1) Attainment Of Quality Education
2) Safe Communities
3) Local Economic Development
4) Healthy Lifestyles
5) Implement These Goals As Efficiently As Possible
6) Using Methods That Are As Organic As Possible
I have had several discussions since my last post regarding "the best interests of Black people". In personal conversations after reading off the list of items above I have asked various Black associates if "the Black best interests are being brought forth in areas where Black people, using their majority power, have promoted the people of their own choosing into power in promotion of their own interests?". Interestingly the near universal answer to the question has been "No".
After their consideration of "the school system of Philadelphia", "the economy of Detroit", "the safety of the streets in too many areas where our people are highly concentrated" - the answer, when they drop their partisan and ideological proclivities is an unadulterated "No".
Before I go on I need to clarify the sixth point which has been added. The concept of "organic" is yet another qualifier. Where as #5 being "effective" which affords the appraisal of the methodology that is used to achieve 1 through 4, the measure of "organicisism" is important because it details the "home grown nature" of the solution. Clearly having the solution to Black people be expressed on the backs of Black people is of more value than having an outside, third party being the solution provider. An organic solution requires Black people to analyze our problems, detail a solution and then "reorder ourselves" accordingly so that a more favorable outcome can be obtained.
Think of the benefit of prioritizing this mode over all of the other methods that have been attempted. The body of culture that is amassed after having run through the process and incorporating the knowledge into our fabric for living is invaluable. Undoubtedly such reference will be carried forth to future generations as a means of maintaining these favorable outcomes. More importantly the harm associated with the alternative course of action has been fully documented. Our people are left as CONSUMERS that are dependent upon our ability to lobby for resources from an outside interest in order to provide for our own health and well being. This turns out not to be "reparation" but "pacification".
Again - the conversations that I have had with people who are not aware of this blog and the point that I have made with respect to "The Best Interests of Black People" have been enlightening. If I talk about all of these points individually and correlate them to a specific issue of frustration within the Black community I will get near universal agreement that there is a great number of shortcomings in the current approach. Many can agree that change is necessary. It is only when the concept of partisan politics is brought into the equation does the situation get a bit cloudy. The conversation gets cloudy depending on the person's loyalties.
When I point out that today we have more people of our own choosing in power over our communities and yet the problems persist and then I point out that they are majority Democratic with policies that are popular - this is where the problem begins. Again as I said in part 1 - most people are conditioned to talk about Republicans as soon as Democrats are criticized. The truth is that it is not a "Democrat vs Republican" binary decision within the Black community. It must be a "what is bringing us closer to our goals" and "what is failing to do so?" question. We can only be bound to the interests, not the methodology if indeed we are true to the endgame.
At this point I press the issue in the conversation - "If indeed so much of our political activism has been focused upon building this power structure within our communities, and if over the past 40 years this construction has been largely successful - why is it that these problems persist, particularly in the areas that are most homogeneous in thought and power? For me the answer is clear - there has been a shift from "our common goals and interests" over to what is POPULARLY THOUGHT TO BE the means of achieving these goals which in truth don't pan out when put to the test in the real world.
Anyone reading my personal "blog array" can determine the direction from which I am coming from. I realize that me as one voice is no match to the "Black political establishment" who runs the table, using all types of techniques to retain power and smash criticism, typically by "de-blackifying" anyone who dares to go up against them. I can accept this. This is nothing more than group politics and human behavioral realities come to bear. As much as some would deny it - Black folks suffer from the very same manipulations and threats from 'absolute power corrupting absolutely' as any other group does. Indeed this power does not like being questioned or held accountable. Thus my strategy is to define a common point of reference and to ask all of my people who are serious about real change to commit to these common points of reference as a guide for their social, cultural, political and economic priorities. I would hope that these overriding principles can transcend any ideological and partisan loyalties as the American political system is no longer allowed to hijack the interests of our people.
I will tell you in advance that the biggest threat to success of this plan are those who are most entrenched within the external force that is entrenched within our community. They have a measure of power within this entity and thus don't wish to lose their position and start over. For them the temporary benefit achieved from their relative power in receipt of "crumbs" (or good feelings on election night) are more important to them than the future benefits, sight unseen, which will no doubt come if indeed our people are properly ordered.
I need not have ideological concurrence with any of you for us to agree on the common goals. In fact it is best that there always be a competing set of ideological proclivities because it helps keep things in balance. What is needed is for the BLACK COMMUNITY to demand these common goals as an operating mandate and thus keep both partisan sides in check - having them deliver or be purged from their position of power.
What do you have to lose - except your tentative partisan and ideological positioning?