Nearly 5,000 joined fight to beg for jobs; How many will line up to create one for themselves
Well, I am glad I held my peace and didn’t blast the tomfoolery that was unfolding as Black people begged for a job at a construction site and Black activists begged for a seat at the Mayor’s table. Many were upset that Gardner got the meeting and they didn't.
First, just let me say that I have the utmost respect for Ed Gardner, the former co-chair and founder of the Soft Sheen Products. I included him in my most recent book, Chicago’s Self-Made Black Business Pioneers for the work he and his wife did to create Soft Sheen Products. He’s an icon; a job creator; a true pioneer.
That’s why I held my tongue about his most recent public activities which centered around his displeasure at the lack of Black constructions workers at a work site on the southwest side of Chicago.
I was concerned that he was really tarnishing his legacy; one of self sufficiency and self determination. He and other activists stopped work at the construction site. It’s a sad day in 2012 when we are still begging for jobs from an economy that does not have enough jobs to go around. We went from job creators in the late 1800s and early 1900s to begging for jobs in late 1900s and early 2000s.
According to reports, Gardner demanded a meeting with Mayor Rahm Emmanuel. He was first denied but eventually got the meeting. I asked myself the question that was inspired based on my study of the Teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. “Why are we begging the Mayor and corporations for what we could unite and do for ourselves with the help of God? How long will we say, ‘In Christ all things are possible’ in one breath and then talk about what we can’t do in the other."
I was hurt, but I held my pen. Then, things got even more disturbing to me as I started receiving emails from disgruntled Black activist who felt they should have been in the meeting with the Mayor.
Really? Negroes upset because they didn’t get the meeting with Massa, I mean Mayor Rahm? I was ready to start putting people on blast. Everybody.
But, I remembered the words of the Hon. Louis Farrakhan who said: “You have to be careful how you judge something that is on the move. In fact, the only time you can judge a thing is when God puts a period to their life and their testament is finished. Then you can adequately judge. But, while the testator is still writing his testament, be careful what you say; you might have to retract your words.”
I am glad I held my words because I read this morning from Chinta Stausberg that “in an effort to create jobs for those who may have criminal backgrounds, former Soft Sheen CEO icon Ed Gardner Friday unveiled a plan that can help motivate young black men and women to start their own business by selling rolls of toilet paper on the streets of Chicago.”
Now we are talking! I am still paying attention to see how things unravel, but at least now, I have something to smile about. J This self-employment program would be good for both those with criminal backgrounds and those without. Small business, entrepreneurism is the backbone of this country. It’s small business that creates the most jobs and somewhere between Jim Crow and Integration, we lost the important lesson of creating jobs for ourselves.
From the photos I’ve seen, nobody was demanding jobs with Gardner but Blacks. Imagine seeing Arabs, Indians, Pakistanis, Koreans, or Chinese out there demanding jobs. It would seem strange because we know they have created economies for themselves. In fact, we participate in their economies as consumers ONLY.
So, I am glad to see that Black on Black Love Campaign, a non-profit organization started by Mr. Gardner, is now focused on getting more jobs at for Blacks at construction sites and to assist and encourage them to become entrepreneurs.
Toilet paper is an excellent product to sell. Not only does everybody need it but it’s a product that we need, we use and we need it again. That’s the key to big business—a consumable product.
Now let us see if 5,000 show up to create a job for themselves and their family.
The program starts Wednesday, October 17, 2012. For further information, contact Francis Wright or Doris at the Black On Black Love program, 773-978-0868.