Monday, October 15, 2007

Only Personal Responsibility Will Give Us Life by Akindele Akinyemi


I was watching Meet the Press with Tim Russert yesterday morning. Dr. Bill Cosby and Dr. Alvin Poussaint were on the show discussing their new book Come On, People: On The Path From Victims To Victors.
If I was running for office I would READ this book.

Some excerpts from the book includes.....

On what it takes:

What will it take to pull our people out of poverty? What will get us to contemplate a life with brighter dreams? What will inspire us to pursue the future as if it mattered? How will we learn to respect ourselves and help each other? What will it take for us to become entrepreneurs and to run businesses that will serve the community, not destroy it? We ask these questions only because we think there are answers, real ones, attainable ones.”

It will take loving and caring parents who are nurturing enough to understand the obstacles of life and not making excuses for not obtaining the goals necessary for their children. Education is the ultimate eradication tool to eliminate poverty.


Wealth generation is at the heart of getting out of poverty. Rather than attacking and deriding people who are “rich,” as encouraged by liberals and their socialist, class-warfare ideology, urban blacks should, instead, take positive action to become rich.

On criticism:

“Certain people tell us that we are picking on the poor. Many of those who accuse us are scholars and intellectuals, upset that we are not blaming everything on white people as they do. Well, only blaming the system keeps certain black people in the limelight but it also keeps the black poor wallowing in victimhood.”

This sounds like what I am going through in my community when dealing with knuckleheads who are afraid to try and afraid to succeed. How many times I have picked up the Michigan Citizen or Michigan Chronicle newspapers and see people wallowing in victimhood in the name of oppression?

On raising children:

“All black parents can do right by their children, and all black children can succeed. There is no reason why not.”

“Use standard English when you have your kids together, not Black English. They’ll hear enough of that in the streets…Watch the movie My Fair Lady. All cultures discriminate against people who have not mastered the standard language, and when race is involved, it is all that much harder for a nonstandard speaker to feel competent or even at home in the culture.”


Black children should not be derided as" speaking white” when they learn standard English, necessary for getting quality jobs. And equally important, black children should not be undermined by the counter-productive, self-defeating message that, if they acquire a good education and achieve high-paying jobs, they will be scorned as" sellouts” and demeaned as being “bourgeoisie.”

I will teach ANY children in this day and age to STOP speaking so-called Black English or Ebonics and speak English.

This is very important because last week there was a job fair at the Michigan State Fairgrounds. OUR people showed up in jeans (brothers were sagging their pants), wearing doo-rags, gold caps in their mouth, NO RESUMES, Black and Mild in their ear or in their mouth, sisters showing up in tight revealing outfits, tramp stamps on the lower back, 10 tattoos on their bodies and necks, tongue rings and platinum colored hair.

When they open their mouths you can clearly see their brains on display. No English skills whatsoever and yet they want a job.

On the media:

“Some of the most negative images of African Americans on TV and in the movies seem to be the most popular among young people—black and white. With both good and bad media out there, you have to help select media for kids that will support their successes and suppress their urge to give up or drop out.”

How often to we get up off our asses and actually LOCK the TV so our children will not have access to TV-MA programming?

On black men:

“Gangsta rap makes our young people tough, but not so tough they can walk through prison walls. It can jazz them about sex, but it can’t begin to make them a good father. No matter how often, or how publicly they grab their crotches, crotch-grabbing isn’t even going to get them a bus ride downtown.”

“When all is said and done, the black child is our future. It’s time for us men to think of the future, to straighten out our acts, to say to ourselves, I am more interested in raising my child than any other issue I had before. I’m going to behave or get help, but it’s about the child. No matter how useless or hopeless a father may think he is, his role is simply to be there. If he makes that commitment, he is a much better man than he thought he was.”


Education is the civil right of the 21st century. Urban blacks who want to get ahead must not only fight for that right, but also make that right a reality, by acquiring a high school diploma and, when necessary, a college degree.


Right, right now, there are 2.2 million people in jail, and at last count about 910,000 were African-Americans. Now, the—at the time of Brown v. the Board of Education of 1954 there were 98,000 African-Americans in prison. So just from that period of time, there’s been a ninefold increase. And most of these prisoners, of course, are, are black men, 90 percent of them. And so they’re not available. They come out of jail, they can’t get jobs, they can’t get work. They can’t be fathers, they can’t build a family, they can’t make an income

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson uses the phrase "Rebuilding the Family by Rebuilding the Man." Like Dr. Cosby and Dr. Poussaint have stated we need to straighten up our act. We should never even get to the point of knocking on the doors of prison.


62% of black families with children are headed by a single parent. Before 1950, the figures for Black and White “were remarkably similar.”

85% of black children do not live in a home with their fathers.

Only 15-20% of black children born today will grow up with 2 parents until age 16.

Over 80% of long-term child poverty occurs in broken or never-married homes.

70% of African-American boys in the criminal justice system come from single-parent homes.

On “victimhood”:

“Sometimes people with a victim mentality feel hopeless and do self-destructive things that make their lives even worse. It is time to redirect that energy. It is time to think positively and act positively. Black communities and families must provide our youth with the love and guidance that keeps them strong and on that positive path. Blaming white people can be a way for some black people to feel better about themselves but it doesn’t pay the electric bills.”

There is no room for victimhood in my circle. I don't even talk to people with that type of mentality. I hear blacks talk about how the system is keeping us down. Nothing is KEEPING me down..ever. No white man or black man can stop this train from moving. If anything trying to stop the train..you will be ran over.

We make excuses because we are living the Devil's religion...fear. We are afraid to commit. We are afraid to go to school. We are afraid to try new things. We procrastinate and live a lie instead of living the truth. We are afraid of what we do not know. We like our comfort zones.

I urge parents all the time to allow your children to play with other children of different races. This is how we kill the victim and racist mentality. If you child has never been outside the "hood" then he/she will not have a real scope on things.

Grown black men and women are afraid to work and live with white folks outside the City of Detroit. In many cases, we are afraid to even date outside our race because we fear the hate and racism from our own people. I am telling you it is OK to date outside your race or send your children to other multicultural schools.

If we want to get rid of the social ills in our community I would highly recommend this book to any educator, social or political activist and parent.

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