Op-Ed

Taxation Without Representation

By Roy Douglas Malonson, Publisher

For years, I have been telling folks that We MUST let our voices be heard. I have adamantly expressed the importance of being involved in the decisions that affect us, our communities and most importantly our future, which is our children.

Anyone who is familiar with me knows that I often place emphasis on “our money” and “our vote.” Because they are two of the most powerful tools we have, we should be careful who we give them to.

I am glad on one hand, to know that there are members from our community who have and are willing to take a stand and allow their voices to be heard by any means necessary. However, I am equally dissatisfied with what recently transpired at the Houston Independent School District board meeting.

Just to recap, there was a board meeting held within HISD to discuss the fate of ten schools which have been deemed as “improvement required.” Tensions rose as parents and attendees became dismayed about a vote that would allow the district to surrender those schools to Energized for Excellence Academy.

The academy is a charter school operator and would run those ten improvement required schools for two years. The proposal did not sit well with many, which showed as they voiced their concerns.

As things escalated, President Rhonda Skillern-Jones closed the meeting to the public due to multiple outbursts from the audience. But when some of the attendees refused to leave, they were forcibly removed. In the midst of an already chaotic scene, two parents were arrested. Of what transpired, this is what made my blood boil.

I took a moment to put myself in the shoes of those parents who were arrested. How in the hell can you arrest me for criminal trespassing and I’m a taxpayer with partial ownership of the property?

As a matter of fact, all of y’all are on my payroll, including the ones who arrested me!

The way I see it, the staff, administrators, trustees and public servants are supposed to work for me because I help pay their bills.

We MUST Understand, regardless of where you go in this city, if you pay taxes then you are part owner of the public facilities. So, once again how in the hell can you arrest somebody in they own shit for showing discontent behind a proposal?

This entire ordeal needs to be investigated, because it just wasn’t right. The way this scene unfolded suggests that we are living in a city which adheres to taxation without representation when it comes to our school system.

So now I’m wondering, “Should we form a Negro or African-American Tea Party of some sort?” Since everybody else got one, maybe we should consider it, because we are definitely not being represented well.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand what the president was doing by trying to deescalate the situation. But we have to consider it is hard enough to get parents to come out and get involved in these meetings. Therefore, when they and community members show up, they deserve to have their voices heard; or don’t they?

One of the parents arrested, Kandice Webber, went on record pleading her case. She said, “We refuse to allow partnerships or charters in our Black and Brown neighborhoods.”

I think she has a good point! HISD and the District Attorney’s Office have confirmed that the charges against the parents have been dropped. But in my opinion, there should have never been any charges to drop to begin with.

See the article here:

Taxation Without Representation