The first goes back to a quote from Councilman John Sharp during the rally. The article gives tells us that of the 5 main members of the "Save Bannister Mall" group, only 1 of them lives in the area around the mall. So 4 of them get to go home to a different part of town and not see the eyesore of a mall and all that comes with it at night. While the majority of those in the area, that do have to live with it, are for this redevelopment, for a second chance at making the area thrive again.
Tolbert continues to bait the race issue on this topic saying basically that the black leaders of the area are folding to the pressure of the white developer. Tolbert says "A better road to prosperity is through a nice black mall, over a white soccer stadium." Yet as is pointed out by Sharp in the article, and seen during the rally, it's not just whites in the area that are for it. It's all races, the blight of the area is driving both white and black people away from the area, which can be seen by the housing costs which have been falling steadily for years, even before the recent housing market collapse. Many of the black people in the area don't seem to think of this as a "gold mine" for the black community.
We also get to see what Tolbert and his friends have planned for the mall. The group wants to get a $25 million TIF for the mall. With that TIF they plan to do four major things with the area.
• Repave the parking lot.Can't you just see people flocking to a mall that has a security fence, armed security guards, and metal detectors in it? Would this be a mall or a prison? How is creating almost a police state around the mall suppose to make the area a vibrant area to go to again? All of that stuff is just like finger in a damn. It may work for a short while, but pretty soon it's going to break down. The best thing is to just start over with this area.
• Update the plumbing.
• Add aesthetic imp-rovements inside the mall including “nice skylights.”
• And, add security features including a security fence surrounding the property, armed security guards and metal detectors.
In regards to the metal detectors, I refer you to the immortal words of Chris Rock, in his song No Sex (in the Champaign Room), "Don't go to parties with metal detectors. Sure it fells safe inside,but what about all those niggas waiting outside with guns. They know you ain't got one. "