The first time I was called “nigger” was in 1956 in Fairmont, W.Va., walking home from school. We were in the fourth grade and were supposed to be friends, but when Cassidy called me out of my name, the friendship ended.
The fight was on because I felt violated and something rose up in me that was not pretty. When I got home, my father, Rev. Basha Jordan, Sr., found out what happened and did something radical. He found out where Cassidy lived and took me around to his house.
We sat down with his mom and dad, and my father had us apologizing to each other. After this spiritual encounter, Cassidy and I mended our friendship and kept on walking home from school together.
The last time I was called a nigger was one evening last summer on Park Boulevard here in St. Pete. I saw a man that I knew with his friends and went to shake his hand as I spoke to him. He looked at me and said, “I’ll shoot a nigger tonight…”
I walked away quickly, prayerfully got on my motorcycle and rode home. Racism is alive and well in America.
Systemic racism causes persons to believe that they are above another race, better than another person because of skin color and they may deny their racism because they don’t even realize that this false sense of being privileged exists.
This is the real issue surrounding Jordan Park, systemic racism. The innate idea that black people cannot run the St. Pete Housing Authority unless the white overseer calls the shots is the same mentality that was alive during 400 years of slavery and plantation mindset.
Let’s not be asleep to the real issue, which is economic in nature, entails control of the acreage in Jordan Park and the millions of dollars that are generated in this low-income housing complex every year. Gentrification is all around Jordan Park, and if the city gets control of the housing authority board of commissioners, it will have control of Jordan Park.
If the city gains control of Jordan Park, what do you think will happen to black people living there? Stay woke! “Faith without works is dead.” (James 2:20)
Right now, black people have control of one of the largest housing developments in the state of Florida. Let’s do something radical: Only spend our money with people of color until the St. Petersburg Housing Authority Jordan Park Redevelopment Project is finished.
Announce it in the churches, newspaper, radio, on the drum. Yes, we can make a difference together in the name of Jesus.
There is a need for somebody, a God-fearing man or woman, to do something radical that causes the fighting to cease and for us to walk this Jordan Park Issue home together in a loving, caring way. 1 Corinthians 13:2 says, “…and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.”
Those persons who are set on trying to control what happens in the SPHA and Jordan Park, but have no legal or elected obligation to the process, need to show some humility and love and allow Tony Love to be who he has been called to be, which is the CEO of SPHA. Additionally, we all need to pray for God’s intervention so that the tenants who have been displaced are returned to Jordan Park expeditiously.
We as black people need to show love and respect for one another, even if we don’t agree in every way. Let’s come together as a people of God who know about faith in Him and not embrace the “divide and conquer” tactics of the enemy.
It’s amazing how much we as a people have accomplished when we have unified our marvelous talents, by faith.
Dr. Basha P. Jordan, Jr.
The Hope Dr.
Grandson of Elder Jordan