Thursday, September 30, 2010

"Black Inferiority" - The Unintended Consequence Of School Integration Attempts

USA Today: In Louisville, a new turn in school integration

Please allow me to define the terms of the debate prior to getting into it.  Today's "segregated schools" are not taking place in the context of the laws and policies that constructed such an outcome in the past.

In the past a Black person that was fully qualified to attend a "White school" per his residency was not allowed to walk through the front door because of his race.   Schools in the same school district discriminated against "Black schools" by providing them with far less resources than the "White school" in the same district.   This was systematic racism.

Today's "segregated public schools" are a function of de facto racially segregated housing patterns.   Bottom line people tend to live with "their own kind".  Over time neighborhoods "flip".

The Only Viable Long Term Solution Is Management Of The Civic Service Resources Within The Black Community

When I debate a Black progressive on the issue of developing the competencies in our own community they typically will bring forth RACISM:

  • Racism in school suspension rates
  • Racism in resources between school systems (per student spending)
  • Racism in advanced placement classes
  • Racism graduation rates
Their purpose is to make a list of indictments by which the present results are seen.  This affords them the opportunity to formulate a basis for their solution to the problem:  OUTWARD activism against the greater political system, demanding more resources.  In summary:  Making American citizens prove that they value Black people as equal Americans.  

What they often fail to grasp is that 40 years ago their struggle for Black educational quality took the form of control over the various principalships, school board seats and municipal, county and state seats of power.  "With people who love Black children and care about Black people in place......our schools will improve" was the famous talking point in my hometown of Philadelphia.    

The challenge has been to get people to see that today they now occupy the position that yesterday's struggle had guided them.  The problem is that the same problems remain yet their strategy continues:  a struggle for more outward power with the intention of improvements back at home.

So much of our present Black Community Development Activism is directly tied to the political process and the Democratic establishment.   In as much as both press for redistributive policies in exchange for power provided to the ideology and party - the grieving Black community is disinclined to place a check upon them to confirm the veracity of their claims.  

The terminal flaw of this strategy is that they promise future benefit to the Black community - a fully realized Black citizen of America - IF we struggle hard enough to have external forces relieve their opposition to sharing of their resources so that we can develop as a community. 

 I see no evidence of a mission of "competency development" within this activism.   For example we are told that "Black people need access to health care".  Such a need was not satisfied by leveraging the public schools that the progressive establishment now controls.  Instead they leveraged their political power in the national legislative and executive branch to grand these social entitlements through redistributive policies.

I challenge you:  Tell me what enhanced competencies were required from the Black community in order to provide us with these enhanced services?   If there was an immediate need for Black physicians - are the schools in their present state a viable reservoir from which to draw from.

My fundamental critique of progressivism and the present educational reform movement that they permanently quest for  is that it is permanently detached from the supply side demands UPON the community for the mandated "human resource development" in support of the desired standard of living.  Instead it attempts to task the national government to ultimately provide for every individual in America, taking the resources necessary for this "feeding" from wherever these resources reside in excessive abundance.

As a result of this orientation the internal ORGANIC spirit upon which the Black community's development will be based (call it racial pride, racial dignity, the will to live up to higher standards) is stripped away.  In its place is the permanent activism.  This movement is clear about what they are OWED as equal Americans.  

The Connection Between Cultural Regulation And Directed Outcomes

In one of the greatest "chicken and the egg" scenarios ever to confront us - we are told that Black people will start "behaving themselves" once the injustice is removed from our presence.  We will graduate and will stop being incarcerated WHEN those government agents that are to teach us and protect our communities stop acting in a racist manner.

In the grand void between the individual and the government resides that missing link to our community's development that has been thus far squandered.  Call it culture, social institutions, families or communities.  The bottom line is - with all of the low hanging fruit of overt oppression of our people having been regulated or provided with legal recourse to address - this is the void that suffers from the benign neglect by those who represent themselves as our leaders.   

These leaders are running a political battle against their right-wing/conservative adversaries.  In the process of doing so they are flubbing their main priority - leading the people with an adequate balance of external defense and internal regulation toward a structure that has proven results in line with our interests. 

I know first hand as a parent that a child must be provided with limits.  He will progress through the resulting pathway that is created, remaining on the straight and narrow.  It takes an adult with life experience to provide this guidance.  In the absence of parents to provide this guidance the community is required to form an eco-system within which these rules are to be enforced.

When the people are convinced that the balance of the resources that they need to develop this functional eco-system reside EXTERNAL to their "family calling circle" the spirit of inferiority sets about them.

If our people are "valuable" then it must be a mandate placed upon the adults with influence upon them to express this value and then have the children to operate with such valuation in mind per their development efforts.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

My Interaction With Institutions: Black, White, Asian (RE: New Birth Missionary Baptist Church)

Today I drove my family to Greenville South Carolina so that my children could participate in a Tae Kwon Do competition.

(I will fill in the pictures that I took later on in a future update to this post)

Per my profession as a business analysis I am conditioned to look for the "business model" at work when there is a large gathering of people assembled together.  In the case of this TKD competition I have nothing but respect for the South Koreans that are doing their thing.

It appears that each city has a network of South Korean owned TKD studios.  A "master" sets out on his own to purchase a strip mall based school.  His job is to market his services into the community.   Parents are looking to introduce their kids to a "rites of passage" type program.  This allows their children to grow in confidence and skill.   In exchange the school receives at least $100 per month per student from which a staff of black belts are hired to provide the educational services.

In today's event there was at least 6 different TKD schools represented from SC, NC, VA and GA.  As I walked through the parking lot taking pictures of each of the master's SUV/Vans/Hummers (again I will post the pictures later) - each of them had the total-vehicle graphics advertising their schools.

The first thing I noticed is that each of these schools have an afters school program.  You know that $100 per month that I mentioned?  Add $75 more if you do after school.  This works for me because we had been paying the elementary school that my kids go to $50 per week for after school care.  If their TKD classes were at 5pm - I would have to leave work, drive through rush hour traffic and take them from the elementary school to the TKD.   The $25 more was worth it because they get individual tutoring on their homework from the aides that are assigned.

Once again the South Koreans are attuned to the needs of the American parents (of all races) and just filled a niche and increased their cash flow incrementally.

I am always impressed by these South Koreans during these large tournament events.   All of the school masters congregate together at a central table.  While the black belts that they trained run the tournament - they watch over everything and make sure that everything is run to their standards.  Their black belts are a diverse group.  No doubt, however are the South Koreans over represented per the total population of students.

The Venue For The Tournament

With more than 200 students participating in the tournament the South Korean TKD masters typically seek out the gym facilities of a "full service", White church to house them.   (Or at least this was the case with the 4 events that I have attended over the past 2 years).

Today's church in Greenville had a spraulling campus.  In addition to the church buildings the grounds had several baseball fields and a soccer field.   The gymnasium was large enough to sufficiently host the event.

The "White" churches make use of "collective economics" just the same.   There was no "Greenville City Department Of Recreation" involved in running any of these facilities.  Clearly the church was large enough to prompt their congregation to pool their money together and invest in facilities that their children would ultimately benefit from.  

New Birth Missionary Baptist Church

The church grounds that I visited today in Greenville, SC was about as large as the land that New Birth sits upon in Lithionia Georgia.  I am not sure if New Birth has any private athletic fields but it certainly had a gymnasium and a community center that is capable of holding a large community event.

My goal with this last section is to take the focus off of Bishop Eddie Long and instead focus upon the entity that now stands as a result of the efforts of the 22,000, majority Black congregation that has invested their money into the church pool and has borne fruit.

The reports of Bishop Eddie Long having had over $100,000 in jewelry stolen from him is merely a diversion from the main points that we should be focusing upon.  The fact is that the collective action of this congregation in South Dekalb has build up a massive facility without requesting money from the Dekalb County Board of  Commissioners.   While the present budget situation in Dekalb and most of the nation forced this board to cut back in some of the recreational services that the county provides - New Birth has some of these same facilities to offer to the community yet the church calls the shots as to how these resources are to be used.

My basic point in highlighting this is to make note that we miss the market far too often on the subject of community needs and the funding source.  We either reach out externally for funding as a deliverable in the political game or in the case of the present scandal at New Birth the attackers that were waiting with their rocks to throw are far too often ready to wage a universal condemnation of the "mega church" without noting how many accomplishments they are recognizing via their own collaborative actions.

Long story short - we need to focus on defending the INSTITUTION and its integrity while making sure that this same institution properly adjudicates the ONE MAN who's (alleged) indiscretions has tarnished the institution.  In truth only the same people that built up the institution can materially tear it down.   They can do so if they lose sight of the purpose of the entity.

I recall the chapel that was the home of New Birth prior to them moving into their present home had the following passage written on the wall in bold letters:

Without Vision The People Will Perish .

The main force that threatens the future of the church, far greater than the apparent momentary lack of vision by its pastor is if the PEOPLE in that church community lose their vision.   On the front end they trade the integrity of the church institution for the protection of ONE MAN who they are endeared to.  On the other had as a residual effect of the "grand church battle" that has a great possibility of taking place - the church is no longer a viable concern.

While there are indeed a few notable churches around Atlanta that are presently in bank foreclosure due to economy related shortfalls - we can't blame the hard ball tactics of the greedy banks IF New Birth is splintered between those who seek to defend their pastor and those who seek to defend the integrity of the institution.

If both faction does not make use of the sound religious references that their pastors spoke to them for several decades as their main guide in this instance - it will be proven true that these messages were for naught.  Certain people were in attendance only for the purposes of selfish release of emotion.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Cultural Integrity Based Reponse To Bishop Long And His Critics

Bishop Eddie Long of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church is accused of having unsolicited and inappropriate sexual relationships with at least 3 young males who were in his mentorship circle.

Bishop Long has been active in his opposition to the radical change in traditional marriage by which the practice is extended to same sex couples.

If the allegations are true and Bishop Long is proven to be a "down low Black male" - his opposition to same sex marriage is not in itself proof of inconsistency.  Most certainly this down low behavior is inconsistent with his position as the head of the church, his vows of marriage to his wife and with his words given in the pulpit in which he expresses tolerance for the homosexual person but aversion to the practice of same sex acts.

The Critics Of Eddie Long Who Seek To Slay A "Hypocrite"

In a conversation with a family friend today over dinner I noted that he, a male mentor, participates as a coach for little league baseball for males between 11 and 14 years of age.  I asked him to imagine if he were the coach for a female softball team for the same age range.

If this were the case he would never be allowed to have the same unchecked access to these little girls as he does with the males  A female chaperon would be mandated at all times.  Our society has adopted this standard of regulation as the norm to prevent a potentially compromising or sexually abusive incident from happening.

The same is the case with male OB-GYN specialists and other inter-gender private sessions that can prove to be compromising due to the opportunity for exploitation that is exposed.

The goal of the Gay-Rights activists is to have all forms of prohibitions to same sex relationships to be removed from our society.  In as much as our "hetero-normative" construct permeates our society there will be a massive amount of tolerances (some would say "politically correct denial") that would need to be adopted by our society in order to make this happen.  It would reach the point where the enforced tolerances become the OPPRESSOR.

 Fundamentally this is a demand to have certain standards that we have adopted from the Judeo-Christian cultural ethic to be retired.  This would also require us to put aside certain information that is intrinsic to what our physiological body form and our respective complementary genitalia communicate to us.  This done in the name of tolerance.

The truth is that those with this agenda need to "take out" anyone who doggedly stands on cultural or moral grounds against their actions.  They prefer the masses of people who either "don't care because it doesn't impact us" or who rationalize their support based on the notion that "we must get rid of DISCRIMINATION everywhere".

The truth is that is there is no "discrimination" then we have a society in anarchy.  
You see "discrimination" is a prejudicial word.   It is used as a blanket descriptor of the process by which we prioritize a set of behavioral norms over another set.   In the case where two mutually exclusive norms can't exist one of them must be sublimated.

There are some points of cultural discrimination that have been proven to be against human rights for the individual who was suppressed for nothing more than some attribute of his person - race or gender, for example.  In the quest to enforce White male superiority these other groups were discriminated against for he balance of America's existence.  

Other points of discrimination are done for the sake of maintaining positive social order - the pressure to conceive within the bounds of matrimony, monogamous marriage, an age for sexual consent for females and of course marriage limited to the opposite sex.

I have noted previously that we must step back from the "transactional view" of the conflict that confronts us and instead document a more broad reaching view which asks:

  • What is the social order that we are seeking to establish and maintain?
  • What about of productivity do we need from each individual to achieve this standard?
  • Which points of order are more efficient than others in obtaining these ends?
  • How do we balance the individual's right for personal freedoms with the community collective obligations that are necessary to achieve this order?
I am personally not impressed by those who stake their claim in the mantle of MAXIMIZED PERSONAL FREEDOMS.   This often is possible because they don't stick around and accept responsibility for the "car wreck" that so often ensues after their handiwork is completed.   In fact some of the most vulenerable people that they purport to protect are the one's most damaged as this new order of chaos is mounted in the name of "personal freedom without bondage to arbitrary sanction".

I stand firmly in the "Judeo-Christian" cultural ethic.  This is a system that has survived the test of time, in varying proportion on every continent that is inhabited by men.  Some people attempt to attack this cultural norm by focusing in on the exceptions that it has allowed on its watch (slavery, war, etc).   I challenge them to consider their own theories and find a place where they have been implemented and has endured the test of time.

Focus On The Institution Not The Man

Those who attack Bishop Long, are hoping that the next man who attempts to use culture or morality will be made gun shy from speaking out.  His own compromise will be used against him as well.  They know that by taking out ONE MAN their mission of eroding our cultural structure can be accomplished.

With Bishop Long as a messenger for a body of truths that have endured for the millennium - how does his own personal failures cause someone to make the logical leap and assume that the principles have no veracity?   The answer is - IT DOESN'T.

ONLY a society full of complicit people, who chose not to think his all the way through, failing to grasp the full consequences of their choices will allow this "pick'em off" strategy to work.   Those who oppose Long HAVE NOT provided new truth about the veracity and endurance of THEIR agenda.  They have only successfully picked off one more brick of "integrity" from the fortress wall that they seek to knock down.

The SOCIETY must regulate the institution of the culture that it takes up as its own.  This requires those who have lost their voice of credibility to be removed from leadership so that the INSTITUTION can survive.  It proves that it is greater than one man.

In closing this indicates that the enforcement of our culture is the "living, breathing" entity which must be managed NOT the CHANGING of our core cultural constructs in adaptation to the current events.  Man does not change over time.   We are still dealing with the same basic flaws that had impacted people from 1,000 years ago.   Only technology and the domain upon which we are able to travel changes.  

Our challenge is to construct the systems by which the institutions can be maintained as transparently as possible.   It is clear that we need a distributed set of men enforcing that which Bishop Long had fallen short of as ONE MAN who has weaknesses in him.  By distributing the burden the system and its enforcements will factor for these individual weaknesses.  

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

No Comments Necessary

(Hat Tip To Greg L From African American Clarion blog)

One day my people will see that the THREAT that we have been told to imagine that the Tea Party represents - is already among us from other sources. These other forces are not considered "racist"

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Crisis With Black Males - Millions Of Incidents Of Benign Neglect Not A Nationally Coordinated Conspiracy

AJC's Cynthia Tucker:  A new task for civil rights activists: Educate black boys

'Beyond the Bricks' profiles plight of young black men

I promoted Cynthia Tucker's comments to the top because she perfectly represents what I have been pointing out all along: As those forces who represent themselves as "Black leadership" distract the Black rank & file outward toward issues that are not important to our bottom line................the results that we are now dealing with, long after they have taken sufficient control over our communities to fortify our interests, gets squandered. If only I can convince people that THERE IS A COST TO OUR COMMUNITIES for following along without challenging the hijacking.

Cynthia Tucker:
If I ran the NAACP, the National Urban League or the troubled Southern Christian Leadership Conference, I’d make my single priority hammering away at that awful statistic and working to change the fate of those young black men.
  • Ms Tucker DID NOT SAY the White people gathered under the banner of "the Tea Party" does not register as great of a threat than does the unacceptable Black graduation rate
  • Ms Tucker DID NOT SAY "favorable people" run the vast majority of these school systems in which Black males graduate at a totally unacceptable rate
  • Ms Tucker DID NOT LIST any of the situations that too many of these Black males are born in, noting how the absent of a strong and honorable male figure in the house negatively impacts the development and discipline of Black males
 Please note - I do not believe that the problems with Black males is a POLITICAL issue.   The bulk of the present problems with our Black males is because of the benign neglect that has taken place among the adult people who are proximate to them that are abdicating their duties as managers of them as "human resources" and "humans" specifically.

Last week a US Representative in a solidly Progressive region blamed the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow as the primary problems with the Black community.  What is missing in this popular narrative is the VALUE ADD that has been contributed to the situation at hand by the Black Establishment and the policy choices that they have push in line with their Progressive Establishment partners.

Again I make these points not to make this issue into a political one.  The Black community made several choices at the macro level.   The forces that have the power to shape our message chose to go the political route and to seek constant expansion in this arena as a means of developing our communities and fixing our people from the damage that slavery and Jim Crow racism has done to us.

The failure to notice that there has now been achieved a sufficient amount of control over the key institutions that provide the civic services to our people and then MANAGING these institutions to achieve the desired outcomes is a fatal mistake.  The embedded operatives that I refer to have no particular interest in developing an introspective-management architecture.   This would require them to specifically obtain the results that the community desires upon the backs of the Black community - DEVELOPING THE COMPETENCIES within our communities to make this all happen.

Instead they deploy the "Social Justice" theory by which the national government is on the hook for correcting the problems with Black males.  They are "Americans" and not just "Black Americans" after all.  This is true.  HOWEVER - it is when we see an attempt to take over the management of the Black community - CUTTING BLACK LEADERSHIP OUT OF THE PICTURE - that we see the blow back.  Functionally the stance says "Give us the money per our national entitlement and mind your own business as to what we do with it".

The competency development of our people is fundamentally a local affair.  The most traction is obtained by having conscious people impart their knowledge IN A SYSTEM that the provides the cultural limits to the community.  It needs to maximize the participation of the adults in the community.  They get to make their imprint upon the final product, the skill of our community to manage our community resources will be developed.

IF in fact education is the great transformer of the human being - the rank & file need to push back and force the prevailing leadership to treat it this way.   Not only by what they fight for EXTERNALLY in the way of resources but more importantly - what they lean upon the people to engender in their own actions.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Are Party Politics Akin To Organized Religion - In That Both Attempt To Position Themselves As Gateways To God?

I am a believer in the Christian faith.  I believe in salvation through faith in Jesus Christ as my savior.  I am able to look at the structure to which my extended family has been bound to for several generations and note the evidence of how this cohesion to the Christian ethic has brought forth prosperity in "human capital".

If a better arrangement of thoughts are exposed to me that provide better results I am open to change.  "Better" means - more comprehensive, more enduring but depends upon the individual competencies to be folded into the greater community good - while maximizing the basic freedoms and respect for the individual.

I am aware of the "religious faith" elements of organized religion is also conjoined with the cultural and societal constructs that a particular religion brings forth upon a society.  While all of us theorize about the advantage of a free society - certain elements of social control are necessary to retain a "civilized and free society".  Religion attempts to provide such a framework as it regulates people's behavior.

All of the popular religions in the world seek to place themselves as a gateway to the interface of their particular god.  There are particular thoughts and rituals that are defined as part of this contractual arrangement between God and the individual believer.

The religion apparatus in the form of a church and then, in most cases, an association of churches all come together to define the character and practices of the religion.  Most will excommunicate those individuals who attempt to operate in the church's name while violating the established doctrinal order.

In truth these national and world-wide councils that overlay the individual churches have the primary  purpose of managing and regulating the people who profess themselves as being a member of that particular religion, often engaging in conflict resolution between individuals that often have competing interests. Learned religious scholars who are expert in the real meaning of the particular religious text are put in place to apply these principles to the organization and the people within.

I don't intrinsically see them as bad or unnecessary overhead.  They are important at insuring the integrity and consistency of the church organization's belief.

Problems occur, however, when the operatives who are working inside of the church organizations loose sight of the "religious salvation" ends of the organization and instead get into pure politicking or positioning for political power within the framework of the organization.   For some of these organizations if "Jesus" himself were to run for even the lowly position as the "Sergent At Arms" they would not recognize him and would vote for a more favorable candidate.

We should inspect these organizations not by their size, popularity and flexibility to adopt the changing tastes of our society.   This might mean that they have fully compromised their foundational beliefs in the process.  Instead we must appraise these groups based upon the key and enduring foundations of their particular religious sect and verify that they are doing as they have been chartered.

What About Politics And Its Relation To Our Desired Standard Of Living?

As I endeavor as an observer, analyst, critic and skeptic of politics, culture and society I can find no greater "ungodly" enterprise than that which has been concocted in the political and ideological party overlay organizations that have been put in front of our attainment of "heaven" in the political space.  This "heaven" is in the form of the heightened standard of living that is afforded to our society with access to equal opportunities to obtain it while keeping the forced hand of the government as a necessary though unseemly evil hand to insure fairness.

Above I have noted that a religious organization is compromised as too many of its people lose sight of the "salvation" that they have been christened to pursue and instead seek to fully populate the "seats" within the organization with their clique, in support of their desire to project power.

When it comes to politics many of these dysfunctional antics are enforced as "team loyalty".  

We see this transpire when a "machine" that had its roots in their challenge of the existing establishment that has failed to fairly distribute economic opportunity and legal justice - themselves become the establishment power.   On election night eve - many of the people who were down in the trenches for the long term fight are more happy to see their favored person in power - than they are inclined to note that after 4 years of this person's term and possibly 30 years of this machine's ascent to power - the same basic grievances remain.  

If they had transparency in mind they would take a step back and realize that they got caught up in the game, the rituals, the mechanics by which "their team" would fight a transactional battle against their underhanded adversaries.  They ended up losing sight of their original mission because on the field of battle they saw too many explosions fired from their enemy's weapons which now have them shell-shocked and constantly on the defensive mentally.

Black Political Development Has Turned Out To Be The Opportunity To Place A Black Politician In Place - NOT To Advance Our Interests As A Community - Just As The White Folks Had Compromised Themselves Previously

Living in a metro-area with a large and active Black political class provides me with a valuable perspective.  This area (Atlanta) has surpassed the pure "first Black man in office" feat for most of the significant local offices.  We are now into wholesale governance by the machine of the people's choose.

This also means that two groups have stood out - just as is the case with other machines: the leaders and the incompetents/corrupt.

There is no doubt that this new era of opportunity has shown us leaders who are able to move beyond pure race based cajoling and instead put forth reasoned government leadership in protection of the public resources that they have been assigned to manage.

It is also true that within this machine are embedded a few corrupt and incompetent duds who have no place in the tree of power lest the people's interests be forsaken.   The true test of our advancement, however, is when those who make up the faction supporting the machine are able to take what they realize deep down inside and apply it to their public pronouncements for this "dud" to leave.   They must go beyond the notion that their "adversary has scored a victory" if they agree to this purge.   Increasingly this "adversary" is not a person that spans the party or ideological or racial divide.   They are merely a mirror image who resides in a different clique.   When we all can accept that a Black man is fully capable of being incompetent/corrupt as a White man is - and that his status as "one of the few faces" does not trump the truth about his performance -  a major set forward will be had.

It is within this scope of PROTECTIONISM that the Black community finds itself today.   Though it is true that at each rung of government there are some important "firsts" that have yet to be accomplished throughout the nation - some critical points of introspection are being missed as we focus upon machine politics, placing them above the original motivations for our political activism.

There is no excuse for the present performance in certain areas where there are favorable people dominating all aspects of the equation.   This points to the need to investigate the flaws in our model of the world, including the variables that have been left out.   Instead this provides embedded operatives who care about power - a chance to "try harder", gaining power at the next rung in the name of attrition against their external enemy.

Beyond the RELIGIOUS order and the POLITICAL order discussed above there is a need for a heretofore unnamed force that keeps both of these two domains in check and supporting our community self-development needs.    I have labeled it the "Community Cultural Consciousness & Competency Development Domain" but it is left to be seen if others will agree that there is a void and will fill in the missing details as they take this concept and integrate it into their own understanding.

Dr Ben Chavis Jr Calls For Transition From Poverty To Economic Wealth

The Atlanta Voice features an article by former NAACP head Dr Ben Chavis Jr

In this post I will hold off from providing direct analysis about Chavis' commentary.  Instead I will put forth a framework by which the independent observer reading this article should apply as they attempt to apply Chavis' perspective to the real world challenges faced by the Black community.

  1. With EDUCATION promoted by Chavis as the great enabler for Black people - do the real world circumstances in regards to what is going on in our schools today support this forward vision?  This despite having won control over these entities - per the struggles of our community's past activism?
  2. Dr Chavis sets out the goals of:
    • Attainment of full freedom
    • Justice
    • Equality
    • Economic Empowerment .................with more of these points waiting to be delivered by the "favorable people" who are now in more power over our key institutions than ever before - are we advancing in any of these 4 areas per the present mode of engagement?
  3. Chavis says: " The civil rights movement continues to be about challenging and overcoming all the societal prejudices and systems of racial exploitation and discrimination. " .   As we consider all of the assaults upon Black people in 2010 - making every assailant EQUAL - can anyone claim that RACISM is the PRIMARY mode of attack upon Black people?  OR is it only the most SUPERIOR, thus triggering a unified response?
  4. Chavis says: " But the truth is the mis-education of our children in school systems across the nation is one of the major factors that cements poverty, unemployment, incarceration, poor health and the utter sense of hopelessness for those who remained entrapped at the bottom of socioeconomic level of society. " 
    Does Chavis recognize the fact that "favorable people" are now controlling these "school systems" today, more than ever?   Is his rhetorical reprimand outward focused or inward?
  5. Chavis makes note of the importance of the BLACK PRESS.   Per the detailed focus upon the "Black Press" that I have been conducting - can anyone argue that this entity is singularly focused upon advancing the Black community's best interests?  OR are they more focused upon advancing Progressive interests, which they estimate will advance the Black interests - once they defeat their ideological enemies.  
      In truth this article captures the present view point of the Black establishment.  And this is the problem with it.

      By Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr.
      Contributing Columnist

      The struggle for the liberation, self-determination and empowerment of Black people all over the world continues in 2010. African-Americans, in particular, should never lose sight of our circumstances domestically and internationally.

      That is why the proper and best education of our children is so important to the future of Black people. It is without question that we have made remarkable progress during the last 50 years. But it is also without denial that we still have a long way to go to attain full freedom, justice, equality and economic empowerment.

      Our struggle, at the end of the day, has always been about improving the quality of life of our children, families, businesses and institutions in our communities. The civil rights movement continues to be about challenging and overcoming all the societal prejudices and systems of racial exploitation and discrimination.

      Yet, the movement also has always been about the economic development and the expansion of the economic wealth of African-Americans and others who have historically been oppressed.

      Too often today there are some who get embarrassed in social settings to hear anyone speak up about the persistence of poverty and economic dislocation that is so prevalent in many African- American communities. The steady increase in the size of the Black middle class also should help pave greater opportunities for more of our brothers and sisters to escape the plantations of urban and rural poverty.

      There is no one single factor that keeps so many of our people in poverty today. But the truth is the mis-education of our children in school systems across the nation is one of the major factors that cements poverty, unemployment, incarceration, poor health and the utter sense of hopelessness for those who remained entrapped at the bottom of socioeconomic level of society.

      That is why the Black Press is so important. We need the information that will tell us not only the truth, but also to tell us what each of us can and should do to contribute to changing the plight of our people toward full freedom and empowerment.

      Our brothers and sisters in Africa and throughout the African diaspora are also struggling with the issues of social transformation, cultural and educational excellence, and sustainability of wealth creation for present and future generations of African nations and communities.

      African-American's annual spending power is approaching a trillion dollars in 2010, ever during these 'hard' economic times. But not enough is being spent to ensure that the children in our communities are being educated. Violence and self-destruction in our communities are linked directly to poverty. Poverty from one generation to the next is linked directly to the absence of a good education.
      We, therefore, cannot afford to be silent or inactive concerning these issues.

      We need to develop and build the kind of educational institutions from k-12, from prep school for college to strengthening our HBCUs that will give our young people the best education in the world.
      Anything less than the best education is insufficient. Mediocrity is not an option. Continued poverty and hopelessness are not options.

      None of us should be satisfied with the status quo. President Obama is correct by challenging us to stop accepting failing and non-performing school systems. That is why the sight of parents overflowing parent-teacher meetings in many communities is a welcome sight. Parents have to demand better options for their children. We cannot afford to lose a generation of our children due to failed school systems.

      To move out of poverty and begin creating wealth in our communities are not impossible dreams. It requires struggle and self-determination. It requires diligence and persistence to demand institutional and social change.
      It requires, in the end, an irrepressible love for our children.

      Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr. is a national civil rights leader, senior advisor to the Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO) and president of Education Online Services Corporation.

      Monday, September 13, 2010

      Southern Football 1963 vs 2010

      This is a true story.

      Earlier this week I watched an excellent documentary on HBO regarding the interplay of the "Civil Rights Struggle" and Southern Football. The South lives and breathes with the game of football. It comes as no surprise that certain racist Whites sought to keep their school's football team lily White so they did not have to show any praise for a Black player.

      When I view these type of black and white films of the past they cause me to more fully appreciate the times that we live in today more than it builds up any particular resentments fro the past.

      You probably do not have the Flash Player (Get Adobe Flash Player Here) installed for your browser or the video files are misplaced on your server!

      I am on a quest to attend at least one home football game from each high school in the county that I live in in Georgia. There are gradations of racial diversity depending on which part of the country you go to. Those high schools that are to the north or western part of the country have more Black students. As you travel south they become majority White. The game that I went to this past Friday was in the southern part of the county.

      I, a Black man, had no problem what so ever, as I walked past several county sheriff deputies and paid for my ticket. A majority White school played a majority Black school on the field and no racial incidents were seen - unlike what is shown in the video above.

      As I departed the game in the 4th quarter I saw the only "racial" element of the night.

      Though it is hard to see (I was walking as I took the picture) - this is a picture of a group of White kids kicking around a soccer ball on the school lawn, outside of the football game.  (A group of 5 of them are in the center of the picture).   They had the radio of a car that is parked near by blaring.   They had a rap CD playing.   I am not sure who the rapper was.  I was sure that I heard the word "Nigga" being used within the song.  Clearly this was not the radio edit.

      While I am not arguing that there is no racism to be found at this and other schools - it is quite ironic to see how Black and White can play on the same football field in 2010 yet the word "Nigger"/"Nigga"  has been socialized to the point of being diluted into the vernacular of commercial entertainment consumed by the masses, regardless of color.

      I felt no motivation what so ever to confront these White kids about the content of their music.  THEY were not the original source of this music.

      Sunday, September 05, 2010

      Divorce - Friends Falling By The Wayside

      Today my wife told me about yet another of her girlfriends who has divorced from her husband. This one caught me by total surprise because this was the friend with the nice house and thriving career and well balanced children - at least that's what it seemed like from the outside looking in.

      I couldn't help but note a pattern of her girl friends getting divorced and telling her about my observation. Of course in the back of my mind I was thinking "you don't realize and appreciate how lucky you are to have me".

      This leverage didn't last for too long as she reminded me that all of these divorces were grounded upon unfaithful husbands who violated the vows of the marriage and received the "death penalty" because of it.

      I have my share of friend who have divorced as well. One that comes to mind were together as we all were young, childless couples that were dating. At the time "Mike Tyson Fights" brought us all together for house parties. Once the kids came along each of us got busy into our own worlds and largely stayed on our own side of town.

      Last weekend it was strange to go and see my good friend's family after his divorce. While I hang with him several times a year I hadn't seen his ex-wife and children in about two years. I was amazed at how old they have grown. I was more amazed when they referenced his house as "daddy's house" as they made note of the differences in the counties that each house was in.

      While my relationship is far from perfect it is no where near on the rocks as these others are. I hope to think that I am not going to do anything stupid to throw it all away. I am still young enough to "imagine the possibilities" with someone else but old enough to appreciate the stability that I now have AND to see that beyond the physical relationship none of these alternatives would be able to replace what I have (As long as Kerry Washington doesn't come and tempt me that is. :-) ).

      I come from a family of 5 Black males. All of us are married with intact marriages all of us are college graduates. There is a bit of unspoken peer pressure between us to retain our status as head of the household and to walk down a certain path - to not bring shame upon the family.

      Though my wife tells her friends that she is doing all of the work around the house - she knows that I have my own fixed duties (while her's are flexible. How many brothers do all of the cooking in the house?) With me by her side she was able to get a master's degree while she worked and had to tend to children.

      If you want to look at one of the forces that are zapping the strengthen of the Black community - consider the present state of Black male - female relationships and who they have gone from complementary to conflicted.

      A Movie Scene In Which The Need To "Keep It Real" Did Not Exploit The Race Of The Actor

      You probably do not have the Flash Player (Get Adobe Flash Player Here) installed for your browser or the video files are misplaced on your server!

      Ironically it takes a White director to choose to not use the word "nigger" in a scene in which a Black protagonist is confronted by a gang of White highway men. Shamefully it is very likely that if this were a "Black film" the White characters (and even if they were Black for that matter) would have called the character played by Denzel Washington a "nigger" in the process of the fight.

      If entertainment develops consciousness among the people then why aren't we leaning upon the Blacks who use this vile word in commercial speech to find some other word to insert?

      Editorial Note: I do not use the phrase "The N-Word" on my blog properties when it is more descriptive to use the word "nigger" in description of how it is used within our vernacular - just as others freely use it without regulation.

      Saturday, September 04, 2010

      I Applaud Tom Joyner For His On-Line University Education Plan

      Tom Joyner Venture Will Help Black Colleges Start Online Programs

      Just to get this point out of the way early:  I strongly disagree with radio talk show host Tom Joyner from an ideological and political perspective.  The Black community today has all of its key institutions controlled by the machine that he has done his part to put into power.

      With that said - I applaud multi-millionaire Tom Joyner for ceasing an opportunity to leverage widely available information management and collaboration technology and networks to address the need for quality education for the broad community of need that is present.

      From The Chronicle Of Education

      Tom Joyner, one of the country's most-visible philanthropic supporters of historically black colleges and universities, has founded a company to help those institutions develop distance-education programs—with a particular focus on allowing them to compete against for-profit colleges in enrolling minority students.

      Mr. Joyner regularly highlights black colleges on his nationally syndicated radio broadcast, The Tom Joyner Morning Show, and has donated tens of millions of dollars to students of HBCU's through his Tom Joyner Foundation.

      For-profit and online colleges attract "incredible numbers of African-American students" said Mr. Joyner's son, Thomas Jr., who stepped down as president of the foundation to become president of the new company, HBCUsOnline. "A lot of those enrollments are his listeners," the younger Mr. Joyner said in an interview on Thursday, and he believes many of those potential students would be better served by HBCU's, which have "a stronger legacy and history."

      On its Web site, the company promises to provide an online version of the supportive environment that HBCU's try to foster on their campuses, and it makes some oblique and not-so-oblique references to criticisms that have been raised recently about the costs and recruiting tactics of for-profit colleges. "This program goes beyond simply enrolling you in classes and saddling you with debt, but offers you ongoing support systems from registration to graduation," the site proclaims.

      Thursday, September 02, 2010

      Detroit Struggles With High Murder Rates Among Young Black Males: The Environment Needs Changing

      Detroit struggles with rise in murders of young black men From The Detroit

      From The Article
      In Detroit, as jobs and hope have evaporated in the wake of a gnawing recession, the fallout has been more than just economic. For a tiny slice of the population, it's become increasingly fatal.
      For black males in the city between ages 15 and 24, the chances of getting murdered have risen rapidly in recent years, increasing from 79 in 2005 to 102 last year. The number reached a high of 115 in 2008.
      "We are aware of it," said interim Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee Jr. "We are concerned."

      Young black men account for just 7 percent of the city's population, yet more than a quarter of all homicides. They have a murder rate -- 200 per 100,000 residents -- nearly seven times higher than the rest of the population. If they had died at the same rate as everyone else in Detroit, there would have been 16 killed last year, or one every three weeks.

      Instead, police were investigating, on average, the murders of two young black men a week.
      "There's a lot of young kids dying," said Lyvonne Cargill, a 39-year-old Detroiter whose son Je'Rean "Blake" Nobles was gunned down May 14 a few blocks from her eastside home. He was 17.
      Most of Detroit learned about Je'Rean's killing because of what happened days later: Police looking for his killer raided an east-side home and accidently shot and killed a 7-year-old girl, Aiyana Stanley-Jones.
      But Aiyana's death wasn't the only tragedy to follow. Cargill said two of her son's best friends, both 17, also have been killed. One was shot to death, the other beaten to death.
      "It's so bad what's going on around here," she said.

      The subtitle of the next section from the article is where our community needs not compromise upon.

      The point that many people fail to realize is the question of WHO this COMPROMISE must not be made toward. The group of people who must not compromise are the "Black Rank & File" - NOT those who promote themselves as "Civil Rights Leaders". The people WHO WE MUST NOT COMPROMISE WITH are:

      • The Elected Officials Over Detroit
      • The Civil Rights Activists who put them into power
      • The Parents of these young people who have a responsibility for managing their children
      • The Adults in the community within which these young people were raised who need to retain the character of their community
      Today the Black community has too much fusion of individuals that COME FROM our community but who's present position of representation of the interests of our community mandate that there be separation.  Without this distinction we mistake UNITY for EFFECTIVE MANAGEMENT.

      With this notion of unity as an operating mandate those who don't wish to step upon their permanent friend's toes will conspire as they agree to focus upon some EXTERNAL ADVERSARY to focus upon as the problem.  This nullifies the opportunity to perform the necessary reorganization of the internal management infrastructures within the Black community.

      When I wrote about the preposterous notions presented by opinion writer DeWayne Wickham in which he praised present day civil rights leaders for their focus upon unemployment in Detroit - the facts that Mr Wickham has missed is the complicity that these organizations and operatives in seating the city leadership and the policies that the city ran upon for decades.  

      There is far too much "insider trading" within the Black community which squanders any serious attempt to erect sufficient firewalls and protections where results that fall "murderously" short of our needs as a community has consequences. 

      Is Drug Addiction Is A Disease Then Drug Suppliers Are Agents Complicit With The Spread

      You probably do not have the Flash Player (Get Adobe Flash Player Here) installed for your browser or the video files are misplaced on your server!

      According to this scientist and community consensus - Drug Addition is a disease. The video shows how use of certain drugs has a physiological effect on the brain. The chemical changes and altered sensitivity in certain receptors causes the person to center their lives around acquiring more drugs to fulfill the greater dosage needed to satisfy them.

      If all of the above is true and the classification as a "disease" is true - what does this say about the people who maintain the drug markets and the individuals who will to remove the legal sanctions against these drugs?

      If there was a food item that had the same physiological negative impact upon the human body and the same addictive effects which derail a person's life how would society view the people who are responsible for pushing this substance upon people?

      Ask This Man From Africa If He Appreciates What America Has To Offer

      You probably do not have the Flash Player (Get Adobe Flash Player Here) installed for your browser or the video files are misplaced on your server!

      Wednesday, September 01, 2010

      Black Preachers As The Wedge Between The Individual And The Criminal Justice System?

      In the NPR "Tell Me More" conversation at the link above the argument is made that community pastors should ride with police officers that patrol the community for the purposes of allowing the pastors to engage with the people, hoping to temper down some of the conflict between the community and the police.

      I have to admit that this interview forced me to look past some of the statements and perspectives that troubled me and instead focus upon the essence of the initiative. As such - I have called for some entity that stands between the individual in our community and the criminal justice enterprise. This community focused wedge should have engaged the individual a long time before the person falls into a lifestyle that triggers the interests of the police.

      I have to also note that such an idea cannot coexist with those that claim a grand conspiracy to incarcerate Black people. If this claim is true then there is nothing that these pastors can do to stop those who "profit" off of the locked up Black man from ensnaring them into their clutches.

      I also note that by focusing upon this conspiracy theory those who drive this view will invest more of their time getting the criminal justice system to "heel" than they are prone to acknowledge that there is an organic problem with the present composition of the Black community and that more direct action needs to be applied to the human resources in need of change. There is an inherent passivity involved with the conspiracy perspective.

      I also wonder how much the "BP Effect" will be seen as preachers are riding along with the "enemy" in the vision of those who are conducting actions that undercut the solace in the community. Having a pastor stepping outside of a police car might have the effect of casting the pastor as a "snitch".

      A More Holistic Approach

      I agree in general with the positioning of a pastor in support of the patrol of the community.   It must be more than the pastors.   If a community does not strongly support the idea that when one of their own does something illegal that he has committed a slight against the community itself then this entire concept will be to no avail.  Community ownership is a fundamental construct in an initiative in which the people within the community collaborate together and effectively work to manicure their own community into their own liking.

      The "human resource management" strategies that I continuously focus upon are necessary to have these individuals engage in the process of reform of their community as well as enforcing some measure of commitment and repetitive actions that will ultimately result in this end.