The International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement wants to know if a Black mayor will deliver reparations to the Black community for the destructions of the Laurel Park and Gas Plant neighborhoods to build Tropicana Field.
BY CHIMURENGA WALLER, International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement
ST. PETERSBURG — On Nov. 2, 2021, St. Petersburg’s residents elected its first Black mayor. Many in the Black community hailed the election of Ken Welch as a historical event of epic proportions. However, as has been proven many times, a Black mayor, city councilperson, or even a Black president will not necessarily deliver justice to our community.
We want to pose the question directly to the Black community: Will a Black mayor deliver reparations to the Black community? After years of lies told by the city government of St. Petersburg claiming to be determined to bring light industry and jobs to the Black community, the question of whether a Black mayor will be the deliverer of reparations is totally relevant.
To help contextualize this critical question, we must look at some of the recent political events related to the disparity study done by the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg campus. One of the recommendations put out in the study was reparations to the Black community in the form of affordable housing.
The International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement believes strongly that the USF study recommendation for reparations serves to create policies that give the impression of reparations as opposed to actual reparations.
For example, would this “affordable housing” be limited to the Black community only? We don’t think so. If affordable housing is given to anyone who wants it, it’s not reparations! Real reparations would be a start to repairing the damage done to Black people.
Our case for reparations is clear; now, all we must do is get the question of will a Black mayor deliver reparations to the Black community answered. Time will tell.