some sort of Fraternity of Masonic Order with secret codes and hidden messages, as no participant spoke as the media were attempting to get the very limited coverage we were allowed. Being disrespected and spoken to as if we were second-class citizens by organizers, the fourth estate that these so-called leaders call on timelessly to get their message out to the mainstream had no hesitation in treating this group of cold and tired hard working men and women as if we were a pestering bunch of parasites.
Here is the situation.
About 2 weeks ago a Black teenager was walking in a predominately Jewish neighborhood. This neighborhood has a watch group. Evidently, 3 men in the watch group saw the teenager, approached him, said he didn't belong there, and roughed the teenager up. The teenager suffered a broken wrist. One of the three men was charged with felony assault. That man happens to be part of the Israeli army.
The story from the man's lawyer charged with the assault has changed a number of times, but a Rabbi close to the situation has said the teenager has a juvenile record. So, many including me, wonder how the Rabbi got that information because only the police should know and the police aren't supposed to give out that information. Also, it was said the teenager was on people's property looking into their homes. Given that neighborhood, I think that's suspect because there would have been telephone calls to the police about that happening.
Some so-called "Black leaders" want the group disbanded. Frankly, more neighborhoods need neighborhood watch groups. This neighborhood actually has two; one run by Jewish people the other a more diverse group of neighborhood people. At this point I need to mention this neighborhood is somewhat mixed; Jewish and Black. I guess another point to be made is the watch group is in close contact with the police. However, from my understanding of how such groups operate, they are instructed to NEVER approach individuals who they think are acting in a criminal behavior. They are to use the communications equipment given to them by the police or use their cell telephones to call it in.
Some Blacks are saying the situation needs to be investigated, and it does. Some Jewish people are saying the coverage is unfair because there is no such coverage or "outrage" when a Jewish person gets assaulted by Black criminals. They have a point but to be complete, there needs to be mentioned the Black criminals attacking Black people as well.
What happened with the "meeting" is a big mess. On WOLB this morning, people directly involved in the meeting, including some people mentioned in the article, called into The Larry Young Morning Show and stated what happened. A respected pastor of a church in that area said, essentially, one group of Black people called a meeting to discuss what happened, relations between Blacks and Jewish people in the area, and a way forward. Another group of Black people then became involved and wanted to discuss other matters that the first may have considered secondary and, thus, the ensuing madness. However, elected officials FROM THAT DISTRICT were excluded from the first meeting. And that, to me, seems strange.
From what I can see, this is yet another data point to show so-called Black leaders really don't lead and should be considered leaders of their own small group but not the greater population as a whole. In Baltimore, so-called Black leaders are paid off to a great extent.
There is not justice in this anywhere to be found.