All one has to do is take a ride through the City of Newburgh to see that the Three C’s are seriously missing. I know that my readers are wondering what does Lillie mean by that? It means that those with the power to change things - who have allowed this city to sink to the level that it has - evidently don’t have any Conviction, Courage or Conscience.
Conviction means that one has a firmly held belief or opinion. Courage is the strength to do something frightening in the face of pain or grief, having the courage of one’s convictions. Conscience means having an inner feeling or voice acting as a guide to the rightness or wrongness of one’s behavior.
Taking into consideration the meaning of those three words, none of our elected officials nor community leaders have had the Courage, Conviction or Conscience to speak up or speak out against the deplorable conditions that this city has been allowed to exist in. Monies have continuously been sent into the City of Newburgh to supposedly address these horrendous issues but for many reasons it has never happened. Why such silence? Why haven’t any of our elected officials or community leaders stood up and spoken out about this? Where is their Conscience, their Conviction, their Courage? How could there have been such silence in the midst of such deplorable and wretched conditions that are continuously growing worse? I tried, but I was labeled as nothing but a troublemaker. Wow! One’s silence to all of this madness means that one just doesn’t care and is in agreement with it.
In the sixties, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said that slums were smoldering and seething. He said that it would have been wiser for White America to have seen for itself that slums were intolerable and disbursed them. But many white people of even reasonably good will simply know too little of the agony of ghetto existence to make slums as dispensable as segregated lunch counters. People of ill will still stubbornly cling to the determination to maintain a double standard of social and economic justice.
Dr. King also said, "I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits. I believe that what self-centered men have torn down men other-centered men and women can build up."
What is it going to take to open the eyes of this community to this madness? We hear a lot of talk about the many shootings in this community, but we hear nothing about the causative factors that breed such madness. Ride down Lander Street and Johnston Street, ride down Van Ness Street and ask yourself, "How long am I going to be silent in the midst of such madness?" I have taken that ride but it seems that none of our elected officials have done so. Why not? Do they really care? That’s a question that needs a very serious answer. Where is their Conscience, where is their Conviction, where is their Courage?
Let me leave you with these words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.:
"I am not afraid of the word ‘tension’. I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth. Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half-truths to the unfettered realm of creative analysis and objective appraisal, so must we see the need for nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood."
Is it possible that what we’re seeing is due to Urban Removal? Let us never forget what Urban Renewal did! This is Lillie’s Point of View!