ADVERTISEMENT

Loss of federal funds hurt American cities

Douglas Turner’s Aug. 26 message in his column titled, “Leaders must review King’s lost message,” is informative to such a degree that I think parts of it are worth repeating. I did not know that President John Kennedy and the all-white male structure didn’t want Martin Luther King to make any speech. The cowards.

I also needed to be reminded that President Ronald Reagan gave a speech in 1980 that indicated he wanted to restore “states rights” and see the South run by whites.

To me, the worst injustice that needs recalling is the massive withdrawal of federal funds from central cities by Presidents Reagan, George W. Bush and, unfortunately, Bill Clinton. This caused the loss of billions in revenue sharing and direct grants for neighborhood development, job training and community policing. Instead, the money was spent on wars and tax cuts for the wealthy. We continue to pay the price in lives lost to neighborhood violence and lack of a well-educated work force for this century’s increased job demands.

It is helpful to have my eyes wide open and it is surely necessary for young adults, both black and white, to also have their eyes wide open.

Marguerite Battaglia

Buffalo