On July 18, 2017 during the St. Petersburg Mayoral Debate, Mayoral Candidate, Paul Congemi, said something that proved what a white nationalist asshole he is and it also made international headlines.
If you have not seen the video you can find it here. Congemi told Mayoral Candidate, Jesse Nevel of the Uhuru Solidarity Movement that is campaigning on Unity Through Reparations for the African American Community, that his people and their movement should go back to Africa since they already received their reparations by Barack Obama becoming President. Here’s the thing… Jesse Nevel is white, no one in the movement was born in Africa, and many people in the movement are white.
This was the drunk racist Uncle saying what every other white candidate was thinking in that room including current Mayor Rick Kriseman. You can see Kriseman in the video next to Congemi smirking while Congemi goes on his racist rant.
What’s more concerning is Rick Kriseman and previous Mayor (that’s running again) Rick Baker’s policy’s reflect Congemi’s ideology. The south side of St. Petersburg which is a shrinking stronghold of the African American community and is getting pushed out via gentrification by Baker and Kriseman.
This is the backdrop for the St. Pete Rally For Justice & Reparations that was held on the evening of July 25, 2017. While this event was taking place another elitest exclusive event was taking place.
The other event was a televised debate held by Bay News 9 and the Tampa Times between Rick Kriseman and Rick Baker in which The Rick’s stood toe to toe and debated which Rick could whiten up and wealthy up the city better. So in other words it was a debate about which Rick could be the bigger prick.
What makes this debate so corrupt was Jesse Nevel and his counterpart Eritha “Akile” Cainon, the Uhuru Candidate running for the District 6 seat, were not allowed into the debate and that even includes anyone in the Uhuru Solidarity Movement. Originally, the debate tickets were being sold on a first-come, first served basis. But Nevel, Cainon, and all their supporters were the first in line for tickets, it was at this point it was decided tickets would only be sold to Kriseman and Baker supporters on an invitation only basis by the Tampa Bay Times and Bay News 9.
As I stood with the Uhuru Solidarity Movement tonight I felt a sense of pride. So many times we read what is wrong with the world and how the elite of our species are destroying it, how it is oppressing communities of color on the hour, every hour. This news can drag us down and drag us into a depression. It can make us lose our faith in humanity.
We must find movements that make us unite and talk to one another. This movement has restored my faith in human beings again, it’s something I so desperately needed. But this comes on the heels of desperation to save the black community in St. Petersburg.
During the rally Uhuru Chairman, Omali Yeshitela, spoke about this desperation. He confirmed that if Jesse Nevel and Eritha “Akile” Cainon do not win their elections the black community could vanish in St. Petersburg in two to three years.
I do not know what the future holds, but I know this movement is different, it’s special, and it’s winning. This people’s movement will never stop. This movement carries with it the moral imperative to support the homeless, the poor, the working class, and the black community. We all must take on this moral imperative.