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MAGNIFIED PERSPECTIVE

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The return of real estate business investment to Inglewood, Calif., has brought back a moniker long absent from the community—"Jewel of the South Bay." But if local law enforcement cannot corral the violent rifts that frequently tear through the city's neighborhoods parks, and streets, the municipal success may not be enough to offset what will be a smudge to the  "jewel."

'Jewel of the South Bay?'; Maybe, Tombstone Territory

By JARRETTE FELLOWS, JR., Editor-in-Chief

Fifty years ago Inglewood was known by the moniker, "Jewel of the South Bay." It had transformed from a sleepy rural agrarian community in the previous years.

 

The luster would soon fade. But first, some brief history. 

 

During the 1960s and '70s, Inglewood grew, developed and became racially integrated in both its residential and business communities; it was now the home of two major hospitalsCentinela and Daniel Freeman; it was dubbed the "City of Champions" showcasing World Champion Lakers basketball, Kings hockey at the Forum, as well as the Hollywood Park Racetrack featuring championship horse racing.

 

Then came the modern City Hall and Civic Center complex, constructed as a joint effort by the City and County of Los Angeles and dedicated in 1973, containing police and fire headquarters, the main library, County courts and health facilities. High rise office buildings began to sprout with the "jewel" among them being the 14-story $50 million Trizec building in the proximity of La Cienega and Century Boulevards.


Then came a period of economic despair.

 

Inglewood's pro sports teams left the Forum in 1999, which cost the city at least $800,000 annually in lost taxes and visitor spending, according to the Los Angeles Times. The economic downturn at the end of the 2000s wasn't just Inglewood's to suffer, it was a nationwide malady.

 

Then came an economic sunburst when Mayor James Butts negotiated a $100-million deal to refurbish the Forum in 2012, which in all fairness was first set in motion by Butts' predecessor Mayor Roosevelt F. Dorn. The business insight revived the region as one of Southern Cal's sports and entertainment hubs. 

The turnaround has been astounding. "Jewel" is again an appropriate nickname for Inglewood with a "rose bloom" of grandeura new $5 billion SoFi Stadium, home to the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers, an opulent mixed-use development of expensive 3- and 4-bedroom homes, Hollywood Park Casino, and Cinépolis Luxury Cinemas Inglewood IMAX on the site of the old Hollywood Park Racetrack, and a soon-to-come $1.8-billion Intuit Dome basketball arena, which will be the new home of the Los Angeles Clippers NBA franchise.

Inglewood's new splendor is undeniable. But astonishingly, among the rose bloom, virile weeds have established an ugly presence. I'm referring to the awful, tenacious mayhem on the streets of Inglewood threatening to smother the bloom and any other opulence earmarked for the city and the region.

Jewel of the South Bay? Tombstone Territory may be a more apt description with the spatter of blood marring the jewels as one recent altercation attests—two men shot to death and three wounded in broad day light in a brazen show of lawless bravado.

The cacophony of violence will blunt the potential for success of Inglewood's new entertainment venues if local law enforcement cannot snuff it out as local gang factions continue to ply their roguery with impunity

 

Tombstone, Arizona was a wild, wild place of bloodlust where frequent gunfights between raucous factions, and the law and outlaws were drawn into violent faceoffs where the exchange of bullets settled matters.

The latest bloodletting in Inglewood occurred on Oct. 7, 2023. Perhaps Inglewood Park Cemetery should be renamed "Tombstone Cemetery" given deceased local street gang outlaws who may be interred there. It's not known for sure.

According to neighborhoodscout.com, Inglewood has one of the highest crime rates in the US compared to all communities of all sizesfrom the smallest towns to the largest cities, with a crime rate of 32 per 1,000 residents. A person's risk of becoming a victim of either violent or property crime here is one in 31.

Scott Hunter, regional director and partner at HKS, the architecture firm that designed SoFi Stadium, was quoted saying, Stanley Kroenke (SoFi owner) "wanted us to do something that had never been done beforeto create a world-class entertainment venue that would bring cachet to Inglewood. He wanted to do something that was extraordinary."

It's safe to say Kroenke's vision was realized. And it's also true that Intuit arena visionary Steve Balmer will add still more prestige to Inglewood with the grand display of what will be the newest NBA hoops arena, increasing Inglewood's total real estate value still more from its current $17+ billion. 

But if the senseless blood lust from rival gangs, mayhem from illicit street drugs, and other violent crimes are not brought to complete eradication by government and law enforcement resources, Inglewood's true sheen will never reflect its civic and entertainment jewelesque. 

Retain VP Kamala Harris

By JARRETTE FELLOWS, JR.,

Editor-in-Chief

Dems think Michelle Obama is their "ace in the hole" in the event President Biden falters and is unable to carry through in a second term due to his advanced age. (Biden is 81)

 

That's an unwise proposition — not because Michelle Obama isn't capable of serving as POTUS, but because the Rump and his MAGA misfits have made "race" discordant.

 

Michelle Obama would galvanize the racist white element in America to vote for anyone but her. It makes better sense to retain Kamala Harris, who will naturally assume the presidency in the event Biden is unable to carry on with the duties of the highest office in America.

There would be nothing anyone could do to stop it guaranteed by the US Constitution, short of a coup d'tat.

Like any vice president, Kamala is aware of the awe- some responsibility that comes with taking the oath of the VP, and she has the qualifications, temper- ance, and moxie to assume the mantle of power.

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Vice President Kamala Harris

REPARATIONS 

Keep the original promise

By JARRETTE FELLOWS, JR., Editor-in-Chief

Initially, I didn't believe reparations to Black Americans for the forced labor and indignities of slavery for 244 years stood a snowflake's chance in a boiling desert. The US government hasn't even so much as broached an official apology for the denigration and despair of slavery, much less offer recompense to the victims.

 

But due to the mulish advocacy of a smattering of pro-reparations groups, alas, the movement is gaining traction—to the point where state governments, cities, towns, and municipalities are moving ahead,  implementing their own strategies how best to extend reparations to America's descendants of domestic enslavement.

Though many Americans thumb their noses at reparations as a form of affirmative action or a welfare handout to Black Americans, nothing is further from the truth. Slavery provided undergird to early America. Slaves, who toiled for hours daily over the span of 244 years, mainly picking cotton, gave rise to the American textile industry valued at $343.70 billion in 2023. They were never compensated one penny for their labor.

 

The year was 1619—considered a significant starting point to slavery in America—when privateer The White Lion brought 20 enslaved Africans ashore in the British colony of Jamestown, VA. They were seized from the Portu- guese slave ship Sao Jao Bautista. Throughout the 17th century, European settlers in North America turned to enslaved Africans as a cheap, plentiful labor source. The compounded interest on slave labor of the time, would be astronomical in 2023.

Though it is impossible to give accurate figures, some historians have estimated that 6 to 7 million enslaved people were imported to the New World during the 18th century alone, depriving the African continent of some of its healthiest and ablest men and women. Given the hours of toil over 244 years, the millions of slaves forced into the humiliating grind and the human psychological toll in terms of broken families, the auction of family members, lynchings, and other atrocities, there may be never be adequate compensation for slavery.

But reparations could be years from fruition because no agreeable solution has emerged from the mishmash of ideas under consideration. Hard cash, college scholarships, substantial reduction on mortgage loans ... have all been bandied about.

 

The idea that has spurred the most debate is the cash option. Recent polling data in 2021 revealed that 62 percent of Americans were opposed to cash payments, while 38 percent were in favor.

One form of reparations I have yet to hear in the debate arena, may be the simplest and least complicated of all—the original promise of 1865: Forty Acres and a Mule.

Forty acres and a mule was part of Special Field Orders No. 15, a wartime order proclaimed by Union General William Tecumseh Sherman on Jan. 16, 1865, during the American Civil War to allocate land to some freed families in plots of land no larger than 40 acres. Sherman later ordered the army to lend mules for the agrarian reform effort.

The field orders followed a series of conversations between Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton and radical Republican abolitionists Charles Sumner and Thaddeus Stevens, following disruptions to the institution of slavery provoked by the American Civil War. Many ex-slaves believed, after being told by various political figures, that they had a right to own the land they had been forced to work as slaves and were eager to control their own property. They widely expected to legally claim 40 acres of land. 

 

However, President Abraham Lincoln's successor, Andrew Johnson, tried to reverse the intent of Sherman's wartime Order No. 15 and similar provisions included in the second Freedmen's Bureau bills. Some land redistribution occurred under military jurisdiction during the war and for a brief period thereafter. However, federal and state policy during the Reconstruction era emphasized wage labor, not land ownership for Black people.

 

Almost all land allocated during the war was restored to its pre-war White owners. Several Black communities did maintain control of their land, and some families obtained new land by homesteading. Black land owner- ship increased markedly in Mississippi, particularly during the 19th century.

 

The state had much undeveloped bottomland (low-lying alluvial land near a river) behind riverfront areas that had been cultivated before the war. Most ex-slaves acquired land through private transactions with ownership peaking at 15 million acres or 23,000 square miles in 1910, before a recession caused problems that resulted in the loss of property for many.

For the reasons aforementioned where the US government allocated 40 acres of land to ex-slaves, then took

the land back from them—providing 40 acres, and perhaps a grant for farming equipment for persons whose land might encompass areas suitable for agrarian pursuits—appears to be one viable option.

Land ownership should never be ruled out as recompense. For instance, an acre of land in New Jersey can run nearly $200,000. In California, an expensive locale for real estate, averaging between $5,000 to $12,000 an acre, an additional grant of $500,000 to develop the land would seem plausible in a reparations package. It's going to depend on the type and location of the land.

If owning property equates to wealth-building, then owning 40 acres of prime land of appreciable value would seem to be plausible—certainly worthy of the debate. Perhaps, there should be a number of options on the table. Forty acres of land in a prime location where the demand is palpable, should be one of them.

Of mice and men, mouse traps, and the lust of money

Black politicians: Don't you
know you're being watched
with 20/20 eagle's eyes, and

closely monitored audially?

What befell Nury Martinez, Jose Huizar, and Mitchell Englander, who aren't Black, should have cautioned you

By JARRETTE FELLOWS, JR., Editor-in-Chief

Apparently not. Or perhaps in the era of "Dishonest John" Trump, they concluded "besting the system was as easy as 1-2-3."

 

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Lapse in Vigilance.

Hardly the case. Mark Ridley-Thomas has crashed, Dishonest John is spiraling, and Curren Price's main engines are on fire and he's descending.

But this isn't about DJ, it's about the other twoMark and Curren, two brilliant political leaders straight outta the community with amazing resumes of triumph, who, tragically outsmarted themselves. A lust for money fomented their actions. For Mark the stain left at the bottom of the pot was conspiracy, bribery, mail & wire fraud; and for Curren, embezzlement, perjury, and conflict of interest.

Money was the lure. The lust of it. 

With men as smart as these two bearing years of political moxy, you'd think they would have been keen to the eyes and ears attuned to their every move seeking to devour them. But, like mice to cheese, the green stuff was irresistible and risking the trap's damning "slam" was worth the peril.

In hindsight it wasn't. Never is.

 

Mark languishes in ruin, soon to be remanded to years in prison, and Curren faces the same if the Los Angeles County District Attorney proves his caseand it appears likely he will.

Tragically, the timing could not be worse for the Black and Brown communities they served. With a perverse spirit racing through America, up and down in it, we can ill-afford to lose warriors in what can only be described as a protracted tug-of-war between light and dark, good and evil.

Losing Mark cast a thunderstorm, and now the possibility of losing Curren echoes more thunder in the distance.

Nury Martinez' racist wag of the tongue wasn't the first 

Whether racist flip or 'Freudian Slip,' California Lieutenant Gov. Cruz Bustamante set the high bar 21 years ago

By JARRETTE FELLOWS, JR., Editor-in-Chief

 

LOS ANGELES—As the US struggles with racial tension, and people quite literally wear their emotions on their sleeves in a multi-racial society—many men, women, and children utter racial epithets all of the time ... beneath their breath or in their hearts, and thoughts.

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Lieutenant Gov. Cruz Bustamante in 2001. 

But in an era of political correctness, only the most stout ethnic purists racially denigrate others with impunity. Those more civil reap scorn and embarrassment when a racial slur emanates from them and is recorded or videotaped, then released publicly on social media and widely distributed. 

 

Such a thing occurred 21 years ago in the small California hamlet of Emeryville between Berkeley and Oak- land, with a border on the shore of San Francisco Bay bearing a population shy of 13,000. It was here in Emeryville, home to Pixar Animation Studios, and software giant Norvartis, that, then Lieutenant Gov. Cruz Bustamante would commit the mea culpa of his political life.

Bustamante, then the state's highest ranking Latino, was the keynote speaker at the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists annual awards dinner and scholarship fund-raiser during Black History Month. During the opening half of his speech about the Black union movement, Bustamante slipped and uttered the word "nigger," paralyzing the 400-member audience, one-fourth of them immediately storming out in protest 

 

Bustament, himself was mortified by his Freudian Slip, which he later called an embarrassing slip of the tongue.

 

A Latino Democrat who had focused on improving race relations, Bustamante said he meant to use the word "Negro," but inextricably said the n-word.

"I was appalled he would even say it as a slip," Gwendalyn Bello, who attended the event, said at the time. "You don’t make a slip like that unless it is something you say normally. It simply shouldn't have been said. In any context, it shouldn't have been said."

 

Bustamante said he tried repeatedly to apologize.

 

"I know it came out of my mouth, but it is not how I was taught. It is not how I teach my children. I've struggled to explain it to myself; how can I explain it to you? I just can't—couldn't—express the humiliation and regret. I gave my sincerest apologies," he said at the time.

 

Lawanna Preston, then staff director for Local 790 in San Francisco, said she was shocked by Bustamante's comment.

"It is very unfortunate that someone in [elective] office would use that word," she said. "It demonstrates a lack of sensitivity that reminds me race is still a problem in this state and this country."

Don't lament for Robert Kelly

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Jarrette
Fellows,

Jr.
Magnified

PLEASE, stop the nonsense!

 

Don't lament for Robert Sylvester Kelly now. The white man, the system, the courts. you, me—we didn't do this to Mr. Kelly; he did it to himself. He molested those young girls all by himself. He reveled in the satisfaction of his ill-doing. He knew it was heinous, but thought his wealth and celebrity would shield him.

I am not gloating in what has befallen the singer. He is an immense talent. The tragedy that now grips him, predated those underage girls many years ago. Justice activist Najee Ali stood up and cried foul re Kelly's immoral, disgusting behavior years ago, bringing it center- stage. The singer thought his fame gave him immunity to sexually abuse minors.

Looks like Ali's actions and some others did not return void.

Yes, there is racial injustice in America. This is indisputable. However, this is not case with respect to Kelly. Why do you lament for the mauling grizzly alas caught fast in a bear trap?

"Whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap." It is written.

Robert Sylvester Kelly has reaped the whirlwind

COVID masquerading as the predator in 1 Peter 5:8

‘Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour’

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Jarrette
Fellows,

Jr.
Magnified

It is past the time for clergy in America to stop playing Russian Roulette concerning COVID-19 with the lives of their congregants.

The writer is not a member of the ordained clergy, but rather a lay Christian believer in the Word of God bearing due diligence in its study and meditation with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Our Creator also endowed each of us with a mind and common sense.

With respect to the COVID pandemic, the faith community is divided—a mirror of the national optic; some advocating vaccinations, social distancing, and the wearing of masks, while others assail any and all protective measures, relying instead on their God-faith for complete protection. The latter is what many of their pastors are preaching to them on Sunday morning from the pulpit. What’s at work here is Faith and Foolishness.​

Now consider the incontrovertible truth.

Those who professed a belief in a living God are numbered among the more than 1 million COVID fatalities in the US, alone. Presumably, that number swells around the globe. Bishops, pastors, priests, and missionaries have perished from COVID, which is acting like the predator spoken of in 1 Peter 5:8, none other than Satan: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour.”

COVID is a predator, re-creating itself as ever more aggressive killer variants seeking unprotected humans to devour like unprotected sheep by bears, wolves, and coyotes.

The clergy must not side-step the warnings of the Bible contained in 1 Corinthians and John 8: 44:

 

“For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.” 1 Corinthians 14:33

“Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” John 8: 44

Pastors, urge your congregants to get inoculated so that those that may be carriers of the virus, but asymptomatic (not showing any signs) will not transmit the virus to the most vulnerable among them—seniors with conditions, and children.

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