Kneegrows, Bush and Black People
I am a student of left-wing political action. I enjoy watching and listening to their antics in live speeches, on radio and on television. So many of them are so easily pacified. They believe that someone who strokes their sentiments, “Speaking Truth To Power” (or at least their version of the truth) is actually doing something monumental.
I listened in on the funeral of Coretta Scott King today. There was a vast array of varied speakers presented to share with us their parting thoughts on this great woman who stood beside a great American leader. I enjoyed the people who used their air time productively. These are the people who referenced the spirit of God in their words. The people who talked about how we should all attempt to live up to our full potential. The people who spoke of Mrs. King, the person, not the public figure. Underscoring all of this was her DIGNITY and her COMPOSURE in all aspects of her life.
I have no doubt that based on the economic policies that I have heard from Mrs. King and her son Martin III that I would be in strong disagreement with their socialist leanings. She like many others with “big hearts” believed that if the government was the force that provided for everyone, including the poorest among us then all would be well. I would challenge Mrs. King, however to find a country that is as large and as diverse as this county that provides for the least among us better than these United States. Many of the countries that do take on a socialist mantra often walk upon individual human rights and property rights in their quest to provide for the masses. I have yet to see one of these systems operate as is they do on paper. I respect a person who aspires for such assistance for the poor. I choose not to be governed by them because I know that I will be the target of their redistribution efforts. Their main weakness is that they know not what to TELL THE POOR who are poor but who also are not inclined to do anything to help themselves.
A few years back President Bush visited the King Center on Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend to lay a wreath at the tomb of the great civil rights leader. With hundreds of angry Black folks protesting the presence of President Bush on these hallowed grounds, having been provoked to show up by the local Black media outlets Mrs. King stood by Bush's side as he offered tribute to her husband who rested, encased inside of his tomb, the eternal flame still burning.
We learned today from Reverend Lowery and others today that Mrs. King was in strong disagreement with many of Bush's policies, particularly the war. During the time of her funeral, with Mrs. King being silent for eternity in this world, Lowery and others decided to lend their voice to the body that lay in an open casket, spouting words in public to President Bush that THIS WOMAN DID NOT DO while she was in the flesh on this Earth, fully capable to do so.
It seems to me that Reverend Lowery and others who borrowed Mrs. King's name today to “Speak Truth to Power” failed to borrow her dignity. They only borrowed her corpse.
Reverend Lowery and others are very aware, however, of the audience before which they speak. They have been playing these folks like a finely tuned instrument beyond the point since the 1970's and before when their efforts really counted for something FOR Black America rather than for the ideology which they hold.
When I was growing up I used to marvel about the friend who used to tell me that their parents came up and “cussed the teacher out”. The friend who was telling me this story told me these tales with pride. They believed that their parents came up to the school and were “Speaking truth to power”. That their actions really made for SUBSTANTIAL change rather than reflecting the parents ignorance and lack of ability of engagement of power for changes of substance.
Tonight President Bush and the other presidents who were in attendance will hop back on their private planes and return from whence they came from earlier today. Despite the taunts of Rev. Lowery and others who made use of this occasion Bush will remain president. The few times that Bush comes on “their turf” they make sure to “let him have it”. He is less than a frequent visitor, instead preferring to engage people that he can work with rather than people who are clear agents for his political adversaries.
I assure you, however, that by the end of Bush's term these same people who ran him down on an International stage will be the same one's begging for his company in the White House, at their Conference or at the next funeral for a big name Civil Rights Leader who's time has long past. To deny their invitation is a slap in the face to them and their status – real or imagined.
It seems that the Kneegrow who proclaim that they are the only legitimate representative of Black people have some issues. Like an abused spouse that also is desperate for attention they don't know how to make constructive use of this attention when it is given to them. Instead, as in the “Angry Black Democrat Rally” that masked as a “Voting Rights Act” rally they had the stage to express what ever feelings they wanted to. Sadly they chose to express venom.
One day President Bush, President Clinton, President Bush I, President Carter and President Ford will all be dead, having lived their lives. Their works will be one for the history books. At the same time the condition of Black America, having long suffered from STRUCTURAL misalignment be it externally imposed or internally perpetuated due to leaders without transformation skills will still be front and center for our off spring to deal with first hand.
As I listen to the words and the ideology of those who stand before me and tell me that they represent to the commonly held beliefs and ideology for “my people” I can only get depressed, knowing that my children will face the same sea of “conditioned hopelessness”, having our 40 years since the end of the Civil Rights Movement, wondering around in the wilderness extended for yet another failed set of policies that are to take us to the “Promised Land”.
The key problem is that many have been conditioned that the “Promised Land” will be reached by focusing primarily on CHANGING THE BEHAVIOR of “The Other Man” rather than looking inside for an inventory of human resources that we have at our hand and fully employing them.
Today the Black American needs MANAGERS, not PROTEST LEADERS. A protest leader can only “Speak Truth To Power”. He acknowledges that he is “Externally Yoked” and that the power resides outside of his domain.
We need MANAGERS who can organize our natural resources into SYSTEMS, leveraging the productive output of each of the cogs in the machine to synergize into a sum that is greater than it's parts.
I often figure that over time those of us who are educated will also become wise to the hamster wheel that we are currently on, being lead by dynamic elocutionists who are light on the applied skills that are in need.
Our only hope as a people is to hold the people who stand on stage in front of us ACCOUNTABLE, making them deliver on this “Promised Land” or choosing to abandon their winding pathway with a hearty vote of no confidence.
May the Lord bless the soul of Mrs. King and have some of those who are long past their time in the light but seek to remain on stage, eclipsing the glow of others who can lead us TODAY please join her soon in paradise, God's will making the determination.