Monday, July 23, 2007
We Need To Cleanse Our Hearts by Akindele Akinyemi
Conservative technology comes from understanding true right knowledge and true right wisdom. We need to understand how no one wins the race in racism. I wonder is this the reason why so many of us cannot get ahead in the real world?
Today marks the 40th anniversary of the Detroit riots (or rebellion). From July 23-27, 1967 Detroit burned to the ground because of building tensions between Blacks and Whites in the community. Not to say that the countless numbers of police brutality that were taking place in our community.
Have we come a long way? On some levels yes while on some levels no. However, there are still some people out here who feel that race is more important than education or obtaining wealth. For those who continue to concentrate on the color of our skin and not looking at the content of a man or woman's character are inflicting diseases among those who are trying to elevate themselves.
There are so many organizations that are so focused on race that we oftentimes forget about the real prize....prosperity.
To me, race is not important when it comes to wealth creation. The only color I am concerned with is green. It is not important when it comes to dating outside of our race (who cares if a Black man dates a Whtie woman or a Black woman dates a White man, the name of the game is love), placing our children in the same schools or even shopping at the same grocery store in the neighborhood. Blacks and Whites place a emphasis on race because each race feels superior over the other. When you factor in Hispanics, Asians, Indians and other foreigners into the picture then we turn our attacks on other ethnic groups. What good is that if we are suppsoed to live in a colorblind society?
We keep the discussion of racism going because of the ignorance. However, I feel that we sometimes take the discussion of race overboard. For example, while we stress the importance of "buy Black campaigns" in the Black community how would we feel if Whites had a "buy White campaign" or the Hispanic community had a "buy Hispanic campaign?" Would Blacks call out the other campaigns" racist?" How about a business campaign featuring various businesses from various backgrounds?
Now I am not saying that we should not support our own in our community. However, how can we support our own when our own do not even have business etiquette, let alone understand the very basics of running a business. We operate on color people time when in reality there is no such thing. Being punctual is a very important element of operating a business. Something that we do not do a very good job at.
Right now, Detroit is on the verge of another riot. It is still based on Black vs. White. You still have Blacks blaming Whites for trying to take over the schools, the water, and even the transportation. Blacks are still blaming Whites for the conditions of the city when Black people are the ones running the city 24/7/365 days out of the year. So why are we blaming Whites for the conditions of our own community?
Perhaps if Blacks in Detroit would stop looking at race as a measuring stick as well as an excuse for not achieving their goals in life Detroit would have been considered a world class city a long time ago. White people are not holding down Blacks in Detroit, we hold each other down. Whites are not preventing Blacks from obtaining an education nor are Whites stopping Blacks from achieving higher education on our state campuses. We are not pushing ourselves to greater limits in our own households.
Whites are not making Blacks sell drugs and sell our bodies to the highest bidder. We are doing these things due to an infrastructure that has weakened over the years thanks to a lifestyle and liberal public policies that is promoting a ghetto culture throughout the City of Detroit.
Blacks are not making Whites sell drugs or drop out of school either. Whites are making these decisions on their own, yet, their community (most of them at least) do not look like a ghetto. With all the problems that exist in the White community what is making their community thrive?
Most Blacks will say Whites have more money than Blacks. However, a brother can dribble a ball into a basket and become a millionaire overnight. So it cannot be the fact that Whites have more money than Blacks because this is not necessary true.
The big difference is the way we perceive each other. Also, there are two different mindsets that are not congruent. For example, other races of people teach their children to exceed all odds in education, regardless of the situation they are in. Most Blacks teach that racism is hindering their progress and programs like affirmative action is needed to "level the playing field."
I find it interesting that instead of fighting for affirmative action to be accepted by White people how come we are not doing a good job in supporting Historically Black Colleges and Universities? Affirmative Action would not be an issue if we supported our own, right?
After 40 years since the 1967 riots (or rebellion) we are still stuck on color. And the notion of Blacks pulling down other Blacks have worsened thanks to those in our community that have this false notion that all Blacks need to stay in the community in which we live in. In other words, you have sold your people out if you decide to move your family out to the suburbs. I do not find anything wrong with that but there are some who will try to measure your "blackness" if you do not stay in the inner city.
To make matters worse there are some that feel that you should not just stay in the inner city but to stay in the crime ridden part of the inner city. That is the "keeping it real" foolishness that Black grassroots activists like to portray. If they would look past race perhaps they too can become a change agent for the community in which they live in.
Other Black organizations (whether they are civil rights groups or cults) preach a range from oppression of Blacks to hating other races like Whites or Hispanics. How can you hate other races when there is a variety of colors in your DNA? We have to stop the ignorance and love one another. We claim we are Christians yet we ignore this very statement from the Bible:
Romans 8:39 - nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Other passages from the same Bible we are supposed to read together:
Ephesians 4:2 - with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love
1 Thessalonians 3:12 - and may the Lord cause you to increase and abound in love for one another, and for all people, just as we also do for you
1 Thessalonians 5:13 - and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Live in peace with one another.
1 John 3:11 - For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another
1 John 4:11 - Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
All races are supposed to love one another regardless of skin color or nature. We cannot get ahead in Detroit because we are still utilizing racism against each other and crafting public policies that are race based. I heard Mayor Kilpatrick recently on Public Access TV talking about he is ready for a lawsuit because he will not bow down nor respect the fact that voters did not want affirmative action anymore in Michigan. Why not instead of giving Blacks a crutch and an excuse that we prepare our brothers and sisters for battle academically, economically and spiritually?
I understand that no one wins the race in racism. I can care less about Whites moving back to Detroit or Blacks moving to the suburbs. Who cares?
When we stop making excuses toward each other for our failures we will be able to bring Detroit back to its former greatness. Whites say "I am not going down to Detroit because it's dangerous", yet, they come to Comerica Park or to a hockey game when the Red Wings are playing.
Blacks say we are not going out to Dearborn because its racist, yet, we shop at Fairlane. The ignorance must stop. We do tolerate each other, the problem is getting to know one another. We listen to each other's music, go to each other's churches and even go to each other's parks.
I am not saying racism does not exist after 40 years here in Detroit. I am saying that in order for us to break down the walls of racism I feel that we need to look at each other and eliminate the stereotypes about each other's race and nationality. Racism only exists because of ignorance.
Blacks must stop talking about how "oppressed" or how we are "struggling" against the White power system. Black people run this city and run the economics of this city. It is not the White people's fault that we are financially illiterate, our children not attending school or run failing public schools. That has nothing to do with Whites, that has something to do with our mentality. As long as we use race as an excuse for our failures we will never get ahead in life.
We use race as an excuse because generation after generation we oftentimes are seeking handouts from Whites. Instead of pulling our "bootstraps" and helping one another get ahead without looking at race, we seek handouts (affirmative action, reparations, welfare benefits, failing schools, etc.). When these handouts are cut off Blacks cry racism. The civil rights groups then come in and try to monopolize the situation by protesting, as well as blaming the "White Power Structure" for oppressing Blacks.
This is totally wrong and going out the world backwards. It's not even Christlike to do such things.
Black Grassroots organizations preach hate against Whites instead of focusing their energy on uplifting the community in which we live in. Two wrongs do not make it right nor it makes it even. When those people were protesting Proposal E back in 2004 to bring back the empowered school board not one emphasis was placed on improving school quality or bringing back prayer in the schools. They just wanted an old "empowered" school board to come back so "Whites" would not take over the school system. Now the lie is "Whites" are pushing for more charter schools in Detroit.
When are Blacks in Detroit going to realize that it takes all of us to make a better school system, regardless of who is teaching our children? It should not matter what race of people are teaching our children but making sure our children are receiving a quality education in our public and private schools. All of us are on the competitive playing field together when it comes to the rest of the world so we need to rely on each other.
Living in the same Black neighborhood, seeing Black this and Black that is also not healthy for us to break the stereotypes that plague us. The whole notion of "keeping it Black" is a waste of time and anti-Christian. I am also saying the same for Whites and other cultures. A culturally diverse neighborhood is great to raise our children, our families and it will strengthen our schools, our workforce and community as a whole. It will not make us weaker (like what Malcolm X stated) but make us stronger.
Contrary to popular belief by Black grassroots and racist Whites, integration did not make our community weaker it made it stronger.
Today, there is a growing need for regionalization in Metro Detroit. I embrace this concept because we all need to work together, love one another as well as pull each other resources to make our community work.
Again the Bible teaches us the following:
1 John 4:11 - Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
1 Peter 1:22 - Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart.
On a more personal note, there was a time when I hated White people myself and fought for the separation of the races. In fact I called White people the Devil and taught how they grew tails. I taught that they came from dogs, and they were not the children of God but Blacks were superior to them.
Meanwhile, I also taught how Blacks are superior to Whites because we have melanin in our skin that protects us from skin cancer. Of course, this type of stupidity is still being taught in our community today by Black racists. I also preached hate against Jews, and how Asians "stole" our knowledge from Africa. I, too, was raised in a community of hate, fear and intimidation. I was raised on "keeping it Black", wearing the red, black and green and promoting Black Superiority.
What I realized over a period of time was the fact while I was hating White people, it was White people who helped me graduate from high school, from college and helped me get a platform that I still utilize to this day. It was Jewish people, not Black people, that taught me about investments.
While I was preaching about Black self-pride, Black love and Black self-help I also realized that these same Blacks who protested with me, who ate with me and even prayed with me were praying for my total demise. Most never even cared about the liberation struggle of Black people but cared about liberating their fellow sisters sexually. I would watch how some of these brothers would "drop knowledge" on a sister and knock her up. Not one of these groups helped me get into college, helped me graduate from college, taught me ANYTHING about relationship building and while we talk about wealth creation in our community I never see ANYONE calling their fellow brother or sister to join them for lunch or whatever to discuss wealth creation. Most of us are opportunists and not Christian.
The whole joining the Black grassroots/Black Liberation Theology/Black civil rights thing is no more than a White person joining the Ku Klux Klan, a cult or the American Nazi Party. All of it is based on fear, intimidation, racism, sexism, socialism, so-called communism and exploitation. There is always a sexual, a homosexual, welfare, and racist mentality in these groups. Guaranteed. These are some of the most anti-Christian people I have ever dealt with. I have never even met a millionaire in the Black Nationalist movement and I never will.
I am accused of hating myself because I do not place an emphasis on race like my Black counterparts do as well as pulling myself up from the ground. I have learned that stressing race placed an limitation on my development. Now, trying to deepen my walk with Christ and rejecting Black Cultural Nationalism and all of the elements that go alog with it, hatred towards other races and jealously has made my vision clearer. I have rejected using race as a base for success. I have rejected the notion that so-called White public policy is keeping Blacks down when Black public policy is doing the same thing. We need a cleasing of the heart.
Psalms 51:2 says:
Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.
Psalms 51:10-12 states the following:
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
For almost 14 years I was trapped in this racist cycle of ignorance and intimidation. And when things got tight no Black Nationalist, Black grassroots "brother" or "sister" helped me. They all blew in the wind like they always do. That help me realize that I was in the wrong movement.
It was other races of people that helped me. That helped me realize that the world is bigger than Black people. I also realized that hate was not an answer to my personal relationship with Christ. I realized that regardless of skin color that there is one race, the human race.
So, while we remembering the 40th anniversary of the riots (or rebellion) here in Detroit we should be looking towards the future for our children's sake. It is not about Black and White anymore. It is about who is walking on the right side of Christ or the left side of the Devil.