Urban League Report Says Black Progress Stagnant or Worsening

Date: Wednesday, April 06, 2005
By: Michael H. Cottman




Forty years after landmark civil rights legislation was enacted, economic and social progress for black Americans remains stagnant or is worsening, according to a new study released Wednesday by the National Urban League.

The annual "State of Black America" report for 2005 analyzed a range of government statistics and concluded the gap in racial disparities between blacks and whites is widening in the areas of economics, home ownership, health, education and social justice. The report also stressed the importance of blacks taking responsibility for their own financial future.

But overall, the report said, in most areas of everyday life, Americans are still divided along racial lines, and economics was listed as the most significant racial disparity. The median wealth for blacks, according to the report, is 10 times less than it is for whites.

On the 40th anniversary of the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the report said, black unemployment remains twice as high as whites, with black unemployment holding steady at 10.8%, while white unemployment decreased to 4.7%.

"We need to recognize that economics –- wealth and jobs –- are issues of survival for our community," Marc Morial, president of the National Urban League, told BlackAmericaWeb.com. "This is our generation's civil rights movement of the 21st century. We've made tremendous progress over the years, but we have a long way to go to close the gap in racial disparities."

Morial said he is also calling on Congress to create a bipartisan commission to examine the issue of economic parity and racial disparities in America, an idea backed by the chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus.

The "State of Black America" details disparities in the following areas:

* Home Ownership: The homeownership rate for blacks is nearly 50 percent compared to more than 70 percent for whites. While African-Americans' mortgage denial and home improvement loans rates did improve, blacks are still denied these types of loans at twice the rate of whites.
* Health: On average, blacks are twice as likely to die from disease, accident, behavior and homicide at every stage of life than whites, with life expectancy at 72 years for blacks compared to 78 years for whites.
* Education: Teachers with less than three years experience teach in minority schools at twice the rate that they teach in white schools.
* Social Justice: 2005 showed the equality gap between whites and blacks in the criminal justice system getting worse. Blacks are three times more likely to become prisoners once arrested, and a black person's average jail sentence is six months longer than a white's for the same crime; 39 months compared to 33 months. Blacks are also four times more often sentenced to death than whites, and blacks are 20 times more likely than whites to be victims of hate crimes.

Morial and other experts say although there are a series of challenges facing black Americans, economics is a major concern.

"We don't want this to be a doom and gloom message, but rather a message that tells the truth," Morial said in an interview. "We're a voice to the facts, and we want to turn facts into solutions. We looked at the numbers, and what is cause for great concern is that, as the economy recovers slowly, our community has not seen that recovery."

David A. Bositis, a senior political analyst for the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies in Washington, D.C., told BlackAmericaWeb.com Wednesday that black Americans are generally experiencing greater financial hardships since President George W. Bush took office in 2000.

Bositis said under President Bill Clinton's last four years of leadership, black household incomes increased by $5,000 as Clinton encouraged blacks to save, invest and buy their own homes.

But for many blacks today, Bositis said, "Unemployment has risen significantly, income is stagnant, and more people are living in poverty and without health insurance. To some degree, African-Americans have not recovered from the recession, which started in 2001. It's a difficult time."

In an essay included in the Urban League report, Thomas Shapiro, a sociologist from Brandeis University, wrote: "During the recession and jobless recovery, Hispanics and African-Americans lost over 25% of their wealth, while the wealth of white families grew slightly."

Howard Dean, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, said the National Urban League's report underscores the hardships for blacks as a result of Bush.

"This report shows that despite their attempts to say otherwise, the policies of the Bush administration have been disastrous for the African-American community," Dean said in a statement. "Republicans are clearly not addressing the issues that affect the everyday lives of African-Americans. That is why Democrats are fighting for a just economic policy, affordable health care and quality education."

But Tara Wall, an aide to Ken Melhman, chairman of the Republican National Committee, said Wednesday that Mehlman supports GOP congressional leaders who are working to help close the gap in racial disparities between blacks and whites "through health care initiatives, housing incentives, education funding, social security reform and an extensive jobs and growth package."

Mehlman has been taking his message of racial inclusion to black communities and organizations in recent weeks, including a speech last week to students at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

The National Urban League report also listed a number of recommendations in a section entitled "Prescription for Change." Among them are:

* Congress must extend the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which expires in 2007.
* Over two years, raise the minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25 per hour, with future increases tied to an index.
* Close the homeownership gap by lowering down payment requirements and making mortgages available and affordable.
* Expand job training for urban males and develop a comprehensive re-entry program for ex-felons.

One Democratic congressional leader said Wednesday that he supports Morial's call for a national bipartisan commission to explore solutions to racial disparities.

"Yes, I would support the idea of a commission," Rep. Mel Watt, (D-NC) chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, told BlackAmericaWeb.com. "It sounds like a good idea."

Earlier this year, Watt said, the caucus presented Bush with a nine-point domestic agenda that outlined racial disparities. He said the Urban League's report has similar goals for addressing a range of social issues facing black Americans.

"Their information will be extremely valuable to the Congressional Black Caucus as we try to fashion remedies and legislative recommendations," Watt said.

Morial said that while government bears some responsibility, ultimately blacks must look out for themselves.

"We need to reinforce the importance of retirement planning, savings and investments," he said. "We need to put money away for our children's college education and protect ourselves financially as we get older."

Alfred Edmond, editor of Black Enterprise magazine, said he agreed with Morial, but added that the primary focus for black Americans should be on home ownership. He said blacks should look to buy homes at younger ages and be mindful of protecting their credit history.

The median net worth of black versus white households has remained virtually unchanged for more than a decade. In 2000, black households on average were worth $6,166, compared to $67,000 for whites, according to the report. Today, the report said, among blacks and whites with comparable credit histories, blacks are 60 percent more likely to be denied home loans as whites. Historically, blacks have been barred from buying homes in some neighborhoods.

"Our belief is that home ownership should be a top priority, and our mission is to close the wealth gap," Edmond said in an interview Wednesday.

"Economic progress for African-Americans is largely based on income and is not based on the acquisition of assets, which is the definition of wealth," he said. "We want to close the gap between black net worth and white net worth, and we can do this through home ownership at all income levels."
The illegals from Mexico have been stealing traditional black jobs. We are the group that has been hit the hardest by these criminals.
quote:
Originally posted by Home Girl:
The illegals from Mexico have been stealing traditional black jobs. We are the group that has been hit the hardest by these criminals.


That's true. Yet, black folks or their leadership seem to have little or nothing to say about the problems at the southern border. Where are the black Minutemen?
You'll never see black Minutemen in 2005. They'll be mistaken for either drug dealers or gangbangers, with all the racism here.
quote:
Originally posted by Home Girl:
The illegals from Mexico have been stealing traditional black jobs. We are the group that has been hit the hardest by these criminals.


While no fan of illegals from any country, the fact remains that mexicans who come to this country are willing to do the work that most americans, black and white would not do. Where I live in Oregon the area is mainly farming and ranching, everyday you will see the Mexicans out in the field busting their ass for the merger earning they make, I never have seem whites or blacks out there doing the same.
While I also am not a supporter of illegal immigration, I also have to say that here in AZ, the illegal immigrants are doing the jobs that Americans aren't doing. However, I won't say that Americans won't do the jobs; just that Americans won't do the jobs under the same working conditions as the illegal immigrants.

The illegal immigrants are willing to do the jobs under far less attractive circumstances. For example, they are willing to work from "too dark to too dark" with minimal breaks; whereas, the American workers hold out for higher wages, breaks every 3 hours, and shorter work hours.

I'm not saying that American workers are wrong for holding out for better working conditions, but our demands open up jobs for the more compliant illegal immigrants.
In my opinion, when (and if) we finally realize that we need to spend money among ourselves, --(for the interest of ourselves)....we begin on a road of economic uplift. It does not take an urban league report, a commission to study it or the US government to implement it..... FIRST,WE (as a people) need to start to keeping each other accountable. We seriously need to keep each other in check for how we spend """OUR""""money. We need to get into the mentality that it's not 'MY' money but the 'communities' money. We have become a materialistcally driven people, obsesed with the hedonistic images that the mass media tells us are real. We go out of our way to buy chit that depreciates down to nothing the minute we walk out of the store. Instead of investing for future generations, we are too selfish, buying $6000 rims that don't do a damn thing but gleam in the sun, buying 20 and 30 pairs of tennis shoes at $80 - $100 dollars a pair. Breaking our necks to run to the koreans to get our nails painted, and to the indians 7/11 store to buy our '40s'. We'll spend hundreds of dollors on weed and won't spend a damn dime on a book about smart investing. Our young people are lost as hell, not knowing their ass hole from a hole in the sidewalk,...with their idea of being a black man is demeaning women, calling each other ni&&er on a record and bragging about how thugish they are and how much gold and silver is hanging around their necks and stuck on their teeth and robbin and killing each other for insignificant petty reasons.... Our little girls having babies and not even being able to take care of themselves, let alone an infant. Becoming grandmothers at the age of 33 and grown assed men still living off their mothers or so called girlfriends. And oh how we go along and glorify it all as 'keeping it real', and as someone posted in another thread...."Ghetto" has become the thang to be. So the first thing we need to do is start pointing all this chit out....emphasizing, day in and day out how backwards it is. We need to stop modeling the sorts of behaviors that have proven time and time again to only dig us deeper into pits of despair. Secondly, we need to start buisnesses....independently and collectively. And I'm not talking about some little rib shack, hotdog stand or beauty/barber shop either. We need to get into manufacturing, producing, farming, owning grocery stores, health care conglomerants, owning sports and entertainment corporations THEN be responsible stewards of these enterprises ---not like BET for example (whos majority programming is a mindless, pointless, waste of energy). We need to start hiring and not have to rely of being hired, producers instead of always being consumers and leaders instead of always looking for some group or sombody to lead us. Damn the government, Damn the NAACP, Damn all these 'so called' black leaders who cannot even get together on one accord, and set one collective goal or agree on an appropriate agenda. We need to start keeping ouselves accountable for the poor choices some of us make.....identify it, and then 'as a community' condemn that chit! We need to stop worring about Mr. Charlie and start focusing on the uplift of our own station in amerika. And if we do that.....we'll never have to worry about Mr. Charlie again. Money talks.......that other stuff walks. Hell, mexicans ain't took a damn thing away from us.......we're just content to sit back a squander it all away. Go into ANY urban community in amerika....you'll find hispanic stores popping up left and right....they are hiring their own, you'll see indian establishments, asian enterprises all looking out for themselves. BUT us, we'll pass by a brothers struggling business to go to the koreans shop to get a jar of grease JUST because it's twenty cents cheaper. Those of us who have the education, connections and skills spend too much time in narcissitic showboating: basking in the 'hey ya'll--look at me', I work for corporate amerika and I drive a Beamer, I have made it' malarkey...we have got to get busy yall. The government aint gonna do it for us, neither is the naacp, urban league, Farrakhan, Cornel West,....not even these mega churches with your T.D. jakes, Creflo Dollar and all the rest of them. NO my brothers and sisters, we are gonna have to do it ourselves. When I sojourned to the million man march,...I was sooo filled with hope and enthusiastic zeal. It was one of the best days of my life, but after the gloss has dulled and now that reality has set in, I have to conclude that Not A Damn Thing Came Of the Million Man March but a bunch of good feelings! But We can at least get that spirit up again, and this time do something!!!! Hey brother minister, what happend to all that money ya'll raised up there at the MM March? Hell, I want my chit back!
"In my opinion, when (and if) we finally realize that we need to spend money among ourselves, --(for the interest of ourselves)....we begin on a road of economic uplift. It does not take an urban league report, a commission to study it or the US government to implement it..... FIRST,WE (as a people) need to start to keeping each other accountable. We seriously need to keep each other in check for how we spend """OUR""""money. We need to get into the mentality that it's not 'MY' money but the 'communities' money. We have become a materialistcally driven people, obsesed with the hedonistic images that the mass media tells us are real. We go out of our way to buy chit that depreciates down to nothing the minute we walk out of the store. Instead of investing for future generations, we are too selfish, buying $6000 rims that don't do a damn thing but gleam in the sun, buying 20 and 30 pairs of tennis shoes at $80 - $100 dollars a pair. Breaking our necks to run to the koreans to get our nails painted, and to the indians 7/11 store to buy our '40s'. We'll spend hundreds of dollors on weed and won't spend a damn dime on a book about smart investing. Our young people are lost as hell, not knowing their ass hole from a hole in the sidewalk,...with their idea of being a black man is demeaning women, calling each other ni&&er on a record and bragging about how thugish they are and how much gold and silver is hanging around their necks and stuck on their teeth and robbin and killing each other for insignificant petty reasons.... Our little girls having babies and not even being able to take care of themselves, let alone an infant. Becoming grandmothers at the age of 33 and grown assed men still living off their mothers or so called girlfriends. And oh how we go along and glorify it all as 'keeping it real', and as someone posted in another thread...."Ghetto" has become the thang to be. So the first thing we need to do is start pointing all this chit out....emphasizing, day in and day out how backwards it is. We need to stop modeling the sorts of behaviors that have proven time and time again to only dig us deeper into pits of despair. Secondly, we need to start buisnesses....independently and collectively. And I'm not talking about some little rib shack, hotdog stand or beauty/barber shop either. We need to get into manufacturing, producing, farming, owning grocery stores, health care conglomerants, owning sports and entertainment corporations THEN be responsible stewards of these enterprises ---not like BET for example (whos majority programming is a mindless, pointless, waste of energy). We need to start hiring and not have to rely of being hired, producers instead of always being consumers and leaders instead of always looking for some group or sombody to lead us. Damn the government, Damn the NAACP, Damn all these 'so called' black leaders who cannot even get together on one accord, and set one collective goal or agree on an appropriate agenda. We need to start keeping ouselves accountable for the poor choices some of us make.....identify it, and then 'as a community' condemn that chit! We need to stop worring about Mr. Charlie and start focusing on the uplift of our own station in amerika. And if we do that.....we'll never have to worry about Mr. Charlie again. Money talks.......that other stuff walks. Hell, mexicans ain't took a damn thing away from us.......we're just content to sit back a squander it all away. Go into ANY urban community in amerika....you'll find hispanic stores popping up left and right....they are hiring their own, you'll see indian establishments, asian enterprises all looking out for themselves. BUT us, we'll pass by a brothers struggling business to go to the koreans shop to get a jar of grease JUST because it's twenty cents cheaper. Those of us who have the education, connections and skills spend too much time in narcissitic showboating: basking in the 'hey ya'll--look at me', I work for corporate amerika and I drive a Beamer, I have made it' malarkey...we have got to get busy yall. The government aint gonna do it for us, neither is the naacp, urban league, Farrakhan, Cornel West,....not even these mega churches with your T.D. jakes, Creflo Dollar and all the rest of them. NO my brothers and sisters, we are gonna have to do it ourselves. When I sojourned to the million man march,...I was sooo filled with hope and enthusiastic zeal. It was one of the best days of my life, but after the gloss has dulled and now that reality has set in, I have to conclude that Not A Damn Thing Came Of the Million Man March but a bunch of good feelings! But We can at least get that spirit up again, and this time do something!!!! Hey brother minister, what happend to all that money ya'll raised up there at the MM March? Hell, I want my chit back!" by Scalder

I couldn't agree with you more, and Black people more so than any "racism" on the part of Caucasians, or otherwise, make Black people their own worst enemy.

Indeed far too many of our preachers, and leaders are a disgrace. Furthermore far too many in our own community continue to praise misfits and nitwits!


The Greatest Enemy to the Black Community is the Black Community Itself!

Sincerely,

Michael Lofton

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quote:
Originally posted by Scalder:
In my opinion, when (and if) we finally realize that we need to spend money among ourselves, --(for the interest of ourselves)....we begin on a road of economic uplift. It does not take an urban league report, a commission to study it or the US government to implement it..... FIRST,WE (as a people) need to start to keeping each other accountable. We seriously need to keep each other in check for how we spend """OUR""""money. We need to get into the mentality that it's not 'MY' money but the 'communities' money. We have become a materialistcally driven people, obsesed with the hedonistic images that the mass media tells us are real. We go out of our way to buy chit that depreciates down to nothing the minute we walk out of the store. Instead of investing for future generations, we are too selfish, buying $6000 rims that don't do a damn thing but gleam in the sun, buying 20 and 30 pairs of tennis shoes at $80 - $100 dollars a pair. Breaking our necks to run to the koreans to get our nails painted, and to the indians 7/11 store to buy our '40s'. We'll spend hundreds of dollors on weed and won't spend a damn dime on a book about smart investing. Our young people are lost as hell, not knowing their ass hole from a hole in the sidewalk,...with their idea of being a black man is demeaning women, calling each other ni&&er on a record and bragging about how thugish they are and how much gold and silver is hanging around their necks and stuck on their teeth and robbin and killing each other for insignificant petty reasons.... Our little girls having babies and not even being able to take care of themselves, let alone an infant. Becoming grandmothers at the age of 33 and grown assed men still living off their mothers or so called girlfriends. And oh how we go along and glorify it all as 'keeping it real', and as someone posted in another thread...."Ghetto" has become the thang to be. So the first thing we need to do is start pointing all this chit out....emphasizing, day in and day out how backwards it is. We need to stop modeling the sorts of behaviors that have proven time and time again to only dig us deeper into pits of despair. Secondly, we need to start buisnesses....independently and collectively. And I'm not talking about some little rib shack, hotdog stand or beauty/barber shop either. We need to get into manufacturing, producing, farming, owning grocery stores, health care conglomerants, owning sports and entertainment corporations THEN be responsible stewards of these enterprises ---not like BET for example (whos majority programming is a mindless, pointless, waste of energy). We need to start hiring and not have to rely of being hired, producers instead of always being consumers and leaders instead of always looking for some group or sombody to lead us. Damn the government, Damn the NAACP, Damn all these 'so called' black leaders who cannot even get together on one accord, and set one collective goal or agree on an appropriate agenda. We need to start keeping ouselves accountable for the poor choices some of us make.....identify it, and then 'as a community' condemn that chit! We need to stop worring about Mr. Charlie and start focusing on the uplift of our own station in amerika. And if we do that.....we'll never have to worry about Mr. Charlie again. Money talks.......that other stuff walks. Hell, mexicans ain't took a damn thing away from us.......we're just content to sit back a squander it all away. Go into ANY urban community in amerika....you'll find hispanic stores popping up left and right....they are hiring their own, you'll see indian establishments, asian enterprises all looking out for themselves. BUT us, we'll pass by a brothers struggling business to go to the koreans shop to get a jar of grease JUST because it's twenty cents cheaper. Those of us who have the education, connections and skills spend too much time in narcissitic showboating: basking in the 'hey ya'll--look at me', I work for corporate amerika and I drive a Beamer, I have made it' malarkey...we have got to get busy yall. The government aint gonna do it for us, neither is the naacp, urban league, Farrakhan, Cornel West,....not even these mega churches with your T.D. jakes, Creflo Dollar and all the rest of them. NO my brothers and sisters, we are gonna have to do it ourselves. When I sojourned to the million man march,...I was sooo filled with hope and enthusiastic zeal. It was one of the best days of my life, but after the gloss has dulled and now that reality has set in, I have to conclude that Not A Damn Thing Came Of the Million Man March but a bunch of good feelings! But We can at least get that spirit up again, and this time do something!!!! Hey brother minister, what happend to all that money ya'll raised up there at the MM March? Hell, I want my chit back!


I am not the least bit suprised as to how convoluted your presentation is being that the information itself is some convoluted B.S. that mixes truth with falsehood. One thing I will say, the condemnation of the fallout of the Million Man March also lies in your lab being that you did not do a damn thing after attending it, and if you did, can you really say it was for naught?
The greatest enemy to the black commuinty is not blacks but poverity. Poverity that is entrenched so deeply in the community that we are forced to believe that we have very little hope for advancement; so we might as well take what we can get and be happy.

Our lack of access to the American slice of education eternalizes this poverty.

"Know child left behind"
Yeah right

Our schools are an embarrasment and our curriculum is laughable. It's not our fault that the Jim Crow "Seperate but equal" clause still lives today.

If your going to blame any black person, don't blame the people at the bottom just tryna be content with their existence. Blame the people at the top that forgot to be a mediator.
quote:
Originally posted by HeruStar:
The greatest enemy to the black commuinty is not blacks but poverity. Poverity that is entrenched so deeply in the community that we are forced to believe that we have very little hope for advancement; so we might as well take what we can get and be happy.

Our lack of access to the American slice of education eternalizes this poverty.

"Know child left behind"
Yeah right

Our schools are an embarrasment and our curriculum is laughable. It's not our fault that the Jim Crow "Seperate but equal" clause still lives today.

If your going to blame any black person, don't blame the people at the bottom just tryna be content with their existence. Blame the people at the top that forgot to be a mediator. by Herustar


....but Herustar, I think you need to read the material that I have posted. If you have truly read with understanding, it should be easy for you to see, or discern that none of the material blames the lower class, the underclass, or those at the bottom of the social-economic ladder, but rather:

A. No good sleazy poverty pimping truly sacrilegious Black preachers.

B. Game playing using false pretenses to hold elected office inept blatantly incompetent self serving elitist Black elected officials.....most of these individuals are affiliated with the Democratic Party, the political party that has controlled the Black community for well over forty years.

C. Serving every other community but the Black community, while helping to free the truly criminal, and using their educational expertise to hang the truly innocent of Black America no good treasonous Black lawyers and judges.

D. Breaking up the Black family structure for illicitly gained profits no good Black social workers.

E. Placing minors including infants on probation no good Black probation officers.

F. The "Yellow Journals", in a Los Angeles Sentinel newspaper that publishes falsehoods about Black people to protect treasonous Black people or its friends in high places, who have brought nothing but harm to the Black community.

One example is strongly evidenced by the activity at "Killer/Butcher King" hospital, to which the Los Angeles Times makes it a point to expose this disgraceful activity, while that no good Los Angeles Sentinel, the largest so-called Black owned newspaper on the West Coast, refuses to expose corruption within the Black community. Journalists, newspapers, etc., are supposed to be tools used to inform the public and expose corruption in government.

Journalists and newspapers, are supposed to promote truth, and this would especially be the case of any newspaper and its relationship with its constituency.

The Los Angeles Sentinel promotes corruption in government, and chooses not to be informative or be an advocate of the people, the people in this instance being predominately Black people. Heck, even the people on the street know what goes on at Butcher/Killer King Hospital, because this activity has been going on since the 70s.

No good "Brentwood Burke" is a typical example of that Black elected official who plays games of deceit to use false pretenses to hold elected office. Supervisor Yvonne B. Burke, A.K.A. "Brentwood Burke", is truly a disgrace to what it means to be an elected office holder. Second District Los Angeles County Supervisor Yvonne B. Burke, has yet to competently serve the residents of the 2nd District, specifically as it applies to South Central Los Angeles, Watts, Compton, Inglewood, etc. Mind you, "Brentwood Burke" takes on the attitude that the atrocities of Butcher/Killer Hospital is some new revelation.

G. and/or the so-called educated but many times truly treasonous Black middle class.

.....elements of each that most surely exists within the Black community.


*****************************************************

...and don't let Burke's bio mislead you, ......the people who live in the district, as it pertains to South Central Los Angeles, Compton, Inglewood, Watts, etc., know that "Brentwood Burke" is a fraud, and has been a fraud the entire time she has held elected office!

2nd Los Angeles County Supervisoral District

"Brentwood Burke" has been more concerned about protecting her personal friends, or advancing her own political career.

Serving the people of the Second Los Angeles County Supervisoral District, as Yvonne B. Burke is sworn under oath, and mandated by law to do, are very removed from "Burke's" thought processes, as to the essense of the meaning of being an elected official.

An elected official is supposed to be a servant of the people. Elected officials are not supposed to:

A. Play games when petitioned for redress as it relates to the atrocities of government perpetrated against the law abiding.

B. Serve special interest groups at the expense of the district served.

C. Enable personal friends to escape punishment for betraying the people.

D. Use false pretenses to seek or hold elected office!


E. A through D amount to the disgrace, and treason that truly exist with the typical Black elected leadership!

******************************

http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/opinion/la-le-king16.1apr16,1,634894.story

LETTERS
Exposing, Addressing King/Drew's Problems
April 16, 2005

Re "County Health Chief Is Rebuked" and "Pandering at Patients' Expense," editorial, April 13: I am amazed at the negative reaction to The Times' reports of medical malfeasance at King/Drew Medical Center. I am dumbfounded at the suggestions from people in the community and elected officials like Mayor James K. Hahn that the substandard care at the hospital is no worse than any other hospital, it just receives more scrutiny. Keep reporting this story. The Times' exposure of these abuses is saving lives. Many people will choose care at other facilities, and patients' family members will pay closer attention to the care provided to patients at King/Drew. Congratulations on the Pulitzer.

Susan Powers, Altadena

I have a suggestion for Los Angeles County Supervisor Yvonne Braithwaite Burke's statement "” "That hospital will be closed over my dead body" "” on the troubled King/Drew Medical Center. Let her stay there for a week and her body will be dead and they can then close this miserable example of a hospital.

Bob Launius, Oxnard

It is the same inept bureaucratic games with the Board of Supervisors and the Department of Health Services administration. Before they determine which systems in place are not working, they concoct new ones. Hire outside intensive-care doctors to monitor patients. Use expert nurses as foot patrols. Require the presence of a senior physician when doctor trainees are performing diagnostic tests or invasive procedures. Realistically, it might or might not be possible to carry out these patchwork procedures.

No mention is made of what failed in causing so many deaths and injuries to patients. Something went wrong, very wrong. They need to review their systems. Determine what is not working or what procedures are not being followed and have the courage to confront and discipline those who are responsible, regardless of race. Supervisors and administrators don't think it politically expedient to confront minorities. They put on a show at board meetings but do little confronting otherwise.

Gaston Serrato, Rowland Heights

Thank you for your continued coverage of the King/Drew Medical Center problem. You have the guts to say it like it is. Now if only those in power also had the same courage, the problem would begin to be fixed. Please do not cease to publish articles on this. It's a long-term, deeply rooted problem, and media coverage is one part of the solution.

Akemi Kayleng Knight, Los Angeles

Copyright 2005 Los Angeles Times

*****************************************************
The fact that our own leadership, have failed more so than any racism on the part of Caucasian America, is also the reason that the masses of Black people, be it from the slums of a South Central Los Angeles or an Oakland in the West, to a Harlem, in the East, etc., are kept in poverty.

Sincerely,

Michael Lofton

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Faheem, don't sit up there and pretend you don't understand what I wrote. Convoluted my ass! If I'm telling a lie.....point it out! Where is the lie that is mixed in with the truth? If the truth is too hard to swallow, I can understand that, but don't mask your denial with some half assed lable like 'convoluted' just because you can't handle it. Hell, I must have stepped on your toes,...after all...'a hit dog WILL holler'! And that is a very bold presumption you made about my action or lack thereof after the MMM. I can draw out a laundry list of black community uplift programs and activity I personally implemented both before and after the MMM, And I challenge you to do the same! I say 'Personally' because those others who profess to be so pro black community, usually don't do a damn thing but talk. Hell yeah the biggest dissapointment I had with the MMM was the unwillingness of so many to keep their committments (including the 'nation'). Hell, I started, funded and am running a boy scout troop here in my community with absolutly no help (after I vertually begged the local black community,churches and a bunch of brothers I went to the march with who can't ever seem to have enough time for the uplift of our young men....Chit!). I went to the naacp, the 100 black men, the muslims and all of the BGLO's asking support of a single mother literacy and career training program....all I got was a bunch of lip service, but oh how they turn up the support for a damn so called 'Greek Ball' and any excuse to dress up and showboat at a party! My wife finds herself shouldering a lions share of the burden of running a local chapter of Jack & Jill all while running a business with an all black staff. I coordinate a prisoner visitation program for those brothers and sisters who's loved ones have virtually turned their backs on them. Hell, in consideration of all that was proclaimed at the million man march against a backdrop of what actually has been done.... I conclude that not a damn thing really resulted but a bunch of good feelings! Now you can lable it convoluted, dilluted, polluted or any other thing that you want....however you choose to deal with it. So Faheem, if it's a lie Point It Out !!

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