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Riverside City Should Settle Discrimination Complaints

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The City of Riverside is still going through changes since the Tyisha Miller shooting. Not only are we losing current members of the city council and upper management, but some Black employees might be getting closer to resolving their complaints of racial discrimination filed against the city over six years ago.

During the Tyisha Miller saga the employees were told their complaints were placed on the back burner even though this was not a legitimate reason to not investigate their cases. It is my understanding that some movement has started to take place since the city has replaced former City Manager John Holmes and most recently the Human Resources Manager.

In a discussion with one of the complainants this latest replacement is a major step in the city's journey to rectify its discriminatory practices in employment. The past Human Resources Manager was viewed as a major stumbling block in the investigative process.

I personally know these complaints can take a long time, but the complaints of the White employees of the police department were settled in a much shorter period of time. These Black employees’ complaints deserve the same efficient treatment as other complainants.

One employee, who does not want his name used at this time, had high praise for the NAACP, Nation of Islam, and Col. Ralph Smith (ret.) for their efforts in helping to move the city in the right direction. I too want to urge the city to resolve these complaints prior to something else happening that might muddy the waters from a reasonable settlement.

NAACP Youth Division Is To Be Commended

The NAACP State Youth Division, under the leadership of Corey Jackson, has taken on an issue that all Americans should be concerned about, that is the Homeland Security and Patriot Acts. Some of the provisions John Ashcroft is seeking to enact into law bring flashbacks of the Fugitive Slave Act. I know that many Americans have a different feeling about their security after 911, however, many Blacks have never felt secure in America.

There are many communities today that Blacks had better not be found in after dark. In Jasper, Texas, (the president’s home state) Robert Byrd was dragged to his death for being Black. In Fontana, several years back, a Black man working for the phone company was shot while working on the phone lines because he was Black. Many have said the shooting of Tyisha Miller was because she was Black.

The shooting of Irvin Landrum in Claremont was because he was Black. I was told not to catch rides at night, but instead get in the ditch out of sight because Whites might do you harm if you were alone. We tell our youth today that if stopped by the police, place your hands on the steering wheel, do not move unless told to do so. Speak to the officer only if he speaks to you. Do not ask why you are being stopped at that time but wait until you have witnesses.

If you have never had to tolerate any of these kinds of intimidating acts in our society it will be hard for you to understand the provisions Ashcroft is trying to enact into law. Consider your neighbor turning you in as being involved in terrorist activities, your phone being tapped, and your accounts being seized without actual charges being filed. What about being arrested and not provided legal council or a phone call to your family.

All of these things can happen to you if Congress passes the Patriot Act II. Many of us know what fear is and have just experienced a taste of semi freedom and we do not want our new freedom to be taken away under the disguise of patriotism. I want to thank Corey Jackson and his officers of the NAACP Youth Division for bringing this issue to the forefront of our agenda.

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