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As I See It

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This is not a rebuttal to but rather a reflection inspired by his earnest concern. What I have to say is debatable and even negative, but it is my “truth”, the personal opinion and theories that I have formed over 60 years of observing a struggle that recycles itself decade after decade as the same laments come and go, and the same calls for reforms echo each other, and the same strategies are swallowed up in the black hole of frustration.

Obviously, a lot of present black problems stem from the past. We all know how our ancestors were sold into bondage and brought to this country against their will. If they survived the brutal middle passage, upon their arrival they were in even more trouble because they were strangers in a strange land. Plantation life was not the natural environment of these uprooted Africans stripped of their identities, but they adapted, as over the centuries with the infusion of white blood into their veins, they became a hybrid breed with a unique culture that emerged from straddling the slave quarters and the master’s house.

Today the African American ethos is both positive and negative. Spontaneous, creative and inventive, we are a visually-oriented people more outstanding in the fields of entertainment and athletics, than the arts and sciences, - appreciative of all these pursuits both as spectators and participants. We are loud and demonstrative as well as quiet and brooding, stylish and flamboyant as well as simplistic and prim, a deeply religious people who celebrate our faith by making a joyful noise unto the lord, silently trusting in his will.

As eloquent black spokesmen like to point out, “we’ve made great strides against tremendous odds” but, as I regret to add, somewhere along the way, an element of us lagged behind and the ghetto evolved into a latter-day plantation where the welfare system replaced the slave masters by shackling its recipients to a system that stripped them of their independence. Similarly, the family unit among the under-classes reverted to the matriarchies of slavery days, becoming wombs for fatherless young males growing into prowling bucks eager to mate with nubile young wenches. Enter the “baby mama” syndrome and its “babies-having-babies” subset, a plague where the offspring of these casual couplings face a future of becoming either the victims or victimizers of street violence as the dead-end cycle of their aimless lives is replicated and passed down from generation to generation.

On the flip side, among the upwardly-mobile African Americans who escaped the ghetto through ambition, education, and good parenting, inroads have been made when it comes to emulating the model for success that represents status in the dominant society. Yet assimilation did not overwhelm and the black mystique has remained in tact as those who embody it, retained their swagger and grace, - the cool hipness that is admired and envied by members of the greater society, even as they install their glass ceilings. Not to be denied, the African DNA also persisted, morphing into the present where in the realm of concrete jungles, platinum is the new ivory, rappers the new griots, tattoos the new body paint, street gangs the new tribes, and Ebonics, the dialect that comes natural to the cadence and tongue of African descendants, the new Swahili.

Unfortunately, all classes of Black Americans are definitely too focused on what they want, instead of what they need. Materialism has become as detrimental to them as racism, bringing with it the burden of debt and bad credit. Sadly, the desire for expensive acquisitions is not coupled with a great deal of business acumen. Too often black entrepreneurs think small, and fall short when it comes to being good administrators, or displaying prudence in financial matters, or promptness in delivering the goods. Aside from murder, even black crimes are petty, be they white collar ones or street muggings. High finance is not our strong suit. At the core of our being we are a spiritual people, more in tune with the ebb and flow of nature than with manufactured constraints.

Education should be our salvation but public schools have been abandoned by those who can afford private institutions. Without conscientious parents willing to participate in the learning process, these human warehouses will continue to turn out the ignorant, undisciplined, potential menaces to society that drag the whole black race down.

So Blacks are in limbo, the inhabitants of a country where, because institutionalized racism is alive and well, they are still subjected to discrimination. We have a common bond, but the common bond is weakened by our diversity. We see things through the prism of our own experiences and the black experience is as varied as our skin color - which just may be a factor in how we experience our blackness. Since we are not monolithic, and are lacking a collective consciousness, we cannot unite because we have conflicting agendas and an absence of cohesive leadership. In short, we are a ubiquitous conglomerate that has been around for 400 years, and have yet to maintain traction. Why?? I ponder the question as to whether it’s because Western civilization is not our matrix.

For Blacks, America is a “pseudo promise land” where their viability is not a concern of the white powers-that-be, or the brown masses that thwart us with their numbers and willingness to do common labor, or the yellow tide that swamps us with their technical skills and convenience stores. We are on our own, immersed in our consumerism, bartering our measly currency for the goods and services of others. Some of us through ability and luck will enjoy a modest degree of success, treading water in the mainstream while others will flounder in poverty or waste away in the collateral damage of criminal injustice. And the beat goes on, pounded by the omnipresent System.

In conclusion, I submit that there are no clear-cut solutions to the fragmentation of the Black community because it is a multifaceted problem. Each of us will have to strive to make things better by setting an example within our immediate sphere, and - pray that the cream will rise to the top and then congeal into a new and improved entity.

Of course there is always the possibility of a miracle, and maybe that is where our hope for the future lies – in the hands of the younger generation who will roll up their sleeves - and pull up their pants, and prove me wrong.



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Classic Cynique.

I don't think anything will change, for the better, in this country until all people are respected. As long as we are fragmented into various groups, factions and sub-factions pitted against one another -- making advances only at the expense of each another. Unless this changes we are doomed to failure or, at best, continuing to support the extremely small minority of people with the real power and wealth.

In my short 50 years I see people isolating themselves even more, private schools, private parks behind gated communities. The most lucrative and cushy corporate gigs beyond the reach of most people.

The idea that ANYONE in this country would be against universal health care -- given the wealth that has been created here is alarmingly bewildering to me.

The idea that ANYONE would tolerate entire generatiosn of kids being under educated, then incarcerated just unbelievable.

In my mind this is no different that when Black people were enslaved (&do=embed' frameborder='0' data-embedContent>&do=embed' frameborder='0' data-embedContent>&do=embed' frameborder='0' data-embedContent>&do=embed' frameborder='0' data-embedContent>&do=embed' frameborder='0' data-embedContent>&do=embed' frameborder='0' data-embedContent>). The minority of rich White folks kept a system going they KNEW was morally wrong, because they benefited financially. The masses of, mostly poor, white folks were easily manipulated into believing they were superior to the enslaved African and helped fight, and even die, to keep a system in place that did not benefit them.

Slavery only ended after a conflict so bloody the nation was almost destroyed. I suspect an event, just a great, will have to occur before any of the ills that plague the Black community -- indeed the vast majority of people in this country -- will improve.

The nation's unity must span all people, otherwise this country is doomed.

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:) That's so lovely already.@ Troy.

One of Emperor Selassie I's speeches included these words:

...until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned; that until there are no longer any first-class and second-class citizens of any nation; that until the basic human rights are equally guaranteed to all, without regard to race -- until that day, the dream of lasting peace and world citizenship and the rule of international morality will remain but a fleeting illusion to be pursued but never attained.

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Oh I never knew these were Hallie Selassie's words I know them from Bob Marley's War.

Of course it make sense to extend the sentiment globally. I'm sure religious fundamentalism will prevent this from happening.

It is odd to consider that religion would be an impediment to global harmony. Humanity has a long way to go.

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Anywhere at at anytime the denial of human rights is, such condtions will be. The root of the national problem and the root of the global problem are one.

Religion itself is harmless. It is like a gun. A gun by itself is harmless.

Religion is merely a tool and as it is with any tool, it is what people do with a tool that matters.

Oh you know that tune? Yeah, I need to raid your stash, bet you got some sweet, sweet music. Yes though, a lot of people quote Bob Marley on that, but Bob based it off Selassie I's words.

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"Religion itself is harmless. It is like a gun. A gun by itself is harmless."

da heck you MEAN you ain't sure iif you agree wit my analogy?? YOU WANNA FIGHT ME, TROY!?? You can either AGREE with me or be WRONG and DIE FOR IT! State Policy; Get down or LAY DOWN! (Representin da red, white, and BLUE, Baby! These young heads don't know what REAL thug life is. lol) Mad, sick, head deh pon vacation.. :wacko: Don't mind me. :D

I'm glad that you made a thread out of it. It has made for a very interesting discussion.

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