The Black Leaders Must be Accountable to Black People and Black Unity – Part 3, 6/20/2017

What is it going to take for Black leaders to fight through the psychological paralysis of hopelessness and unify so they can begin to tackle the issues facing our community? It will not take all of the Black leaders to make this happen, but it will require a critical mass to formulate this movement, making our success much more doable and achievable, even though this has been difficult.

Our community reflects a high level of hopelessness, even amongst its co-called Black leaders, especially given the social and economic state of the Black community and the fact that every negative demographic is spiraling out of control with absolutely no unified or collective response from Black leadership. Black people were not born with this level of hopelessness (this behavior is learned), and we have inherited an unwillingness to work together and therefore, by default, we have adopted the narrative of inept, lazy, ignorant, and inferior that the White community has lain at our feet.

The Black community has been structurally and systemically denied the full rights and benefits of equal citizenship in America. And for those of you who believe in the so-called “post-racial society” and that the “past is the past,” you are being used by white establishment to continue to keep our people in check. It absolutely matters where you start and every fight waged by our ancestors to be treated fairly and equally like other Americans, was met with the most devious, hateful, and mean-spirited resistance ever organized. The enslavement of our ancestors was a brutal and vicious institution that hurt us, I believe, permanently and it continues to haunt us today in every way.

White America would have us believe that our social and economic position in America is directly tied to our group inferiority and they have nothing to do with it. Obviously I disagree; they have everything to do with it. However, I have written many times that it is not what they are doing to us anymore, it is what we are not doing and what we are not doing is organizing at the highest level within our community to ensure that we can mount some level of defense against a multitude of issues that we face with none being greater than our economic struggles.

We must expand the concept of leadership in the Black community beyond the typical idea that one has when we think of Black leadership (i.e. clergy, elected officials). We must significantly expand the concept of Black leadership to include anyone who is in a position to help our community and support our liberation. The new definition of Black leaders is those that run organizations, agencies, or offices and have committed themselves to becoming “content” and “subject” experts in their chose fields. Restated, if you are out there fighting the fight for the liberation of Black people, then you are a Black leader and you, and only you, have the ability to defend our community; but, even this group must organize themselves.

This expanded group of Black leaders has knowledge of not only the conditions that challenge us, but also knowledge of American systems and institutions that we will need to use and influence going forward. This group is the only group amongst the Black community that can undertake this work because our issues and our opponents are formidable and cemented. The enemy can be seen in the massive negative disparities between the Black and white communities, and they cannot be defended with a march, wish or a prayer. It is going to require some serious organizing at every level starting with Black leadership.

In order to mount any significant campaign, the Black community must become experts in our efforts to defend ourselves. The Black community does not have the “in your face” white racist and racist laws that openly discriminate against Black people. No, we do not have “white only” signs, “Blacks need not apply,” or a rampant KKK that instills fear within the Black community, but we do have a criminal justice system that has wreaked havoc on Black men and, therefore, Black families and Black communities; a failed public education system that in 2017 is producing the worse students in our entire history; and the demise of Black businesses and startups making it nearly impossible for the Black community to achieve liberation.

We must have a scientific understanding about why the Black community is continually losing ground and when the Black community is supposed to be free. White America has been able to cleverly make things seem different for Black people while at the same time they hide behind the status quo which is defined by laws, policies and bad behavior, such as: 1) Laws – national, state, and local laws that still work against the interests of Black people (i.e. anti-wealth for Black businesses, weak or anti-affirmative action, three strike laws, etc.); 2) Policies – supposedly race-neutral public policies that clearly discriminate against Black people (i.e. funding for public education, competitive bids process that give white businesses an advantage, etc.); or 3) Bad behavior – we still have too many elected officials or decision makers who are in position to, in effect, continue the racist discrimination of Black people without interruption under the current status quo.

Each issue requires a different strategy because you cannot defeat a legal issue with a march or a protest. You must organize and/or change laws, which requires a different level of participation, capacity and commitment than if we were just focusing on bad behavior. If the issue is a policy that we must fight, normally the policy is supported by legal language and data that supports it and defeating that policy will require an equal level of data and organizing to not only defeat and replace it with a better one, but it will also require achieving the ability to unseat the leadership that adopted the failed policy. Equally, the fight against bad behavior requires that we have the ability to not only be able to identify those bad characters, but we must be able to sustain the momentum needed to fight them and to defeat them. This fight is long-term in nature. Our fight is multifaceted and must be waged on a number of fronts and it can only be waged with the expanded concept of Black leaders who must be accountable to Black people as well as the Black movement.

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