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God Bless The Child That’s Got Its Own

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“Mama may have, Papa may have, but God Bless the Child that’s got his own,” was a song repeated over and over again in the Black community.

I was just a youth when I first heard those words stated by my mother and her sisters when they would be talking on the front porch. That is where they would braid hair and talk local politics, the weather or other topics of common interest.

When my dad, his brothers and other local brothers of the lodge talked politics on the porch, they to would use the same phrase "God Bless the Child that's got his own.” When it came down to it “this is something we have to do on our own” kind of issues. This song was first made famous by Billie Holiday, but I remember the later version sung by Sam Cooke.

This song comes to mind now because of the current political winds blowing on who should run for various elected office in the state, county and city. Their are some White elected officials who think they are heir apparent to the position of their choosing, while some Hispanics think it is their time in the sun based on sheer numbers.

Some have had no involvement in any community, especially the Black community. Some have not even had any experience in local or state-wide politics. We cannot afford the luxury of gathering experience at the expense of our people or the community. I have been involved in politics and held a political office for twelve years and know we cannot afford the luxury.

This brings me around to the title of that song Whites may have and Hispanics may have, but "God Bless the Child that’s got his own." I'm not advocating that no other group can represent us because others have and still do represent the Black community as we live today.

What I am saying is that God will surely bless the group that seeks to represent itself. It forces our issues to be discussed in the public arena along with other issues. When it comes to spending money from the public coffer to which we contribute, our issues will be a part of the decision.

When it comes to informing the public about who should receive public grants, we will be a part of the discussion. When it comes to granting construction grants, we will be a part of the decision. When it comes to hiring staff, we will be a part of the decision. When it comes to handing out lucrative government contracts, we will be a part of the decision.

When it comes to who and how children are admitted to college, we will be a part of the decision. When it comes to what banks will hold the money until it is spent we will be a part of the decision. When it comes to who is eligible to have access to good health care we will be a part of the decision.

I'm not saying we or they will be successful on election day, what I am saying is our issues will be a part of the debate and some of them will be incorporated into the programs that are adapted.

The other question comes to mind is who would run for those offices. I will name a few that come to mind in Riverside County: Sonja Wilson, Virnecia Jordan Davis, William H.

Beatey, II, Ron Oden, Ben Johnson, Dana Kruckenberg. In San Bernardino County: Danny Tillman, Tony Dupre, Walter Hawkins, Joanna Gilbert, Lois Carson, Betty Anderson, Kurt Wilson, Barbara McGee, Deborah Robertson, Gordon McGinnis, Kent Taylor, Beverly Powell and Wilma Carter.

All of these individuals are or have been elected to public office. There is no reason to believe their proven track records of electability and service can be matched by opponents who have never been involved or elected. In these up-coming elections we must remember and believe that "God bless the Child that’s got his own.”

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