The real tragedy of the Inland Port situation is illustrated by the sound file you can listen to at the bottom of this item -- an excerpt from Cheryl Smith's long-running program Reporter's Round Table on KKDA-FM (104.5). If you listen to this carefully, you will discover some important things about the way some officials in southern Dallas view economic development.
In the clip, Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price states categorically that he is not interested in the jobs that will be produced by development of a vast rail, trucking and warehousing hub in his district. By the way, the projection is for 60,000 new jobs associated with this exciting development.
He sneers at jobs as something for "Negroes." He says that anyone who wants to come into South Dallas and make money needs to give an equity share in his business to somebody black in South Dallas. And he states boldly his intention to use his power as a government official -- especially in the creation of trade zones -- to force The Allen Group to do just that. state Sen. Royce West sits at the next microphone offering amens.
It's important to know -- and I think this clip shows it -- that Price and West consider their position to be absolutely legitimate and just.
If they thought they were running a scam, they wouldn't announce it on the radio. But the next thing to know is that this kind of thinking is a terrible signal to send to anybody else thinking of investing in South Dallas. It's like running up a skull and crossbones on the flagpole. Why would anyone voluntarily and knowingly walk into a meat grinder where two of the most powerful elected officials in a district have vowed publicly to suck blood from any outsider who has blood to suck?
It's also terrible -- awful, demeaning, morally corrupt -- for Commissioner Price to derogate jobs and working. Working is the American path to dignity and freedom, the first footsteps toward a family's better future. A man in Price's position who sneers at work is sending tens of thousands of young people into the hell of the streets.
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Black success is all around us, perhaps the most thrilling story of our time, never told by big media. But so is black failure, left behind in the old neighborhoods where Royce West and John Wiley Price are the gatekeepers.
I am trying to reach Cheryl Smith to learn when this aired. Her show has been on the air since 1990. KKDA is a powerful voice in Southern Dallas. Here 'tis:
KKDA radio excerpt: