Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Were Do We Go From Here As A People?

I have been prompted to put my own views down in writing on my own blog so that others can inspect and comment on them.

I am a 30 something Black man. I have a wife and two children. I am educated formally but I believe that the bulk of my education has taken place after my graduation.

I have been blessed to be exposed to people, meetings, conversations and the way certain business is conducted that I know if we step back 40 years ago the color of my skin would have prevented me from attending.

As a Black man I am no less sentive in probling for any racially related slight that might come before me. I, however chose to do further investigation to see if this is just an ignorant person who treats everyone that way or if they just have a problem with me.

I told people on another message board that I did my own test the other day. I took my 2 year old son to get a hair cut in a "Fantastic Sam's" chain beauty salon which was full of White people just to sample were we stand with regards to race relations. With a hair cut being so up close and personal surely this would expose some hidden racism. 40 years ago "Black hair" would have contaminated the clippers that is meant to be used by White folks and thus I would be banned from even sitting in the chair. Instead I was greeted by a White woman who had a way with 2 year old children and she did a wonderful job in dealing with my son. No more doing this at home with my wife holding down my son and me struggling to get the clippers across his head.

I don't run from attempts to make samples about where we stand in 2004 as a country as a race as a community.

I have to make note of the views expressed by Black people in the post-election lull that we currently have now that the candidate popular with Black folks has lost.

I can't help but to notice how much the "Black interests" have been hijacked and stuffed into the framework of American political dogma. Sadly though much of what can be listed as important to most Black Americans was muted. I can't see why anyone is suprized however when the Neilson Ratings that list the shows that are popular among Whites and Blacks have few shows that are common on both lists.

I believe that the Black community is being shortchanged and is taking a very big strategic mistake to "integrate" our interests solely within in the context of American political architecture, namely the Democratic Party.

My question of "Where do we go from hear" as a community stems from the fact that this country is going through a whirlwind of change. Demographic changes, economic changes, globalization related changes and even cultural changes as each side vollies back and forth over the heads of the Black community which resides in the middle, not quite ever being given the chance to hit the ball over the net.

The question of "Where do we go from hear" acknowledges the fact that the simple partitioning of Black people among the typical fault lines - Democrat/Republican, Liberal/Conservative, Progressive/Negro-Con only feeds the warning that was repeated by the great Philosopher Noah The African that "When the grasshoppers fight amongst themselves the crows win".

I can recall during my college days that the Sigmas battled the Kappas. The Alphas battled the Queues and all the while the White fraternaties sat on the top of the hill on "Fraternity House Row" with permanent housing and the run of the "Greek Week" festivities while we all lived in separate rented apartments. I used to say that Black frats having beaten each other up on the lower rungs of the ladder were so bruised and damaged from lateral battles that by the time we climbed up to the rung where the well funded White frats we were too bloodied to even compete.

We partition ourselfs as freely as the wrong color allows a Blood to shoot a Crypt dead with the choice of the wrong color being the determining factor in the execution of this action.

Where do we go from here to me is defined by a set of principles that everyone can reasonably accept as worthy with the tollerance to accept that there are 100 differnet roads to get to this sae location that that respect for these other roads is afforded. The choice to abandon one road for the another road is determined by the honest feedback that is taken in by the navigators who note that the bridge is out on one road and that there is a shark ladened river to cross in this other road. Continue down this same road at your own peril, YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

It seems to me that America operates on a corporate model. Individuals form companies to apply their mental gifts and to pursue financial gain. Each person's position in life -financial, marital, level of health and academic is documented as an individual.

When we attempt to make group assessments this same record that is made up of individual achievement is sorted with regard to race, gender, location, etc in order to make abstrations such as "On average White people have more wealth than the average Black people". It is not these White individual's pursuit of "racial development" per se that allows him to achieve such standing it is his attempt to express what is in side of him that drives him. The labeling takes place after the fact. A combatant working for Coca Cola who wouldn't set foot in a Pepsi owned "Taco Bell Restaurant" is later able to get a job with Pepsi, swithching sides and still working to pursue their same goals. I question the very framework that we have been struggling for as it relates to the conditions of today and the future.

"Where Do We Go From Here" also makes note of the fact that it is true that the majority of us were not brought to this country on our own free will but that as a people who are express our free will today that we are making a decision, regardless of how conscious it is to remain in this country.

It seems to me that there are calls from our brothern around the world to help them. They are without systems that we take for granted in America that feed them, give them drinking water out of a tap that also won't make them sick and for basic human rights. It seems to me that the answer to many of the problems that plague us is for there to be a mass movement in which eveyrone one is told of and understands their place. Your destiny may not be to travel far in order to directly engage your brother where he lives. It may, however, be to become the best student that you can be here in America in order to work within the base of operations right here as you leverage your skills to build a bridge back to help your brothers.

"Were do we go from here" involves a step backward, inspection of the landscape and a reasoned course forward to execute a plan that has the maximum amount of people working for this plan. That problem child who is destined for prison can be changed once he sees where he is needed and is shown the clear path of growth to get there.

Who is going to develop the "Holding Company" underwhich all of these operations will take place?