brotherpeacemaker

It's about our community and our spirituality!

God Damn The Black Community

“God helps those who help themselves!” – Benjamin Franklin

Reverend Jeremiah Wright is in the news again and is said to be a distraction to Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, by far his most famous former parishioner. Reverend Wright has spent the last week or so giving his side of the story. Mr. Wright feels that he has been personally attacked and also feels that the institution of the black church has been attacked by the dominant American culture. He’s been referred to as a kook and described as trying to knee cap Mr. Obama’s presidential bid. Mr. Obama tried to minimize his relationship with his former pastor. But when that didn’t put the issue to rest, Mr. Wright conveniently comes back on the scene to give Mr. Obama a second chance to sever the relationship cleanly in the public’s eye.

The overwhelming majority of America never knew Mr. Wright prior to the networks airing of the infamous recording of Mr. Wright saying that god should be damning America instead of blessing America. People refer to Mr. Wright as a blatant racist although he never once said white people were the problem. Mr. Wright said black and white people are different with neither one being better than the other. But this is too racist a concept for most. White and black people are actually saying that Jeremiah Wright is the problem. No one of any prominence has given Mr. Wright any understanding or support, with the possible exception of Bill Moyers when he hosted Mr. Wright on his PBS show Bill Moyers Journal and allowed the former pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ to defend himself without adding fuel to the fire of controversy. Mr. Moyers doesn’t have a political agenda to push so it is no surprise that he isn’t condemning Mr. Wright the way that the typical network pundit would.

But nevertheless, for the most part, when it comes to the black community, Mr. Wright is standing alone. Other than Mr. Moyers, I have yet to see any high profile support. Where are the leaders of the black community? Where are the people who claim to the welfare of the black community a top priority? It is a given that white people would want take the five or ten minutes of Mr. Wright’s sermons that have captured America’s attention as gospel. When Mr. Wright says god should damn America white people take this personally for America is white America. America is baseball, hot dogs, apple pie, and Chevrolet. America is the corporate environment where white people rule the upper management, white people make up the vast majority of middle workers, and black people make up the bottom rung of the corporate ladder in janitorial services and the mailroom. To say America is messing up is to say that white people are messing up since they are the ones in control of 98% of America’s institutions. And these corporate institutions are using their resources to pick Mr. Wright apart and make him an example of what happens when you bad mouth America’s managment team.

And with an election coming, and with the chance that a black man could actually obtain the highest office in America’s land, America will push with all of its corrupt corporate capitalist might to find anything and emphasize anything to keep Mr. Obama from obtaining the title of President of the United States. It is truly understandable why the dominant community would work so hard to keep the status quo of white only from being broken. Black man might become President and try do something positive for the black community. White America just can’t take that chance. So I can understand why the Tucker Carlsons and Sean Hanitys and Pat Buchanans of the world to persecute Mr. Wright, and therefore Mr. Obama by association. These are the type of people who would be content to see the despair of the black community continue without end. But where are the people who say that they have a vested interest in the uplift of the black community?

Where are the people who are more likely to defend Mr. Wright? Barack Obama tried to distance himself from Mr. Wright without outright rejecting him and it nearly cost him his lead in the presidential nomination race. There is too much to lose. So regardless of what Mr. Obama says to the contrary it is relatively easy to see how his highly visible divorce from Mr. Wright can be considered politically advantageous. So it doesn’t take much of a brain to see that there will be no comfort there. Where are the other high profile blacks who sit in black churches on a weekly basis and can relate to what Mr. Wright says about being black in America? Are we in the black community are supposed to believe that Jeremiah Wright is a lone exception with a totally unique perspective of the relationship between America and what she has done for and what she has done to the black community? Are we to believe that no other black high profile black celebrity has any idea what he is referring to?

Certainly there must be a gangster rap artist who is aware of what Mr. Wright is saying. Rap artist are constantly depicting the despair of the black community. Certainly these artists must know about the disparity that Mr. Wright is talking about. How about the black actors who must appear in works of fiction without any, or a severely limited number, of black actors appearing as characters that provide positive role models for the black community? Certainly these artists know a little something about being black in America and how black people have to work harder and longer just to get their foot in the door. Where are the black people who work in the corporate environment that sees black people at the bottom and white people at the top? Where are the black police officers, lawyers, judges, bureaucrats, lawyers, doctors, and other black professionals who see the inequality between the black community and its white counterpart?

No one else has a clue as to what is happening. No one is willing to come forward and add their voice to the outrage of inequality in the social conditions of this country. We are supposed to believe that so many black people are too afraid, too complacent, too oblivious, or black people want to assimilate so badly that they support, even encourage, the unfairness under some pretense such as the black community is not being subjugated and simply needs to lift itself out of its predicament by making the choice not to be in a disparaging predicament. Granted many black people fit into one of these categories. But I refuse to believe there isn’t a single high profile black professional or celebrity who doesn’t feel the same way Mr. Wright feels enough to say something about it.

Change doesn’t happen when a single person is the only dissenting voice. It is far too easy to dismiss a single voice as little more than a crackpot or a trouble maker. Change happens when a single voice is joined by another voice and those voices are joined by more voices until there are so many voices that they cannot be dismissed as an exception to the rule. Those voices become a force that must be reckoned with.

If America’s black community allows Jeremiah Wright to be relegated to crackpot status until humanity becomes just another part of oblivion then we truly deserve to be subjugated. We think it is so much more important to keep the hope alive that Barack Obama will be the first black person to gain the White House that we are willing to let the truths that Mr. Wright spoke of be labeled as little more than a single black man’s slander against our beloved country. We are willing to let a man who has the audacity to boldly speak on our behalf, to boldly speak on Mr. Obama’s behalf, to be publicly crucified by the dominant community. We choose to become complacent in the rejection of the man who says something troubling is afoot in the black community in order not to stoke the fears of the dominant community.

If the black community does not stand firmly behind Jeremiah Wright, if we do not stand up and say he is correct and he speaks on behalf of us, then everything the dominant community says about us is true. Even if we disagree with everything he said he believes he is speaking on behalf of the black community.  We should not be so quick to abandon a black person simply because the white community finds him or her offensive.  The white community rarely abandons its own simply because black people find him or her offensive.  If we allow ourselves to submit to the establishment without so much as a peep then we choose to be victims. We make the collective choice to be subjugated. We choose not to use whatever means necessary to get ourselves out of our plight. We choose to turn our backs at the chance for a movement. We choose not to be unified for our own self interest. And if all of that is true, then we owe the dominant community a huge apology, for obviously the only power they have over us is the power we let them have. And we can forget all that smack about god damn America. What everybody should be saying from this point on is god damn the black community!

Monday, May 5, 2008 - Posted by | African Americans, Barack Obama, Black Community, Black Culture, Black History, Black People, Jeremiah Wright, Life, Racism, Thoughts

49 Comments »

  1. WOW, BP!!

    That hurt! Yet, it hurt so good!! Everything you say is correct. We’re leaving our man out in the fields. I’m totally disappointed in us. We are too complacent like the rest of the country. We’re afraid just like the rest of the country. Do you think it’s an economic fear? I don’t think we fear for our lives if when protest I think it’s more that people are afraid for their livelihood… yet, I do see that we don’t have a livelihood if we continue to allow this type of mis characterization of our “leaders” which I think Jeremiah Wright is.

    What do you think the problem is. Why don’t we get up stand up, BP?

    Comment by Damien | Monday, May 5, 2008 | Reply

  2. Thanks for the feedback Damien,

    I have to confess that I truly expected a lot of negativity behind this post!

    Peace

    Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Monday, May 5, 2008 | Reply

  3. I read that Chicago’s other black churches did come out to support Rev. Wright. Obama should have stuck by him instead of waffled, but that issue is just not a winner for him either way. I am white, and while I disagree with a few things Wright has said, like about AIDS, I don’t think he’s some crazy guy. A lot of what he said is true, but more importantly, he has a right to say it.

    Comment by huntingdonpost | Monday, May 5, 2008 | Reply

  4. Thanks for the feedback huntingdonpost,

    I would like to see these churches. But I would not be surprised to hear that their messages of support be drowned out by the establishment’s message of condemnation. If the voices of support were so strong that they could not be drowned out it would be truly wonderful!

    Peace

    Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Monday, May 5, 2008 | Reply

  5. Great post,
    I think you’re correct that the Black community has been quiet on this issue due to the fact they want Obama to win the presidency. Supporting Pastor Wright would keep his name in the news and further hurt Obama’s chances to winning the democratic presidential nomination.

    The funny thing with that line of thinking is, if not Pastor Wright, then the dominant culture will focus on Michelle Obama. If that does not work, they will focus on Obama’s relationship with the guy from the weather underground, his name escapes me at the moment. My point being, they will find something to hurt Obama’s chances of winning the presidency. Pastor Wright is just one weapon the dominant culture will use against Obama, I’m sure there are back up plans in place, just in case this one does not work.

    Comment by truth | Monday, May 5, 2008 | Reply

  6. Thanks for the feedback truth,

    You have a very good point! With the focus on such trivials as Mr. Obama used the phrase “typical white person” to describe his grandmother and the “bitter” comment about small town Pennsylvanians, it should be obvious to a blind man that there is a machine at work to take him down no matter what.

    Peace

    Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Monday, May 5, 2008 | Reply

  7. Good essay, brotherpeacemaker.

    For those who still harbor some misunderstandings about Rev Jeremiah Wright’s position on AIDS, it would be wise to get better informed on exactly what Rev Wright had to say about AIDS, and in what context. It’s been done in a summary fashion with links to the substance, over at Arthur Silber’s blog.

    Here’s a link:

    http://powerofnarrative.blogspot.com/2008/05/choosing-sides-i-why-america-may-go-to.html

    Comment by Micah Pyre | Monday, May 5, 2008 | Reply

  8. PS: re the post by truth and your reply, BPM — “the machine” is not trying to “take down” Obama. It is functioning as it always does. It focuses on dirt, rather than substance. The point is not to “take down” Obama, but instead, to simply obscure the meaningful discussion of the relevant issues. Hillary Clinton gets “taken down” too — look at the exposure of the lying character of her allegation of being under “sniper fire” when no such thing was happening.

    The point is to vacillate between supporting Obama, to supporting Clinton, to supporting McCain. All 3 have been chosen as rightful heirs to Bush-Cheney. All 3 are supported by big Wall Street & corporate money. All 3 are advised by people who are of a similar mind to those in the Bush-Cheney Admin. All 3 have voted in the Congress to assist Bush-Cheney in whatever Bush-Cheney sought from the Congress.

    Sometimes the infotainment media bashes Obama. Sometimes it doesn’t. In the case of Rev Wright, the truth is that Obama bashed himself, by refusing to stand up for the honest truth that he was, at one time, a spiritual and intellectual student of Rev Wright. Obama should have defended not only that history with Rev Wright, but also the man Rev Wright himself. Since Obama didn’t do either one, he created his own trouble.

    American people want someone of character, regardless of what the infotainment media would have us believe. Had Obama stood up for his friend and mentor, there wouldn’t even be a race now. It would be Obama in the lead, clearly.

    That’s not to say that I support Obama — I do not. Not at all. He is a different face on the same-old, same-old. I think that if someone is inclined to vote, he/she should be supporting reform-oriented, fairness-minded candidates like Cynthia McKinney, Ralph Nader or Mike Gravel.

    Comment by Micah Pyre | Monday, May 5, 2008 | Reply

  9. Thanks for the feedback Micah Pyre,

    You are correct about the broad strokes of the machine and how it is applied to every and all. But whether or not it is to take Mr. Obama down or to obscure a meaningful discussion, the “dirt” associated with obscuring Barack Obama is rooted in racism against the black community.

    Peace

    Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Monday, May 5, 2008 | Reply

  10. Since you’re offering a challenge, I’ll offer a response: the nomination campaign, in and of itself, is irrelevant to the collective welfare of Black Americans. The Wright/Obama controversy is just that, a controversy, and it is not a problem for me or anyone else except perhaps Reverend Wright, Senator Obama, and the people who care about their careers. Nothing that I’ve seen or heard come out of either man’s mouth resembles a plan of action, nor even a useful analysis, that holds promise for helping to improve the condition of oppressed and exploited people. Why you presume any Black person has an obligation to support Reverend Wright, or that such support is in Black folks’ interest, rather than Reverend Wright’s interest, is beyond me. The idea that the lack of such support justifies racist assaults against Black folks is sick.

    Comment by Malik | Monday, May 5, 2008 | Reply

  11. Thanks for the feedback Malik,

    But what I am referring to is not politics. Reverend Wright spoke of the condition of the relationship between the black community and the dominant community. He spoke of America’s offensive relationship to the rest of the globe. A lot of people are referring to him as hateful for the truths he spoke of. Truth does not always take the form of a plan of action. In order to get a plan or a useful analysis it is always a good idea to take stock of the condition that requires change. Without people willing to see exactly what is happening, anything else is irrelevant.

    After Reverend Wright spoke these truths he is simply dismissed as a relic of hate. He is being dismissed in the same way that Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Malcolm X, Doctor King, and Louis Farrakhan have been dismissed as irrelevant. The conditions he spoke of are nothing to take seriously. What the black community has here is an opportunity to stand behind someone who has brought attention of racial disparity to the forefront without it necessarily appearing to be a knee jerk reaction to a single event of a white person’s insensitivity.

    Instead of black people standing behind each other, we have been trained to attack each other for not having a plan even though we don’t have a plan in our hand. Was there some master plan to develop the disparity we now face? Or did it just happen over time, centuries even, by people with a common interest in keeping black people subservient. Only black people require other black people who have expressed a common interest to have a plan of action. And even if Mr. Wright did have a plan it would be easy to knock it down or dismiss it as not doable because it failed to take something into consideration.

    Instead of being able to support each other we have to be suspicious and assume a man who is clearly referring to racial disparity is somehow not in our best interest. We have been trained to find the idea of black people supporting each other as a sickness. It is this very idea that blacks supporting blacks is some abhorrence that keeps the black community divided and weak against the dominant community. It is the very reason why we tolerate our black leaders not coming together to work on the black community’s behalf.

    Good luck in your search for proof that another black person would have your best interest at heart and comes with a plan in hand for the liberation of the black community.

    Peace

    Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Tuesday, May 6, 2008 | Reply

  12. It seems to me that you’re saying that the issue is the characterization of Wright’s comments as “hateful”. That is certainly an issue worth examining, and the present moment is a worthwhile opportunity for doing so.

    Comment by Malik | Tuesday, May 6, 2008 | Reply

  13. The issue isn’t about Jeremiah Wright, you, me, or anyone else for that matter. The issue is about black unity and black community solidarity. A subjugated people divided amongst themselves will never become a force of change.

    Peace

    Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Tuesday, May 6, 2008 | Reply

  14. BrotherP,

    You are right it IS about solidarity and unity of a subjugated community. And we have Willie Lynch to thank for this conundrum of separation of the collective. It seems that his plan has come back to haunt us in a frightful way. We need to figure out a way to get the majority of our people on the same page and realize that NOTHING happens in a bubble or vacuum.

    Thanks

    Comment by theblacksentinel | Tuesday, May 6, 2008 | Reply

  15. Brother, if you want to call out the troops, as you seem to want to do here with your appeal to rally around Wright, you need to have a battle plan. You decry our collective lack of followership, but I have yet to see you describe any viable form of leadership. Why should anyone feel obliged to follow someone who insists, peremptorily and demeaningly, that they follow them along an unspecified path to an unspecified location for an unspecified purpose? Define the problem, offer a feasible solution, and establish some criteria for evaluating progress, and I’ll be happy to listen to your plan.

    Comment by Malik | Tuesday, May 6, 2008 | Reply

  16. Malik,

    Who said anything about following Reverend Wright? Who said anything about calling out troops? And why do black people have to have a battle plan? Supporting someone does not mean submitting to their will or carrying out a plan. Support can mean standing by someone as they go through hard times. Support is being in their corner when they are facing an adversary. The black community would rally behind O.J. Simpson who never lifted a finger for black people before they would rally around Jeremiah Wright. Black people would rally around Rodney King before they would rally around Reverend Wright. What plan did they have? Why were these other people able to garner such support and Reverend Wright is left out in the cold?

    People aren’t told to get their own fire truck before they call 9-1-1 to report a fire. Why do some people insist that the black community require black people to “[d]efine the problem, offer a feasible solution, and establish some criteria for evaluating progress” before they are willing to listen. Some people need to come together in order to help develop the plan. Why is it somebody else’s job? People with a common interest don’t always need to have a plan to support each other.

    Peace

    Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Tuesday, May 6, 2008 | Reply

  17. If we allow ourselves to submit to the establishment without so much as a peep then we choose to be victims. We make the collective choice to be subjugated. We choose not to use whatever means necessary to get ourselves out of our plight. We choose to turn our backs at the chance for a movement. We choose not to be unified for our own self interest. And if all of that is true, then we owe the dominant community a huge apology, for obviously the only power they have over us is the power we let them have. And we can forget all that smack about god damn America. What everybody should be saying from this point on is god damn the black community!

    Those are mighty strong words from someone who hasn’t proposed, and apparently doesn’t feel a need to propose, precisely what it is that “we” should do that we aren’t already doing. My suggestion is, instead of running down Black folks for their supposed lack of independence, initiative and courage, bring something tangible to the table that we all can benefit from if you feel that our already considerable efforts to achieve Black uplift need reinforcing.

    Comment by Malik | Tuesday, May 6, 2008 | Reply

  18. Malik,

    I will take your suggestion under consideration.

    But may I suggest that if a plan is so important to you, then take your own advice and come up with one. You want to berate black people for not having something tangible. What do you have that is so tangible for the black community? You want to accuse me of running down black people for their “supposed lack of independence, initiative and courage”. If anything I am running down black people for our lack of courage and initiative to act with unity.

    Support does not require a plan. To wait for a tangible plan is to plan for more tangible stagnation and inaction. Like a lot of people, you want to sit back and put standards on others that you appear to be unwilling to apply to your self. I’m sorry that you feel black people supporting other black people requires a tangible plan before it can be realized. However, it should be noted that supporting others who share a common ethnicity appears to be a much simpler concept for other communities to follow without the need for a plan.

    Peace

    PS – Mighty strong words? I’ve seen stronger!

    Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Tuesday, May 6, 2008 | Reply

  19. BP,

    You presume much brother. Just to be clear about where I’m coming from, being Black myself, I take it personally when any person, Black, white or otherwise, makes blanket assertions about Black folks propensities and deficiencies, without a shred of evidence. I take it especially seriously when Black folks do it, because folks outside the community tend to assume it must be true, since another Black person is saying it. I challenged you to demonstrate specifically what actions you believe we should take on our own behalf because you specifically asserted that Black people as a whole were unwilling to act in their own interests, however you define those interests. I’m not berating Black people or anyone else in any way shape or form. I’m asking you, and only you, to explain what it is that you believe we should do, since you’ve so emphatically claimed that we as a people aren’t doing anything for ourselves.

    As for my own efforts, I’ve been acting on a plan for the better part of eighteen years. Whether or not others will find the plan compelling, or my efforts meaningful, I don’t know, but if they have been beneficial, then all praise is due to the Creator, and whatever has been lacking in my efforts is my fault alone.

    Comment by Malik | Tuesday, May 6, 2008 | Reply

  20. Malik,

    I am making presumptions? Am I incorrect in my assertion that the black community is not, generally speaking, acting with solidarity and uniformity? Is it not obvious that black people, a community of people that should have a common interest when there are so many pressures against us, require each other to have plans before we can support each other in our common endeavor to alleviate the pressures against the black community? When a black man is attacked for making statements that the dominant community doesn’t like, who comes to his side and shows him support?

    Let me give you an analogy. I can imagine being accused of a crime and having to defend myself against the charges against me. I would be terribly disappointed if my family, people who I believe should have an interest in my welfare, would make the statement that I have to have a plan before they can lend me support. I would be hurt to hear someone say what leadership do I offer or what tangible plan do I have in order to gain their support.

    I’m sorry but I cannot explain the concept of support to you, I cannot make it any clearer than I already have. You want proof to satisfy your sense of who is eligible for leadership and such? No offense, but I don’t have to give you proof. You obviously are not open to what I am trying to say. Support is of itself an action. I don’t understand why so many people find this concept so difficult to comprehend. Whether or not you find a call for support compelling or meaningful is disappointing, but not at all unexpected. You have already proved my point.

    Peace

    Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Tuesday, May 6, 2008 | Reply

  21. Am I incorrect in my assertion that the black community is not, generally speaking, acting with solidarity and uniformity?

    Yes, I think so. That’s my whole disagreement with you. I’m open to talking about responses to the controversy over Rev. Wright’s remarks.

    Comment by Malik | Tuesday, May 6, 2008 | Reply

  22. Malik,

    This is a link to comments in an article titled What Makes Jeremiah Wright So Racist? by theblacksentinel. If you think this sounds like black community solidarity and uniformity, if this sounds like black community support, then I will be more than happy to acknowledge my error and retract my statement. I have to admit that there is very little chance of that happening.

    Peace

    Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Tuesday, May 6, 2008 | Reply

  23. From what I could make out of that meandering conversation, there were three (presumably) Black people who thought Rev. Wright should have kept a lower profile for the sake of Obama’s campaign, and three (presumably) Black people who didn’t have a problem with Rev. Wright’s comments. The rest were some agitated white folks. How exactly does one come to the conclusion that the comments of all of six people is representative of the views and experiences of roughly 40 million Black Americans?

    Comment by Malik | Tuesday, May 6, 2008 | Reply

  24. Malik,

    How do they don’t? Is it not your contention that the three black people who condemn Reverend Wright, half the sample, are an exception? Is it your contention that high profile black people are actually supporting Reverend Wright very quietly from afar? Let’s reverse things. Why don’t you prove to me how high profile black people are actually supporting Reverend Wright. How many black people are actually using their resources to stand with the man?

    Peace

    Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Wednesday, May 7, 2008 | Reply

  25. “If America’s black community allows Jeremiah Wright to be relegated to crackpot status until humanity becomes just another part of oblivion then we truly deserve to be subjugated. We think it is so much more important to keep the hope alive that Barack Obama will be the first black person to gain the white house that we are willing to let the truths that Mr. Wright spoke of be labeled as little more than a single black man’s slander against our beloved country. We are willing to let a man who has the audacity to boldly speak on our behalf, to boldly speak on Mr. Obama’s behalf, to be publicly crucified by the dominant community. We choose to become complacent in the rejection of the man who says something troubling is afoot in the black community in order not to stoke the fears of the dominant community.

    I like

    Comment by Michael Fisher | Wednesday, May 7, 2008 | Reply

  26. Thanks for the feedback Michael Fisher,

    Peace

    Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Wednesday, May 7, 2008 | Reply

  27. BP,

    I’m not making affirmation of Rev. Wright or a lack thereof an index of Black unity, you are. Frankly, I think it’s absurd to measure the condition of an entire people by the attitude of public figures toward one man. The ideas and statements of prominent Black folks aren’t representative of anyone’s thoughts and feelings but their own (isn’t the failure to acknowledge that reality part of the reason this whole “denouncing” mess arose in the first place?). Unity doesn’t mean having a single opinion, it means striving together for a common purpose. And the available evidence, whether sociological or anecdotal, convinces me that the overwhelming majority of Black folks are committed to the common goal of Black uplift, and are mutually supportive of one another’s efforts to reach that goal. Ideological disputes are of no consequence unless you’re an ideologue. Ordinary Black folks will continue on with their practical efforts to improve their condition and help one another, regardless of the position public figures take toward each other.

    Comment by Malik | Wednesday, May 7, 2008 | Reply

  28. Malik,

    You have asserted that I am wrong about the black community. That black unity requires a tangible plan. You think it is absurd to measure the condition of an entire community based on the attitude of public figures towards one man. So do I. I would have to agree with you if I was basing the condition of the the black community solely on its response to the Reverend Wright issue. However, this is just the latest example of a conditioned behavior that keeps black people from the overwhelming support of our own. The idea that the conflict between Reverend Wright and Senator Obama doesn’t impact the black community at large is a rather limited view of the bigger picture of black support of each other.

    You wrote that unity doesn’t mean having a single opinion. Who said anything about unity requiring everybody having the same thought process? You have taken the word “support” as a mighty strong call for amassing troops and other such nonsense. You wrote that unity means striving together for a common purpose. If your argument is to say that I am wrong and that the black community is striving together then please demonstrate how this is so.

    When has the black community comes together for someone who has demonstrated a considerable interest in the welfare of the black community? Please explain the sociological or anecdotal that is so able to convince you that the overwhelming majority of black folks are committed to the goal of black uplift. Maybe I have missed something that is so obvious to you. I welcome you to follow your own standards of proof and assertions.

    Peace

    Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Wednesday, May 7, 2008 | Reply

  29. I find Malik’s posts strangely slippery and evasive, shifty and somewhat suspicious. Somehow it seems that Malik’s agenda is not to get BPM to explain his position, but rather, is aiming toward trying to get BPM to utter more statements that Malik may take out of context, distort, and then politely criticize or mock.

    I think it’s lame. Maybe I’m wrong about this take on Malik’s several posts. If so then I’m sorry for the mis-read. But I really cannot see any sensible, logical explanation for the very elusive and questionable posts. They seem intended toward a purpose that is other than their superficial inquisitive innocence.

    Comment by Micah Pyre | Wednesday, May 7, 2008 | Reply

  30. Micah Pyre,

    Thank you for your support! And I didn’t even need a tangible battle plan to get it. I didn’t have to call out the troops, develop a useful analysis that holds the promise for helping to improve the condition of oppressed and exploited people. Thank you for demonstrating how people with a common interest can support each other without having to supply evidence, whether sociological or anecdotal, convincing you that I am overwhelming committed to black uplift.

    Peace

    Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Wednesday, May 7, 2008 | Reply

  31. First and foremost, it is a good question to ask why no one stood boldly in agreement with Rev. Wright. What does that say? It certainly says SOMETHING, but perhaps it doesn’t say quite what you have concluded.

    For one, you are incorrect in saying that Whites always stand up for each other. They definitely have a divided community and will quickly distinguish themselves from “poor white trash.” They do not claim to all share a common experiences. Frankly, I’m not sure if we should either. While I understand the compelling desire to be empathetic to the plight endured by a large percentage of our people… the reason for each person’s failure to realize their dreams is unique. Not all Blacks who are struggling do so because of discrimination.

    We HAVE come a long way over the past 43 years (since Jim Crow). This can not be denied. Some blacks have accomplished more in 43 years than some whites have accomplished in the 516 years since landing on Plymouth Rock and we’ve done this… in spite of. In spite of the discrimination that still lingers we must not paint a picture as though we are all flipping burgers due to “the man” holding us back. It simply is not true.

    Consider that Whites have over a 400 year head start on us in this country (not to mention blood off our backs). We should not (hell THEY should not) expect us or condemn us for not attaining equivalent wealth in 43 years that has taken them 516. Give credit where credit is due as many Blacks have worked hard to make strides… in spite of. I, for one, am proud of the number of us who have gone through college (with or without AA), be it Ivy League, HBCU or anything in between and earned their Bachelors, Masters, M.D., Phd, J.D. PsyD, etc. I, for one, am proud of the number of us who are millionaires, who are in the corporate board meetings, who are successful business owners (be it a Fortune 500 company or an art store, or a barber shop).

    I think the fact that no one stood up for Rev. Wright says many people realized that things aren’t perfect but they damn sure aren’t what they use to be 40 years ago. Things have progressed just enough to where we have opportunities that if we find our passion and are passionate enough about it put in the work necessary that we can attain things that at one point where flat out impossible. Yes, we often have to work harder to get there but it not the impossibility that it once was.

    Instead of exerting endless energy trying to convince White people what they need to do for us, that our energy would be better spent looking within our own community so we can do for ourselves. Within our own community there are role models and resources to encourage, enable and uplift us so that more of us can realize our dreams and close the wealth gap that exists between us and the White community. We must [NOT] allow ourselves to believe that success is still the impossibility that [it] once was.

    Comment by 27thfloor | Wednesday, May 7, 2008 | Reply

  32. Thanks for the feedback 27thfloor,

    Yes it is true that not every white person will be supported by every white person. What I should have said is that generally speaking, every white person will be supported by some other white person.

    The long way we’ve come doesn’t even compare to the long way we still have to go for equal treatment and the elimination of blatant racial disparity. To say that blacks are somehow content because we are better off than we were forty years ago is pretty limited in its appreciation of the situation. The parents of Martin Lee Anderson would not say that we can rest on our laurels because we’ve made some progress. Sean Bell wouldn’t say we’ve arrived. He won’t be saying much of anything thanks to the disparity that says it is justifiable that black people are the victims of contagious shootings from police.

    This isn’t about exerting any energy on convincing white people of anything. I don’t know where you may have gotten that idea from. This article is about black people coming together and acting as a group that supports each other. It may be true that more black people will be realizing their dreams. But those dreams come only at the benevolence of a dominant community that will only tolerate so many black people in their midst. True success in the black community is very real and will come when we are able to come together.

    Peace

    Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Wednesday, May 7, 2008 | Reply

  33. BP,

    I never said nor implied that we are nor should be content. I also never said nor implied that “we arrived.” What I DID say is that we need to strategies and most appropriately exert our energy. Your blog post seemed to be saying that our energy needs to go towards having a united front as if we need to prove something to the white/dominant community. I’m saying we should instead put that same effort into our own community and interpersonal relationships across our community’s varying ideologies, religions, socioeconomic status, ages, cultures, etc.

    No doubt there continues to be racism, both blatant and subtle. No doubt we need to take measures to point them out and fight against them. I don’t [disagree] with you on that. I think where we differ is on best way to address the problem. Identifying a problem is only the first step and in no way solves the problem. Having a plan is the imperative 2nd step. Following through with a plan of action is the 3rd step and the only real means of making a difference.

    Comment by 27thfloor | Wednesday, May 7, 2008 | Reply

  34. 27thfloor,

    “I think the fact that no one stood up for Rev. Wright says many people realized that things aren’t perfect but they damn sure aren’t what they use to be 40 years ago. Things have progressed just enough to where we have opportunities that if we find our passion and are passionate enough about it put in the work necessary that we can attain things that at one point where flat out impossible.”

    I never said that you said black people should rest on our laurels. However, based on your statement, you do imply that some people feel that we have arrived. If this is what you were trying to say then I have to agree with you. We should not be thinking that just because some of us have made it that we no longer have a struggle. But much too often there is a disconnect between what happens to one or a few and what is happening to the black community at large. While some of us are doing extremely well there is a disproportionate number that are doing extremely poorly and are left to deal with their condition on their own.

    You also wrote that I am calling for a unified front in order to prove something to white people. I don’t know where you get the impression that a call for the black community to come together is to demonstrate something to white people. Why do you insist on thinking that I am asking black people to prove something to white people? While it may be true that a people who have a vested interest in each other’s welfare won’t simply stand by as one or a few of us is sacrificed as an example of the dominant culture’s racial disparity might demonstrate some resilience to just letting things happen. But what is more important is to help each other. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. And the chain called the black community has a lot of weak links in it.

    Peace

    Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Thursday, May 8, 2008 | Reply

  35. BP,

    I don’t think further discussion is going to be productive. I’m trying, clumsily perhaps, to clarify the nature of the problem you want to address, and to get you to clarify how you propose we address that problem, since you assert that it’s imperative that we rally around Jeremiah Wright, or else resign ourselves to continuing to live in abject bondage. You, on the other hand, are trying to defend your position. I’m not interested in trying to prove you wrong. I’m interested in trying to discover what’s real.

    By the way, if you’re interested in a discussion of the strength, cohesiveness and resilience of the Black community, I would suggest the book “Getting It Wrong: How Black Public Intellectuals Are Failing Black America” by Algernon Austin. Peace.

    Comment by Malik | Thursday, May 8, 2008 | Reply

  36. I will repeat, I am not saying that because many in the Black community have put in the effort required to attain success that we no longer have a struggle. What I DID say was,
    “No doubt there continues to be racism, both blatant and subtle. No doubt we need to take measures to point them out and fight against them.”

    You keep coming to these argumentative conclusions about what I post because you are blatantly ignoring my point, which I will repeat for your convenience,

    “… we need strategies and how to most appropriately exert our energy…”

    and

    “our energy would be better spent looking within our own community so we can do [better] for ourselves. Within our own community there are role models and resources to encourage, enable and uplift us so that more of us can realize our dreams and close the wealth gap that exists between us and the White community.”

    and

    “Identifying a problem is only the first step and in no way solves the problem. Having a plan is the imperative 2nd step. Following through with a plan of action is the 3rd step and the only real means of making a difference.”

    Those 3 quotes are my point. Which you pretty much agreed with in your last post by saying, “But what is more important is to help each other. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. And the chain called the black community has a lot of weak links in it.”

    Comment by 27thfloor | Thursday, May 8, 2008 | Reply

  37. And I will repeat for your convenience. “[B]ased on your statement, you do imply that some people feel that we have arrived” and “I agree with you”. I do apologize if you take any offense to the paraphrasing and my statement of agreement. I must admit I don’t know too many people who feel that agreeing with someone is being argumentative.

    As far as putting together strategies goes, strategies for who? We are not a community with a common interest. We are a community with separate interest. Before we can put together strategies for a people with a common goal black people have to come together for a common goal. Too often we come together for separate interest or for the support of one of our own that does not have the interest of the black community at heart. Developing a strategy for a people that don’t support each other is a waste.

    Peace

    Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Thursday, May 8, 2008 | Reply

  38. 27th floor,

    It is interesting that you say “In spite of the discrimination that still lingers we must not paint a picture as though we are all flipping burgers due to “the man” holding us back. It simply is not true.” Then please by all means explain why blacks have such an underrepresentation in corporate America? Is it because we would rather flip burgers?

    My point here is to say that WE do NOT have the cohesiveness we need in order to help those of us who can’t help themselves. When we have people in our own community who will agree with the dominant community that it is justifiable for cops to beat and kill our members, then we have a big problem.

    And the problem is not that we have a few that agree. We have the majority of blacks with this attitude that “hey I made it, so the black community is no longer my problem.” We have people saying that the only way for blacks to truly be free one should be able to absolve themselves of the black community without guilt. Does this sound cohesive?

    What is the first thing that a black person does as soon as they “make it”? They MOVE AWAY from BLACK people AND the BLACK COMMUNITY!!! You claim that all whites don’t support other whites. Well when was the last time that a white person “made it” out of a lower class and moved to the black neighborhood? Not to mention if you want to see white support then you don’t have to look any further than Don Imus, Michael Richards or Dog the bounty hunter.

    These people were supported and given whatever they lost due to their disparagement of the black people back by a supportive white community. How many white people are going out of their way to give up white privilege so that equality can get a foot hold in this country? None! They support the fact that they and other whites have this invaluable invisible leg up on minorities. And please don’t tell me they don’t realize it.

    If a plan is so important then by all means fill us in on what you’ve come up with. The problem is that we don’t have to have a tangible plan since the plan should be something that comes together when we come together. Black people need to stop this waiting game, always sitting around looking for a big shot leader. That is why we are in our quagmire. MLK is dead so we have no one to lead us. We are not a group of sheep who need to be led. When you allow yourself to be led you are pretty much going to slaughter. Ask the sheep.

    We KNOW what the hell needs to be done, so lets come together and do it.

    Thanks.

    Comment by theblacksentinel | Thursday, May 8, 2008 | Reply

  39. Thanks for the feedback theblacksentinel,

    You’ve expressed some excellent points. When things happen between members of the black community and members of the white community, white people usually find the support they need from other white people. You mentioned Don Imus and Michael Richards. But it goes to the the regular white joe like Stacey Koon, one of the police officers caught beating Rodney King like a piniata, Mark Fuhrman, the racist cop from the O.J. Simpson trial who admitted his hatred for blacks, Daniel Cicciaro, the seventeen year old who had the audacity to defend a white girl’s honor by showing up at a black man’s house drunk with a white posse and got shot in the process, Joe Horn, shot two black men in the back when his neighbor’s house was being robbed, and even Fuzzy Zeller, who blatantly reminded everyone that Tiger Woods was little more than a fried chicken eating nigger after Mr. Woods won the Masters. These people get their support from the dominant community without having a plan. Why do people in the black community insist on waiting for a plan before we give our own such support?

    Peace

    Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Thursday, May 8, 2008 | Reply

  40. OK BP if you agree with me, then great. Good to know.

    Yes, there is division in our community. That can’t be denied. Whether it’s the accomplished being ridiculed as “uncle toms” by their black counterparts or the impoverished being ridiculed as lazy by their black counterparts. We definitely are a bunch of crabs in a pot. It is sad. Because of this division is why I feel that we each need to make our own path and find out way. If one of us can do it, then all of us can do it. What makes Michael Jordan more capable than the next black person? NOTHING. What makes Oprah more capable than the next black person? NOTHING. We need to raise our individual self esteem and bust our ass for whatever it is we want in this country. My belief is that if Leroy made it so can you and you and you and you and you. If Keisha made it so can you and you and you and you. Yes, there are challenges. Yes there is bullsh!t to overcome. Whether we do it as a group or as individuals each one of us can accomplish whatever we set out to achieve. I just believe in the power individual passion and our ability to overcome. Call me crazy.

    Comment by 27thfloor | Thursday, May 8, 2008 | Reply

  41. 27thfloor,

    You don’t really think that other people just have to work hard to be like Oprah or Michael Jordan do you? These people got their opportunities from people in the dominant community who needed their skills to fill a job. You sound like those people who tell kids that if they work hard and get good grades they’ll be successful. But there are only so many jobs, only so many opportunities, not everyone can be Oprah or Michael Jordan. We need to stop thinking that the key to success is individual financial wealth and start thinking like a community. Neither Oprah nor Michael Jordan is strong in their commitment to the black community. Money has a way of changing loyalties and allegiances. Vast quantities of money are not and should not be our individual goals. Call me crazy, but nothing good will come from the pursuit of wealth for the sake of wealth.

    Peace

    Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Thursday, May 8, 2008 | Reply

  42. It seems 27th Floor has taken up the role previously held by Malik — pretending to question BPM while distorting BPM’s motives or intents.

    Here’s what I find to be agreeable blog visitation/commenting, from my travels around the InterWebTubez containing the sub-society of blogland.

    I would suggest to Malik or 27th Floor or any other visitor of any other blog to start by reading the blog author’s essays, if you want to know what the blog author thinks.

    And then, when you have a specific question relevant to the specific topic of the primary essay from which the comment thread originates, then ask the question there, in that comment thread.

    If you have a general question about BPM’s views, send him an email. Don’t clutter a comment thread with questions that don’t bear on the essay in hand, or the comments following the essay.

    I find it very disturbing that posters such as Malik and 27th Floor would pretend they are simply trying to figure out BPM’s perspective, while each of their comments seeks to take BPM down a few pegs, politely so, but still taking him down.

    That’s common practice among the wolves who wear sheep suits.

    Comment by Micah Pyre | Friday, May 9, 2008 | Reply

  43. Micah,

    I in no way strayed from the topic of the post and had no intent to take anyone down anywhere. I simply shared my view that perhaps it isn’t such a bad thing that Blacks didn’t rally around Rev. Wright… that perhaps that same energy should be used to come together as a community and help each other.

    I’ve just always assume that a blogger is open to varying opinions on the topic of their post. Particularly when that opinion is presented respectfully. C’est la vie.

    Comment by 27thfloor | Friday, May 9, 2008 | Reply

  44. BP,

    I didn’t not comment on your last response because I concluded that we have had different experiences and therefore different views on this topic. Differences of opinions are perfectly fine and makes neither of our views any less valid. This is why I didn’t reply to your last response. I respect your view point.

    Comment by 27thfloor | Friday, May 9, 2008 | Reply

  45. 27thfloor,

    It’s more than just different experiences. We have totally different perspectives on what is and isn’t important for the black community. John White worked hard. He was a successful contractor working and living on Long Island, New York in a predominantly white neighborhood. But when the drunk white boys showed up in front of his house threatening his family, all of his hard work and sacrifice evaporated in a puff of smoke.

    Money alone isn’t going to save the black community. A lot of black people get paid recompense by the dominant community for their abuses against black people. Individual black families get lottery sized settlements for police getting caught beating the shit out of their loved ones. But it doesn’t stop anything. The dominant community will happily write a check for getting caught abusing the few in order to keep the vast majority of us in line.

    And every time it happens Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Bill Cosby, Morgan Freeman, Will Smith, Beyonce Knowles, and the vast majority of high profile, deep pocket black people keep quiet about the disparity. Go figure.

    Peace

    Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Friday, May 9, 2008 | Reply

  46. BrotherP,

    Go figure all right! Those people know as well as all the rest of us that if we dare to cross the line dominant America has drawn in the sand, they won’t hesitate to strip us bare. These folks would end up right back where they started and once you start feeding at that trough you don’t or won’t want to go back.

    So to think that all it is going to take is throw money in our pockets is foolish. Everyone going his or her own way in order to get ahead is the whole reason why we are so divided as a community. Everyone for themselves is exactly the problem.

    I personally don’t believe that we should have to work harder than the average white person to get the same things. I believe that if I work equally as hard as Joe Whiteperson then I should have as much as Joe. Why is it everyone’s assertion that I should somehow have to work double or triple what Joe does just to break even? How does that make sense? I am not saying that people shouldn’t work hard, I am saying that their shouldn’t be this preference that demands black people do MORE than anyone else.

    That is ridiculous. Thanks.

    Comment by theblacksentinel | Friday, May 9, 2008 | Reply

  47. BP,

    Correct. We have different experiences and therefore we have different viewpoints/perspectives. However, I do agree… money isn’t going to save the Black community.

    theblacksentinel,

    I concur.

    Comment by 27thfloor | Friday, May 9, 2008 | Reply

  48. Thank you for this post; it is very powerful. As a young black female clergywoman, I have been deeply disappointed in the Black church and community’s response to Rev. Wright. It hurts me see my people satisfied with power, money, and upward mobility rather than seeking justice for all within the Black community.

    Having a Black President means absolutely NOTHING if he (or she one day:) is not willing to acknowledge our story in a way the directly impacts policy change that benefit our community. I leave you with this question, where are our modern day Soujornor Truths, Harriett Tubman’s, Malcolm X’s and Dr. King’s? Maybe we should revisit Tubman’s method of freeing Black folks; just a thought:)!
    As a people, we have lost our political will to speak truth to power. Unfortunately, living “The Good Life” is more important instead.

    Comment by Rev.B | Saturday, May 31, 2008 | Reply

  49. Thanks for the feedback RevB,

    It is so good to see another person who understands what is truly at stake for the black community. We all would like to see the day that the black community can take pride in a black president. But that shouldn’t mean that black people should take any black person as president. So many people have lost perspective on what is truly important. Making history is more important than making a healthy black community.

    Peace

    Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Sunday, June 1, 2008 | Reply


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