We Don’t Lack Opportunity, We Lack Capacity
You may read Part I. of my rebuttal of the charge of racism against the Gene Marks article, “If I Were A Poor Black Kid” published by Forbes. As long as African-Americans look at external conditions as the root of their problems, they’ll never move past self-imposed limitations. People forget that some of our maneuvering through life has nothing to do with race (or gender), but is part of the human condition which builds character.
This brings me to a great podcast I recently listened to from the Wealthy Sistas show, which in and of itself is amazing. Snaps to host Deborah Hardnett for featuring such accomplished guests. I thought to include this in a separate post and have been waiting for an opportune time to write about it. The comparison between the mentalities discussed during her shows and the attitudes of those who both refute the Forbes article and who are the living examples of that lack is night and day!
The spiritual and mental aspects of how the host encourages free agency is very important. Her guest from the April 18th podcast, George C. Fraser stood out for several reasons. He’s an African-American male and everything he said seemed grounded in truth, action and power. How many black males do you know would mop floors to put themselves through college? It’s definitely worth a listen and I think after listening to the first half, you might draw new conclusions about who really has power over blacks as well.
What if someone black or AA had written the Forbes article who wasn’t a “conservative” or “Republican” and doesn’t harbor any latent disdain and hatred (racism) for other blacks? I also want to mention, the child (and mentality) discussed in the article seems distinctly home-grown black (AA) because how many black immigrants who came all the way to the United States are going to claim they’re lacking opportunities?
What if it’s instead someone who sees blacks – like everyone else – as being created by God to do incredible things in this world with all capabilities intact? The only thing holding us back is our non-productive thinking. We see ourselves as lesser-thans, so we act like it. We are winners and have always been winners when we’ve chosen to behave as such.
Mr. Fraser goes on to discuss having a global focus, ethnic pride and an empowered mentality. His book,”Success Runs In Our Race” or Kindle version is certainly the antithesis of the “poor black person” mentality. Since this is coming from a black man, I hope many of you who are not familiar with Mr. Fraser will conduct your own offline research, read and apply the empowering message. And move forward.
He discussed several key points worth reviewing:
Cutting Off The TV
Fraser mentions a stat about our TV watching habits. A more recent study shows BW watch 40% of all TV shows across the board. WE are making other people rich and there is not one decent show with a BW lead to date! We are right there watching all variations of the Vortex of Coonery. Some even complain that their best trash shows aren’t being covered on certain entertainment snark sites and that is somehow an invalidation attempt and possibly racist. Some people state they know these shows offer no value, but they watch them week after week. This is certainly no argument for or against highbrow vs. lowbrow entertainment, but since many of you can’t distinguish the difference that’s a cause for alarm. Then someone’s going to complain about the negative image of black women in the media. From a metaphysical perspective we can look at it as an example of our seeking out what resonates with us. What we vibe with is what we connect with. For some it will be Maury or Real Housewives Of Atlanta, for others it will be Masterpiece Theatre…or The Good Wife.
Change What We Focus On
He had me at Kitchen Table conversation. Black people are more likely to pay attention to what Beyonce or a Kardashian is up to than things that really matter. And it shows.
Love Of Learning
Stop thinking of using standardized English and being well-read as a key component of whiteness. Going back to that Forbes article, why not learn how to code and other technology languages because I see plenty of Software Engineer and Developer jobs available that pay more than $100K. If you lack imagination, let a few stories about heroes and adventure inspire you. Reading children’s books is another way to fortify learning a new language. The desire for acquiring knowledge extends to increasing social capital and moving amongst different circles as well.
Speaking of libraries, I spotted a young black child asking to leave because he was bored. The parent was picking out Zane books and hey, you get points for being there but shouldn’t you be alarmed your kid spends so much time in front of the TV or playing video games that being around books bores them? The kid didn’t look much older than six. When he does poorly in school who do you think will be blamed?
Well, with a 70%+ OOW birth rate, I’m not sure how much parental involvement is left, but I also don’t have any children. Women cannot do it all alone. Fraser was specifically talking about kids who graduate high school not knowing how to read and saying schools can’t be blamed for that. Indeed, thanks to the non-involvement and the Michelle Rhee’s and poor nutritional meals I’ll continue to urge AA women to get out of the teaching profession unless they’re at tenured university professor level.
The Discipline To Follow Through
This is a lesson for all of us. As we’re adopting new mentalities they have to be nurtured and reinforced. Reading about and talking about change with no action is entertainment. It mocks the process and shows the person doesn’t take the process seriously. Plenty of people do this, but again the question is about whether this elevates YOU or not.
His analogy of comparing modern day blacks to the ancient Hebrews wandering the desert for 40 years in the Book Of Exodus is a little off. The length of time used in the Bible is not literal. They needed as much or as little time as it took for them to get back on track. The Hebrews had directly disobeyed God after He had already shown them miracles, freed them from captivity under the brutal Egyptian regime and given them vast land. They turned to other things and forgot who they were and all their promise for a quick fix worship of falsehood. They knew what they were doing would devalue their connection between God and themselves, but did it anyway. They were however, still an intact community with a shared religion and heritage. They were being greedy, lazy and impatient.
While one might compare the situation for similarities, blacks are not cohesive. Fraser is comparing the 46 years and counting of Post-Civil Rights collective debasement as if it’s equal. Moses came down from the Mountain after convening with God and saw how quickly people’s loyalties shifted. If they needed a constant stream of bells and whistles or for someone to crack a whip to get them to fall in line, how loyal were they to begin with? (OK, maybe modern-day blacks are like the Hebrews).
Many of the Civil Rights leaders had jockeyed for positions by subjugating AA women. Without the matriarchs, there would have been no movement. They were already compromised from the beginning, which is why things fell apart so easily. They were waiting to be able to take “black flight” and did so the second there was a crack in the door. If racism as defined by white hegemony arguments was eliminated today, black males would still CHOOSE to be ineffective leaders and not honor black women and children. Remember, for all the complaining about white racism, the status of citizens in the sovereign nations on the African continent and the West Indies is far worse. Let me repeat that, they have BLACK RULE and yet, everybody’s trying to come HERE to the USA.
Nobody is forcing modern-day blacks to wander any barren wastelands except for the specific indoctrination of black women to cannibalize themselves for black male dominance. I also don’t agree with the unspoken message of his speaking to an audience of black women about black community uplift. It encourages BW to keep trying to save the dead black community (at their expense). It’s dead because it isn’t self-sustaining and opposes life-affirming measures. If anything we need to be following Gloria Ray Karlmark’s example more. Too many folks are just as wishy-washy and complacent as the ancient Hebrews were. He says we need a miracle. I say we’ve already been given plenty. They’re not the ones “we” want.
The core Black Women Empowerment (BWE) message is to ensure BW do not wait for BM and anyone else to “find their way”, “be obedient” and other self-corrective measures Fraser suggests – but I deeply admire him for hoping for better days. He’s from the previous generation of proud AAs who were drowned out by their weaker counterparts and have probably been derided by most of the younger people for being “old-fashioned”. He seems to be concerned about leaving behind a valuable legacy and making sure his life counts for something. One important caveat he mentions is how in the “saving” of black people, it isn’t necessary to save ALL blacks. I want African-American women in particular to learn that!!!!
While I appreciate the inclusion of a religious analysis, I’d like to discuss this from a New Thought, Metaphysical perspective instead of viewing this through a Reward/Punishment lens. Neither he nor God can force anyone to work towards their best interests. The better comparison between the ancients and modern blacks is in their abandonment of self and how God and the Universe agreed with them. If they believed enslavement was better, they were allowed to be imprisoned by their minds and wallow in their destructiveness. Until such a time they figured it out they would run in circles, moving but a few feet at a time. Others would surpass them, not because they were better or more favored but because they applied themselves differently. And so it is now.
Let Forbes Do Some Of The Heavy Lifting
If you thoroughly review this podcast and take notes, you’ll find much of what Mr. Fraser says mirrors what Marks (taking notes from Moynihan) wrote. Listening to Mr. Fraser, you get the sense he’s coming from a place of love for our people which is so refreshing. So again, Marks isn’t doing anything original and he may be dispassionate or insincere, but it’s certainly an opportunity for those who object to find a way to work with him. Marks can be held accountable for putting his money where his mouth is, you know. Forbes can also respond in kind as they appear amenable to the debate (for blog hits), they should follow through with measurable activity to help the “poor black child”!
Encouraging them to follow through with action, using their time, talent and resources will certainly help more than keyboard sparring. If they’re insincere it will be revealed soon enough. Any excuses about not knowing how to help would’ve been stated for the record and the inaction would speak for itself. Marks can then been easily dismissed, along with Forbes losing credibility for supporting such foolishness.
Except some not very clever Editors know how to push black people’s buttons, looking for cheap shots to get a false debate going that leads to higher blog traffic for their sites and adds to their advertising revenue during the 4th quarter while doing nothing of substance. They can then charge higher rates to their advertisers starting 2012. Some of you who run blog networks and are supposed to be media savvy and are so easily played! You’re still not looking at the big picture.
If you’re that offended, you can file a complaint with these very same advertisers and inform them you will not buy their products for being featured at a site that is denigrating blacks. Money after all trumps racism any day. Do a screen capture, send the ad in question to the CEO/President and inform them their brand is being sullied.