- Faith & Family
It’s been an ongoing battle between Liberty City business owners and copper-hungry thieves that make their profit on the backs of hardworking Blacks. In the past several years their frustration and anger have continued to mount as vandalism has escalated. All of this was addressed in a recent meeting between City of Miami Mayor Tomas Regaldo and business owners along the 7th Avenue corridor who were assured by the Mayor that there will soon be an increased police presence in the area to curtail crime.
Both sides have long been aware of the problem and this is not the first time that promises have been made by city or county officials. Maybe that’s why business owners are being cautiously optimistic given the financial setbacks they’ve repeatedly faced in order to replace copper wiring, air conditioning units and electrical meters. The Mayor says he may have a partial solution to the owners’ struggles to come up with the money to replace stolen items. And Assistant Chief of Police Roy Brown adds that while officers have done a decent job, “it’s not good enough.” Again, variations on Brown’s statement have surely been made before by our police officials.
However, what may be the lynchpin in this situation is not reassigning a beat cop to walk the streets of Liberty City, but our own community finally taking a stand. One could call it good old-fashioned grassroots activism but we prefer to call it watching each other’s back.
Let’s be honest — someone knows who’s stealing the copper wiring and someone knows the unethical recipients of these stolen goods. But because some of us find it more honorable to keep our mouths shut, our own businesses are losing money. That means Black-owned businesses are being hampered from hiring more employees and reinvesting in their community. In the end we all suffer.
The police can only do so much. It’s time that Blacks reclaim their community and tell their ‘friendly neighbor thieves’ to go loot and plunder somewhere else. Haven’t we gotten tired of folks calling us brother by day and then stealing us blind by night?