NAACP critical of Laney-Walker closure

Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2010 2:20 PM
Last updated 3:54 PM
  • Follow Government

Closing a portion of Laney-Walker Boulevard inside the campus of Medical College of Georgia would be shutting off a major artery through the black community and would be yet another way it has been a “target” for unwanted closures, members of the Augusta NAACP said today.

The request by MCG President Ricardo Azziz to close Laney-Walker between R.A. Dent Boulevard and 15th Street comes on the heels of the closing of the Gilbert Manor housing area next to MCG, which was leveled and turned over to the school by the city. MCG is building a new School of Dentistry building on the site and is planning other facilities there.

“Why target the African American community again?” asked Dr. Charles J. Smith Sr., president of the Augusta NAACP. “If we continue to allow everything that is important to our community to be taken away with the stroke of a pen and by way of politics and manipulation, we will never preserve the integrity of our community and never build a partnership that will unify us. Never!”

The group expressed its strong opposition to the closure, which members said would result in great inconvenience and traffic problems for those in the community.

“Enough is enough and our community is fed up,” Smith said. “We’re tired of being pushed around and shoved around.”

Other solutions to help MCG faculty and students safely cross Laney-Walker should be considered, said NAACP member Shirlene Ball.

“They could put a bridge over the road,” she said. Many other universities have major roads going through campus or are located in lower income areas without incident, Ball said.

MCG’s request went to a committee of the Augusta Commission but was just received as information while the city studies the traffic patterns in that area. The matter will not likely come back before the commission any time soon, said Commissioner J.R. Hatney, who attended the NAACP’s press conference.

“A lot of due diligence still has to be done,” he said.

There will be a community forum on the subject at 6 p.m. tonight at A.R. Johnson Health Science and Engineering Magnet School, 1324 Laney-Walker Boulevard.

Comments (43) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
urright
465
Points
urright 12/14/10 - 02:49 pm
0
0
There should be no "white" or

There should be no "white" or "black" community--just a community. It would not be that big of a deal to reroute the traffic around that block to keep the students and faculty safe. Should there be a road running through the Butler High campus or through the middle of a middle school? Of course not! The safety of all of our students should come first. If closing down part of a road can tear apart a community, it wasn't very integrated to begin with.

JackBootedThug
0
Points
JackBootedThug 12/14/10 - 02:54 pm
0
0
I'm not necessarily in

I'm not necessarily in agreement with the reasoning of the NAACP, but let MCG build pedestrian bridges at their expense. This seems to be the safest way.

AutumnLeaves
10367
Points
AutumnLeaves 12/14/10 - 02:57 pm
0
0
On the one hand, cutting off

On the one hand, cutting off a tradtionally black community's main street to their own traditionally black community college seems to be really bad form. On the other hand, maybe it IS time for it. It seems to me that traditionally (insert any race here) colleges were supposed to be a thing of the past 40 or more years ago. Surprised they still linger on. What purpose do they serve except to foster more divisiveness?

onecatfish
5
Points
onecatfish 12/14/10 - 03:00 pm
0
0
Here we go again with the
Unpublished

Here we go again with the NAACP games. You do not hear anything from the NAAWP.

jb1968ga
38
Points
jb1968ga 12/14/10 - 03:03 pm
0
0
Why are we discussing this as

Why are we discussing this as a racial issue? Why do we still have communities of color? Why can't we be one community working toward a common good? This is a great idea for MCG. Smith is the worst kind of racist.

Pops
14680
Points
Pops 12/14/10 - 03:04 pm
0
0
There are more pressing

There are more pressing issues in that "community" that the NAACP should be addressing.

jb1968ga
38
Points
jb1968ga 12/14/10 - 03:09 pm
0
0
The NAACP's time has passed.

The NAACP's time has passed. We should simply have the NAAP.

countyman
21682
Points
countyman 12/14/10 - 03:37 pm
0
0
I think people living in the

I think people living in the inner city & Laney Walker community see the writing on the wall. People want to keep something that's rich in history and important too them. The city already demolished Gilbert Manor and built a $112 Dental school on the site. On the same site the $105 Medical Educational Commons building will be starting construction in 2011 or 2012. In the future Sunset aka Cherry Tree Crossing is the next residential area to be demolished. The city of Augusta knoced down Underwood Homes recently, and they're replacing it with a $10 million residential development.

The location of the Laney Walker neighborhood is too perfect, not to have any major gentrificaton efforts happen. Take a look at the all new homes, streets, sidewalks, townhomes, etc...

darkstar
6
Points
darkstar 12/14/10 - 03:36 pm
0
0
The NCAACP seems like an old,

The NCAACP seems like an old, toothless dog. They are too old and too tired to tackle any real issues. Why is there no talk / plans to address unemployment, increasing crime, education, community improvements?

countyman
21682
Points
countyman 12/14/10 - 03:41 pm
0
0
JB1968GA.... Actually Augusta

JB1968GA.... Actually Augusta and Richmond County are fairly well integrated in the majority of neighborhoods.

Charlotte, NC didn't have the demographics in order to recieve a kroc center....

“Joan Kroc requires that these centers be in an area of high visibility, a low-income area surrounded by an area of higher income and an immediate neighborhood that could be economically impacted by the creation of a Kroc Center,” Dugan says. “And the immediate neighborhood had to have a mixed racial demographic. This site was the only site that fit that criteria in Augusta. Some cities weren’t so lucky. Charlotte lost their Kroc Center because they could not find a site that met the requirements.”

Half of the Harrisburg neighborhood is considered low-income, but the side facing the Hill is majority middle class. The other high income areas surrouding Harrisburg are downtown(Central Business District), Waters Edge on the riverfront, and the parts of Olde Town not right up on East Boundary.

too_much_time
0
Points
too_much_time 12/14/10 - 04:05 pm
0
0
must be a slow month for the

must be a slow month for the NAACP.

swinter05
5
Points
swinter05 12/14/10 - 04:08 pm
0
0
How about...."If we continue

How about...."If we continue to allow our minds to automatically shift into a defense of our color mode, whenever a situation comes up, we will never be able to advance and we are continuing to be enslaved by our minds." I get SOOOO sick and tired of hearing the whoa is me, I'm black and someone wants to take something from me...or because I'm black....who cares!! Believe me, people have better stuff to do than to figure out how to destroy the black community and as if the community itself wasn't doing its own damage already...have you looked at crime lately? If MCG was located in another area and there was a senseless road that ran down the middle of it, and this could be done to make life easier for the students OF ALL RACES, I'm sure they would want to do the same thing. No one is wanting to take away "your neighborhood". Hell you still have the rest of Laney Walker which we'll be more than happy for you to claim. Get over it and get a life.

Dudeness
1546
Points
Dudeness 12/14/10 - 04:10 pm
0
0
I'm not for such costly ideas

I'm not for such costly ideas as I think this project would be, but there IS NO community on Laney Walker between 15th and RA Dent. MCG is the only thing on that portion of the road. This is the stupidest idea of a justification I have heard anyone give so far regarding this project. Talk about a non-issue...

lifelongresident
1323
Points
lifelongresident 12/14/10 - 04:15 pm
0
0
gee its so ironic that now
Unpublished

gee its so ironic that now here comes the NAACP, where was the NAACP regarding low test scores, graduation rates in the black community, where are they when another black male (chances are under the age of 35) gets assualted, shot and killed, where is the NAACP addressing the 50-70% birthrates of single unwed mothers perpetuating the cycle of poverty crime and the lack of job skills and/or education, where is the NAACP standing on the street corner, marching thru the drug neighborhoods, protesting in front of known drug houses identifying them and demanding the police do something?? with all the MAJOR problems affecting the black community they choose this issue to protest...it's time for the NAACP to go, they really don't care about the issues that are systematically destroying the black community only the ones that offer the path of least resistance and an opportunity to play the tired, worn out, tattered and ineffective "race card" once again, and they wonder why people both black and white throw their hands up and roll their eyes when they protest about anything

MistaChuckD
0
Points
MistaChuckD 12/14/10 - 04:17 pm
0
0
@ urright Butler High School

@ urright

Butler High School and the Medical College of Georgia are two totally different animals.

Don't penalize the members of this community because the future doctors, dentists and nurses are not smart enough to stay on the sidewalk until traffic is clear enough for them to cross the street.

@ Countyman

The appraisal of all the property on Wrightsboro Rd between R A Dent Blvd and James Brown Blvd began about a year or two ago. I believe that will be the next gentrification movement.

@ those of you angry with the NAACP

Just because you don't see the need for this organization doesn't mean there isn't a need.

jb1968ga
38
Points
jb1968ga 12/14/10 - 04:37 pm
0
0
My color doesn't matter, but

My color doesn't matter, but I live in National Hills and my next door neighbor and the neighbors next to him and one across the street are all of a different color. And they are the best neighbors I could ever want. I have fought for equal rights for more than 40 years and am tired of all this racial crap from the black side. One wise local black businessman told me once there is only one color that matters. Green!

mable8
2
Points
mable8 12/14/10 - 04:27 pm
0
0
NAACP is critical of anything

NAACP is critical of anything a community does to better itself for all citizens, regardless of color. If whatever is to occur is not the SOLE benefit for blacks, then NAACP takes issue and makes it a racist opportunity. NAACP, my message to you and like organizations: You should be forever BANNED from the US because it is rabbling babble like yours that perpetuates racism. Since you believe in socialistic fascism, go reside in a country that will put up with your claptrap.

rmwhitley
5547
Points
rmwhitley 12/14/10 - 04:34 pm
0
0
Me thinks me smells some
Unpublished

Me thinks me smells some blackmail. Racism is a two-way street.

edubb
10
Points
edubb 12/14/10 - 05:33 pm
0
0
I can agree with Life Long on

I can agree with Life Long on some points. Also take into account the history of this country and what caused these ills that plaque the black community. Also please don't speak as if Racism is over because it is here and a factor. Just read some of the comments from you fellow posters on this board. Its funny to me how some people forget how every Black Leader that stood up for my people and called us to a higher way of living and treating each other was "KILLED" yet people act as if these ills came out of no where.

Hoser
0
Points
Hoser 12/14/10 - 06:19 pm
0
0
@ urright......I agree with

@ urright......I agree with you 100%

urright
465
Points
urright 12/14/10 - 06:21 pm
0
0
If that part of the road was

If that part of the road was the only way to get from one "black" part of the area to another "black" part, I would understand. Good gracious--it's going around one block! The people who live on Owens Road, North Belair Road, and William Few didn't get all bunged when their roads were moved for the betterment of the community.

Southern_Patriot
0
Points
Southern_Patriot 12/14/10 - 06:31 pm
0
0
Jesse "Shakedown" Jackson and

Jesse "Shakedown" Jackson and Al"Babblin Idiot" Sharpton will be here before long!

momma_der_go_dat_man
0
Points
momma_der_go_dat_man 12/14/10 - 06:40 pm
0
0
...wow,...when will people

...wow,...when will people get over the past,...too much "bitterness",too much "blame",...not all black people support these so-called "black leaders",---NAACP is a bunch of OLD bitter black people not wanting to get over the past,...

Indigo
4
Points
Indigo 12/14/10 - 06:51 pm
0
0
The idea is to create a plaza

The idea is to create a plaza for the students. There is a tremendous amount of foot traffic in this area and this would give a sense of space for the students. Why the NAACP is considered an expert here is beyond me. This is a positive for everyone and would create a safe space for pedestrians.

comet2u
28
Points
comet2u 12/14/10 - 06:51 pm
0
0
Sorta surprising no mention

Sorta surprising no mention of "beautification" and "safety" in regards to Harper Street which also "divides" the campus. Try crossing to the Children's Hospital without getting run over.

Sweet son
11762
Points
Sweet son 12/14/10 - 07:06 pm
0
0
Lifelong, I tried to agree

Lifelong, I tried to agree with you but one of the others didn't like my comment so I was reported and the AC Police pulled it.

SoonerorLater
0
Points
SoonerorLater 12/14/10 - 07:32 pm
0
0
Great post by Lifelong at

Great post by Lifelong at 4:15. The NAACP should get involved in the issues that truly have a detrimental affect on those that the organization claims to serve. Lifelong addressed the issues that negatively affect the black community and the NAACP could make great strides in these areas.

Augusta resident
1368
Points
Augusta resident 12/14/10 - 08:04 pm
0
0
Why don't they make student

Why don't they make student cross guards? Give them little stop signs, a whistle and reflective vest.

Spartans932
0
Points
Spartans932 12/14/10 - 08:29 pm
0
0
Do you really believe that

Do you really believe that the NAACP is no longer relevant? Wake up. Don't be lulled into a false sense of security because the sun has set on the backwoods redneck KKK's reign of terror and intimidation. The Klan is not following the path of the dinosaurs into extinction. The Klan has evolved in order to survive. This racist stain which fancies itself as The Invisible Empire has infiltrated the upper levels of our society and serve as policemen, doctors, lawyers, judges, politicians..............

Spartans932
0
Points
Spartans932 12/14/10 - 08:27 pm
0
0
......the racists and hate

......the racists and hate mongers will forever walk among us. They will continue to become more skilled and adept at plying their vile trade.

Back to Top
loading...
Top headlines

Stormwater fee to fund Columbia County repairs

Columbia County is set to invest an additional $600,000 in its aging stormwater system next year, with the hope that more money and manpower will result in half as many repair orders and fewer ...
Search Augusta jobs