Shame on Miami-Dade County officials! The closing of Opa-Locka Flightline is another example of the lack of support of black-owned businesses by elected officials.
The black community keeps electing officials to represent the black community, and they continue to be unsupportive by not embracing the growth and development of black businesses. Yet black officials and the entire community share the blame for this sad state of affairs.
When you begin to peel the onion, the problem goes much deeper than is readily apparent. Opa-Locka Flightline is in the district represented by County Commissioner Barbara Jordan, and she has utterly failed in support of this successful black business.
Next, the other three black county commissioners have been totally silent, failing to speak out in support of the only business of its kind in the nation that was owned and operated by blacks.
Whom do they represent, and to whom are they accountable? What about the loss of jobs?
The other county commissioners and the mayor are all guilty of failing to speak out in support of Opa-Locka Flightline, and failing to stop this blatant destruction of a viable business.
The entire community should be speaking out in opposition to actions such as these by elected officials and the county administration.
The community and its many economic, social and business organizations should be speaking out and holding officials accountable. More importantly, the black community should and must speak on this type of injustice.
Failure to do so is tantamount to giving a license to eliminate black-owned businesses in Miami-Dade County.
For those who remember, the main reason for having district elections is to ensure that Miami-Dade’s black community has representation!
If one looks into the history of Miami Dade County, black-owned businesses have always received the lowest number of opportunities, and the least amount of support and access to capital for growth and development. The black community continues to have the smallest number of businesses, which generate far less income compared to the larger business community. This condition leads to high unemployment, improvised communities, crime and poor education.
I urge the county commission to intervene and stop this unjust forced closure of Opa-Locka Flightline before we have another embarrassing blemish on this community. The black community should hold the black commissioners accountable for their lack of leadership and courage in support of Opa-Locka Flightline and other black-owned businesses.
There is far too much ribbon-cutting on the part of the black commissioners, and not enough attention to building a strong, sustainable black community.
Editor’s Note: Opa-Locka Flightline, the nation’s only black-owned, private charter-jet service company, officially closed its doors on March 31 following a prolonged dispute over its lease with Miami-Dade County at Opa-Locka Executive Airport.
Sherwood DuBose is the former president of the Metro Miami Action Plan Trust.