As we approach this holiday season, let me start off by wishing all of you and yours a very merry Christmas, and Happy Kwanzaa. As this year comes to an end, I want to encourage all of you to reflect on the many blessings that have been bestowed on us all. While we all have many challenges in life, we all have many blessings as well. We all have lots of things pulling on us, money problems, family problems, work problems but we also have lots to be thankful for. As I and one of my friends often discuss, we all have money challenges, its just a matter of how many zeros are behind the problem.
But in the midst of all the hustle and bustle of the holidays, lets not forget to give thanks. Lets be thankful for the wonderful friends we’ve made this year and the wonderful relationships that have grown and withstood the test of time.
Let’s not forget the wonderful people who have touched our lives, but have now gone home. Lets say a special prayer for them and their families as many of these families struggle through this first Christmas without that special person. Let’s say a special prayer for the families of Congresswoman Juanita Millender-McDonald, Muhammad Nassardeen, Monterey County Supervisor Jerry Smith, Augustus Hawkins, Homer Broome, Jr., Billy Jack Shelton, Rudolph Thompson, William Billy Richards, Jr. and anyone else who has lost a loved one this year.
As we approach the end of 2007 lets think about our failures and our successes. Lets celebrate our victories like African Americans retaining the seat held by Congresswoman McDonald by the newest member of congress, the Honorable Laura Richardson, Lets celebrate the 75,000 people who showed up to enjoy a Taste of Soul without one single incident, Lets rejoice in Bishop Charles E. Blake being elevated to the Presiding Bishop of COGIC, and lets rejoice about the unification of so much of our community’s leadership to work on saving MLK Hospital and making sure Marguerite LaMotte remained OUR representative at LAUSD. But, let’s also not forget our short comings. Let’s remember that MLK Hospital did close down and there are far too many people in our community without adequate health care or health care services. Let’s not forget, that it was our lack of voter turnout that caused us to lose the seat formerly held by Assemblywoman Laura Richardson, which now will most likely go to Warren Fuatani instead of Councilmember Mike Gibson. Let’s remember that right after the Sentinel introduced you to Ed the homeless man with the impeccable house under the freeway that city officials showed up the very next day and tore Ed’s house down, while empty lots full of debris, weeds, and broken glass remain a fixture in way too many of our neighborhoods.
My friends as we get ready to celebrate Christmas, and the pending New Year, lets try and keep everything in perspective. We are all very blessed, no matter how good or bad you have it, there is always someone doing better or worse than you. Enjoy your friends, enjoy your family and pray for each other, pray for those you know and don’t know alike. So, whether you agree or disagree, now more than ever I really need your input. I need to hear from you. I need to know what is going on in our community. I also need to know what other stories we need to tell, and what is on your mind. I really do want to hear from you, I want you to “Talk to Danny.”
Sincerely, Danny J. Bakewell, Jr. President & Executive Editor