Jul 30, 2008
Failure To Lift The Race: My Reflections On The Legacy of Black Male Leadership!
Hasn’t black male leadership or the lack thereof been an abysmal failure?
I am as a black male willing to acknowledge the historical successes as well as to admit to the long-term historical failures of black male leadership (in deference to what the white races may have or not done to our race dating back to antiquity), and this is not to say that the Nordic/Aryan/Teutonic races have not made some obviously colossal blunders themselves.
I keep asking myself, why haven’t we been strong enough to overcome our challenges and to stand upon our own two feet? Our failure to do so only gives vent to their feelings of mental superiority? Why are blacks so dependent on whites, even in black nations around the world that ought to be independently wealthy nations given the valuable resources underneath their feet? It is scandalous when you consider how oftentimes those resources are to make whites and other races rich?
My God, blacks and some Arabs too, have sold everything in order to benefit others, our continent and even our own sisters and brothers, and still the African continent which ought to be the richest continent on earth, lags behind other inhabited continents, even a small by comparison country the United States of America, which would not be what it is if not for the African Continent!
Our dependency upon the white race to provide jobs, education, healthcare, comestibles, enterprise systems, technology, leadership, even vaccines to stop the spread of disease (consider Ebola and Aids) … must stop. This only underscores my conclusion that we either lack the capacity, will or a belief in our own ability to solve our own problems.
Why is it that we euphemistically push the idea of acquiring a western-centric education as an elixir that will solve our youngster’s problems in the world?
Aren’t we teaching them to retain their dependence upon someone else’s system, a system that was never created or designed to benefit them in the first or second place? When will we devise our own viable systems that will inure to the benefit of our own, as well as others who want to be a part of a truly equitable system?
Our boys in America have given up simply because white America has not provided jobs for them, and because no matter what they do (and many have tried), they are not being accepted in a system that was never designed for them in the first place, other than to be used as servants and garden utensils. Did the white man fail our kids? Should we put that burden on their backs, or have we failed our own kids, and aren’t our kids also failing themselves?
White conservatives will love what I am writing, but the fact of the matter is that we are dependent on the white man for our living and dying?
Isn’t the real failure reflected in our communities, particularly among our boys (who are to be the titular heads of their families) because all of us together have been waiting on the white man to rescue us? The white man, even the racist ones have provided more opportunities (jobs) for our kids and for us, than we have provided for our kids and ourselves!
A child raised in a welfare home, is unwittingly taught to depend on the system, and that dependency lasts for some from the cradle to the grave, even the ones who find a job that was provided by someone else! And when things go wrong, who do they blame? Of course, they blame the man!
And don’t misunderstand me for getting an education can be a fine thing, but it shouldn’t be done just so that one can get a job; aside from an education, every person ought to devise a way to take care of him or herself. I would argue that if every black American were to garner a doctorate from Harvard let’s say, our community would still experience a disproportionate rate of high unemployment, ala El Hajj’s question, what do you call a black man with a PhD…? Like most groups in America, as you have pointed out, there is a leg missing on the community/economic/enterprise stool in the black community!
We must create our own models that work wherein our own people have an opportunity to rise to the top, just as other communities are doing. Otherwise, we will be lost or exploited even more in the burgeoning global economy as we continue to beg for jobs and for other hand-outs, healthcare, retirement…! Our ideal model may not have anything to do with currency for it is not money that we need outside of the current system, but a means of providing a successful quality of life for ourselves and our young! Why did W.E.B. Dubois return to the motherland where he was willing to live and complete his life as an indigent by western standards? Was he indigent mentally? I think not!
Who failed? We certainly cannot blame the black women for our historical failing because in 70% of black American households, black women are raising the kids (Bishop Jakes’ comments aside that black women can’t raise children - obviously, they are raising the children and oftentimes without any assistance from black males), they can’t do it all. If the black women weren’t raising them, the kids would be abandoned to the streets, the grandparents, or to the white man’s adoption or child-warehousing system. Why? We don’t have one of those either!
The fact is that our kids should not give up, but on the other hand we must lift ourselves as a race and create a commonweal/system, currency-based or not, that works for our youngsters as well as for us. And, our youngsters who have been taught to be dependents must create their own sense of community in addition to enterprises that will sustain them as well as their loved ones. The killing off of each other, selling drugs and going to prison by our young is a cowardly cop out, one in which the end result is still dependency upon the white man’s penal system to take care of them for 20 to 40 years, or to bury them.
It is time for us to come together and to fix what is broken within our psyches and within our communities. I watched a program on television the other night, about the sub-Saharan females who were doing back breaking work in order to reclaim portions of the desert in order to plant crops. And those women accomplished their objectives, and as a result, they have reinvented a system that is working to provide for themselves and their families.
But I thought to myself, where are the men? The men, as it had turned out, went off to look for jobs, of the kind that they will likely never get anyway. Why couldn’t these black males create opportunities for themselves I wonder, why didn’t they help to reclaim the land and create an agricultural system to feed themselves and their family. I know that we are getting in to the area of cultural anthropology here, but the question still begs to be answered.
Who needs a job anyway? Isn’t a job today, simply a western invention? One can have a job, but still fail to lead or to be a leader!
What humans need, is what took place in Eden I believe, a method or way to create, security, sustenance and fulfillment for individuals and for their families, and there are people around the world who are doing just that and without currency. They may not drive a Lexus, Cadillac or BMW, but their lives seem to be living fulfilling lives!
God apparently spoke to Jeremiah thousands of years ago, when the Hebrew system was system not working, by God’s standards. See Jeremiah the 1st Chapter.
Then the LORD put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth. See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.
Even God recognizes that at times that there is nothing else to be done but to put someone over a nation (ethnos), who will root out, pull down, destroy, throw down and then build and plant all over again.
We need to start again, instead of hoping to repair a system that is apparently doomed either to failure, or to serve the needs of only certain groups or individuals who choose to thrive in this type of system. Some of us might have to remove ourselves to cooperatives or to our own reservations where we can begin again, and restore dignity and fulfillment to the lives of our youngsters, and bequeath something to them that works, something that they can build upon!
And I will end on an educational note, knowledge without understanding is a waste, therefore Solomon wrote, get knowledge (education), and get an understanding. We have a lot of people in our communities with degrees (knowledge), but many still do not have an understanding sufficient enough to help solve the problem in our communities!
If someone were to shoot me and I fell down and chose to remain there until I died, who would be responsible then for my death?Should I wait until the person who shot me rescues me or calls an ambulance, or should I try to save myself?
Peace & Grace
Reverend C. Solomon