The Black Leaders Must be Accountable to Black Economics: Part 2, 5/25/2017

 

After nearly 450 years of inhuman and medieval oppression and abuse against the Black community in America, which impacted over 100 million Blacks with no relief of any kind until the 1964 passage of the Civil Rights legislation, the biggest cover-up remains the damage that was done to the Black community (the real victims) at the same time that America was becoming the biggest and richest nation on earth. Even then, that legislation was immediately undermined and weakened, which limited the outcomes that it sought to repair for Black people, bringing us back to square one.  

Unfortunately, while the physical oppression has ended (at least on the scale of what our ancestors endured), the entirety of American institutions and the supporting infrastructure continues to maintain the oppression of our people by categorically denying the impact that this historical oppression and damage has had on the current generation of Black people, both externally (economical/structural) and internally (emotional/psychological). To not even acknowledge the overwhelming economic advantage (privilege) that Whites have over Blacks is both disingenuous and criminal but that’s where we are.

 

Today, the nearly 50 million Black people living in America must come to understand that we are living in the “belly” of the beast (there is no other way to describe it). There is no Calvary waiting in the wings to save our community or to right the massive wrongs that have been perpetuated against the Black community.  We are on our own. But, you see no evidence that our community, especially our leaders, understand this.  Sure, we have made some individual progress in this country, but it pales in comparison to the overwhelming majority of Black people that are basically trapped in a state of poverty or just barely making it.  As a group, we tremendously undersubscribe in the “good” demographics (wealth) and oversubscribe in “negative” (social needs) demographics.  

 

The needle isn’t moving in the right direction and there is no one in the driver seat that is trying to keep our community from going off the road.  In fact, not only does the Black community not have anyone in the driver’s seat, we don’t even have a vehicle given the current environment where the overwhelming narrative regarding the state of Black affairs is being blamed on the Black community by both White and Black people. This doesn’t lend itself to making any real change.  Our Black leaders who don’t acknowledge and promote the fact that we are mercilessly undermanned have been foolishly misled to believe that the economic race we are in is equal or fair when nothing could be further from the truth.  In fact, even if we acknowledge that we are behind in the economic race, most would not understand how bad and deep the gap really is (this is mainly due to not knowing the starting line).  

 

Why is the starting line so important? Is it 1516, 1776, 1863, or 1964?  When should we begin to measure when the Black community has similar rights and privileges in this country to compete?  Out of the dates presented, the only one close to being acceptable is 1964 and that is nearly 450 years after 1516.  We are unable to measure the physiological impact that the treatment had on our community during this period, but the structural and economic impact has robbed us of our group potential which plays out in every aspect of individual, family, and community life for Black people in America.   

I argue that when you use zero as the starting line, it is very misleading even though everyone understands that the Black community is behind.  Unfortunately, the starting line for Black people isn’t zero. It is an absurdly negative number, -450, but it’s definitely not zero.  This is a real problem because when progress is made we don’t know where we are or what the progress looks like and this contributes to the level of hopelessness that most of us feel.  Let me give you an example.  If your business was losing a million dollars annually and you made adjustments so that the following year you lost only a half million dollars, that would be progress even though you lost a half million dollars.  If you didn’t know that little bit of fact and context, you would still think the business is not making progress but the facts state otherwise. This is like our community.  In order to measure economic growth and progress, you must know the starting line (baseline) for you to measure if progress has been made.  If the starting line is -450 versus zero, this should be able to guide our community on how we should proceed and how we should plan.    

If you are Black in America, you have been damaged.  If you accept this premise, we can move on.  If you do not accept this premise, you are either in denial or just foolish and both are equally challenging for the ultimate independence of black people.

We all must ask ourselves how damaged am I and what it looks like.  Why isn’t the first response to the problems facing our community a movement towards unity?  Why do I feel better being by myself and going alone?  Why do I hold the Black community accountable to the carnage that we see versus placing the blame where it truly belongs?  If you answer any of these questions honestly, you will come to know of the damage that I speak of.  With this information, I’m constantly checking myself, my feelings, my thoughts, and my beliefs about who I am and who our people are without first adopting the self-hate approach.  

We can’t really charge the average Black person to understand these issues and to mount any defense that would lead and expand the liberation movement for our people.  It is just impossible for the average Black person to even understand what’s going on.  They have a role to play, but for many reasons, they can’t lead the effort.  So if the average Black person can’t lead, who will lead us?  By default, the Black leaders are the only ones with a shot at filling this void, but we must recognize that they too are damaged and must work very hard to fight against the internal instruction of Black inferiority and, if the Black leaders are not working towards closing the economic gap through some degree of unity, this indicates that the Black community is in serious trouble. Our Black leaders must lead the struggle for economic equality.

 

 

 

 

 


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