Sunday, July 19, 2009

Unity: a must for Black prosperity and survival

By William P. Muhammad

With President Obama attempting to wind down America’s commitment in Iraq, the war in Afghanistan is ramping up as new phases in the fighting require more troops and funding. Coupled with concerns over nuclear weapons on the Korean peninsula, an alleged nuclear weapons program in Iran and a stated desire to repair relations with the Arab and Muslim world in a time of war, international issues are dominating much of the President’s time and energy.

At home Mr. Obama presides over a national unemployment rate almost in the double digits while nearly 50 million Americans live without health insurance. Additionally, public education is lagging behind much of the industrialized world as America’s prisons continue to incarcerate more and more Black men. As these conditions continue to worsen, disproportionately affecting the lives of Black people, the need for a concerted effort to address them from within our own community is more than self-evident.

While some may place faith in the President’s federal stimulus package to create jobs and opportunities for the masses, waiting for the monies to “trickle down” may prove a major disappointment. With terms such as “less qualified” and “reverse racism” being used as euphemisms, in order to counter the state and county level favoritism that follows many federal contracting dollars, the unity and organization of Black leadership must become a priority.

Black Unity: the untried key

The concept of unity among Black people, though traditionally opposed by the dominant culture, has been one of the few vehicles through which freedom and empowerment has been advanced throughout the decades. Regardless of the efforts to discredit, disrupt or otherwise neutralize the leadership needed to facilitate our rise, from the overt brutality of slavery and its aftermath to the covert yet notorious machinations of J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI, our struggle continued in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.

Perhaps for the purpose of protecting the long-term interests of America’s economic elite, solidarity among Black people seems to have been classified as either a phenomenon to be managed or a threat to be prevented. Nevertheless, as America’s people of color continue to grow in numbers, Black American leadership must recognize the international significance of unifying and evolve with the changing times. Requiring us to adapt and adjust by thinking outside of the box, new opportunities offered by globalization, high technology and international economic integration have now shifted the paradigm.

While unity is the solution to the many challenges facing Black America today, solidarity across educational, religious and ideological lines has never been sustained at the national level. Internal disagreements, jealousy, envy and even external manipulation have all hampered our efforts to close ranks around the many problems plaguing our various communities.

If leadership is interested in stabilizing the long-term wellbeing of the Black community, and they see and embrace the greater goals of the greater good, myopic agendas and vain self-interests will take a backseat to new ideas and initiatives. In addition to articulating a vision for prosperity and advancement, leaders must also take it upon themselves to teach the love and self and kind to their constituencies, particularly among the youth, and make doing so the rule rather than the exception.

Putting unity of purpose ahead of outside favors and personal agendas would allow Black Americans, as a whole, to emerge not only with the substance reflecting the industry of our labor, but also with the wealth rivaling that of many sovereign nations. If we as a people were properly unified, we could “build schools, hospitals, factories and enter into international trade and commerce.” Nearly one trillion dollars pass through the hands of Black Americans annually and leveraged properly, one percent would work wonders toward solving Black unemployment, housing issues, disparities in healthcare and the education gap.

Currently, our posture of dependency and consumption requires a fundamental change in the way we view ourselves as a people. We must overcome the psychological roadblocks associated with negative self-images and work in a unified manner to solve the problems of our time. We must find common denominators in our struggle as we seek resolution in areas of difference, and through operational unity empower ourselves to serve the long-term interests of our people. The future belongs to those who are independent and productive, and unity is the key for unlocking our potential.

Brother William P. Muhammad is an author and a graduate of the University of Texas at El Paso. Post comments at www.wisdomhouseonline.com


4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm glad to hear you don't buy into the big C theory...Most of your peoples problems stem from...your people....wether it is the leaders, musicians, ministers, talk show and other media, or Parents upbringing...leaders etc have a 1 to 1 financial incentive to pump you all with all that negativity...without it they would be out of a job....think about it...all night :)
Parenting...hum... research the origins of Personality disorders...regardless of race...certain things need to be inplace for normal development of humans..... then the one that puzzles me the most (and could still be relate to parenting) is...cough cough....Why is it regardless of the country blacks reside...that there is always rampant crime, violence and mayham? Puzzeling huh? Genes or parenting? Just food for thought. No harm meant...in the spirit of free thought -Peace

William P. Muhammad said...

I would respectfully argue that the problems you mentioned are a direct manifestation of a symbiosis between the world of white skin and privilege and the world of dark skin and poverty.

Without going into the history of colonialism, slavery and military domination, a mass inferiority complex appears to have developed over the centuries where dark skin has less value in the eyes of dark skinned people while lighter or white skin is valued more.

Reinforced by cultural icons such as angels (white) and demons (dark or black), depictions of ancient prophets and the Christ figure as being white (middle easterners are dark skinned people) and with the spread of images that matched that of the conquerors, it is not hard to see why certain pathologies exist in communities of color...

I would however challenge you to explain the high amount of crime and violence among white people in predominantly white countries as well (ie the millions killed under the banners of European and Soviet flags during the first half of the 20th century.

Without being facetious, let us
examine human nature in the proper context...

Anonymous said...

How can you claim racial injustice and persecution when a black man runs the most powerful office on the planet?I f you're really worried about the numbers of black men in prison,maybe you should work on developing some ethn ic people with a sense of pride and accomplishment,instead of a sense of owing or deservement.Maybe you should focus on the fact that three forths of all black children grow up without their fathers because of generations of living off the govt.And maybe adress the fact that, for a small percentage of the populus they are committing the majority of ALL crimes.Clean up your own backyard before you start on mine.Instill some decency and pride in our country and not just your specialintrest groups ,designed to give sorry ass blacks a handout,and make the rest of the united states responsible for the illiterate offspring with the same distain for rules, regulations, laws, and moral responsibility. salami lakem

William P. Muhammad said...

Mr. Anonymous

You sound angry. You said:

"How can you claim racial injustice and persecution when a black man runs the most powerful office on the planet?"

May I respectfully ask how one man managing the affairs of white folk has anything to do with a systemic problem rooted in one of the greatest crimes against humanity?

You said:

"If you're really worried about the numbers of black men in prison,maybe you should work on developing some ethn ic people with a sense of pride and accomplishment,instead of a sense of owing or deservement (sic)."

I say the article is suggesting just that...

You said:

"Maybe you should focus on the fact that three forths of all black children grow up without their fathers because of generations of living off the govt.And maybe adress the fact that, for a small percentage of the populus they are committing the majority of ALL crimes."

I would attribute these issues directly to the damage of living in an hostile environment where the family has fallen apart from the pressures of the outside world.

Building our own society within this society is a great place to start - thanks for the suggestion but my article addresses that too.

You said:

"And maybe adress (sic) the fact that, for a small percentage of the populus (sic) they are committing the majority of ALL crime."

The majority of ALL crime is not committed by Black people. You may say that the jails are full of non violent drug offenders, a problem that needs to be addressed by a united Black community, but there are plenty of crimes committed by white folk as well. Serial killers, bank robbers, child molesters etc...

You said:

"Clean up your own backyard before you start on mine."

Show me where in the article I am attempting to clean up you back yard. I think the article says that Blacks must take care of their own. You can't see that?

You said:

"Instill some decency and pride in our country and not just your specialintrest groups ,designed to give sorry ass blacks a handout,and make the rest of the united states responsible for the illiterate offspring with the same distain for rules, regulations, laws, and moral responsibility."

Again you contradict yourself. First you criticize the article for not offering solutions to the problems affecting Black people, then you criticize it for doing just that. Are you confused?

Lastly, whites will be the minority in this country in less than 45 years. This article, while not addressed to you specifically, is designed to alert and prepare Blacks for that inevitability.

By being properly prepared, we can ensure the transition of power will be a smooth one and as such, keep America in a position of power and influence in the world.

It's simple math you see.
If you truly love this country you will do everything in your power to help Blacks and Latinos become successful. Where they go, the country will go, get it?

Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts.