Tuesday, April 22, 2008

One More Take on Ernie Chambers

Lots of words have been written about State Senator Ernie Chambers as he concludes the floor-debate portion of his longest-ever career in the Nebraska Legislature. In the book I wrote after serving one year in the Legislature, I had a chapter on Chambers. If I had written it after three more years serving with him, it would have been more negative.

Chambers' spends too much time and effort reminding blacks of all the reasons they have to be angry. A dose of anger for self-respect and historical identity is appropriate, even healthy, but to wallow in it and define yourself by it is self-destructive.

Chambers represents a community hurting as badly as any in the nation, but his main focus is to fuel that self-destructive anger -- and lash out at people (including blacks) and institutions trying to help North Omaha connect with the wider community and move forward.

Click hear to read the chapter on Chambers from the book I wrote in 2001.

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