Council seeks ‘Black Lives Matter’ message on Indiana Avenue, commission on Black males


The Indianapolis City-County Council on Monday night passed a resolution calling on city government to paint a “Black Lives Matter” message on Indiana Avenue.

The council also introduced an ordinance that would establish a commission to study and review the social status of Black males in Marion County.

Both measures come about a month after the council declared racism a public health crisis in the wake of peaceful protests and violent riots following the police-custody death of George Floyd.

The resolution calls on city government, through the Department of Public Works, to paint a message condemning racism and inequality on Indiana Avenue “at an appropriate location” between West and Paca streets.

Indiana Avenue, one of seven designated cultural districts in Indianapolis, was historically a Black business, entertainment and population center.

“Government has an obligation to express its condemnation of racism and inequality, in official government speech, with a visible message—a message that will be clearly visible outside the walls of this Council Chamber,” the resolution reads.

The resolution does not detail who would paint the message, how much it would cost or how it would be paid for.

Meanwhile, Proposal 199, which calls for the creation of the Indianapolis Commission on African American Males, has been referred to the council’s Rules and Public Policy Committee.

The proposal has support from both parties, with Democrats and Republicans signing on to sponsor it. Mayor Joe Hogsett has also voiced support for the creation of such a commission.

The commission would consist of 11 members: two members of the council (one from each party); one member representing Health & Hospital Corp. of Marion County; one member of the local judiciary; two business people, including one who is Black or brown; the IMPD police chief or his designee; a youth member from a high school in Indianapolis; the mayor or his designee; a researcher affiliated with a college or university in Indianapolis and an educator from a K-12 school in Marion County.

The commission would be charged with conducting a systemic local study of the socioeconomic conditions of Black males and the reasons for the existence of those conditions, and with proposing measures to alleviate and correct the underlying causes of those conditions.

The commission would work with the State Commission on the Social Status of Black Males, which was established in 1993 to develop a strategic course of action to address negative circumstances that have contributed to the plight of Black males in Indiana, to achieve common objectives.

Annually, it would be required to submit a report to the council on its activity, findings, conclusions and recommendations.

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15 thoughts on “Council seeks ‘Black Lives Matter’ message on Indiana Avenue, commission on Black males

  1. How about dealing with the fact about 75% of black children come from fatherless homes? Think that might have something to do with the issue?

    1. There are more white fatherless homes than black fatherless homes in America. So what? Racism has more to do with this issue than marriage or cohabitation. Focus John M., focus.

    2. To John M (the replier): there’s a much higher percentage of black children without a father. Breakdown of the nuclear family is a big deal!

    3. A lot of good talk, some of it is true, but nobody really knows what to do. Time is increasingly of the essence. We, the IBJ subscribers, are NOT going to be able to educate our leaders, cuz they don’t listen. Regardless of color, thought or prayer, we are all descendants of the dollar denomination. If you got ’em, people listen and love you, if you don’t, they won’t. IOW: racial equality = financial equality and on our platform, often equals superiority. Cut to the chase. Talk is cheap. Invest in listening if you want to be healthy, wealthy and wise to help others.

      Financial/Racial equality is not something we can give to a person or a group. What we can do is endow people with the essential technology©, university education, and a wholly owned franchise in the world’s largest business. ( Anyone can work-from-wherever-they-are online to obtain any amount of wealth for themselves starting on their first day. All under law.

      In no way whatsoever is this any sort of a self-promotion and should NOT be censored by IBJ. It’s all 100% free of cost. This is an endowment to all Hoosiers from retired Hoosiers, which has already been made to Ball State University Foundation, UMASS Boston (Dr Francis), Indy Black Chamber of Commerce and just offered to Indy/Marion Chamber of Commerce for distribution. [If this is censored in anyway, we will censor them and block each person involved from obtaining an enterprise for themselves and from using the services provided by the registered, licensed platform participants.]

    1. Awfully ironic that Indy would be making this decision now, given the not-very-highly-publicized “All Lives Matter” murder of Jessica Doherty just a few blocks away. Imagine if Ms. Doherty had enjoyed some of that white privilege we hear so much about. Her death for daring to utter a neutral statement of unity might have achieved national attention. Alas, Ms. Doherty is not so lucky.

  2. Don’t capitalize BLM and it works. Black Lives Matter is not the same as black lives matter. Otherwise, the city is supporting a Marxist organization with tax dollars. But, it is run by Democrats. I’m still looking for all this racism, I only see it in the shattered ruins of downtown and it ain’t white against black. It’s Democrats against Democracy.

    1. More sophistry from John M (lower case). Racism has nothing to do with fatherless homes. Multi-generational leftist defeatism creates a resentful sub-culture without hope, and financially incentivizing people to have children in broken household environments creates poverty.

  3. Everyone realizes the problems stem from the staggering percentage of black kids raised by single moms with largely absentee dads. Young boys need solid male role models that play an active role in their lives and obviously this support is sorely lacking in the black community – otherwise we wouldn’t be talking about a commission to study a group that makes up just over 1/8th of the county’s population but is disproportionately represented in crime, academic under achievement, and under/unemployment. There is a massive cultural failure at work that is plain as day but is not supposed to be discussed in the open. The good news is that the black community can fix it themselves without the help of whites with a savior complex. The bad news is that it will take decades for the results to become evident and in the meantime our ‘leaders’ will insist more self-abasement of whites and public ‘investment’ is needed.

  4. Exactly right, 21 R. But who will bell that cat? No Democrats, that’s for sure. They want to keep blacks on the government plantation to secure [buy] their votes through government dependency, as deadly and dead-end a combination as can be imagined. Witness the core of virtually every big American city strangled by decades of Democrat control, now including Indianapolis under AWOL Hogsett.

    All you bleeding-heart liberals who want to keep your head in the sand should note what Katie Kiefer uncovered about Black Lives Matter (capitalized) herein…and the solid truth of her thesis:

  5. The Council can save itself the time and read the IBJ comments on the subject, as the answers are right here. What I am wondering is how these people can be so ignorant. Don’t they read and watch the news? It’s concerning that they need to conduct a study to discern the issues, which have presented for decades.

    BLM is a socialist group and an arm of the Democrat party. Neither BLM nor Trump 2020 belong painted on any street. It’s not very creative, as it’s already been done. Furthermore, how are these people so oblivious to the fact that in addition to Asian, Native American, Hispanic, Black, and white lives, all lives matter. Sorry for anyone I left out and for the lower case w, as hyper sensitivity flourishes in today’s climate of offense.

    BLM promotes villages as opposed to nuclear families. This is what the Council is promoting.

  6. When will the Indianapolis City-County Council address the collapse of Downtown Indy? Hotels are empty. All Business events have been cancelled. Restaurants are going broke. Does the City Council have time to address these issues?

  7. This is a marketing question without political connotation. Why would you want to promote what you consider an honorable and important cause by painting its brand on a dirty city street and driving over it all day long? Maybe I am misunderstanding what is proposed.