By: Observer Staff
(San Antonio) – The cover represents a gag or a hit that has been issued by the establishment towards the SA Observer. We have run a series of stories about the 1,000 jobs denied to African Americans in City of San Antonio departments and 500 jobs in Bexar County.
The first article was provided with the weight of testimony from a former San Antonio Housing Authority HR Director, a person who also served as an interim City Manager about the technicalities of violating the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title VII. We proved that the City Manager and the Mayor have an equity problem –with its Black citizens.
The backdrop of the City that brags of having the largest MLK March in the nation is shallow with practicing the principles of what Dr. King stood for.
On April 4, 2018, San Antonio community members gathered to hear Professor Mario Salas, Cary Clack, Christopher Herring and Stephanie Collier about the call to action at the St Paul United Methodist Church. Maybe ONE White person attended the church service commemorating the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. Each speaker expressed the urgency of now to fix the problems associated to the underemployment of African Americans in the City and the County. But again, who heard the messages?
Herring reported to the audience, “that I felt compelled and I attended the City’s Affirmative Action meeting. The committee chair, Chris Hanel asked if any citizen wanted to see anything added to their agenda. I stood up and asked for the issue of the City of San Antonio being perceived as violating the intent of Title VII of the Civil Right Bill of 1964 as something that should be added to the next month’s agenda. I asked them as citizens to look into the hiring, retention, and promotions of African Americans at a very minimum. Our Mayor has expressed to me he is willing to work hard.” At the end of the Affirmative Action meeting, Herring stated, “I believe the citizens who are on the committee, will have the right focus and the will power to do what is right. Each member seemed open to explore what are the barriers in place for Black people and to develop recommendations to the HR department as they are able to do.” Mr. Oliver Hill, NAACP San Antonio Branch President said, “The NAACP will continue to be at the city meetings to ensure our voice guides this important conversation for our people.” “Qualified Black people should not have to drive 60 miles north to have twice the opportunity to work (referring to the City of Austin). As the nation’s seventh largest city we should set the example and fulfillment of Rev Dr. King’s message” said host, Reverend James Amerson, pastor of the St Paul United Methodist Church.
The graphic of the City Mayor bench pressing weight, came under the attack of the Express News this week with a claim we 'stole' their picture of the Mayor. After consulting our attorney, we replied. In fact, you can read our response so you can see the truth and the wars that take place because we report the truth.
Email Received From Express-News:
Knoop, Michael <MKnoop@express-news.net>
Apr 5 (5 days ago)
It has been brought to our attention that an Express-News photo of Mayor Nirenberg has been used without permission by the San Antonio Observer.
All staff articles, graphics and photos that appear in the San Antonio Express-News, on MySanAntonio.com or ExpressNews.com and in our Express-News Web archive are copyrighted by the San Antonio Express-News. They may not be reproduced, republished, retransmitted or redistributed without prior written permission.
Please remove the photo and notify us when you have done so.
Director of News Research & Archives
From: Baugh, Josh
Sent: Wednesday, April 04, 2018 9:05 AM
To: Rios, Luis <JRios@express-news.net>; Fortier, Michel <MFortier@express-news.net>; Knoop, Michael <MKnoop@express-news.net>; Leary, Michael <MLeary@express-news.net>; Stockwell, Jamie <JStockwell@express-news.net>; Lopez, Nora <NLopez@express-news.net>; Santos, Sandra <SSantos@express-news.net>
Subject: SA Observer has stolen another EN photo
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SA Observer's Publisher's email in response to Express-News:
Stephanie Zarriello <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Apr 6 (4 days ago)
I have read your email, shared it with our legal team, and I would like for you to know I am very offended by the "SA Observer has stolen another EN photo" accusation.
If you or your staff has proof of theft, outside of their slanderous information, please be willing to document and show the theft.
I believe this is a hit, motivated from your past EN News Editor - Bruce Davidson, who now serves as Mayor Ron Nirenberg's Communication Director.
We have not received a response to address how the Mayor is going to manage the discovery of San Antonio's 7% employment of African Americans. The low rates are at the benefit of over hiring Whites and Hispanics. If Mr. Davidson does his job and provides an answer to the City of San Antonio's African American community directly from Mayor Ron Nirenberg, they can clear up their understanding about the city's violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VII. T
My question is what is taking your newspaper so long from writing about this travesty? Maybe you are blind, because your paper has failed to have Black writers and staff - and that is why African-Americans don't buy your expensive paper!
I'm offended you would attack the messenger of who broke the story of the year!
Everyday, our local papers have shared copy and work together to report the news. When the SA Current used our cover of then, Councilman Alan Warrick, we didn't accuse them of stealing another photo. See SA Observer photo on the SA Current: https://www.sacurrent.com/the-daily/archives/2017/05/19/alan-warricks-runoff-message-i-will-do-better The SA Current addressed the concerns of the people who wanted to know more about Council Warrick's re-election campaign.
Your newspaper chooses to want to bury my story "1,500 Jobs" by tearing at the images of Mayor Nirenberg used in the SA Observer.
Please advise your staff, particularly Josh Baugh - with his salacious "stolen another" title and all those who he copied - he needs to check his facts before he reports. This type of language and lack of fact finding is why I don't care for your news. Your writers are nothing more than puppets for those in power. Very seldom if ever do you write about the Black family without putting them down or cover anything positive about African-Americans except for sports So, please hold your slander until you do your homework. Here are the writers that Josh shared his opinion of theft:
Rios, Luis <JRios@express-news.net>; Fortier, Michel <MFortier@express-news.net>; Knoop, Michael <MKnoop@express-news.net>; Leary, Michael <MLeary@express-news.net>; Stockwell, Jamie <JStockwell@express-news.net>; Lopez, Nora <NLopez@express-news.net>; Santos, Sandra <SSantos@express-news.net>
Let me be very clear. The SA Observer did not pull any any picture for use from your website. The image you are referencing is on many websites and has been disseminated under their copyrights. None of the websites below indicate San Antonio Express-News as the holder of the license.
Why don't you email me with the license for the photo and the licenses that grant permission to the other websites that hold your license for the image? Also if you did authorize them, shouldn't they hold a license to publish or share the image? In other words, this image, we used was downloaded from public domain. If the image is available for download, as on celberitypix.us, should they be required to list the requirements of your copyright? Is it reasonable to say that every image online for anyone in San Antonio is owned by EN?
Before we move anywhere on this issue, I also demand an apology for your careless research of this issue. The use of the word "stolen" must be factual - and with the websites below, your accusation proves to be false.
A sample of the websites with the image in question include:
Editor, Publishing Company
San Antonio, Texas
"The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about" - Oscar Wilde
YOU WILL NOT SILENCE US
Maybe we don’t have the degrees in journalism but the majority of the San Antonio newspapers also do not have Blacks writing at any level. Let me be clear, the picture of the Mayor was not obtained from any Express News website. The picture is being used across the internet and what is more than likely the motivation is the Mayor’s communication chief Bruce Davidson, trying to reach back to his former role at the Express News to put pressure on the Observer. They want us to stop asking the most important questions about this one issue of jobs and employment. The picture of the Mayor was a cover photo weeks ago yet when placed next to MLK on "THE FIGHT CONTINUES" cover honoring MLK's legacy of 50 years last week- it now became a problem for Express News. Well we (including the late Dr. King will continue to march for jobs)! You will not silence us with your white agenda.
To date, while we have Councilman Shaw’s response, none of the other City Council members have asked a question or said anything about the facts presented. To test the City of San Antonio, Bexar County, VIA, Port San Antonio, Alamo Colleges District, SAWS, CPS Energy and all the public agencies on the FCC’s Report Card, we have asked members of the community to apply for jobs. We will report back to the types of jobs did they apply and the type of credentials the individuals had to deserve the interview, and ultimately job selection.
One of the worst travesties for Black people, continue to be that local Blacks are shut out. We also are asking questions with the Blacks who have retired from military service to see how their job search has ended up. Many of African Americans who serve have more education than their counterparts BUT rarely get an opportunity with anything other than federal employment opportunities. Joint Base San Antonio African Americans are not even qualifying even with multiple degrees and experiences in their trade. The City of San Antonio and Bexar County insult this demographic every day.
SO IN THE END...
So in the end, we are tired of being told to stop and shut up for advocating for Black people. I’m sure, our Black family and friends are also tired of being ignored, marginalized and discounted.
Look at this website picture of the Visit San Antonio team. Why isn’t there any Blacks on this team? Sad, but true – and let’s also state that when we say hire more Blacks, we mean hire Black men as a priority. The tactics that white people use is to hire Black women over Black men so as to create friction and imbalance within the Black family. Our City needs to figure out this equity lens fast without threatening and bullying us to stop telling the truth! Bexar County too!
Bryan Stevenson, founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama said, “At the end of the Civil War Black people are supposed to get the right to vote. And the only way people who were white could maintain their political control was to intimidate Black people. And lynching was especially effective because it would allow the whole community to know that we did this to this person. It was intended to send a message that if you try to vote, if you try to advocate for your rights, if you insist on fair wages, if you do anything that complicates white supremacy and white dominance and political power, we will kill you.”
This is where we are in 2018. Blacks still not included, overlooked, and marginalized. We will not #STFU.