Woodson’s ‘fatherly’ advice still holds true!

Carter G Woodson is known as “The Father of Black History,” and rightfully so. This child of former slaves, born in 1875, would use his education to become the 2nd-ever black man to receive a doctorate from prestigious Harvard University. He used his education to awaken the world to the successes of the Negro, penning a dozen books over his lifetime, the most recognized of which is, “The Mis-education of the Negro”, in 1933. Though we live in a time, 85 years later, evidence of the miseducation of Africans still is rampant.

To this day, the African’s role in making contributions to the world stage is largely overlooked. (They still make movies about European ancient Egypt!) If you don’t believe that, just ask yourself where you got most of your knowledge of black history from? Not out of school, I’d bet: but you became so enamored with this information which had been kept from you, once you found a sliver, you devoured it and do so to this day. I can proudly say that this is my experience. Most of my black history is “self-taught.” Unfortunately, many colleges are now removing African studies programs from their curriculums, even some of our HBCU’s!

Woodson, so determined that Negro history be included in every facet of our educational system, created Negro history week back in 1926. By 1976, it became “Black history month.” I harken back to my elementary school days to insert a Woodson quote here: “When you control a man’s thinking, you do not have to worry about his actions.”  We briefly went over all the majority approved Negros, like, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jackie Robinson, Jessie Owens, Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, and the like. I am taking nothing away from the tremendous contributions of any person mentioned above. But never did we learn about Woodson’s friend, Marcus Garvey, one of the fathers of Pan Africanism, nor Malcolm X, or Nat Turner! Never did we learn about what any of these great people stood for! We were only taught about them in the context of oppression, as if that’s our only plight in life as Africans! I never learned about one great black civilization! Some went as far to say that there never were any in world history! 

Our thinking was being controlled! We were taught only a ‘certain type’ of black person was worthy of mention…and very briefly. Woodson once said, “The mere imparting of information is not education.” We have to examine a people’s life and sacrifices to understand it in a cultural context. It seems today there are certain things we ‘think we know!’ You’ll hear many black folks say, “The ancient Egyptians were black!” That’s true! But what does it mean in the context of our own cultural pride and awareness? If the KMTs were intelligent enough to construct buildings that lined up to within fractions of an inch of constellations and structures that have stood for 5 thousand years, why did so many of us run from math and science in school? If being able to write well and speak well is so essential to life, why are many black kids who do just that ridiculed by their own people? One’s ability to speak well shouldn’t cancel their blackness. We have been so miseducated that ignorance is worn like military stripes and education, in many cases, is avoided! I know young men who can’t cite one book they’ve read that wasn’t assigned in school, but they’re sure they’re going to be the next great rap star! Wait, you are a living poet, but you don’t read, so you don’t even know how to use words in a sentence or the definitions of certain words? MISEDUCATION!

This society has convinced many of our young men that their only way to glory is athletics, entertainment, rapping and criminal activity! Entrepreneurship, building your own schools, factories and other businesses to serve yourself and your communities: NOPE! One of my dear college instructors always mentioned this in his class, “Economics of Black Liberation.” I also saw Dr. Umar Johnson on video as he spoke of a time when blacks were vocationally trained in high school. We’d leave high school with viable skills that could provide a good living for the possessor of that skill for a lifetime. Our focus now is only on ‘book-smarts’ education, rather than valuable skill sets like, plumbing, brick masonry, wood-working, electrician training, etc., so these programs have been eliminated from our schools! Education should include these skills as well. Everybody isn’t cut out to be a brain surgeon! Now, how will we get these skills?

In part, because of this paradigm, what’s happening to the man of our culture? Many have no skills, no education (partly because they don’t see themselves in it.) He’s becoming worthless, and more importantly, he sees himself as worthless! His woman doesn’t value him. His children don’t value him. Potential employers don’t value him. The law doesn’t value him. He values little or nothing because he values not himself! Do you know anyone who fits this description? I end with this cautionary quote from the late Dr. Woodson. “If a race has no history, if it has no worthwhile tradition, it becomes a negligible factor in the thought of the world and it stands in danger of being exterminated.” Make sure your young ones, ESPECIALLY YOUR BOYS, get properly educated BY YOU, for themselves on our history, our legacy, (your family story. If you don’t have one, make it up! Other groups lie about their importance all the time!), our strength and determination…our value, or it might be too late!

Bro. Eric Clemons

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Some observations as we enter a new year

“Dr.” Umar Johnson?

The self proclaimed, “Prince of Pan Africanism,” Umar Johnson, has been under intense scrutiny for several months now. It seems that someone is determined to bring his authenticity and credibility into question, thus ruining his mission. He solicited donations from the black community to purchase the property of a defunct HBCU and turn it into an Afrocentric school for young people. Now, it seems, everybody wants to know what he has done with the money. (Did he raise 20 million or something?) They want to see business plans, records and every document to prove he doesn’t have a Swiss bank account!

I recall Nation of Islam leader, Louis Farrakhan doing a similar thing as he was rebuilding Mosque Miriam in Chicago. He simply stated, and I paraphrase, “If I’m found doing something with the money I raise other than what I said I would do, you can kill me!” In other words, his word and deeds are/were his bond to his people. He announced his plans and people gave accordingly! Meanwhile, preachers and pastors all over the world solicit money for their “building funds” and who knows what else! I haven’t heard a public outcry or demand for their business plans! If somebody can show bro. Johnson has been shady with the money he has raised, okay! If not, why not allow his word to be his bond?

Recently, brother Umar’s Doctorate degree was being called into question, as well as whether he is really a distant relative of the great activist and freedom fighter, Frederick Douglas. Why such scrutiny for a brother who for the past decade or more, has been traveling the world lecturing on our taking action to heal ourselves from the pains of enslavement and oppression? I have seen the brother on more than one occasion, and I didn’t get the feeling that he was taking his positions, (no matter how controversial) lightly. He was/is always prepared to defend his position with passion and oh yes, facts as well…or at least facts as he interprets them! (See his presentation right here at Africognize.com)

Seems like the intense scrutiny came shortly after he made his desires to affect the minds of young African people with that school public! Perhaps somebody in a high place doesn’t want him to do it! The enemy doesn’t necessarily assassinate the person anymore: They simply assassinate the person’s “character!” Don’t be surprised if Dr. Umar is vindicated (It was verified that he actually received a doctorate: https://www.theroot.com/i-was-wrong-his-name-is-doctor-umar-johnson-1797016800) that he doesn’t opt to stay out of community service for the rest of his earth walk! Why would someone lie about being the distant relative of a famous person? (Easily verifiable…I think!!!). Why does he have to tell us his exact plans with his donated funds, if he’s not ready to announce them yet? Would I have handled that differently? YES! Especially after he was recorded expressing his total frustration with the lack of black community donations he received to complete the project! However, the names I have seen this brother called on Face Book and other social media, you’d think he was accused of being a serial rapist! (Naw: they didn’t even call bro Cosby this stuff!)

Me Too

Come on brothers! With men falling like dominoes from past misdeeds regarding sexual harassment of women in the workplace, I KNOW you’ve sat alone and tried to replay in your mind if any of this stuff can be applied to you 20-40 years later? My answer was “no.” I only held one position in my career where I actually had subordinates that I had the power to affect. They were all male and all very good friends! It just goes to show how times have changed as we enter the age of information and truth! The fact that there was or is a time that a woman can be harassed and exploited for sex in the work-place, or at home for that matter, just because she is a woman, shows how far down the rabbit hole this society is! There is total empathy (and there should be) for women (most of whom are white because they were allowed into the corporate world before any other group of women) who have suffered through this type of treatment for decades. Some of the men who perpetuate this behavior are now paying the price. (And they should be.)

My only question is, “Where is our total empathy for enslavement and its effect on generations, even at the present?” How about the multitude of black women forced to have sex with their white slave masters while their husbands’ had to sit and wait until the master was through? Or die if he stood up to defend his wife’s honor? (We wonder why it’s so easy for many black women to believe that black men aren’t strong enough to defend and care for them.) We are not far removed from a time when Africans were in an even worse predicament: Harassed even to the point of death, for just having melanin! Not only that! We were KEPT OUT of pursuing happiness just like any other citizen! We often hear, “That’s an excuse! That was a long time ago! You are equal in every way!” Yet, if I responded the same way to the calls of women’s treatment in the workplace, and the “Me Too” movement, I would have to resign whatever post I held. We need to eliminate all forms of sexual assault and harassment in our homes and at work! We also need to educate everyone about the real affects on a people who were enslaved and kept back in every aspect of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for almost 400 years in this society. It has had a lasting psychological and even physiological affect. See Dr Joy Degruy right here on this site for more info about this generational pathology.

‘Tis the season

What do Santa and trees and Yule tide, mistletoe and bright colored decorations and presents have to do with Christmas? Some personal research into these questions will likely reveal that Jesus “ain’t necessarily the reason” for the season! (I’ll leave that right there!)

As we end the year 2017, we might consider reflecting on our personal direction, and how we might improve our relationships within our families, communities, and with the world at large. It’s the only thing we are in absolute control over: not what’s happened or happening to us, but how we handle it as individuals and how we seek to heal ourselves. I wish you healing and positive life-giving energy as we approach the end of 2017. Hoping you apply the principles of Kwanzaa to your everyday life my African brothers and sisters.

Hotep! (Peace),

Bro Eric Clemons

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Now you see it…Now you don’t

If a tree falls in the middle of the forest, and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound? I am sure most of you have been given that question to ponder at some point in your life development. That same thought process can be applied, in my humble opinion, to the goings-on today. Of course! The answer is “YES!” We have seen and heard enough trees falling to KNOW it makes a sound! However, we are constantly, through broadcast and print media, and the ever growing social media landscape, told what we are seeing (even though we know) and how we should be reacting to it. It seems much of what we see today is spun so many different ways and clouded with so many other falling trees that we forget those that we’ve seen only days ago!  

How many stories and trends have we seen just this year alone, that are barely even spoken about any more? Does it mean they’re no longer happening, or are those who control the narrative changing it to keep us distracted and emotionally vulnerable? Take “police brutality and Black Lives Matter.” Wasn’t it just several months ago it seemed like every two days, a video of an unarmed black man or woman was making the social media circuit because they were being allegedly (I use that word for legal protection),  brutalized by police? BLM reps were all over TV, promoting their next protest. Where did that go? I assure you, it’s still happening! Police are still getting paid leave and ultimate acquittals for misuse of their authority vs unarmed African Americans and others.

In addition, black people are still getting unfair prison sentences for drug use and possession, while others are slapped on the wrist or embraced because they need “healing.” THE OTHER TREES: We were told by certain right-wing pundits that BLM was the trouble makers! In fact, every random act of violence perpetrated by a black person within 250 miles of any BLM protest was often connected to the organization! “Huh?”  Many whites and certain blacks they could find, appeared on TV and radio railing against this group for its stance on  this “non-existent racism”…all a figment of their and our imagination. Finally, we heard the old narrative of many: that we (blacks) deserve this police treatment because our ‘violent nature’ needs to be monitored and controlled. Are BLM members less committed because they are no longer in the headlines?

WE HAVE HEARD THIS TREE FALL MANY TIMES! In the meantime, we have a President that is behaving more like the dictators and regimes he denounces, and because he represents the preservation of ‘whiteness’ we are told that we are not seeing what we’ve seen and heard with our own eyes and ears! BUT NO! THE TREE DIDN’T FALL, “THAT WAY!”: Remember, “Mexico will pay for the wall.” “We will impose a ban on Muslims entering our borders.” (Except those in countries I have personal business interests in.) “My administration has had no contact with the Russian government.” “There’s blame (for a racist white hate group’s march) to go on all sides.” Nope. None of that happened. Except, IT DID!

The list of news headlines surrounding this presidency is mind-blowing! This administration is about one thing, as an article in “The Nation “says, “From health care and tax policy to environmental protections, this will undoubtedly be a government of the looters, by the looters, and for the looters, and a Congress of the same.” (Tom Engelhardt / The Nation/ February 2017 / “All those Donald Trump headlines are distracting you from the really scary news.”) This dude has filled cabinet posts with multi-millionaires and billionaires! But you weren’t there, and people who warn you that policies of this regime favor the super rich are attacked by this administration as infidels!  They say, “We’re making the country great! Just like back in the good ole days!”

THIS TREE WAS CHOPPED DOWN: NFL player Colin Kaepernick peacefully protested police brutality and was “unofficially” banned from the league because of it! History tells us this usually happens when one person (black sports figure) decides to take a controversial political stand. BUT HE ISN’T UMEMPLOYED BECAUSE OF THAT: They say, “He no longer has the skill set we desire in the NFL.”

DEFINITIONS ARE CREATED ON THE SPOT!: The white men that have entered night clubs, schools, and checked into a Vegas hotel to snipe dozens of innocent concert-goers, AREN’T DOMESTIC TERRORISTS! They are mentally disturbed, and we are told instead to fear the man or woman next to us on the plane because he/she is wearing a turban.

Opiate addiction is a ‘crisis’ now that many whites are succumbing to it and its life-taking power! But blacks and Latinos have the illicit drug-use problems ruining our nation, because that’s just our inclination and our element, according to many!

TODAY’S (Dec 6, 2017) FALLING TREES: Men are running, and resigning in droves because of alleged sexual misconduct wielded while holding powerful positions in Hollywood, government and elsewhere. Women are stepping up and speaking out after decades of suffering in this socio-political climate! I guess Bill Cosby wasn’t the first one! I guarantee, before the end of 2017, something else will be brought to our attention, and these multiple claims and resignations of accused men will be gone with the wind!  

So with all this  apparent turmoil, what do we do, as African Americans, with ourselves, families and communities: We have to stay focused! Trees are falling, whether you hear them or not! Which ones might impact YOU? If the answer is “none,” don’t sweat it! Most of these things don’t really affect our condition one way or the other, but to see people wail on social media, you would think some of this stuff is life and death! So keep your goals! Stay on your path! Don’t be distracted! Disconnect from all of this social media and the constant bombardment with news of what’s being taken! (At least do it once in awhile.) Tax Bills that favor wealthy, corporate interests are passed at 3 am, whether you want them to be or not. The President is going to tweet something outlandish! Okay! What can you really do to stop him from provoking Korea? What can you personally do to insure his impeachment? I guess you can write or call your congressman or Rep. But do they really represent you? Instead, let’s continue to strive as black people in America: for personal growth and development, education, entrepreneurship, professionalism, tireless work-ethic, and lay a solid foundation for our young people to follow, emotionally, physically, economically, spiritually and soulfully.

Oh yes! It is war out here! Trees are falling everywhere!  But you’re not supposed to notice until the tree falls on YOU! I wish you a happy, peaceful and prosperous holiday season.

 

Bro Eric Clemons

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How white does he want us to be?

It seems that controversy seems to follow our President wherever he goes, and with whatever he decides to say that isn’t in the teleprompter! Where do I start? First, with ESPN journalist Jemele Hill, who called President Trump a white supremacist on her personal Twitter account while having general conversation with some folks on a thread. This prompted a sitting President to respond by having one of his staff call for her firing. It was alleged that Hill’s comments were a “fireable offense.” Really? I’m not gonna even go here. I think Hill and anyone else should be able to say or write what they want to write regarding certain issues, as long as they have evidence to back up their allegations. Journalists usually make a living offending somebody! My broader question is, “Where was she wrong?”

Trump appointed numerous “Alt-Right” ultra conservatives to many cabinet posts. He seemed to appoint a few “self-hating” black folks to posts as well. With all that, he didn’t immediately condemn white supremacists for their rally in Charlottesville, which created an environment that led to the death of a young woman. (If it’s intended to be peaceful, I support the rights of even white supremacists to rally! I don’t have to agree with them to support their constitutional rights!) When the president later hesitantly condemned this gathering, he would take it back, saying there was blame to be passed around on “both sides?” The President has allegedly made statements saying black people are inherently lazy. That he only wants Jewish people counting his money. That women let you grab them by the p***y’ when you are famous and a whole bunch of other charges, the most serious of which is an alleged sexual misconduct/assault s against underage girls, which come up every now and then, only to go away again!  I understand, all of the above charges are simply “allegations.” The fact that they even exist at all makes me wonder to what standards do we hold the highest office in our land?

At an Alabama rally just this week, Trump ‘really’ called for NFL players that take a knee in support of banned QB Colin Kaepernick’s right to free speech and peaceful protest to be fired by their employers, saying, “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now … He is fired’.” 

As you might guess, the reaction from NFL coaches, management, and the players themselves, wasn’t favorable! Still, it doesn’t matter. This President isn’t used to thinking about what he says and how he says it. All he’s used to, as a business man, is barking orders and having someone follow them! “Play you dogs! I don’t pay you to have an opinion or be civic minded when it comes to sports! Leave that to someone else!” That’s what he really means! Apparently, many NFL owners who supported his election bid with finances, agree in some way! I can say this, If our President isn’t an overt racist in the “bad” sense, (You know. The KKK, cross-burning-lynching type.) then he certainly is a Eugenicist! (That’s an intellectual version of the same thing.)

Here’s what the New World encyclopedia defines as a Eugenicist: “Eugenicists advocate specific policies that (if successful) would lead to a perceived improvement of the human gene pool…The most disputed aspect of eugenics has been the definition of “improvement” of the human gene pool, such as what comprises a beneficial characteristic and what makes a defect. This aspect of eugenics has historically been tainted with scientific racism. Early eugenicists were mostly concerned with perceived intelligence factors that often correlated strongly with social class.” In other words, they want to believe that certain ‘other than white’ people are genetically inferior!

So alleged comments by Trump concerning, “black laziness” or Obama’s birthplace…or questioning if the former President really was qualified to attend Harvard University law school, actually are right in line with his and Eugenicists feelings that they/we come from an ‘inferior’ gene pool! We’ve heard him boast of his family and how ‘smart’ they are! (That’s inherited.) But the bigger question is, how does one protect the ‘superior’ gene pool? They would have to make sure those ‘impure people’ are kept away from their ‘pure’ circles! Why else doesn’t he seem to know that speeches like the one made against NFL players are so divisive? He wants to segregate again, and keep those ‘other folks’ away. Keep those ‘less intelligent ones” in their place! When you approach everything he says and does with Eugenics in mind, it all makes sense. “Close our borders! Ban certain people from entering our shores. Keep those ‘lazy’ folks out of positions of power and or influence!  When they rise up, “kick that son of a bitch out!” Only certain types of those ‘lazy’ people are allowed inside our circles.”

Eugenicists and some white people want to return to a day when they made all the important decisions, and acted with impunity! White people were a vast majority of the USA population, and never had to look backwards or even sideways while living their lives and pursuing happiness! Within decades, many studies suggest there’ll be more ‘other’ people in the USA than whites! This inevitable destiny must be reversed!  In closing, I ask that you remember that famous scene from the movie, “In the Heat of the Night.” Sidney Poitier’s character asks a question of a rich, influential white man (Mr Indicot) as he and the sheriff, played by Rod Steiger, investigate a local murder. The white man slaps, Poitier, (Mr. Tibbs) in the face because he is offended by the fact that he’s a suspect being questioned. Poitier immediately slaps the white man back across the face, shocking him and the audience at the time, I’m sure! The white man looks at the sheriff and expects Poitier to be dealt with by the law! He says to Poitier, “There was a time where I could have had you shot!” The key word there is “WAS!”

Some, after decades of perceiving ‘other people’ flooding to America and ‘ruining the white gene pool’ would love to see those days return. President Donald J. Trump and many of those who act oblivious to his apparent less-than-harmonious points of view, appear to be on the same page. Look at it through the lens of Eugenics and it won’t surprise you at all! Get used to the fact that some…perhaps many…only perceive America as beautiful or great, if white is in front of it!  

 

Bro Eric Clemons

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THE MORE THINGS CHANGE…

I would be a total idiot to suggest that general life hasn’t improved for the black man and woman in America since slavery ended in 1865, right? However, it seems like ‘attitudes’ and ‘conditioning’ remain for the larger part, unchanged! As a nation, we collectively WILL NOT DISCUSS THE ELEPHANT IN EVERY ROOM: RACISM/WHITE SUPREMACY and it’s poisoning of our society in every way imaginable. For those of you reading this blog for the first time, I agree with Dr’s Neely Fuller and the late Dr Frances Cress-Welsing, who both describe Racism/White Supremacy as one in the same! Certain attitudes are a as much a part of the American fabric as baseball and apple pie! Let me cite some examples right now.

A young woman recently tweeted about her feelings when visiting a southwestern/white eating establishment while on vacation with her children. “At Cracker Barrel 4 the 1st time. Looking at the sea of white folks in cowboy hats wondering if they’ll let my black ass walk out of here.” Most people, especially black folk, totally got her humor, but many white people lost their minds! And it’s odd; Because instead of using this as “a teachable moment” they proceeded to revert back to the very kind of behavior the sister  was half-joking about in the first place. I won’t repeat all of it here, but the standard, “You worthless cunt!: your polluted blood line: were you gonna rob the place?: you are pathetic: get out of my country, you racist bitch:” kind of comments came from all over the white world: many of those comments came from younger white folks! Why and how? When I was a youngster, I was told that all the racists would be dead by now, and we’d live in a world of empathy and tolerance! Not so much! In fact, while Twitter suspended the accounts of many who forwarded hatred directed at this young lady, Face book suspended her account! Not the accounts of those who spewed hatred right in her face! Shame on Face Book! You got it wrong! So why does much of white America seem ready to pounce on anyone black who writes, says or does something they don’t like?

Racism isn’t just about terrorizing and subjugating Africans and their descendants here in America! So when many white people hear that word, they associate it with that horror, so they think they are being called “A bad person!” Racists, to many whites, are the guys that wear the sheets and kill people! We all know that’s bad. (I hope.) No! Racism is a global system! It’s a system designed to keep those who are white in an advantageous position in almost every walk of life. Some consciously participate, others comply unknowingly, but it is there! It’s also about justifying those actions with a dose of what Dr Joy DeGruy and others call, “COGNITIVE DISSONANCE.” Most human beings, white or otherwise, know when they are participating in behavior that is outside the boundaries of how we should treat our fellow man. So in order to make themselves feel better about how they were treating us (and their own humanity) during enslavement, Jim Crow, and now, (police brutality, drug sentences, etc.) they had to make up reasons to “justify” this inhumane behavior and treatment. It’s why many of the responses to this young lady were so laden with hate. For hundreds of years, we have seen and heard the subtle and not-so-subtle messages regarding African’s worthiness of such horrible treatment: “They don’t feel like we do about their children.” (So breaking up families by selling siblings, etc. was okay!) “They don’t need as much sleep.”(Work ‘em in the fields till they die!)  “They are suspicious, so watch them at all times.”(Slave patrols. Shoot first, ask questions later. Still applies in many present situations.) “They are unclean.” (Look up ‘white’ in most dictionaries) “They always want sex, so they are ready at any time.” “They aren’t as smart.” “They have no God concepts, or spiritual awareness.” “They don’t really love this country.” (Despite the historical facts regarding our experience here, most of us love our ‘home.’) The list goes on and on. Not only do many white people believe this, and some, not so deep down, but another Elephant in the room concerns how many of us black folk believe it too! How else could it be so easy for whites to respond to the young lady’s post with such palpable hatred? Many of them still believe we are inferior! They’ve gotten the false narrative all their lives! 

Example number 2: There is a new ad campaign by Proctor and Gamble, celebrating how far blacks have come from dealing with the overt racist behavior of times past. Again, white folks lost their minds. One black man even did a now famous Face Book post claiming he never had “The Talk” with his parents about what situations a black man could be up against at any time in America! Apparently, he never thought about the possibility that he was in the minority among blacks in America! Perhaps he had a very privileged life! Whatever the reason, if he lined up a thousand black people, 990 of them have heard from an elder about the obstacles presented to most black folks here in America! But, white folks are calling it “reverse racism”, “liberal garbage,” “A distortion of facts and history”, etc. Let’s see. Millions of Africans were enslaved here for 256 years under all kinds of inhumane conditions, then, when enslavement was legally ended, the response was 100 more years of “Jim Crow” and other laws, effectively keeping blacks out of the mainstream and outside of the peaceful pursuit of happiness! That legally ended with Civil Rights legislation only 50 years ago! 356 plus years of terror! 50 years of legal rights to pursue happiness. (Many of those rights ignored or being threatened with dissolution as I write.)  All the other stuff that’s been heaped on us for generations just goes away in 50 short years? I don’t think so! But we (and whites) don’t really want to address it!

Finally, example 3: Colin Kaepernick: This former San Francisco 49ers NFL quarterback has been locked out of employment with an NFL team because he peacefully protested police killings of unarmed black people and took a knee during the playing of the national anthem. You guessed it. White people lost their minds when the news about his protest was made public. So did NFL owners. He has received visceral hate mail via social media, etc. So much so that many white people would shoot him dead if they could get away with it. (Like they could back in the good old days.) Some don’t understand the very fabric of what makes America, AMERICA! You may not agree with what a person’s position is, but in America he/she has a right to take a position based on her/his beliefs. Kaepernick didn’t burn the flag, spit on the flag or pour dirt on it! He silently knelt during the playing of the anthem to bring attention to something important to him. For expressing this opinion on the NFL’s high-profile platform, he hasn’t been actively sought by teams as even a back-up so far this off season, and training camps are well underway. But after an injury-plagued 2015 season, several teams inquired with the 49ers about his availability, as I understand it. Please people! A message is being sent. “You have no opinion unless the NFL owners give it to you!” Should all the players that refused to visit Obama and Trump at the white house lose their jobs too? (They disrespected the highest office representative of America! Right?) I am shocked that more stars and other players haven’t come to Kaepernick’s defense, and the players’ union allows this kind of treatment of one of their own. Why? Because some attitudes apparently haven’t adjusted much since the time when America was ‘great’ for some…not so great for others!

So to the sister who was unafraid to joke about feeling threatened around a white southwestern crowd in a red state at a restaurant that has recently settled lawsuits for racially discriminatory practices, save some travel money and go to the gun range! Carry some extra protection so you might feel less afraid when encountering that situation again. Because you will! To Proctor and Gamble, thanks for acknowledging the blacks that have spent billions on your products over the years. Thanks for recognizing that through it all, we are still here and still seek to thrive. For Collin Kaepernick, yours is a path laid out by others before you brother! Muhammad Ali, Curt Flood, and others risked their careers to stand up for what they believed was right! It appears you have been forced down the same path. Players, black and white should unify around you, whether they agree with you should not be the question. As fans, we can support you, as well. I can not in good conscience, stand bye and allow this league to punish a black man for voicing his opinion, when the NFL has given second, third and fourth chances to domestic abusers, drug and alcohol abusers, accused sexual predators, PED users, racists caught on video and the like! And don’t talk to me about his reported refusal of a 900k offer from a team. If Jay Cutler can sign for 1 year at 10 million, Kaepernick is worth at least half that amount based on what they’ve accomplished in their careers! I love football! But I love my people more! I will not watch the NFL until this situation is resolved in a just manner. (Photos copyright/Facebook, Proctor and Gamble, The National Football League.) 

Bro Eric Clemons

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SPEAKING OF VIOLENCE…

It’s so odd how public perception can easily be molded by media reports. With the 4th of July weekend 2017 just having passed, I kept hearing over and over again about the bloody shooting weekend in Chicago: Over 100 shootings between June 29th and July 5th. One would envision something out of an old western movie, with people walking around with their gun belts and metal gleaming in the sun, ready to shoot the next thing moving. The statistics might not lie, but they can certainly be manipulated to create a feeling among the general public. The feeling right now is, “Black people are acting like savages in Chicago!” One shooting is one too many, but how does it make you feel to hear these reports over and over again? It makes you more fearful. More distrusting and more suspicious- especially of black folks!

I personally researched (only for a short time) on line and I could only find numerous stories about the gun violence in Chicago! I tried to find out how many shootings took place in other cities around the nation on 4th of July weekend to see if I might add some context. I couldn’t find anything about the national statistics on shootings. It’s as if everyone who was shot on the 4th of July weekend lived in Chicago, and everywhere else exists a state of peaceful bliss! (Perhaps context isn’t the agenda here.) Patterns keep repeating. This is another one. Is it just me, or does it seem like this pattern has jumped from city to city over the past 15 years or so? Washington DC was once the murder capital. We also saw that title pass to LA, Detroit, Philadelphia, New Orleans, and a few others.

So what’s the agenda? What happens to these areas deemed ‘murder and shooting capitals?’ I think it gives those in control (corporate, multi-national and big businesses) an excuse to gentrify and otherwise rid many of these areas of their black and poor populations! The areas once deemed “Chocolate Cities” ain’t so cocoa no more! Another very disturbing trend is the message that goes along with this reporting of ‘gun violence.’ The message being that black folk are committing these violent shootings because of some moral shortcoming! Every pundit that appears on TV and says “blacks are committing the most crimes, so they need to be policed more,” has bought into the message, hook, line and sinker! Again, the feeling created among the general public is that ‘we’ are always suspects! “Those criminal black folks!!!”

Let’s bring in some reality here: There is way too much violence in our streets and in our homes, especially where the masses of our people live. It always has been that way! It might be worse now, because it APPEARS worse now, thanks to media reports. Funny how Chicago is all over the news lately, yet it doesn’t even rank in the top 30 among cities in murders per 1000 residents, according to Neighborhood Scout.com, which uses murder reports made to the FBI so far this year. (https://www.neighborhoodscout.com/blog/highest-murder-rate-cities) The report also includes cities with over 25,000 residents. Chicago isn’t even on the list! Does that mean you can walk everywhere in the Chi with money hanging out your pockets? Don’t be silly! NO! But with the way the city is being portrayed, it’s got to be like the wild, wild, west, right? Cities like Myrtle Beach, SC, New Orleans, LA, Detroit and Flint, MI, and Salinas and Desert Hot Springs, CA did make the list. And the number one murder city in America right now is good ole East St. Louis, IL!  Now Chicago, a city with 9.5 million people in the general area, has 100 plus shootings, not all murders, but shootings, and it’s all going to hell?

Please don’t misunderstand my point. I am not downplaying those victimized by this craziness, but put in context against the back drop of the many problems that we as a people have carried over hundreds of years, and I’m mildly surprised that number isn’t higher! When you hear so much about shootings, you might tend to forget about violence against women, children and the elderly that   doesn’t always involve guns! This crazy, self-hating stuff has always been! Hear some people talk and they act like we grew up in Andy Griffith’s Mayberry! The poorer and more economically disadvantaged an area is, the better chance that there will be more drug and alcohol abuse and violent crimes committed. Most of the crime will be confined to that proximity! Statistically, people, black or otherwise, don’t take a bus or train across town to rob those “other people.”

So once again, Chicago isn’t necessarily violent because the media tells you. Anytime you see a report in media, ask “Why?” and “Who might benefit from this?” Media is almost always agenda driven. (That’s news and entertainment.) Chicago is my home town! People who have never been near Chicago will tell you how crazy they (those black people) are acting there! And why wouldn’t they, based on the reports they’ve seen? However, I didn’t feel like I was under duress while walking its streets and driving in its neighborhoods when I was last there in June. Is there too much violence? YES! Are there too many people willing to use guns to settle differences? YES! Why is there so much violence and what can we do to stop the trend? More pointedly, what can YOU do to stop the trend? Many of us feel powerless, and always have in the face of violence.

 

Bro Eric Clemons

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A NOT SO NEW ATTITUDE

I am writing this post because I am wondering why many people think the actions of some whites we are witnessing now are so deplorable and surprising. A little digging shows that some whites are acting as they have been taught to believe they are supposed to act! So when you see another video on social media of a white person berating some person from an African, Mexican, Latin or Middle Eastern land, this is not something that should surprise us! The ‘whiteness’ of America is something many want to preserve and many feel is being threatened. The last Presidential election proves this, so many now feel comfortable that all is right with the world, or will at the very least, be made right!

For centuries, prominent men and women from Presidents to dignitaries, have made their position on race and ‘other people’s’ place American society very, very clear! In a 2012 Huff Post article entitled, “What the founders really thought about race,” author Jerry Taylor wrote, “…until just a few decades ago, virtually all Whites believed race was a fundamental aspect of individual and group identity. They believed people of different races had different temperaments and abilities, and built markedly different societies. They believed that only people of European stock could maintain a society in which they would wish to live, and they strongly opposed miscegenation.” This general view is still held by many in our society today. Remember, at the time of our “Declaration of Independence,” race slavery was over 150 years old in America.

While many whites wanted “equal rights” for all, they didn’t mean that they wanted others to have equal access and protection. They also feared being eventually outnumbered. Ben Franklin expressed this general fear at a time where no end was in sight for the importing of captured Africans. “[T]he Number of purely white People in the World is proportionably [sic] very small…I could wish their Numbers were increased…. But perhaps I am partial to the Complexion of my Country, for such Kind of Partiality is natural to Mankind…[W]hy increase the Sons of Africa, by Planting them in America?” Replace “Africa” in the aforementioned quote with “Mexico” or “Any Middle Eastern (Muslim) countries” and ask yourself has the sentiment changed?

Even during the abolitionist movements of the middle 1800’s, most white citizens were very much against a society of totally equal footing. Taylor writes, “Sentiment against Blacks was so strong that many Northern Whites supported abolition only if it was linked, as (Former Presidents),(Thomas) Jefferson and (James) Madison had proposed, to plans to deport or “colonize” Blacks. Most abolitionist activism therefore reflected a deep conviction that slavery was wrong, but not a desire to establish Blacks as social and political equals. William Lloyd Garrison and Angelina and Sarah Grimké favored equal treatment for Blacks in all respects, but theirs was very much a minority view. Henry Ward Beecher, brother of Harriet Beecher Stowe who wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin, expressed the majority view: “Do your duty first to the colored people here; educate them, Christianize them, and then colonize them.”

I could go on, but just do a little research and you will find there are plenty of people in this society that do not want equal treatment for everyone in all aspects. They want to do exactly what is described above. White supremacy was the belief then, and for many, it remains the belief now.  Often times today, it is simply disguised as a desire for ‘real equality.’ Many whites are convinced they have been targeted for racial bias and are now feeling emboldened enough to express those beliefs, (often sprinkled with a dash of supremacy)  thanks to the election of a President who capitalized on these long-time myths and fears to get elected!  Keep pushing forward, and challenge these myths when you come across them. You most likely will. 

BILL MAHER OUT OF LINE

As a long time fan of Bill Maher, who always takes advantage of every opportunity possible to ‘stick it to’ the conservatives and many of their elitist white supremacist policies, his joke about being a ‘House N***a” during an interview on his HBO “Real Time” program are not in any way okay! As an old friend of mine opined, if your ancestors didn’t have to endure that hate-filled, derogatory, inflamed word while being beaten, raped, sold, murdered, robbed, and just about every indignity you can think of, you don’t get a pass using it! Period! Should he be fired? I don’t think so. But he made a very bad mistake in judgment using that word as casually as I use the word ‘dude.’ Just because you hear some uninformed rappers use it in their “self-hating, genocidal” promotional music, doesn’t give you a pass. This is just how deep racism/white supremacy goes. What term can you call a white person that is attached to so much hurt, hate and pain? “NOTHING.” If he shows no remorse or tries to shrug it off, it proves he too sees his privilege. My hope is that he sees the gross error of his ways.

Nobody should use it in my opinion! I wish black Africans wouldn’t, but we have a way of turning the darkest negatives into something we can use. Though that term comes out of all the nastiness described above, we have found a way to use it in a very loving, loyal manner…with each other! Nobody else should use this term when talking about black folk! Nobody!  Frankly, I think it’s too negative to use other than in reflecting back on the history of this and other countries who subjugated our ancestors. Let me know what you think.

 

 

Bro Eric Clemons

 

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They’ll keep coming back…in one form or another!

In the wake of the recent “parting of the ways” between Fox News and multi-millionaire salaried host, Bill O’Reilly, I am left with mixed emotions. I see so many stories of various organizations demanding that this man be fired for what he has said on his show. Believe me. I have heard him say some blatantly racist and sexist things. The alleged law suit settlements over sexual misconduct are one thing, but the racist statements are quite another. Using your position of power to try to take advantage of a woman (or man) sexually is wrong, and merits losing your job. Being a racist bigot? I’m not so sure! In fact, I am sure O’Reilly wasn’t fired because of his racist/white supremacist views! Those views kept the name of the network alive and well.  

Is it me, or does it seem like during the Trump campaign and since the election, some white people have felt a little bit more comfortable expressing their sense of racial hatred and superiority toward black people and anyone not white? Every week, we see a story on some white person who said something that attempted to categorize a black person as “sub-human.” Ilie Nastase, a former tennis star from Russia, stepped on some racist lines by making a reference to Serena Williams’ announced pregnancy. (By her white fiance.) Some politician says something outlandish, followed by some actor or white police chief. This all falls right in line with the false narrative. They must classify you as worthy of the negative treatment! Then, their response (mistreatment and disrespect) to you is ‘normalized.’  

Personally, I always liked to know what was coming so I could plan to navigate around it when necessary. Somebody once said, “The truth shall make you free!” When you force these types of people back underground by hollering, protesting and calling for their jobs every time they say something racially bigoted and insensitive, then we never know what hits us when the racial hatred and intolerance rears its ugly head from a previously dormant source! It remains hidden until it explodes, usually at the strangest times. Please don’t hide! Come out!

Bill O’Reilly is an idiot in my view. Part of me chuckles over the fact that he is gone…but as I write this, I think he might already be making a deal to appear on some other network or medium! (He’ll begin a podcast on Monday, May 1, 2017.)  It’s all about money people! Remember that he had a large following who watched his show on Fox News, not because they wanted to see something else to hate, but to hear him say something else that they silently agree with: Something they wouldn’t dare say publicly in fear of being called out for what they are! Bill O’Reilly didn’t create more racists or white supremacists! He simply spoke for the ones already here! Getting rid of him doesn’t rid America of its problem. Racism/white supremacy is so entrenched in the fabric of this country, it will take perhaps a century of very specific work to eradicate much of it: work many in this country don’t even want to acknowledge is needed.

Part of my enthusiasm is subdued because I’d rather hear people like O’Reilly say “everything” that’s on their tiny little minds! I believe in the first amendment, even if the person speaking under its protection pisses me off, or in turn, gets his ass whipped! We should expect white supremacists to say racist stuff! They have throughout the history of this country! You could fill a 10 thousand page book with the racist/white supremacist s**t that prominent citizens of this nation have said regarding black people! Why should they change now? People who work at and espouse the political views of Fox News need to be heard, just in case you think we are in a “post-racial” America! They are here to provide a reminder that we are not! That no longer pains me! It’s almost amusing! And for those of you that think racism consists of “bad words,” or “cross burnings,” nothing could be further from the truth.

First, understand that racism isn’t just a bunch of bad people calling folks names! I’m less concerned about racist and hateful things people say, and a lot more concerned about the system white supremacy has created. It fixes the game so that whites “always” come out on top. In incarcerates blacks for longer times for committing the same crimes. It pays blacks less for doing the same job, and makes us dependent on them for employment in general. It limits bank loans and educational opportunities. It limits living space and health care. Then it turns around and blames the very people being denied. It claims God and everything good is white and taught you to worship the very same god and white values! It says dark people, the Motherland and everything attached to Africa is bad! (Some of you are feeling negative just reading the word, “Africa!”) It red lines and redistricts and gentrifies. It declares war on your crack cocaine problem (in the 80’s and 90’s) and asks for empathy for those struggling with opiate addiction, because it’s affecting many segments of white America. Through movies and music and other media, it strips our (black) people of self-love and creates self-loathing! It’s also used to perpetrate our inferiority all over the world. It supports a false narrative that someone whiter is “better.” I know it’s ugly, but it’s the truth!

So what can we do? What actions can we (as black people) take? I say, Let the Fox News’ and Bill O’Reilly’s of the world crow like roosters! As long as they don’t start some physical stuff, it won’t be none! Let’s not appear on the network (unless we are fully prepared to face some bull-**it and respond properly!) and work on creating and maintaining our own TV outlets and news sources! Let’s not watch or promote anything stupid that they say or do! Let’s for once, remember what history has shown us, and take a tactical approach to combat it! Let’s educate ourselves and teach in the spirit of our ancestors. The truth will enlighten all who want to be! Those who don’t, won’t be! Let’s ego trip on a huge dose of self-love and appreciation, taking every opportunity to practice individual/group economics! Let them crow about how we’re, “Ill educated and wear tattoos on our foreheads” as O’Reilly once said on his program.  

Let’s learn and show ourselves who we really are and let them think what they will. Let’s get to work, plan and execute the uplifting of ourselves, our sons and daughters. Let’s build communities and businesses. Racism/white supremacy has lied about us since we were kidnapped and sold as chattel slaves in the west. It had to so lie that the institution could be supported and they could build a lie to feel good about. It’s called “Cognitive Dissonance.”  We see this! We know this! The lie is still alive and well in the minds of many of them…and US! But I don’t want to bigots and racists to hide. Come on out and stay out in the open where we can see you! When you’re in the open, we always know exactly where you are and can plan accordingly!

Bro Eric Clemons    

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KAEPERNICK’S STATUS IS “STATUS QUO” FOR AMERICAN SPORTS

As I sit at my computer here in late March, 2017, NFL free-agency is the frenzy! We await the next big thing: April’s NFL draft.  Colin Kaepernick is a quarterback without a job. A free-agent after being released by his former team, the San Francisco 49ers, has watched dozens of players (Several with stats nowhere near his), sign lucrative contracts with NFL suitors. His phone has yet to ring. Of course, we are told that Kaepernick isn’t good enough to be allowed to continue his playing career, at least as a starting QB. In addition, we are told that many NFL teams feel that bringing him aboard would be a “distraction.” Okay! Enough! That explanation is about as lame as they come! In fact, it excuses the obvious!  

 Just 5 years ago, this man was a few plays away from leading the San Francisco 49ers to a Super bowl title. (Ray Lewis and the Baltimore Ravens won a 34-31 thriller over the 49ers in New Orleans.) We all know the real story. Kaepernick is likely facing the ultimate back-lash from the NFL’s billionaire owners: He dared to make a stand against something they hold dear. He decided to “do something” to express his displeasure with police brutality against blacks in particular, by taking a knee during the playing of the national anthem before games. He took his elite status as an athlete and drew attention using his national platform. He also created a poop-storm of controversy because of his actions. And believe me, much of America has called him everything but “a child of God” because of it!  Some NFL players, like Hall of Famer, Jerry Rice and future Hall of Famer Drew Brees, publicly expressed their displeasure.

Now, it appears the NFL’s owners are playing the ultimate “power card.” Kaepernick had more teams interested in him after an injury plagued 2015 campaign than he appears to have right now, after a 2016 season which saw him throw 16 touchdown passes and only 4 interceptions, compiling 2,200 plus yards passing on a bad 49er’s team! Owners have put out the word that fan backlash would create too much of a distraction for a back-up QB. This is stupid! “Numbers don’t lie!” That’s an old sports cliché! This man can make every throw. We’ve seen him do it with our own eyes! He can run like the wind! He is a natural leader! His locker room wasn’t divided over racial lines in San Francisco!  His only sin was taking a stand for what he thinks is right: That’s exercising the supposed ultimate freedom of an American! Unless you’re black and you bring attention to matters that need attention in your own creative way. But once again, there is nothing new under the sun, especially when it comes to race and power in America. History has a way of repeating itself.

Curt Flood felt the full effects of ‘backlash’ way back in 1969, when baseball’s ‘reserve clause’ and ‘antitrust exemption’ status basically made players property of their team forever: Until Curt Flood refused to report to the Philadelphia Phillies after he was traded from the St. Louis Cardinals. He refused to be discarded like a piece of old furniture! Flood’s challenge would wind up on the docket of the US Supreme court. Flood had very little support from his peers, black or white. Many feared backlash. His unyielding position would produce daily death threats from fans who said he should just shut up and play! Several years later, (He lost 5-3 in the Supreme Court ruling), Flood’s challenge produced “free-agency.” Today, fans are excited to see which high-priced players can come aboard and help their favorite team become a contender!  Curt Flood was no beneficiary of what his brave stance started. His personal life became a shambles. The former All-star eventually left the country and struggled with alcoholism and other related problems: All because he took a stand against something he felt was “unfair.” Time proved that it was unfair indeed.

Muhammad Ali was another! Here’s a man who is perhaps the most celebrated boxer in history, yet, his prime fighting years were taken away and was denied a boxing license and stripped of his title for refusing to accept being drafted into military service in 1967. The government even pursued a criminal case against him over his objection to the Vietnam war he thought was hypocritical at best. Ali was vilified at every turn!  He would eventually  see the ruling that stripped him of his title and his best boxing years overturned in 1971. The rest is history, but how much did he suffer! Ali fought well past his prime: something he may not have had to do had his title never been stripped in the first place because he exercised his American right to dissent!  I guess he should have just shut up and fought inside the boxing ring: not the political arena.

How about Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf? 20 years ago, this former NBA sharp-shooting guard who was already becoming among the game’s greatest historic scorers, said he would no longer stand during the playing of the national anthem because the flag, and the anthem, in his mind, represented tyranny and hypocrisy. He was suspended by the NBA, and eventually drummed out of the league, losing millions. He too faced daily death threats and saw his home burned to the ground in retaliation for his stance. He should have just shut up and played ball!

If you don’t follow me, let me make it plain for you: “Bring us your wife-beaters, accused murderers and rapists, PED users, drug addicts and or alcoholics. Everyone deserves a second chance.” (How often have you heard a pro sports spokesperson speak along these lines when they’ve added some flawed star they think can help their team?) I too believe we all deserve second chances. But for persons bold enough to exercise their American rights to dissent, especially if you are a black person…well, you know the drill. Wouldn’t it have been something if 90 percent of all the leagues’ black players sided with Kaepernick and took a knee before a game, showing solidarity? ( The way black athletes from several sports came together and publicly supported Ali. But he was in an individual sport.) But that’s not the typical pattern, just my personal idyllic dream. Fear tends to paralyze, and some feel like it’s their calling to face it alone. 

Kaepernick and the examples above are individuals (and just a few of many examples), who were willing to pay an obvious high price for bringing attention to something they felt strongly about: strong enough to display and act of protest over. Why do you think so few stood with him? But if standing up and expressing an unpopular position results in being denied the opportunity to do what only about 2 percent of the world’s population can do, what do you call that? I call it, oppression, and tyranny! It makes me take a closer look at what professional sports really is when it comes to the black athlete: A high paying microcosm of remnants of social ills crafted and passed down from an ugly past! (Ali Photo/Bob Thomas/Getty Images) 

 

Bro Eric Clemons 

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THAT ‘OTHER’ DR. BEN AND SOME ADDITIONAL OBSERVATIONS

So…Dr. Ben Carson, reportedly a brilliant brain-surgeon, who was named President Trump’s H.U.D. secretary, announces to his first gathering of HUD interested employees and activists that enslaved Afrikans were simply ‘involuntary immigrants’ who were in the bottom of slave ships and had the same American dream as others who came to this land, ‘voluntarily.’ I have seen numerous social media responses, and once again, Dr Carson is the butt of well-deserved social media memes and jokes questioning his overall sanity. I have a another question, however.

Why are we so focused on what he had to say? Are people like him ‘planted’ to say stuff to get us all riled up and get our eyes all on that ‘unimportant thing’ and not on what might be happening before our very eyes? Dr. Carson has been falsely accused of saying Blacks are better off here in America, ‘cause if not for slavery and Christianity, we’d be in Africa swinging in trees. He never said that! That story came from a site known for making false up comedic news. Because they attached Ben Carson’s name to it, people bought it, hook, line and sinker! We know what kind of person Ben Carson is. HE IS AN ABSOLUTE ASSIMILATIONIST! He wants everyone in America, black or otherwise, to adopt and mold into the white idealism that created this society. He believes in the ideology that elected Donald Trump in the first place! Is his sentiment really a shock? The ‘softening’ of the horrors of enslavement and racism in American history are in my view, an effort to ‘revert’ back to times when exploitation was far more blatant. If this segment of history, ‘wasn’t that bad,’ then what we have planned for the masses of black people in the future isn’t going to be that bad.

I end this by repeating something I once saw NY attorney Alton Maddox say. He used an analogy of airline companies: When one buys another, the latter is ‘assimilated,’ meaning it is totally consumed by the larger airline never to be seen again. When US Air bought Piedmont, did you ever see a Piedmont airplane again? NO! This is what many want to happen to the Afrikan here in America! They want a black population that has the same cultural values and belief system as those who classify themselves as white, until we aren’t Afrikan anymore! For many of us, the strategy has worked and represents all the answers to the perceived ‘race’ problems here in America! Enter the Ben Carson’s of the world. There are plenty. Like Stacy Dash, Black Fox News hosts and others: LET THEM GO!

BLACK HISTORY MONTH

February is set aside for ‘others’ to take notice of black contributions to America, but part of me is rebellious. We have been shouting our contributions from the mountain tops for hundreds of years, yet we are often treated like we are the biggest nuisance in the history of the universe! Black history is life for us! You should be teaching your children (and yourself) about the contributions Africans have made since the beginning of time! (See some of the videos and docs right here!) Forgive me if I am a little weary of helping white or other people acknowledge what we have done despite the constant backdrop of racism and terrorism we have faced here in America! The time for seeking approval has long passed! Don’t get me wrong! What Carter G. Woodson began back in the early 20th century was and is valuable, but until we control and tell our own stories, we are focused on “See what we’ve done for America? We’re good, aren’t we?” They already know, and if they don’t, let ‘em ask somebody!

THE BLACK COMMUNITY

I often read and hear of better times when we cared about one another and looked out for one another. The sad reality is that we were forced into this behavior! The minute we could get out of the black community, most of us couldn’t wait! (See Integration and the Illusion of Inclusion) Our heads were receiving all those negative messages associated with being black. We absorbed them and forgot to build our own. (Save thousands of churches) I contend that communities are indeed built! Once the medical facility and the Community center and the theater, and the church, temple, etc are built, then, we have places to gather to create community! We must facilitate a way to spend our TRILLION dollars of income with each other. Otherwise, we just live in places where other people live. And we become expendable! (See any city’s gentrification.) Those who tried to teach us about the importance of an economic base were systematically damaged or eliminated altogether: Garvey, Malcolm, Martin, Muhammad, etc. Or, they are generally ignored at present, like Dr. Claude Anderson and others.

What the first black person did for America or Dr Carson said or who is made uncomfortable by our action, peaceful and quiet or not, is no longer important. Let’s learn from our history and build communities! If we don’t figure out how to figuratively and literally, “Place our own oxygen masks over our nose and mouth, then help others…” we are in for some very difficult days ahead.

Bro. Eric Clemons

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