The following was rec'd today by Rev. Pinkney. It's a reponse to an article called Benton Harbor blowback; Mayor joins pastors in blasting PGA vote
Response to article: The tragedy here is not how people voted and not the direction the leaders are taking against the PGA - it is more about how funds are used by Kitchen Aide/ Whirlpool in Benton Harbor. You and the leaders you gathered are not representative of the citizens of Benton Harbor - who are living in a state of serious deprivation with regards to city services. Why would a PGA tour and upscale housing, golf services and art galleries for the wealthy be serving the people of Benton Harbor? You are the leader who needs to step down and let a person who, in God's name, understands the needs of the community. Where are the following (that are provided in any other city in Michigan by the biggest corporations of those community):
Municipal swimming pool (should be provided by KitchenAide as opposed to a PGA tour)
Basketball courts that are maintained by the city
Ice Skating Rink
Summer Programs with tennis, golf, swimming as city recreation
Corporate sponsored scholarships for the graduates of Benton Harbor High School
City Recreation Programs for the disabled
Senior Services and programs such as Meals on Wheels
and the list could go on and on as to what communities are getting throughout Michigan per the corporations that support those communities.
Nearby Kalamazoo (with over 50% living in poverty) has a scholarship for all high school graduates, a library with literacy Saturdays, a baseball team, an arts program with an International Piano Festival, an arts center and a nationally recognized library - not to mention a host of other services for the residents of Kalamazoo. Jackson, Battle Creek, Flint and all the other communities of Michigan have corporations that provide not divide the citizens. But, none of the corporations have a racist agenda and none have an adjacent community that is all white and diverts the community funds along with having signs that state "Police Surveillance" post around the downtown.
Why would you, as a leader, allow Benton Harbor to be treated this way? Why would you let the majority of convictions in the St. Joe Courthouse be Benton Harbor residents? What kind of a leader are you? Where is your leadership for a Drug Court and diversion programs to avoid any Benton Harbor resident from being locked up? This is what leadership helps the citizens with - as opposed to working to provide a golf tournament for the wealthy!
What does Whirlpool do for Benton Harbor?
Polarize the citizens and divide them right behind their backs through strategic infiltration of churches, NAACP, etc.
Create a housing development for the wealthy
Attempt to push out the residents by creating a gentrification plan
Fund select programs geared toward the gentrification plan
Steal the land from the citizens despite anger/frustration
Push for artists to get the downtown cheaply to create coffee shops and galleries to appeal to the hip Chicago
Blame the residents for this polarization and divide
And much more
Whirlpool is not stupid, they are after their own interests right down to having the Fred Upton's family get featured as a pornographic image on the cover of a national magazine - the family is without morals.
You are jumping right on board the train and helping the build the planation. You have forgotten the people: the children are paying a price for your ignorance, the elderly are paying a price for your greed, the parents and the renters and the disabled are paying a price for your need to take care of your own. When will your group stand up to Whirlpool? That would be resurrection.
Stop blaming the citizens for your greed; that is sinful.