View Full Version : Between the Lines

01-25-2005, 03:36 PM

In our final set of solutions to the “Black Dilemma,” we have to end as we started, asking the question, How did Blacks come to such state of affairs? “The White Man” did it—while partially true—is the easy way out. Blacks are in no way as helpless as they appear. W.E.B. DuBois, in a posthumous book entitled, The Education of Black People: Ten Critiques, 1906-1960, stated in a 1938 essay called “The Revelation of Saint Orgne, the Damned,” that “A people who buy each year at least a half billion dollars worth of goods and services are not helpless.”

If you fast-forwarded that 67 years to 2005, you could say that a people that spend almost a trillion dollars on goods and services (black consumer spending being over $800 billion at least count) are definitely not helpless. That’s more than the gross national product of half the nations of the world. That’s more than any three of America’s largest banks combined. Yet, African Americans act as powerless as they did during segregation, and in some instances, after slavery when you consider Blacks at the end of the 19th Century (30 years out of slavery) owned more land than Blacks (twice as large in population numbers) at the end of the 20th Century.

There is a mentality pervasive in the mindset of the African American that keeps him bound though he’s (she’s) been free for 140 years now. A mentality that keeps him in a box of dependency and reliance on others. A mentality that makes him spend everything he has with others and keep nothing for himself. A mentality that causes him to give his life’s labor to others and build nothing for himself. A mentality that causes him to respect others most than his respects himself, and to put more faith in other’s thought or scholarship than in his own. The biggest barrier to freedom and equality for the African American is overcoming his “Negro” self, an invention of American culture that turned the world’s original man, original producer, original thinker, into a feeble-minded, dependent, robotic race of consumers and laborers. The overwhelming number of the 40 million Blacks in America work for someone else, and spend with someone other than themselves. Blacks are trapped in their “Negro” psyche where they can’t help themselves, and can enrich others. How do we overcome the mindset and behaviors of our “Negro” selves? Here’s our last ten solutions to the “Black dilemma;

Solution 41: “Confess with thy tongue” that you are a Negro if you do any one of five things; 1) Worked all your life for somebody else and have no money saved, 2) Spend most of your money with non-black producers of goods and services, 3) Don’t trust any other Blacks outside your family (and sometimes, not them), 4) Do nothing for anybody else (community service) other than yourself, 5) Help “build the wall of racial inequality” higher by refusing to speak out or stand up for right. If you do any of these things, say to yourself, “Damn, I’m a Negro and I need de-programming.” Nobody thinks they’re a Negro, and a “Negro Conversion” Center would probably go empty if asked the Negro to surrender himself but, fact of the matter is, most of us have Negro behaviors that we have to consciously check, in order for our reality to change. The condition of the Negro will never change until we rid ourselves of the mindset of helplessness and dependency.

Solution 42: Stop resisting change. Remember Martin Luther King, Jr. was only 26 years old when he led the Montgomery Movement, 28 years when he founded SCLC, and 35 when he won the Noble Peace Prize. But he was also put out of the National Baptist Convention (he left and co-founded the National Progressive Baptist Convention), criticized by the NAACP (and other traditional) leaders. The Negro resists change. Understand that everything must change, and we need to learn to go with change instead of always resisting it.

Solution 43: Train new leaders to succeed old ones. The Negro read the leadership book but closed the book before the leadership succession chapter. The Negro thinks he can lead forever. Each generation leads itself. Everyone knows and practices this except the Negro. This can’t go on.

Solution 44: Think in terms of the next generation. The Bible tells us that a wise man plans for the next generation. The Negro can’t see beyond his own life and lives only for today. Stop it.

Solution 45: Change what we teach our children. The Negro told their children to “go to school and get a good job.” While they were well-intentioned, we now know that it was flawed advice. We should now tell them to “go to school, learn their trade (work for someone 5-10 years), then start your own business.” Wealth is created through small business, not jobs. We can’t leave our children our jobs. We can leave them the businesses we build, the inventions we create, and our thoughts (the books, poetry, movies and songs we write) that they can profit from.

Solution 46: Re-orientate our children to buy all the land they can (as we did after slavery). Somewhere along the way, the Negro thought it was better to rent next to white people than buy wherever they were. Today, you have people paying $1,500 to 2,000 a month rent when that same amount will pay the mortgage on a $300,000 to $500,000 house that they could own and build equity it. Even poor Blacks can own homes. Hell, poor Whites and poor Latinos do it. What do they know that we don’t know? They understand the importance of ownership. So should we.

Solution 47: Reject racism wherever it exists and speak out whenever it occurs. The Negro, somewhere in 1980s, came to tolerate racism. They didn’t want to lose a job or “cause any trouble.” No, they would rather live mad themselves—and shorten their life—over the continuing injustices in the world—which remain as long as we’re silent. Teach out children to do the same.

Solution 48: Give nobody a free pass when it comes to our dignity. We must criticize Whites, Blacks and anybody else that assault our dignity in this society. We are not respected because others see that we don’t respect ourselves, and they treat us as we treat ourselves. Somewhere along the way, the Negro lost his dignity and his children have no dignity, calling themselves, “Niggas, *itches, and Hoes,” and doing anything for money. Re-claim black dignity.

Solution 49: Make no more excuses about why we can’t lift ourselves up. The “excuse” has become the Negro moniker. He (or she) can always find a reason black people can’t do something, which is really a reason as to why they’re not doing to improve the situation.
Stop it.

Solution 50: Find a way to build unity. Division is our biggest weakness and the biggest reason for Blacks lack of progress. The Negro took generational division to a whole ‘nother level. We have to find a way to come together, or we will always be played against each other. “Willie Lynch,” after 400 years, must die within the African American culture for us to life as equals in this society. We cannot succeed in this society as a race of “individuals,” “doing our own thing.” The last 50 years have proven this. We must shake all Negro grudges (old versus young, light versus dark, men versus women, rich versus poor, Christian and Muslim) and come to each other.

These 50 solutions won’t solve all of Black America’s problems, but it will put the race in a better place and better space than it is now. We need to start somewhere. Here’s 50 ways to start.

Anthony Asadullah Samad is a national columnist, author and managing director of the Urban Issues Forum. His new book, 50 Years After Brown: The State of Black Equality In America can be ordered online (go to www.thestateofblackequality.com). He can be reached for comments at www.AnthonySamad.com

Part I (http://eurweb.com/story.cfm?id=18060)
Part II (http://eurweb.com/story.cfm?id=18154)
Part III (http://eurweb.com/story.cfm?id=18266)
Part IV (http://eurweb.com/story.cfm?id=18402)

EURWEB (http://eurweb.com/story.cfm?id=18527)

01-25-2005, 10:04 PM
Thank you for the link. I will send it to everyone I know. Starting today I'm BELIEVING that change is possible.

01-26-2005, 05:18 AM
:pop: I can't really start with this, I'll end up writing my "own" essay! We all know that the problem is, nobody wants to hear the solution, and those who do, can't, won't, or don't "Act" on that solution.

01-26-2005, 01:21 PM
The author is on point. IMO we all are guilty of at least one of the issues he so eloquently speaks to.

As long as we continue to allow others to do for us, what we are more than capable of accomplishing, the state of black america will remain unchanged. While the physical bonds have been broken, the mental still prevail. :(