Black America is challenged to its' core. We want to be accepted in a world that has not truly wanted to accept us. As a race of people we are split in our opinions of our past history and our today. Interestingly our nation's political debate includes reparations as a solution to address over 400+ years of slavery that built America. Again the people speaking out against such solutions are Black people. Black politicians like US Rep Jim Clyburn, D-Columbia have said “I think pure reparations would be impossible to implement...but we can deal with the issue (of racial inequality) if we just admit, first of all, that it exists and then come up with some straightforward ways to deal with it.” I disagree, our country will never be able to deal with or handle the issues of race.
The cover story reflects the importance of the mighty Black Press - the single thread of news and information that keeps us able to communicate with one another. However, I know the Black Press is always challenged. Our own people choose not to advertise in our papers because they don't see the importance or believe in mainstream media to define us and our image. Also technology changes have pushed the traditional newspapers out of circulation and the thought that Black Newspapers fall under the same rules is mistakenly applied by marketing experts around our nation. Our papers have been a carrying the message of freedom and telling our own story, White media companies won't cover or print for years. Our newspapers and the Black press is now forced to die or reinvent what they offer in a new medium that works with the changing times.
But are all things old broken? The rise of hate groups in America, and especially the hate groups who want to make America great again, have used good ole fashion flyers, to propagate their messages of White supremacy and power. If flyers, which are also old school, have great value - to me a newspaper has even greater value. If we are to convey and communicate the fierce urgency of change, then we must support our Black newspapers by doing our part - reading and advertising. After spending significant time in my lifetime working with US Presidents to State Governors to Senators and Representatives to City Mayors, City Council members and County Commissioners, I have learned each person is easily influenced and targeted by groups to be servants to their agenda. Likewise, through my 20 years service in the US Military, I have also been taught how to think and act that is "appropriate" to the occasion. I pass this on to my children in terms of what I believe is important and so forth. Each of you do the same. But how we respond and think about ourselves may not be right at all.
I give you the context because as I was reading excerpts from a book entitled,
"Awakening The Natural Genius of Black Children" by Amos N. Wilson, the author made me think if everything that I had read, learned, been taught was provided to shape my thoughts so that I would be more passive, less concerned, or even have a nonchalant attitude about life and life outcomes as a Black man.
This is what the author wrote and I encourage you to give me your thoughts online, so we can really understand if this natural genius can be achieved in America, in Texas, in San Antonio. The author is speaking to me by saying, “For the Black man to be in the position he is today, he has to be ‘out of his mind.’ We have to be. For a people to vote and pay taxes for weapons that are going to destroy their very lives and the future of their people, they have to be out of their minds. For physicists to build weapons that would end their lives and the lives of their children, they have to be out of their minds. For biologists and for doctors with MDs to develop bacteria so that populations can be wiped out by disease, which also means that their own children and their future generations can be wiped out, they must be out of their minds.”
“For us to sit here and be unaware of what is going on in the world means that we have to be out of touch with reality. And one of the major instruments for putting people out of their minds is education. It is often the very basis for making people ignorant. It is the intellectual and the PhD that have us in the trouble we’re in today. Who do you think builds atomic weapons—the man in the street? No! The physicist who went to school and wanted to be a ‘Mr. Spock’ figure, only concerned with the facts, only concerned with mathematics, only concerned with being objective, only concerned with having an amoral education, only concerned with an education that has no central values, morality, religion.”
In my march to help our people, our families and our Black owned businesses, I have been counseled that for Black people to adopt, adapt to and assume the practices of our oppressors is suicidal.
Wilson continues by saying “If the Europeans are to continue to dominate us, certain intellectual, social, emotional-behavioral and organizational abilities must be repressed in Afrikan children; the ability to read and understand language profoundly must be reduced. The White man is so arrogant that he puts his knowledge right in front of our face most often in written form. He doesn’t keep us from reading, he doesn’t keep us from buying books. But he has so manipulated our interest and motivation, has put us in such a state that he can place written and other forms of information right before our eyes and we will not look at and understand them. And every means by which the White man rules us is written in books—every one of them. But we are not going to see them. We read about the rat in the Skinner box and don’t know we are the rat in the box. We read about Pavlov’s dog and we don’t know that we are the dog! We read how he (the White man) controls consciousness: he has whole chapters on consciousness, how people are put under hypnosis, how to propagandize people. All of these methods are in books. The White imperialists does not hide them from us at all. Because he knows that our mentality is twisted in such a way he has little need to do so. Because he has reduced early in our lives the ability to go beyond what we see. He has reduced early in our lives our intense desire to pursue sequential-thinking and implications; to read something and to ask what does it mean for the future? Or he reduces early in our lives our ability or desire to look in the past, connect it with the present, and project it into the future. We live for the moment.”
My question is how do we stop living for the moment? How do we organize to reclaim the natural genius that is inside of us? How do we come together to reject "White privilege" in the age of attack of mere Black existence? As Blacks are still being killed in record numbers, and being jailed and enslaved and as police are called on us when no crime has been committed at an alarming rate, how do we respond? Do we communicate our problems through the Black Press and alert our neighbors of what's going on? Are we asleep and don't know how to act, organize and function? Interesting enough, I know we shouldn't be consumed in all of this madness as we will go crazy thinking about all of this. I conclude by saying, maybe living in the moment allows us to escape the realities of being Black. My pastor would advise me that we should pray more and leave this warfare to God to handle on our behalf. Certainly even with freedom, I sense we are in the wilderness. What do you believe...what do you say?