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Black People: We Are Under Attack


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Our very existence is under attack.

This is not hyperbole. I wish it were. Many of the games we've made have been reversed.

Off the top of my head:

  • There are fewer Black studies programs in our colleges and universities
  • We have lost the vast majority of of Black bookstores over the last two decades
  • Black radio is virtually dead
  • Black film is virtually dead
  • The Black voices on the Internet is dying
  • Black newspapers are dying
  • Black magazines are dying
  • Black folks are being incarcerated at an alarming rate
  • Black unemployment rates are staggeringly horrific
  • Our course Black at the bottom of every major social economic measure available
  • Mental illness is a major problem
  • Our numbers in significant roles in corporate America are still very small
  • I could go on...

The fight required to reverse this is on the scale of what the civil rights fight required.

This most tragic aspect of this dilemma is that it is happening virtually no outrage, no resistance, and an almost complete apathy on the part of the victims.

Part of the reason is that the vast majority of us have no idea what is going on and have no ideal what a serious problem we are facing. We have too little conscious media to detail and explain what is happening.

Most of our media, radio, TV, film, the web, magazines is too focused on celebrity nonsense. It is like a narcotic numbing us to the to the pain we are suffering. As a result we want, indeed need, even more to stay sane.

Of course the problem is our very culture. Blacks are not the only victims, the vast majority of Americans are -- it is just we, as Black people, are suffering far more than any other demographic.

We are going to need wake up and do something before it is too late.

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In the midst of all of those very real things is the thought that we've "arrived", that since we can sit anywhere on the bus as we so please and that, as those t-shirts read, "our president is black", we are free.

Loosely quoting Mama Harriet Tubman. "I freed a thousand slaves. I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew that they were slaves."

Perhaps the saddest reality in all of this, Troy, is that our own people will be the first to attack those of us who say that we are under attack, that we are not yet free. The boat can have holes in it and that's quite all right, but don't you dare rock it. Still, as my beloved elder who is now in the realm of ancestors would remind us, we have all been affected and the effects take diffferent forms, but the effects are there. Generation after generation of living in terror and deprivation can screw up even the best of us. Resistance from within, of various degrees and for various reasons, is to be expected.

Also, as you said, we need to wake up and do something and it is imperative that it takes place in this order and not the other way around. I feel that it is very important to organize on the grassroots level and not just wait for somebody behind a podium, be this a politician or a 'public intellectual'. When we look around, we see that there are even more churches in da hood than liquor stores. All of these churches and yet there is no community organizing taking place. What is the need for ALL of these different churches anyway? Just think of what could happen if most of the people from these various churches decided to come together with common goals in mind. Why should a thought like this be considered too "ideal"? It was not so long ago that the implementation of such an idea was commonplace, but then again, maybe it is because it's hard to stay asleep when you're being sprayed with water hoses and being attacked by dogs.

I have a feeling, however, that if Romney is elected, black people will be forced to wake up. I think that four more years of Obama will be four more years of slumbering while the house continues to burn down, because for most of our people, Obama has been The Great Anesthesiologist.

Lastly, in building for the future, the minds of the children should be of utmost importance. We have got to stop thinking that children are too young to be taught about what it is that we are facing and their roles in it.They need to be taught that their gifts/talents are not just for self-centered benefit but that they are primarily for the uplift of the collective. Since we are teaching much of what will be taught and tthey need to be taught very early on that they are being groomed on today to carry the torch on tomorrow.

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Very insightful post. However, I don't believe this is something that will ever change unless we as people start changing our mindset and start making a difference. We tend to have a mindset of WINIF (whats in it for me) and some of that I understand because we have been repressed, oppressed, discriminated against, etc. But we no longer have to have a victim mindset unless it's in being victorious. That's my take on it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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Thebooklook, that sounds like a good idea -- lets add that to the agenda of our next meeting.

Taschainc, nice to meet you in The Big Easy a couple of weeks ago.

Waterstar, I bet if 24 hours, 1,000 channels of TV was available in the 1950's the civil rights movement would have never gotten of the ground. Throw in a couple of Tyler Perry flicks each year, an MLK mega church, and Facebook. We would almost certainly still be sitting in the back of a bus -- but we'd enjoy being on the bus.

Perhaps a Romney presidency would be the spark that ignites a wake up call -- assuming things get much worse (but who knows things might get better under his watch).

Last week I visited a historic site that I suspect many adults under 40 would not recognize.


I find it difficult to image people would be willing to fight so hard, and to sacrifice so much just to be treated fairly, justly. Back then it seems many of the individuals on the ground, fighting, were young people. I just can't see young people engaging in this type of battle today.

This is not a slight against young people today, but an indictment against the elders that came before the young folks today. We dropped the ball somewhere between thinking the job was over and enjoying a few new "freedoms".

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FinanceFree. You actually raise a couple of interesting points. Which I will challenge just for the sake f think through.

  1. I'm not so sure that we are truly capable of controlling ourselves. By virtue of the fact that most of us engage of behavior we know will end with bad consequences even through we know this n advance.
  2. While you or I can not (and should not) control other individuals. Collectively, we have to actively control the behaviors of individuals. Some of these controls are obvious, stopping people from killing, raping and robbing each other, some controls are less obvious.

Perhaps we need to exert a little more control over folks to prevent a worsening of the current problems?

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Troy said

This is not a slight against young people today, but an indictment against the elders that came before the young folks today. We dropped the ball somewhere between thinking the job was over and enjoying a few new "freedoms".

I feel the same way about us dropping the ball somewhere thinking the job was over, enjoying a few new "freedoms".

I don't think it's just about pointing the fingers. I think it's about acknowledging what has happened and all focusing on picking the ball back up and pressing on differently.

We have to be the change that we wish to see and little changes can and will make a great difference. More than anything, we need to start with love, unity, and loyalty. We have adopted the "We four and no more" type of mentality. We need to be more concerned with the collective and not only concerned with those under our roofs. If more of us had this type of mentality, we would really be well on our way.

Also, I don't think many of us will disagree with the fact that many things in this world take money. However, there are many children that could use our intelligence, wisdom, and love and guess what? We could use theirs, too. Just being willing to donate time and energy to be a positive influence in these children's lives could help to do wonders. It is not easy for them. It is commonplace for them to be dealing with all kinds of problems that children just should not have to deal with and many of us as adults never take this into consideration as we express disgust for the way they are and the things that they do.

Things are so different today.The children of today are like "nobody's children" when it was not so long ago that they were "everyone's children Not to say that things were ever perfect or that they will ever be perfect, but I think that most of us can remember a time when there was more love and more reaching out.

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I think the answer is what can you create from this carnage?

Nearly everything you wrote can be said the same for "white" media, newspapers, etc. Is it worse for us; yes. But that trend is nothing new.

However, entrepreneurism is greatest during the downturn not the boon. Things have changed and will continue to do so. How do you foster a new economy now that the cheese has (and continues to) move?

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It is about asking the right questions, isn't it? And very often the answer is hidden in the question. Very Zen. Ingenuity is really called for to salvage order from "chaos". This is what separates the visionaries from the myopics. If nothing else, it will be "interesting" to see where the future will take us.

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