Monday, April 23, 2007
Urban Conservatives Must Build With Nigerian-Americans by Akindele Akinyemi
I have been talking to our young adults in the community about working closely with Nigerian-Americans to build up our community by using faith-based economics as well as engaging in trade and development.
Nigerians are very conservative (just like African Americans) when it comes to economics and health. While Nigerian-Americans do not have groups like AIPAC to help promote Nigerians causes from Nigeria they are very active in bringing in resources to our community.
Of course, the liberal mentality of the inner city gets to our Nigerian brothers and sisters and they get off course and fall into a victim mentality. For most part, Nigerian-Americans stay the course when it is time to get something done.
How can urban conservatives bride gaps with the Nigerian-American community? For one thing, we can began to bridge this gap by understanding that we all have one thing in common: God.
We also have another thing in common and that is in order for our community to be free from socialist slavery in our community we must become more financially literate to achieve our goals. We begin this by securing a 7 block radius within a community. The neighborhood association should be moving towards becoming debt free by engaging in an active campaign to invite Nigerian-Americans or other brothers and sisters from the continent of Africa. Tax breaks should be present within this area to allow Nigerian-Americans to set up shop (businesses).
The other thing I would like to point out is how so many Nigerian-Americans are attending the best universities in America as well as the best Medical schools. With HIV/AIDS ravaging both Urban Michigan as well as Nigeria the faith based community should stop hiding behind the closet and begin to generate wealth not just to aid HIV/AIDS victims but also generate wealth to help build clinics to care for the sick and poor. I strongly feel that Nigerian-Americans should be the ones leading this effort because 9 out 10 Nigerian brothers and sisters I speak with attend medical school. We need to bring these scholars into ares like Benton Harbor, Kalamazoo and Inkster to help establish a "medical empowerment zone." These zones are needed in places like Benton Harbor to reduce crime, increase the awareness of diseases in the community and bring much needed revenue into Benton Harbor.
Urban conservatives should also work with Nigerian-Americans to build and open charter and private institutions within the urban community to train our children to compete in a 21st century job market. While Black people here in Detroit stress the need for African centered education from a socialist standpoint I am stressing the need for African-centered education from a capitalist standpoint. We can still learn about our culture and history but we also need to learn how to invest in stock, how to invest in mutual funds and educate our children on money markets. Only then we will begin to invest in Nigeria as serious stakeholders.
Urban conservatives should build bridges with Nigerian-Americans to build a more solid conservative base. Economic power translates into political power and Nigerian-Americans have both living right here in America. However, because so many urban conservatives are caught up on Republican rhetoric that has not benefited us (and the prime reason why we cannot win elections) we have forgotten our Nigerian counterparts. An strong educational/economic base loaded with conservative values in a urban regional network is the only solution to build power in our community. The Republican National Committee or other mainstream Republican groups have not figured it out but The One Network has and are actively pursuing our Nigerian brothers and sisters to help build a educational/economic execution to bridge the gap between Blacks and Nigerian-Americans.
If we are seeking the new Black Republicans who are independent, conservative and are both academically and economically savvy we need to connect with our Nigerian-Americans.