They Went After The Small, The Easy and The Soft Target

Written By: Ishton W. Morton -February 15th, 2017

Dwight Tillery founded The Center for Closing the Health Gap in 2004

Recently individuals and groups of people converged on Cincinnati Council Members as they held their budget committee meeting demanding and laying claims to certain amount(s) of budgetary funds. They whimpered out “we want our money! Give us our money! Where is our money!” They went after the small, the easy and the soft target.

In a particular strange way I am reminded of an ecclesiastical account give in Gospel of Matthew 25:1-13, also known as The Parable of the Ten Virgins, or the Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins.

As a result the five  wise virgins where prepared and awarded to meet the bridegroom, but the five foolish virgins are not prepared and were disowned and lapsed in a pitiful state of lamentation saying to the wise; “give us some of your oil! Our lamps have gone out!  

The groups were led by former Mayor of Cincinnati Dwight Tillery. Tillery grew up in the city’s West End and attended the University of Cincinnati.

Actually, Tillery served as mayor of Cincinnati from 1991 to 1993. He briefly ran for the Democratic nomination for Congress in 1992 before dropping out of the race in order to focus on his mayoral duties. 

During their presentation(s) they proclaimed to be extremely agonized over the city’s dubious processes of genocide and their actual employment of intentional action directly engaged in destructive of acts raping and off killing or destroying African-American Communities.  

Accordingly, there is much merit to their argument(s). In particular, Tillery referenced several projects that the City of Cincinnati has put in place by spending the taxpayers money. He spoke very negatively about the streetcars as he alluded to it as a colossal waste of  the taxpayer’s money.

Councilman Charlie Winburn

Cincinnati Councilman Charlie Winburn Chairs the city’s Budget and Finance Committee. He said; his desire is to work to establish policies that help improve the quality of life for all Cincinnatians.

In particular,  during this budget committee meeting other City Council Members such as Chris Seelbach, Wendell Young and others who are stanch supports of the streetcar sat there as though they were suffering from amnesia or their lips were glued together. Yes! They appears to have suffered an enormous loss of memory.

Yes! Amazingly, Cincinnati City Council members who are die-hard supporters of the streetcars just sat there like bumps on a log! They said nothing!

Nonetheless, the group continued arguing. that funds are being directed away from the African-American Communities. However, it was just a few months ago that Cranley and some of the very same people were celebrating with Cranley the official unveiling of several multi-million dollar projects  in the African-American Communities.

However, regarding Tillery’s presupposition of genocide and intentional actions of raping, or destroying, or destructive acts of killing off the African-American Communities was not initiated by or under the administration or current leadership of the city.

Subsequently, the words on the street are; if there accusations are proven to be true; they were  started back in the 1990’s at a time when Dwight Tillery himself was part of the leadership of the city and Mayor of Cincinnati. He was a member of the Cincinnati City Council for many years, until 1998, when term limits forced his retirement. Since then he remains active in the Democratic Party, most notably working on public health issues and supporting the election campaigns of African American candidates.

Moreover, in my opinion to accused the city with genocide is an extreme over-reach. The term “genocide” is somewhat new and did not exist before 1944. However, it is a very specific term, referring to violent crimes committed against groups with the intent to destroy the existence of the group. Human rights, as laid out in the US Bill of Rights or the 1948 United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, concern the rights of individuals.

In a cynical sort of a way there are those who believes that Tillery himself can be credited as the architect or engineer of the genocide and the intentional action of raping, or destroying, or destructive acts of killing off the African-American Communities.

Recently, they have embark on a thing that is called “The Black Agenda.” However do you remember the massive displacement of residents from Lincoln Court, Laurel Homes and English Woods.

The cost of restoration to English Woods

In point of facts, English Woods has been under debate since the 90’s and was largely demolished in 2005, after renovation was calculated to be prohibitively expensive while local HUD claimed city leaders, and residents failed to come up with a workable redevelopment plan.  In principal city leaders invested their efforts, time and money into developing a streetcar.

Over the years, general neglect and lack of care by residents took its toll to the point that there was little to do but raze the housing units.

The cost of restoration to English Woods was prohibitive and not something the government wanted to undertake, so in 2005 the complex was closed, the remaining residents were moved to other nearby public housing, the community was fenced off, and demolition was slated to begin. In the years since, the community has been reduced to rubble, one of the worst sign of urban blight. 

Another project of the CMHA was the Lincoln Court development. Lincoln Court was located in the West End, just south of Laurel Homes, and was completed in 1942. Lincoln Court had 1,015 units which consisted of two and three room apartments and four and five room row houses.

In the late 1990s, the CMHA received grants to redevelop the outdated Laurel Homes and Lincoln Court communities. The old buildings were torn down and were replaced with a new development, known as City West. This community is a mixed-income neighborhood with both rental units and privately owned condos. Residents were forced to move with a promise that will be able to return. However, when the time was come for them to return the renovated units were priced beyond the financial reaching the prior residents.

Remember, Dwight Tillery, after leaving the Mayor’s office in 1993, he remained a member of Cincinnati City Council until 1998 a period when residents of English Woods, Laurel Homes and Lincoln Court communities really needed help.

Subsequently, skepticism continues to be extremely  high and confusing relative to all that talk about the so-called “Black Agenda.” 

The Office of Minority Health (OMH) was created in 1986 and is one of the most significant outcomes of the 1985 Secretary’s Task Force Report on Black and Minority Health. In 2007 OMH was given the mandate to open offices in several cities in the State of Ohio with considerable residence of African Americans. The City of Cincinnati was one of those cities.

The OMH Resource Center is a one stop shop for minority health literature, research, and referrals. Also, the center’s objectives was provided technical assistance to community organizations on HIV/AIDS and help to eliminate health disparities.

Reportedly, The Office of Cincinnati health commission scheduled to received $500,000.00 in grant funding for approximately 3-4 years to institute an Office of Minority Health.  Accordingly, Tillery directly and personally blocked and prevented the establishment of that office. Those funds ($500,000.00) were then directed to Cleveland, and other cities in the state.  If there is truly a “Black Agenda” then why so many obstructions by one of the groups spokesperson?

Dr. O’dell Owens (MD), interim Health Commissioner

Recently, Dr. O’dell Owens (MD), interim Health Commissioner decided not to take the job as its President and CEO after he experienced direct opposition from Mr. Tillery.

Evidently, in 2004 he founded The Center for Closing the Health Gap, but what does this organization really do? Reportedly, in 2016 The Center for Closing the Health Gap received $1,000,000.00 from the City of Cincinnati. Seemingly, The Center for Closing the Health Gap should explain how that money was consumed.

Although predominantly African-American Communities are continuously under funded, the intent of these groups attacks on the City of Cincinnati by going after the small, the easy and soft targets are designed to generate panic, create pandemonium, and intimidate the public and hold the voters of the city as prisoners.

Taking into consideration this is an election year for the City of Cincinnati. Be ye not deceived or misinform! People may do but anything to secure to remain in the good grace of possible member of the electorate.

Author: Ishton W. Morton

Formerly, Ishton W. Morton is an educator and promoter for community advocacy which includes creating programs and services, developing partnerships, and changing public policies, laws, and practices to improve the lifestyle of all people I’m still having an overwhelming desire to provide an Outreach Continuing Education process through this media.