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December 5th, 2012

Our elected officials need to start becoming leaders



Lillie Howard

When I woke up this morning I was somewhat puzzled as to the direction that I would go in this week’s column. I had several issues on my mind but when I turned on my computer and saw an article regarding a photo that was taken showing a policeman bending over a homeless man I became curious.

Upon reading the article my mind was stirred. The 25-year-old officer saw this homeless man with no shoes on in very cold frigid weather and he went and shelled out $75 to purchase insulated winter boots and thermal socks for the homeless man. Wow!

This brought me back to the many recent police shootings and reminded me that there is still good in the midst of the many bad. I pray that this officer does not become tainted by the many bad. As Dr. Martin Luther King said, "Police brutality, with community support, or at best indifference, is a daily experience for Negroes in all to many areas of the South. They live in a police state which, paradoxically, maintains itself within a democratic republic." To Dr. King’s statement I must add that when the Negroes started migrating to the north, police brutality followed.

This stirs up my mind as to what’s presently going on in Newburgh. The headlines read "Newburgh activist Shakur vows to appeal disorderly conduct verdict." This whole incident is the result of some citizens’ outrage about the Lembhard police murder. I find it quite interesting that the original charge was based upon Mr. Shakur’s verbal language at the city council meeting, but since then the charge was changed to disorderly conduct! Wow! It’s going to be very interesting to see how this plays out.

I hope that all of my readers had a blessed Thanksgiving and most of all I hope that Newburgh’s profile will begin to change. There are so many negative things going on in this community and it seems like it never changes. The faces change while the same melody lingers on. When are our elected officials going to become genuinely concerned about their citizens? When will they start addressing the issues that will allow our city to blossom? The jobs issue needs to be addressed soon, because without jobs the city will always have a crime problem. As Dr. Martin Luther King said: "There is nothing more dangerous than to develop a large segment of people in a society who feel that they have no stake in it, who feel that they have nothing to lose. And so I think joblessness is one of the most serious problems facing the North."

As you must know by now, to me Dr. King’s words are still very relevant, therefore I leave you with his words regarding leadership: "The urgency of the hour calls for leaders of wise judgement and sound integrity - leaders not in love with money but in love with justice; leaders not in love with publicity, but in love with humanity; leaders who can subject their particular egos to the greatness of the cause. The New Testament admonishes us that the people cannot hear if the trumpet makes an uncertain sound. What is their hope if the trumpet makes no sound at all?"

The citizens of Newburgh are hearing no sound at all from their elected officials, and until they do, this city is hopeless. Wake up! This is Lillie’s Point of View!


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