Black on Black Crime, Imperial Women, Other Activists Object To Forbes' Position To Support Racist Cleveland Hts Curfew Law

Submitted by JournalistKathy... on Sat, 07/09/2011 - 11:59.

Cleveland NAACP President and Attorney George L. Forbes, also general counsel for Cleveland's Call and Post Newspaper. Forbes supports a curfew ordinance amendment  (an amendment to a previous curfew law) passed Tuesday by Cleveland Hts City Council that unconstitutionally limits Black children from shopping centers in certain areas of the city

Community Activist Art McKoy, who failed to win over community activists in requesting that they support the Cleveland Hts City Council ordinance amendment supported by Forbes. Community activists say the ordinance amendment is racist because it targets Black teens in violation of the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution

Community Activist Sharon Danann, leader of the Lucasville Uprising Freedom Network, visits a prisoner at the Lucasville Prison that she says has been illegally convicted of crimes following a riot there in 1993. Danann says that the Cleveland Hts city ordinance amendment that makes it illegal for teens under 18 to patronize businesses in the Coventry-Lee business District is racist because it targets Black children and does not impact similarly situated White kids. 

Former three-term Cleveland Mayor Michael R. White, reportedly the city's most brilliant mayor, who stole the mayoral election from then City Council President George L. Forbes in 1989 in Cleveland's first Black-on Black mayoral runoff.  Forbes went on to become Cleveland's longest serving  local NAACP president, holding the realm since 1992, but the friction between the two Democrats never waned. 

From the Metro Desk of the Kathy Wray Coleman Online News Blog.Com (

Black on Black Crime Inc and other activist groups, including the Imperial Women, the Oppressed People's Nation, and the Lucasville Uprising Freedom Network, have refused an invitation by Cleveland Branch NAACP President George Forbes to join him with his position to go against Black children in Cleveland Hts. in support of a a 6 p.m. curfew ordinance amendment adopted Tuesday evening by Cleveland Hts City Council that mandates the arrest of any child caught patronizing shopping centers in select area of the city after 6 p.m.

A city ordinance is a law passed by member's of a city council and an amendment to a city ordinance  is either a change or an addition to a law previously passed by a city council. 

The unprecedented ordinance amendment, which appears to be one of its kind nationwide, limits teens and other children from the grounds of the Coventry and Lee Rds. business district. Black teens frequent the commercial areas and the ordinance amendment, that some community activists are calling racist, came at a request from some of the predominantly White business owners of the district.
Cleveland Hts. council members, with the support of Mayor Edward J. Kelley, law director John Gibbon and city manager Robert C. Downey approved the amendment to the curfew law, which now allows police to arrest anyone younger than 18 caught in the Coventry-Lee commercial areas between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m.

The council structure for Cleveland Hts. consists of seven councilpersons , including Mayor Kelley, though Downey, as city manager, supervises police chief Jeffery E. Roberson and recommends the hiring and firing of city employees. Two council members are Black, and are Phyllis Evans and Cheryl L. Stephens.
Community Activist Art McKoy, 67, at a Black on Black Crime group meeting held Wed., urged activists to support the ordinance amendment, but most people that attended the Wed. meeting, including members of other grassroots groups, said no.

Sharon Danann, who leads the Lucasville Uprising Freedom Network, asked McKoy why he would want to give police more power to arrest and harass Black teens and that White children are not treated that way.

"Why would you support something that gives police more power to arrest Black children when business areas that White children frequent have no such curfew?," said Danann, a longtime community activist with a master's degree from Harvard University, and a White woman who routinely fights against racial discrimination and the disenfranchisement of the less fortunate.

Kathy Wray Coleman, a local journalist and a leader of the Imperial Women, agreed and said the next move by the predominantly White City Council of Cleveland Hts would be to pass a city ordinance for Black children to ride in the back of the bus in certain areas of the city. She said that grassroots factions want no parts of either Cleveland NAACP President George L. Forbes or the Cleveland NAACP until organization leaders stand up for Black women like those murdered on Imperial Ave. in Cleveland, and other people that have been mistreated and subjected to race discrimination by police, the legal system countywide, and operatives at Cleveland City Hall and elsewhere.

Coleman reminded the activists at the meeting that Forbes was quoted in the Cleveland Plain Dealer Newspaper just last week as saying that his investigation supports Garfield Hts police officials determination and found no unnecessary force or other police brutality against an unarmed 50-year old mentality ill Black man (Sylvester Gavin) who was shot four times and killed by police at a local gas station after he allegedly charged them with a pole. Coleman also said that a 6 pm curfew is ludicrous and that Cleveland Hts police are known for harassing Blacks and illegally arresting them for money.

"My research reveals that Cleveland Hts police, that let alleged serial killer Anthony Sowell remain free from a necessary arrest on a rape complaint to allegedly kill the last 5 of the 11 Black women murdered on Imperial Ave. in Cleveland, need more sensitivity training and should stop arresting innocent Black people for money through court costs and fines and because of a disdain for the Black community," said Coleman.

Coleman said that Cleveland Hts Municipal Court Judge A. Deane Buchannan, who is Black, and Forbes' friend, should be investigated by authorities for potential nepotism issues and for allegedly denying Black men constitutionally required jury trials, among other questionable activities.
Cleveland Hts. is a middle class city of some 40,000 residents that borders various municipalities including the majority Black cities of E. Cleveland and Cleveland, and has pockets of rich people like prominent surgeons from area medical facilities such as the renowned Cleveland Clinic Foundation, a conglomerate of area hospitals with medical quarters throughout the country. The city population is 50 percent White and 42 percent Black, according to the 2010 U.S. Census Report.
In the end McKoy agreed that it might not be such a great idea to agree to push public policy against Black children when it might be unconstitutional.
"These kids are unruly but I just wanted to put the issue on the table," he said.
Coleman told McKoy that it is not his job to control what he sees as unruly Black kids by promoting a racist Cleveland Hts City Council ordinance amendment to appease Forbes, a former Cleveland City Council president that some say is still angry after losing a non-partisan runoff bid for Cleveland mayor more than two decades ago against former protege' Mike R. White.
A three-term Cleveland mayor, who served from 1990-2001, and whom Forbes advised when he was a young and politically ambitious councilman of Cleveland's Ward 8, White went on to become a state senator, and in 1989 upset Forbes in Cleveland's first Black-on Black mayoral runoff, one that put two Democrats against each other in a brawl that continued even after Forbes assumed the realm of the Cleveland NAACP in 1992. The second Black-on-Black mayoral runoff was in 2009 as former city councilman Bill Patmon, now a  Democratic state represetative, lost to Democratic Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, who is now in the second-year of his second four-year term. 

"It is a violation of the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution to target only Black children of Cleveland Hts. for an antiquated and obviously racist curfew law amendment, "said Coleman "And the Cleveland NAACP Executive Board should fire Mr. Forbes and get a leader that will not sellout the Black community at the drop of a hat."

In an editorial in its weekly newspaper this week the Call and Post Newspaper, a weekly that targets Cleveland's Black community, supported the Cleveland Hts curfew ordinance amendment, calling it a crackdown on unruly Black children.

Activists also rejected a request for a dual fundraiser with the Cleveland NAACP and Forbes, 79, the general counsel and editorial page editor for the Call and Post Newspaper, Cleveland's Black Press that has distributions also in Cincinnati and Columbus and is owned by a company owned by nationally known boxing promoter Don King.

"No, I cannot support that," said Donnie Pastard, a school teacher and member of Black on Black who said that the Cleveland NAACP is not worthy of support by the grassroots community because it no longer has the true interests of Black people at heart.

Most at Wednesday's Black on Black Crime meeting agreed with Pastard though Carl C. Newman suggested that Black on Black Crime and other grassroots factions unite with the local branch of the nation's oldest and most respected Civil Rights organization to collectively fight causes for the betterment of the Black community.

"I think a fundraiser with the Cleveland NAACP should happen," said Newman, also a member of Black on Black Crime.

The controversial Coventry- Lee 6 p.m. curfew ordinance amendment pertains to Cleveland Hts teens only and is applicable only to the Coventry-Lee Business District. City parents would be fined $50 if their children violate the ordinance amendment by patronizing businesses or otherwise visiting the off limits commercial areas after 6 pm in the absence of either a parent or guardian.

Also at its meeting this week Cleveland Hts City Council amended other aspects of the curfew ordinance already on the books that precludes a child, without a parent or guardian, out after dark if under the age of 12, requires children 12 to 15-years-old in at 10:30 pm, and mandates that teens 16 and 17 are in by midnight. That ordinance amendment adds exceptions like exclusion from the general curfew requirements for coming from school, a school related activity, movies, religious gatherings, or an emergency with written parental consent.

Journalist and Community Activist Kathy Wray Coleman can be reached at 216-932-3114 and ktcoleman8 [at] aol [dot] com.

Posted By Journalist Kathy Wray Coleman to THE KATHY WRAY COLEMAN ONLINE NEWS BLOG.COM at 7/09/2011 07:11:00 AM


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Important issue Ms. Coleman reports - public space restrictions

The Cleveland Heights kid curfew is intended to creat a private mall out of the public space.   

This is a very big issue.

Tower City did it with kids years ago.

The public space is being privatized.   Street by street.  Community by Community.  Store by store.

Profit has precedence over all.  Kids aren't the spenders.   Keep em home.  

Ms. Coleman recognizes an ominous trend.  Maybe not racist.  Maybe worse than racist.

Please read Ms. Coleman's report and consider where this could go....

And I agree with Ms. Coleman, Mr. Forbes seems to be an advocate for the corporate side, not the community side you would expect.

For example, George Forbes recently said: the Lake Shore Plant First Energy coal fired generation plant  should stay open because so many jobs are linked to it. He favors working with FirstEnergy to reduce pollution instead of attacking the company publicly.

So, how many black jobs are at the Lakeshore Plant?   I'll bet very, very few.  So has George sold out to First Energy?  I've been around the block, and that's the smell I get.
So, George, tell us  - who constitutes your constituency?    The money? or the community?



Poor where to play in Cleveland Heights...?

So they seem to end up in Coventry... I mean; don't they have libraries, rec centers, and many parks to play at?

There's a park right there in Coventry....Euclid Heights Blvd....are they allowed to be there after 6pm? or is that a violation of this new law? 


Always Appreciative, "ANGELnWard14"

 The issues is not were

The issue is not where "they" go but whether they have a constitutional right like their non-Black counterparts to go freely and without the adoption of racist public policy that  gives a licence to police to discriminate  against and to harass innocent Black teens of Cleveland Hts. I'm sure you go to the library, but does that mean you should be restricted from Walgreens based upon the color of your skin. If a particular young Black kid is acting up then deal with him or her, but it is racist to bar  Black children from a busineess district because the predominantly White business owners do not want them there---I hope their parents sue as a violation of the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment as to a racist city ordinance amendment that illegally restricts children to target Black ones. Some people often say that it is not race at issue because though he or she may be intelligent, that person may have difficulty understanding the phenomenon of institutional racism as men sometimes have difficulty understanding the phenomenon of institutional sexism, given that men cannot possibly know what it feels like to be a woman. Can they now?  --Kathy Wray Coleman

Complex issue

Kathy--it is good to provide this dialogue. 

I work with kids and, believe me,  the powers afforded to them to directly communicate with each other are heady and intoxicating.  There has always been generational power struggles.  And, it does not matter what nationality or language or economic background these kids are born into--there will be a struggle.  How kids transition to adulthood in America is a nationwide problem.  We need this discussion.  I don't have the energy for it today, but I appreciate your involvement and willingness to openly communicate your concerns here.


Our African-Italian American Mayor

I will comment, afterall, because I came back from Lincoln Park Pool in Tremont to find it drained and short-staffed today.  AGAIN.

Visit the city pools this summer--how many African-American lifeguards??  Jackson could/should take a page from former Mayor Mike White.

Under Mike White--the pools helped fuel neighborhood renaissance. Swim meets and swim lessons were de rigeur.

Now--anything goes.  And, the pools are BARELY staffed by barely trained, primarily non-African American lifeguards serving a demographic of folks who have not been taught proper water safety, to swim and/or to observe public health standards.

In the nineties--the lifeguards working Lincoln Park pool were serious about the career goals--most planned jobs in public service as teachers, safety professionals and/or in the medical profession.  One of the Tremont Pool Capitans was a no-nonsense African-American woman in training for admission to medical school  She set a standard and encouraged others to follow her example. 

This is where Mayor Jackson has missed the boat--in serving outside developers before city residents--at the expense of our kids.

Temperatures TODAY

Are expected to be in the nineties--city pools are staffed with three guards, if they are lucky--pools will have 250 + kids to contend with today.  

Hey mainstream media...ask about the contracts given to put in the spray pools at city parks....the water park spray area in Tremont has leaked from day one....

Thanks but I have to move

Thanks but I have to move you to understand that race is also at play and the restriction to deny Black children their constitutional right to patronize businesses unlike their White counterparts is a violation of the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution--Help me here now. Are you saying that racism no longer exists in America and anytime Black children are targeted race has to not be at issue from the standpoint of intellectual White people, some of whom do not quite understand racism, and might I say this without offending those not sophistocated enough to participate in this kind of complex dialogue?--Kathy Wray Coleman

Race is an issue

Because it is used as a tool to further the racist agenda behind the confiscation of property and real property...the Nazis perfected it in the Europe and we are seeing it here in NEO to the extreme.  (See Lily's series on Plymouth Park--well actually you can't now because she has deleted it.)

BTW-I don't like the term "race."  I prefer ethnicity and that's not anything we can use to group folks anymore, either.  Do you think I identify myself as "white"?  (my skin tone is actually closer to green :)

As Morgan Freeman calls it...I see myself as human...that's all.


Its okay to just see

Its okay to just see yourself as simply a human being when you are not of a minority race whose ancestors were brought to this country in chains. To ignore that racism exists means to some degree to naively perpetuate it. What do you think?--Journalist and Community Activist Kathy Wray Coleman.---- I like actor Morgan Freeman but he is not a poster child for equal opportunity and equal justice. If he feels so inferior as a Black man that he has to use the term ethicity to avoid using the word Black, and to have a vehicle to help him refrain from  admitting that he is a Black man by all accounts, I feel sorry for him. What do you think?

I don't agree

And that is something we have a right to do--on REALNEO. 

We all live with Post-Memory--the haunting stories told by our relatives.  I think that you would find my own family history and anyone's family history has some horrible memories.  I prefer to focus on how we can help change that for everyone so that this time in our history can be remembered as a better time rather than a worse time in history.  But, it's not happening that way.

To effectively chage racist

To effectively change racist public policy, you must first admit they it exists. It is good sometimes to ignore bad memories and people in general have them. But in order to eradicate racism people have to first admit that it exist. For example, if you are trying to overcome something like a bad spending habit,  saying  it does not exist does little to help you work toward that goal. Racism is no different and until you are Black and can walk in my shoes, I do not expect that you will fully understand the phenomenon of institutional racism, and it is alive and well in various venues of Cuyahoga County, research reveals.------ And it is prevalent in area racist courtrooms like those of Judge Lynn McLaughlin Murray, who sentences Blacks for alleged  police crimes without either an accusation or testimony from police, in violation of the Sixth Amendment.------- Others that are anti-Black and have no respect for the law include  Case Fixing Judge  Kathleen Ann Keough, Berea Municipal Court Judge Mark Comstock, Berea Retired Visiting Judge Michael Weigant and Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Presiding Judge Nancy Fuerst, who lets her colleagues do as they please to Blacks and others by denying meritorious affidavits of prejudice against judges like Keough and McLaughlin Murray that seek their necessary removal from cases for documented prejudice. And I mean a database that shows violations of the consitution and the local and civil rules of procedure, as well as the criminal rules of procedure,  the Ohio Rules of Evidence, the Ohio  Lawyer's Professional Code of Responsibility, and the Ohio Judicial Code of Conduct-- --Journalist and Community Activist Kathy Wray Coleman---