Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The REAL Black Experience Is The Best Leader by Akindele Akinyemi

While we are experiencing the collapse of Urban civilization in Michigan one have to ask this question. What has happened to our leadership in our community?
Listening to black leaders today in Detroit, it is hard to recognize the special moral identity of African Americans. These leaders have strayed too far from the values that are the essence of our character. I don't even listen to most of them myself for all they ever talk about is policies from a victim standpoint.
I have stated many times, and more recently through my recent Re-Population of Detroit series that we need to establish political balance in our community. Many Blacks voted for Jennifer Granholm, yet, could not tell me one thing she has done for Urban Michigan. She has done more for Gays and Lesbians than Black people who helped put her in office.
And MOST of the young adults who are African American, like myself, are hauling ass right out of Detroit and Michigan all together because there are no jobs, no opportunities and no hope for our community. Unless we change the way we are thinking we will continue to receive the same thing from Granholm.
Now she is hell bent for everyone to go back to school and get into the health field. What if you do not have a background in health? I have background in education, yet, I cannot find ANY real opportunities for myself. I wonder why? An educator who is not just working on teacher certification but a doctorate in educational leadership. yet, I cannot find anything in my field? What the hell is going on with this picture?
In mainstream, Black liberals today owe any achievements in their lives to affirmative action programs which, they believed, Urban Conservatives opposed. But their opposition to affirmative action wasn't what motivated the mainstream Black establishment to oppose them. Their main offense was that urban conservatives never parroted the agenda of labor union bureaucrats and left-liberal Democrats who seem to control the elite voices which are supposed to speak for Black liberals. In many respects, most urban conservatives stand on the basic values of family, faith and self-improvement that are the bedrock of the African American community.
Since the triumphant first wave of the civil rights movement (not this new civil rights movement that is based on socialism from BAMN), a dominant collective personality has emerged among established Black leaders: For the most part, these leaders are statists, leftists and intensely partisan Democrats. Thus, concerning economic policies, Black leaders have an almost religious faith in government action. They consider themselves the natural allies of anyone who seeks a radical transformation of the social and sexual mores of the country. They practically regard any deviation from strict allegiance to the Democratic Party as a crime against black humanity.
Sounds stupid. But it happens daily in these neck of the woods.
Even though Black liberals are enshrined by the media as spokesmen and spokeswomen for the Black community, their agenda is more horizontal than vertical: It reflects what they must do to maintain good relations with elite white counterparts in the Michigan Democratic coalition, not what they should do to improve the economic and political position of the Black community.
For example, the Congressional Black Caucus, which supposedly reflects the mainstream opinion of the Black community, votes and speaks unanimously in favor of the so-called pro-choice position. All black congressional representatives are on record as supporters of the Freedom of Choice Act, which would, in effect, impose unrestricted abortion on demand, even on those states that have more restrictive legislation (parental notification, late-term restrictions and so forth). Yet polls consistently have shown strong anti-abortion feeling in the black community and overwhelming support for at least some restrictions. Abortions also have a disproportionately damaging effect on the Black population. Though Blacks constitute only 12 percent of the overall U.S. population, Black women have nearly one third of the abortions performed annually. For every three Black babies born, two are aborted.
So why do we keep electing these people in office? It's called functional illiteracy in our community. Over 47% of Detroiters cannot read, write or comprehend information. Only 25% of students in Detroit Public Schools graduate. 56% of the population in Highland Park cannot comprehend information.
Also, following the lead of the public education bureaucrats, local Black leaders in Detroit have spoken out against efforts to institute school choice programs that would allow parents to send their children to any public or private school. Using vouchers or some other form of direct support, parents could authorize public expenditures up to a given limit at whichever school they decide best serves the educational needs of their children. A 2006 Gallup Poll reported that 76 percent of African-Americans favor this option. For poor Blacks, school choice could offer a path to greater influence over unresponsive public school systems. In addition, teachers, churches or others with innovative ideas for reaching hard-to-teach children in poor urban areas could set up alternative schools, knowing that even in these poor areas parents attracted by their promise of success could command a chunk of public resources.
The Congressional Black Caucus has been strangely silent on school choice proposals. Interestingly, almost 3 percent of the Congressional Black Caucus exercised school choice for themselves by sending their children to private schools.
Our young people and young leaders must begin to engage in ideas that will lead us to prosperity. Gone are the days of the old political machine backed by labor. This new machine will be backed by conservative technology.
I have often said to many why should I join the NAACP when I know for a fact that I will be blocked at every angle? Why should I join a church that teaches Black Theology and stressing the importance of receiving the Black experience when you go to schools like Hampton University in Hampton, VA. However, Hampton is nothing like a Different World or School Daze. Those who I have directly spoken to who goes to Hampton or are graduates of Hampton it feels like you are at Harvard or the University of Michigan.
So what Black experience are these old Black leaders talking about?
We need to stop lying to people and own our own. The Black experience in leadership should be based around character development, etiquette, high quality of education and stressing the importance of economics to build legacies.
Though it did not serve the political interest of the Black community as whole, the federalization of agenda offered important advantages to some elements of the Black elite here in Detroit. As long as they play their role as shills for ineffective but politically salient state programs, the Black community can expect rich rewards from the White power holders whose local political machines they help to maintain. For the Black masses, however, especially those in urban Michigan, the nationalization of Black politics means the perpetuation of their status as effectively disenfranchised, second-class citizens.
While some federally funded programs train people for real jobs and offer a few people avenues to permanent self-improvement. But a large bulk of the federal government's social welfare spending is devoted to subsistence programs offering stipends and subsidies on terms that foster permanent psychological and material dependency.
For example, why are we seeing more and more young people going to the Michigan Department of Human Services (FIA to you) to receive welfare benefits? I mean these young people can walk, are not on disability and are educated. My students discuss using their Bridge Card as if it is Visa or Master Card. We see this because we have fully embraced ghetto culture in our community. We are given a steady diet of New York from Flava of Love, pornography and violence in our community. We are not taught how to build a legacy but taught how to get it today and carry a F*** tomorrow attitude.
Furthermore, beyond subsistence transfer payments, the main product of federal social welfare spending is government jobs, either through direct employment or through contracts to provide services. The subsistence programs provide patronage to enthrall the poor Black masses, while government jobs provide patronage to manipulate elite Blacks. Brothers like myself, who fit into neither category and never receive ANY help from those who want to see us make it, will either end up leaving Michigan or working in a field that we never went to school for.
Together, they are the bread and circuses that help keep Black Detroiters passively in the sway of the liberal empire.
The real Black experience is the best leader and teacher. Always remember that as we are unlocking the minds of our young people.

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