UPDATE: I, Julia Dudley Najieb, wrote this article to speak up for our media outlet against the constant attacks from district 3 city council candidate Jim/James Tate Hill and his retaliatory supporters. No one has paid me to write this OpEd article. Most likely if all of the facts stated in the OPEd are true, someone from his camp will try to write a retaliatory article attacking me and others on the ONME News team personally.
We are in the era of change where it matters who sits in our local elected offices. More and more people are beginning to realize how change is most conducive at the local level. As residents living in these communities, where the information age is advanced through the use of technology, it becomes our duty to be more insightful of information on candidates, to make sure we are choosing the right person for the job, versus the skin color which seems to be a common bond–so some may believe.
On the contrary, blackness encompasses cultural identity versus a political identity, often forgotten, misrepresented or confused in communities who have pocket-concentrated areas of Black people. Instead of doing the research to see who would best further the agenda for the black community, we assume it will be a “Black politician” who will have our best interest at heart, and fix the needs in the community.
William A. Darity Jr. is the Samuel DuBois Cook Professor of Public Policy, African and African American Studies, and Economics, and the director of the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity at Duke University. In a The Atlantic article: How Barack Obama Failed Black Americans, he said, “But Black America should have paid attention to the experience of post-colonial Black Africa and the Caribbean; leaders who look like you do not necessarily act in ways that benefit you. So be it.”
As an example, Darity explained throughout the article that the one major initiative that the President Obama administration inaugurated that was Black-specific, “My Brother’s Keeper,” was a program premised on the view that young Black men constitute a social problem and need interventions that will alter their outlook and actions.
“The focus is on reforming young men rather than directly increasing the resources possessed by them and their families and removing the constraints they face. Again, the underlying ideological motivation is the belief in black cultural deficiency, and, again, this type of initiative is another expression of failure to pursue bold policies that confront the fundamental causes of racial disparity in American society.”
Furthermore, having more Blacks in elected positions of power does not ensure empowerment of the Black community.
An article in the Daily Signal, Black Political Success Isn’t the Key to Black Empowerment, George Mason University economics professor Walter E. Williams reviewed history; from 1970 to 2012, the number of Black elected officials rose from fewer than 1,500 to more than 10,000, including a Black president who was elected twice during that time span; however the statistics in Black economics show the increase in disparity and lack of wealth. It is a false sense of empowerment to assume that Black political leadership brings on Black economic wealth,
This big assumption that only Black politicians understand the economic issues and disparities in the predominantly Black communities is a false premise:
“According to liberal social scientist, Gary Orfield who is a professor of urban planning at UCLA, the evidence indicates, that there may be little relationship between the success of Black leaders and the opportunities of typical Black families.”
The video continued, “So while Black politicians, from Tom Bradley and Marion Barry and Maxine Waters and John Conyers achieved considerable personal success, their constituents did not.”
In the video, Black economist Thomas Sowell explained, “The relationship between political success and economic success has been more nearly inverse than direct.” Other cultural groups throughout the United States confirm this observation (Asian, Jewish and Italian peoples and communities, for example.)
Finally video author Jason Riley of The Manhattan Institute reiterated, "that human capital is far more important than political capital."
And now that brings up a current political race between two Fresno city council candidates that is full of misinformation, misrepresentation, and vilifying behavior and commentary toward our media outlet: one candidate is Black, James./Jim (he goes by both names) Tate Hill, the other candidate is of Latino descent, Miguel Arias.
We regrettably have heard the most vile comments from members of the black community who have laid claims on the other candidate based on what they heard; every time we check out the claims, they merely became false villainous rumors—it is most important for us ALL to do our research on ALL candidates. However, personal attacks are not warranted or necessary, as we have endured as a media outlet and as residents of Fresno, CA.
It is unfortunate that the reactions from members of the Black community comes across menacing when we decide not to print the defaming information against a non-black candidate that has no merit, or when we put undeniable facts out about a Black candidate that voters should know. However, please note, the canons of journalism have always stated, “accuracy, accuracy, accuracy.”
Furthermore, candidates have had opportunities to come on the ONME Network online TV programming to address claims, state their political positions, and tell the audience why he or she is the best candidate.
(The above personal attacks in p
ublic against members of ONME News and their spouses are from an angry Hill supporter, whom ONME News has never spoken to personally concerning any issue.)
Hill, the Black candidate, has been the most insulting toward our network, throwing the first blows toward the ONME News outlet in public to many members of the community, spewing emotional and personal rhetoric attacks with such paraphrased threats as, “can’t wait to shut you down, when I get into office,” to a member of the ONME News team. People have approached us with other similar comments directly from Hill. These attacks are unfortunate and revealing; it only shows what cannot be hidden any longer. Hill’s worst fears may be his own demise.
So ONME News decided to do further due diligence, to find out the true basis of the emotional rhetoric. Here are some things we found out:
According to our research, the digital email invitation presented to an upcoming Sept. 5th
fundraiser for candidate Hill misleadingly states a number of endorsements; however, in calling up
these entities and individuals to confirm the endorsements, we have found the following:
Former district three primary candidates Larry Burrus, and Sean Sanchez said they have not officially endorsed Hill, nor have they spoken to him after the primaries or prior to such an email going out to the public. We found the same circumstance with Kimberley Tapscott-
Munson; she has endorsed the opposing candidate, Arias, and asked that her name be taken
off any materials suggesting otherwise.
We also confirmed with the Fresno Black Chamber of Commerce (FMBCC) that they have not
endorsed anyone; their board voted not to endorse anyone for the district three seat; it is
misleading information because Mr. T’Shaka Toure is the chair of the FMBCC, in which the
FMBCC board did not approve his title to be used for such, according to the FMBCC.
We also called and confirmed from each of the following organizations/entities listed that they
did not endorse Hill before such an email was sent out, and were not aware of it: The
Greater Fresno Chamber of Commerce (you can check their website for confirmation or call, )
and the Associated Builders & Contractors – Northern California.
In small print, the digital flyer states, “organizational affiliations for identification purposes
However the large print clearly states “Endorsements.” When the other organizations
get back to the ONME News research team, we will let the public know of any other false
endorsements as soon as possible.
We also found under criminal records the following:
Madera Sheriff’s Dept.; arrest and charges filed Sept. 3, 1996, booked in Madera County jail
for evading police: booking#964076, prisoner ID: 107303
Fresno County arrest Jan 8, 2002 Jim Tate Hill, unpaid speeding ticket, case#: B02000575-1
Madera Sheriff’s Dept.; arrest and charges filed Feb. 1, 2006, (does not list charges)
Fresno County Oct. 30, 2014, case# 54208QU, charged Sept. 30, 2014 for no evidence of current vehicle registration, still an open case with a financial obligation of original balance is
$1,221.00. An extension was requested and granted, but there is no record of payments shown yet.
Other financial obligations we are waiting to confirm, being that other families members have the
same name as his are the following: (Filed under the name "James Tate Hill")
Chapter 13 bankruptcy filed Feb. 25, 2010, case#: 1011913
Chapter 7 bankruptcy filed Dec. 24, 2014, case#: 1416044
Of course many of us make mistakes, and evidence of arrests or going to jail, do not propose our identity or prowess to continue such behavior; however, not all of us are running for an elected position, which makes any arrest record more relevant rather than a dismissal of just poor judgement.
If Hill is already being dishonest with his endorsements and financial background, who’s to say what other compromising information could be false about who he is?
I, too, live, am a business owner and a voter in district three. For me, the falsified information was the final straw—ironically, I served on the FMBCC board from 2009 to 2013 when Hill’s company, Urban Strategic Enterprises, was funneling moneys through the FMBCC board foundation he created, and the FMBCC organization without the FMBCC board’s knowledge. Upon this discovery, with the continual requests for treasurer reports we could never get from him, I and board members from both entities confronted him. During that time, it was a conflict of interest because he was the CEO, president, chair of the board, executive director of the foundation board, and sole contractor under his company name, Urban Strategic Enterprises, considered unfair business bidding practices for FMBCC members and a conflict of interest for both organizations. Thus I resigned since the problem was unfixable, being that Hill was at all points of the transaction process, including the bank accounts, and the FMBCC organization credit card, which he spent to a zero balance freely, disregarding the board’s discretion.
If I wanted to spend my time to go after Hill, I would have broadcast this information a long time ago on the ONME Network. But the truth does matter when an individual is running for office that involves fiscal responsibility, something he lacked then, and perhaps now.
Also, there is more information that has been presented to ONME News that suggest Hill’s personal life may run major interference on his political campaign or if elected to the seat. This information will be released upon analyzing the source. Or it will be retracted if it is found that the information is false—that is what the media is supposed to do, to be the watch dog of the government for the people, to be the watch dog for civilians, and to be the outlet for the community who wishes to inform specific and local populations.
We encourage everyone to do their own research when it comes to electing any politician to an important seat that directly affects the community as a whole, and hold them accountable as a collective, to determine if they truly have the Black community or residing community’s best interest, and be prepared to call them out when they don’t comply.
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