It is not too often that I can afford the luxury of being late with my column. No one allows me that opportunity, but also I can’t afford to be a bad example to the rest of the team.Between our managing editor, who takes the extra time to turn my column into the closest thing to the English language; and the production boss, who keeps calling me every hour on the hour asking for my column, they both drive me insane.Did I say insane? Well, insane is not really the word to use for that when I am sitting in a room full of Democrats playing their game, as I was last Monday when I attended the Black Democrat Caucus meeting while they pretended to be interviewing candidates for the Assembly District 17 seat, thinking that they were going to influence the all-Democrat county commissioners panel choice to replace Assemblyman Steve Brooks.Yes, I know what many of you are thinking: Why does this guy keep adding the title to Steve Brooks’ name when he is not an assemblyman any longer?In my book, Steve Brooks is still an assemblyman until his term is up because the people of District 17 elected him – not once, but twice – to that position, and regardless of what political game some people play, I have not heard of anyone in District 17 asking for Brooks to be replaced.As I have said before, before the Review-Journal started the campaign against Brooks, I had never even heard of him and I don’t know much about him, but I believe in fairness, and “fair” did not seem to go hand-in-hand with Brooks’ case. In fact, I just recently learned that he used to be a liaison to the councilman in Ward 5; but that is not really much to his credit because I consider that councilman rather useless and hate to even mention his name. (Well, no; “hate” is a strong feeling, and I don’t have feelings for the councilman in Ward 5.)Back at the meeting, What are these people thinking? I asked myself, looking around and seeing a group of well known black individuals trying to be leaders of the community when they unfortunately are nothing more than “dreamers,” hoping and dreaming that the commissioners are going to take their opinions seriously – IF they even listen to their opinions at all.Then there are those taking photos like they are part of a media watchdog group who are not going to allow the gameplay that everyone is accustomed to in Las Vegas; but the photos appear nowhere. If they did, none of them apparently were of much interest or had any repercussions of any kind.On Tuesday, it was Part Two of the show when the Clark County Commission met for its regular bimonthly meeting.None of them ever worked outside the government box, always collecting a check from taxpayers and looking up and down at the rest of the community; but in all honesty and fairness, I believe they believe they are doing the citizens a favor by talking to them and graciously allowing their counterparts to address them.What I saw there was something very familiar among most any members of a group that are trying to influence some decision. They acted like they were smarter or better than the others and probably believed that those anglo senators and old-timers were going to listen to them and pay attention to the community needs that they presented.This kind of situation happens in the Latino, Filipino, Asian and many other communities as well, even among English-speaking groups, and even within such community groups as veterans, the homeless, women, lesbians and gays.With very few exceptions, most of those people who call themselves leaders of any of these community groups, are either only dreaming or pretending to be important within their own circle and among themselves.With the exception of a few heated words exchanged between Commissioner Lawrence Weekly and Chairman Steve Sisolak, for the first time that I can remember, the “show” turned out to be a great performance by all the actors, especially when everyone practiced their acting skills by acting as surprised as possible when the name of their choice was made public by the 92 percent “owner” of District 17.It is sad to look upon these people who, during election time, came to the citizens so humbly asking – and in some cases even begging – for the opportunity to serve the community; and then as soon as they took their elected seat, let their real attitudes and personalities come to the fore, letting their well-mannered behavior fall away.Politicians always have a “minority token” of some kind by their side. The names may change with the times, to protect the innocent, or the position or importance of the politician, but the meaning of the “token” is still the same; and yet look around at all those still wanting to be, and dreaming of being, one of them.The other eight percent “ownership” belongs to a really hard-working elected official who I believe knows the territory better than anyone else, yet that viable competition was not recognized at all by any other than my own cynical Cuban mentality, since I shared it the day before with two of the most recognized old-timers in the black community, whose names I will not reveal, pending a future performance that is coming our way.It was a complete delight meeting with those two well-known fellows after I drove Katherine Duncan, the president of the Ward 5 Chamber of Commerce, back to her office after she appeared on our Face The Tribune radio show with yours truly.* * * * *My name is Rolando Larraz, and as always, I approved this column.Rolando Larraz is Editor in Chief of the Las Vegas Tribune. His column appears weekly in this newspaper. To contact Rolando Larraz, email him at: Rlarraz@lasvegastribune.com or at (702) 699-8111.
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