Little Rock Board widens racial divide | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Little Rock Board widens racial divide

Posted By on Wed, Nov 2, 2011 at 6:55 AM

The Little Rock City Board last night, as expected, refused to reappoint Robert Webb to the board of the Little Rock Housing Authority, as the authority had requested. The city board also declined to discuss its reason, continuing a policy of secrecy on appointments that contributes to the appearance and fact of a city controlled by a handful of people unconcerned with the broader community.

Webb has talked about a 1st Amendment lawsuit, with John Walker as his lawyer. I don't know if he has a constitutional right to be appointed to the Housing Authority, but there's little doubt he can prove he's being punished for expressing opposition to the recent Little Rock sales tax increase.

This issue is about much more than Webb's seat on a commission that provides low-cost housing. It's about a divided city. But for four upper crust Heights/Hillcrest precincts, the sales tax would have failed. Black neighborhoods were unanimously opposed. West Little Rock, its infrastructure subsidized by everyone else, didn't give a rip.

The city is nearing a majority black population and the city can't for long sustain legally a board controlled by white at-large board members in continuation of a system designed historically to give the business community/chamber of commerce control over government.

The city narrowly won a sales tax that it needed in many respects. The (secretly run) campaign was paid for by the real estate lobby. In return, Mayor Mark Stodola has adopted its mantra that development pays for itself, against solid evidence that it does not.

The city was divided in its vote. The disenfranchised see only justification for their votes in disdainful treatment of an outspoken black citizen like Robert Webb. Little Rock will reap the whirlwind. It will regret being a sore winner of this election and it will regret perpetuating a system that pits rich against poor and places the interest of an unaccountable private organization, the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce, above all others. Payback will be a bitch.

Tags: , , ,

From the ArkTimes store


Comments (15)

Showing 1-15 of 15

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-15 of 15

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Woo. An open line

    The open line. Hogs, Trump, LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
    • Sep 23, 2017
  • Trump launches attack on 'SOBs' of the NFL

    Donald Trump led a rally for Alabama Senate candidate Luther Strange Friday night and the resulting news coverage (if not in our local newspaper) is giving great attention for his rant against the NFL, including but not limited to players who have made political statements by taking a knee during the National Anthem.
    • Sep 23, 2017
  • Driver killed in crash with Maumelle officer

    Maumelle police report the death early this morning of a motorist who crashed head-on with a Maumelle police officer. The officer and two passengers in the other vehicle were injured.
    • Sep 23, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

Most Shared

  • ASU to reap $3.69 million from estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn

    Arkansas State University announced today plans for spending an expected $3.69 million gift in the final distribution of the estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn, who died in 2013 and 2015 respectively.
  • Bad health care bill, again

    Wait! Postpone tax reform and everything else for a while longer because the Senate is going to try to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act one more time before September ends and while it can do it with the votes of only 50 senators.
  • Sex on campus

    Look, the Great Campus Rape Crisis was mainly hype all along. What Vice President Joe Biden described as an epidemic of sexual violence sweeping American college campuses in 2011 was vastly overstated.
  • The inadequate legacy of Brown

    LRSD continues to abdicate its responsibility to educate poor black students.

Most Recent Comments



© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation