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Is It OK to Be Black in Orlando?

November 2, 2015 - 5:15pm

We have a teachable moment here, folks.  Let’s hope everyone is ready to learn.

Not long ago, I posted an article about white political consultants not being able to  get out the black vote. Read said article here.

No better display of a PR nightmare is there than the recent “It’s OK to be Black” campaign launched on behalf  of Paul Paulson in the mayoral race involving Paulson, Buddy Dyer, and Linda-Marie Grund.

Some in the black community are in a tizzy over signs displayed saying that it is “OK to be Black in Orlando”.  They feel like Paulson is giving them permission to be black, and how dare he do so.

Yes, it was dumb.

It goes to show that the need to hire competent minority political consultants to reach our community is there.

But does it change the fact that Buddy Dyer has not addressed the needs of the community?

Has it changed the state of affairs that the Orlando black community finds itself in? No, it does not.

We cannot get so caught up in pettiness that we lose sight of the big picture, which is that Buddy Dyer has not done a damn thing for the African-American community in Orlando.

First and foremost, the excessive police brutality cases involving the Orlando Police Department should make you cringe.

That's enough to throw him out right there.

The Noel Carter case makes my heart ache, and should make yours ache as well.

I saw the video.

You saw the video.

That is worth far more than a yard sign.  Get your priorities straight, people.

The trial of the officer who battered Refus Holloway started today. You do remember him, don’t you? If you don't, let me refresh your memory.

Terre Johnson, the homeless  veteran, remember him?  The list goes on, people.

Moving right along, let’s discuss Buddy Dyer’s attempt to steal Faith Deliverance Temple Church by eminent domain. Thankfully, the church won, but the fact that he tried to take this from Parramore should tell you what he thinks of black people and black property.

The closing of Parramore Avenue without a transportation or traffic impact study so he could build a soccer stadium on top of Parramore should also tell you what he thinks of black people and black property, and yet you are screaming about a yard sign?

Wake up, people.

Harriet Tubman had it right. She would have freed more slaves, had they known they were slaves.

Your health should be important to you. Your community is contaminated, but does Buddy Dyer care?

He is using the demographics of Parramore to get EPA grants, but he is not using the money to help you with health issues, he is using the money to clean up the land for the proposed soccer stadium.

He gives less than a damn whether you live or die.

So, while the yard signs that were placed were indeed ridiculous, you might want to ask yourselves, under Buddy Dyer, is it OK to be Black in Orlando?

Leslie Wimes is president and founder of Women on the Move and the Democratic African American Women's Caucus, The commentary above is reprinted with Wimes' permission. 


I don't know you, nor do I care too. I pride my self "truthbeNEVERTOLD" on ignoring fools. Let me introduce your a$$ to the spirit of correction. Like President Obama (use respect), I graduated from Columbia and Harvard. My parents are Black and White-Cuban. Yes, I'm aware EVERYONE (Black, White, Indian, Asian, Russian, Arab, Israeli) all can bare some prejudice. They just don't all have an established 400-year well documented history. I could care less "why you don't like the current President." If competence were a requirement, President Bush would not have stolen 537 votes, thus the election in Florida. Let no one accuse George or Jeb! of competence (that latter losing his own state to a racist like 'make Murika great white again Trump'. What makes you a racist "YOU." None of "you people (i.e. racist) had an issue when people of color were being murdered in Iraq (no weapons of mass destruction) killed in Somalia, Uganda, Rwanda, left on rooftops in Katrina. President Bush was doing a "great job." President Obama has reduced the deficit (as did President Clinton), killed hundreds of terrorist including OBL, pirates, rescued hostages, the auto-industry, increased the federal minimum wage, protected Gay Rights (a human right), provided a path-way to fix the 30-year mess that is VA (my entire family wears the uniform) and still YOU PEOPLE hate him. I won't even quote the statistics on AHCA, which literally saves lives. You arguments are non-meritorious, racist, and MUTE. You are another "low information" FLORIDUH nut. Now go back and figure out why 'MURIKA' will never be white. Just to show you I'm open minded, I also despite "Uncle Cracker Ben Carson..." #equalopportunity

This is nothing new in Orlando. What did your elected officials say about this? Very little. After these toadies get elected what do they care about the black community? It's a convenient delusion.

If I agree with this Blog I'm a bigot and if I disagree with this blog I'm a racist. Either way the PC calls me a name no one likes.

Racist = a person who acts against another because of their race, color of their skin or ethnicity. Bigot = a person who does not like people of other races, skin colors, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or expression. Bigotry leads to racism. It can be conscious and many times an unconscious bias that manifests itself by vigorous denials of being bigoted by supplying "proof" that the hated person(s) supposedly lack merit or desirable qualities. For example, a president who inherits a country in economic collapse, losing 800,000 jobs per month, a healthcare crisis, trillion dollars in deficit, and two wars; and in 6.5 years helps recover the economy, highest stock prices in history, lowers unemployment and increases the number of employed to pre-recession era, reduces the deficit by over 30%, provides health care coverage for 17 million uninsured Americans, brings home our soldiers and end our involvement in two wars - gets called "incompetent"!! That my friend is delusional, bigoted, conscious or unconscious bias.

I feel sorry for your ignorance. The National Debt has more then doubled since "your" failed president has been in office. $18 Trillion, NOW, and growing, when it was around 8 Trillion prior to 2008. Welfare social programs has almost 50 Million people stealing from the Taxpayers, when it was around 26 Million people on Welfare prior to 2008. Unemployment has actual risen, but in his deceptive practices they do not count those who have given up looking for a job, and those who had to take part-time work. We average around 180,000 new jobs a month, when we need to have over 300,000 jobs a month to claim any success. Obama-care is a Dismal failure, which is on the verge of collapse. All the Obama scandals opened-up a separate section of the Obama government just to conceal, lie, destroy, and steal evidence from the people of America..............You remember them.......don't you. Racism has Blinded, and you don't even know it.

Can you send me a photo

Excuse me. My phone cut off the comment. I agree with you article and would like a photo of the sign. Thank you

The question we need to ask: "Is it ok to be Black in America?" The election of President Obama was great. History will tell truth, he "IS one of the greatest." His election also eliminated any need for our "white brethren" to pretend that racism no longer exists. See they came to the realization, if 'they' can occupy the White House, they truly are "equal." From there is has been all down hill. No not all our our white brethren are racists, but there are enough of them to set this country back 400 years.....

Leslie's story made some good and fair points, but you ruined I by waving the "Race card". Let me Help you......everyone has the potential to be Racist, and very prejudice against others, even if their skin is Black. One thing I noticed about the Black community is that when they, do, think, say, or hate just like some White people, they feel they are NOT Racist, and they have some sought of "Right" to do what they accuse others of doing.....As for Obama,....please, he makes one consider passing a Law to make Incompetence illegal, so he can be removed from office.....Now I bet you think I'm criticizing him because he is Black, and you are wrong, because he is also White,....or does that matter to Racist of any color???

I was told that black people can not be racist, only whites can. Also, which half of President Obama is incompetent, the black half or the white half? Both?

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