Letter To the Editor:  In response to An open letter to Miami’s African-American community by Gilbert Raiford on page 4A, Dec. 30: Self-serving and corrupt black leaders are not exclusive to the African-American community of Miami; they are also found in Third World countries such as those in Africa and the Caribbean. Many of those countries are predominantly black, yet some leaders there exploit the lower-class blacks and pay them poverty wages.

I admit that some of our black leaders need to do a better job for our people but I am not sure that Jean Monestime is our messiah. As a councilman in the city of North Miami, what did he accomplish for its residents?
The area has a very diverse population and has many needs. I have not heard any information on his accomplishments so I am not as convinced as Dr. Raiford seems to be. Time will tell but past behavior usually predicts the future.

Dr. Raiford seems to be giving praise to African Americans but many African Americans I spoke to told me they did not vote for Monestime and many are not as excited as Dr. Raiford is. There have been allegations of voter irregularities at precinct 135 so his excitement may be falling on deaf ears.

Maybe he is the new PR man for Monestime and his job is to convince us to be happy and give our support. That may be even harder to do than sneering at our black leaders and accusing them of parading around as “peacocks” at Dr. King’s annual parade.

Many of our leaders work hard behind the scenes and help our elderly and children to thrive. Our clergy –and churches– are the backbone of our community and, with few exceptions, have the black community’s respect as men and women of God.

Though we welcome Dr. Raiford’s praise in “love,” as he says, we are still going to take a wait-and-see attitude. And we as African Americans will always support those who support us.

African-American Foundation of Greater Miami