Monday, August 29, 2011

MLK and the Battle of New America

America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked ‘insufficient funds.”

 ~ Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

We are at a crossroads here in America.  The country that was called Amerikka by rapper Ice Cube back in the 90’s is changing.  A perfect sign of that change – Ice Cube, once known as “The N****A You Love to Hate”, stars in family friendly movies now.  Another sign of change is the eventual “Browning of America”.  America’s minorities will become the majority by the year 2050.  As early as 2023, minority children will make up half of all children in this country. That figure includes our Latino population which will eventually become the largest minority population.   After it’s all said and done, 1 out of every 3 American’s will be Latino.  Black American’s numbers will increase but not at the projected level of their Latino brethren.  Then add the fact that more people now are identifying themselves as being of more than one race.  America, things are about to get sticky!!!!

Side Note: If Slave Owners would have known this day was coming, they would have fought harder in the Civil War. 

America is changing and the country is ill prepared for the change of direction.  America has its first minority president and you see him catching hell (some of it his own doing) every time you turn on the t.v.  After coaxing Mexicans (That is Mexicans from the Country of Mexico) to do our dirty work by offering them low wages (which to them looked like big money).  We are now trying to kick them out of our country because they decided to stay for the quality of life that they couldn’t get in their own country.  And to add to the foolishness, slavery is now being passed off as the best thing that has ever happened to blacks.  I don’t think that the majority in America is ready for the future.  But that is their problem!!

What does all of this mean for black folks?  While we fight each other over who has the right to criticize President Obama.  Some of our brothas and sistas are slowly languishing into an abyss of despair.  Some blacks are done with all the symbolism at the White House and want something of substance.  Without a job – you can’t feed your family –you can’t afford healthcare – and you can’t better your situation in life.  You can’t pay for gas, college, groceries or a hospital bill with photos of the Obama family.  America is set up for you to succeed based on CASH and CONNECTIONS.  If you learned anything from the Great Recession, it should be that having money and knowing someone means a lot. Of all the corporations that failed or were bailed out, how many of their CEO’s ended up being punished for mismanagement?  Many blacks were (and still are) living from check to check.  If their jobs let them go tomorrow and they could not find work for 3 years…………well you know the rest.  This Recession has also been the great equalizer.  Blacks with master degrees are standing in the same lines with blacks with high school diplomas (or no degrees at all).   Meanwhile the gap between the haves and have nots should be an embarrassment to any country that calls itself a leader among countries.  And the educational problems in America’s majority black communities are shameful at best.  A mix of bad parenting and crime riddled streets, have produced children that even the Terminator would be afraid of.  

Last week was the opening of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in our nation’s capital.  It was good to see that Dr. King was able to receive an honor that was well overdue.  But this is not the time to rest on our laurels.  Dr. King would even have to agree that there is much work to still be done.  No, I’m not calling to arms militias of angry black folks.  That last sentence was for the people that think black folks are looking for revenge for slavery.  Don’t think I’m not paying attention to how history is being skewed on tell-lie-vision these days.  Most blacks won’t be looking for payback in 2050.  Although they will be looking for a paycheck!!   This country has had a terrible history when dealing with its darker skinned natives:

Japanese Internment Camps

Forcing Native Americans to live on Reservations

The Middle Passage – Slavery

But we all still managed to move along as a country (even though some American’s came along begrudgingly).  Dr. King believed that we could live together in this nation but it would take a strong commitment to make that happen. If you didn’t know, Dr. King was an agitator. In his last years, he pissed off people for speaking out against the Vietnam War and shining a light on America’s poorest citizens.  Dr. King knew that you had to roll up your sleeves and get dirty in order to get things done.  You might have thought of him as a pacifist but he was a fighter. A battle is not always about the physical fight.  He pushed President Kennedy to action when America saw black children getting their tails kicked on tv by law enforcement officials.  That was strategic to have children protest along with adults.  Who would actually try to touch a child?  Kennedy had no choice when the moral outrage grew because of the events.  What does this mean for us today?  It means that we still have more fighting to do.  In order to create the society that Dr. King dreamed of requires a great hardship.  The issues that Dr. King faced in the 60's still exist.  Poverty, Inequality, and a Never Ending War are just some of the high points. Just remember that there are forces dead set on Dr. Kings vision not becoming a reality (Dr. King was assassinated remember?).  The reality is that the fight didn’t end that sad day in Memphis.  It was actually the beginning.  A true “Call to Arms” but we weren’t paying attention.  Its 2011 folks!!  Are you paying attention yet?

Monday, August 01, 2011

You can blame yourself for the fighting in Congress!!!

Americans can always be counted on to do the right thing – after exhausting all other alternatives. ~ Winston Churchill

Why is it that a single mother can prepare a budget better than a politician?  It seems like all they do on Capitol Hill is argue about money.  You have politicians that don’t pay taxes and others that spend money like drunken sailors on shore leave.  They even vote on wars that America can’t afford.  And now they are fighting over raising the debt ceiling!!  The concept of raising the debt ceiling has been around for years.  But some of the folks in our legislative branch act like they don’t know what it’s all about.  Hold on….wait a minute…my bad….they don’t know!!  With 87 new members in the House of Representatives and 12 new Senators it makes perfectly good sense.  These new Republicans came in under the wave of discontent for our current political process.  Tea Party Members were well organized when they executed their game plan in the 2010 Midterm Election.  And President Obama’s fan club all but vanished in 2010.  In my voting precinct in particular, if you were a Democrat or had an ethnic name (i.e. black) it was a wrap.  You weren’t going to get a first term in office or “back” into office.  It was just one of those years…..

Flash-forward to now and, if you look in the distance, you can see the chickens coming home to roost. To sum it up:  we got what we paid for!!  The fighting that is going on regarding the debt ceiling is one that was caused by us!  Yep, you got it!!  The Tea Party was able to get their folks into office by holding their feet to the fire.  Not by being seduced by “Chicken Dinners” and the occasional church visits.  Obama didn’t capitalize on his 2008 election and lost a lot of folks in the process.  People wanted “Hope” not “Beer and Peanuts” on the White House lawn.  Obama missed an important opportunity to educate his followers that were new to politics.  When they saw the name calling, fighting and overall ill will.  They just tuned out.  All he has left are loyalists.  And to be honest, some are just following him because he is black…ooops..did I say that?

Our current divided government is a representation of our country. We are a nation that is divided by class, color and sexual orientation.  What might be good in San Francisco is horrible in Tuscaloosa.  If it is a sure thing in New York, it might be suspect in South Carolina.  We are a divided country that only comes together for sporting events and alien invasions.  So don’t be shocked by the deranged behavior going on by our politicians.  Either you voted them in or you didn’t vote at all.