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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Glover to "China"?

With the 35th anniversary of cold warrior Richard Nixon’s history-making trip to mainland China, “Nixon to China” references will become even more prevalent as the media and pundits apply to current politics other examples of bold strokes from unexpected places.

Look, here’s one now.

Consider the Nixon parallel for Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover. The new mayor continues to get points from black audiences for his professed aggressive stance on recurring issues – crime, property standards, jobs -- in predominantly black neighborhoods. He is helped by the fact that he is both a man of color and a long-time public official who has advanced the causes of black Shreveporters.

Case in point was Tuesday’s District F City Council forum where loitering, disrespectful or drug-dealing young people make many residents, particularly the elderly, feel threatened and with many more fretting about wasted youth and lives.

Alluding to the tough conduct and dress codes for the Louisiana Boardwalk in Bossier City, Glover said he has on occasion asked young people how they can act considerately and respectfully “across the river’’ and “not in your own home…I don’t understand that and we’re going to fix it.’’

Fast traffic on Mooretown streets and vacant houses that become havens for drug dealers also came up. Making a reference to his young days playing football, Glover said the police “are not going to play dirty on my watch’’ but they were going to “play aggressively.’’

He added, “We’ve got to stop being afraid of going out and engage the problem.’’One obvious question is whether Glover would try and double the “street’’ credibility of his administration’s law enforcement stance by appointing a black police chief. It’s one of the key appointments still undecided.

-- By Craig Durrett, editorial page editor


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