2016 has been a very heavy year. It seems like every day there is a new instance of brutality. By now we have all heard of the horrific murder of young mother Korryn Gaines.
I don’t know about you, but I am so tired. I am tired of reading, I am tired of seeing, and at this point, I am tired of being.
At times, it seems that situations are hopeless for us as a people. Luckily, as every cloud has a Silver lining, every issue has a solution. Though our present may seem bleak, our future is very bright.
Just as our ancestors were able to locate the Northern Star, despite surrounding darkness, we too can locate freedom. The most important step is UNITY. As a collective body, we can accomplish so much more. The following is a list of five key things to improve our condition.
Stop with the divisive rhetoric
The MOST important action required in order to improve our condition is to put an end to the excessive categorizing. One reason that I do not ascribe to the modern day “Conscious” Movement is its excessive isolation. There seems to be a checklist for consciousness these days.
“You can’t have a weave and be conscious, you must hate yourself.” “You can’t be Christian and Conscious, that’s the Massa religion.” Blah freaking Blah. I am beyond tired of hearing these and similar statements. I personally don’t give a flying flip who you worship and how you wear your hair.
Do you think before each black body is gunned down do they do a blackness test? Blackness is not any specific behavior and set of likes and dislikes. It is a shared past and a series of interrelated social experiences. Stop finding more ways to further marginalize an already marginalized population! People are dying! We do not have time to continue this nonsense.
Emphasize Black Economics
We have all been told to support Black Business and boycott everything else. Now I am going to tell you why that is so important. As long as we are dependent on someone else’s economy to survive, we lack power.
You cannot be all over Facebook saying “Fuck the Police, Fight the system” and wake up every morning and work for the man. As long as our livelihood is provided via “The System”, you cannot fight it. If you want to see real power, work towards self-sustainability. Additionally, stop saying you cannot buy Black because it’s $2 higher.
We keep buying at beauty supplys and similar stores despite being followed and treated like trash. We go out of our way to support Christian Louboutin and sing about Red Bottom heels. I’m certain we can afford to shop around and support our people. We have a culture of consumerism, let’s take our 1.1 Trillion and nation build. There is a reason popular culture is a reflection of OUR culture. We hold a good hand, let’s play it.
S.T.E.M. and Business Encouragement
We have enough aspiring rappers and athletes. These entertainment careers do not translate into community building unless we can increase the number black label and team ownership.
Let’s stop allowing the power elite to pimp our skills for a profit. The highest NFL contract is about 120 million, yet Jerry Jones bought the entire Dallas Cowboys Team for $150 million. We have all seen the stories of Prince, MJ, and many of the greats having to fight for the rights of their own music. We need more free agency- Hire local so we can create our own jobs.
We have to encourage more productive majors in College. No more 45k plateau degrees. If you are tired of biased studies calling us inferior and unethical medical testing on our bodies, let’s raise more Black Scientist and Medical Professionals!
We talk so much about the latest phones and gadgets, let’s encourage a higher concentration of Black people in Technology and Math. We can do this. I have a son and I plan to expose him to all the Science, Technology and Math I can through his father (Technology), his Grandfathers (Math/Science) and his God Father (Engineering).
Involvement in the Political Process
So many people downplay the importance of voting. I whole-heartedly disagree. I take pride in voting because my ancestors went through extreme hardships for that ability. I am BLACK and A WOMAN.
I was never intended to have a voice. Voting is a ritual that I will take place in whenever possible. We all know about the Electoral College and Blah Blah Blah, but in the United States, we have States Rights!
You feel powerless during the Presidential Election? The Good News is we have an Executive, Judicial, and Legislative Branch! Start voting at the lowest level and vote all the way to the Senate representatives to ensure your interests are reflected in Congress. Politics are important, stop ignoring them. Our blind eye is the reason we have legalized gerrymandering.
It is not all conspiracy, some of it is simply a lack of public involvement. Voting gives a sense of involvement in the political process. Saying “Voting isn’t real, so I’m not doing it” does nothing but foster a sense of helplessness. We are NOT helpless, we are disenfranchised.
Mental Health Treatment
African Americans have a tough past on our backs- centuries of pain and victimization. We need to cease downplaying mental illness and liberate ourselves.
When you allow years of negative experiences and mistreatment to build up you interact with people differently. Did you have a bad relationship with an ex that ruined the way you see all men or all women?
I hear way too many stories of sexual assault kept on the hush within our community. We have got to hold the culprits of sexual abuse accountable. I don’t care who they are to you; if you love them help them get treatment. Get that mess worked out.
Stop the bad mouth of the opposite sex! ESPECIALLY if they are the Mother or Father of one of your children. We have got to stop passing these negative images of relationships to our children. You do not have to stay together, but you DO have to co-parent. If your child’s father is absent, find them a mentor!
Please, Please, Please stop talking to these kids like animals. Speak life and purpose into these children! Let them know they are great and can be greater. We cannot afford to continue perpetuating these negative images within our community.
We have been still long enough. There is NOTHING wrong with prayer but please compliment it with action. If we do not support our own, we will retain this position in society. Turn your Black Pride into Black Productivity. You can only be oppressed through someone you depend on.
Brother Malcolm Tell’em
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