Sunday, December 23, 2007

Thinking Out The Box by Akindele Akinyemi


I said earlier this year that urban conservatives should be targeting ethnic families who migrate over here legally. We are getting ready to hit a storm in 2008 with the Presidential elections as well as state elections.

The reason we need to target our African, Hispanic, European, and Asian brothers and sisters more because the groups I just named understand the game of economics. It is time that we push urban Michigan and urban America towards an ownership society. I do not mean those quick get rich schemes that you put more money into and come out less in the end. I do not mean opening a church on every corner in hopes God turns your church into a mega church.

I mean developing an ownership society based on understanding the importance of the free market.

For instance, how come Hispanics, Asians and other groups who migrate over here understand economics is the key to power in America? America is based on capitalism but when we look into the Black community we view economics the very opposite. In fact, Black folks are the only modern race of people in this country that created a political powerbase, before we created an economic powerbase. It's no wonder I travel the City of Detroit and every few miles it looks like a war ridden zone.

Even other ethnic groups know how to use both sides of the aisle except Blacks. Blacks vote monolitically Democrat while Hispanics and other groups vote and use both sides of the aisle (Democratic and Republican) to get what they need in their community. Also, to show how advance other races are in this political game I have never heard an Asian or other race call each other "sellouts" for being conservative. They work together to build a community. Blacks, on the other hand call each other sellouts and Uncle Toms for being more conservative or Black Republicans.

Economics is the key to revitalizing Detroit not social power. Let us take a look at what social power and political power over economics has gotten Detroit this past year.

70,000 people have left the city.

Poor people are getting the hell out of doge here in Detroit.

Our more affluent neighborhood like Sherwood Forest, Palmer Park, Indian Village, Rosedale Park and my homebase of Grandmont are already paying anywhere between $1400 to $2000 in property taxes a month.

Unemployment is 25% in Detroit. 74,000 people in Detroit do not have jobs.

Detroit has a $180 million deficit from last year. Major financial institutions recently downgraded our bond rating to BBB from BBB+. This makes investors reluctant to loan the city money.

The root of this evil is education. But because Detroit is classified as a "first class school district" Wayne County Community College and Bay Mills Community College cannot charter schools in Detroit because the population of Detroit Public Schools must drop under 100,000 to activate more charters in Detroit. It's strange that the Michigan Department of Education has not released the official numbers of students in Detroit while other districts know their official count.

Remember the State Board of Education are Democrats so they are looking out for the interest of Detroit.

We have to view education in a different light if we want to revitalize our community. Education is tied in with economics. We cannot eradicate poverty without looking at education from a global viewpoint. We cannot rebuild families in our community because we are stuck in poverty. 82% of families in Detroit are single parents and 83% of women in Detroit have HIV/AIDS. We are viewing rebuilding our families from the wrong angle. I am for rebuilding families based on the content of a person's character. In fact, I have been studying families all across the African Diaspora and while African-Carribean people have issues in their personal homes it is nothing like what I see here in Detroit. Perhaps one way of rebuilding families to help generate an economic engine in our community would be to date and marry other brothers and sisters across the Diaspora. The other alternative would be to date and marry outside your race. However, keep in mind that the average life span of a marriage in this country is six years. So we need to look at the box in terms of family building to generate economics in our community.

By our people missing this critical step of economic empowerment, ownership and the power of individual property rights early in our developmental process as a people in Michigan, we wholeheartedly embraced the first true mainstream power that seemed to emerge from the fruits of the civil rights movement – political power. But political power without the underpinning of economic empowerment is a car without an engine.

Public policy in Michigan is principally designed around Michigan’s first priority; economics and ownership. Individual property rights. Think about it – from tax breaks and other protections for homeowners, to incentives for the working class, to incentives for small businesses and major corporations alike.. it’s all about owners and producers.

However, Blacks in this town are not ready, as a whole, to do that. We are still begging for the crumbs that fall from the table of big mama government.

If we are serious about changing urban Michigan we must be in the business of eradicating poverty, if we truly want to create social change, if we truly want to make a difference in our community, we cannot do it on a partisan political basis. This may be bad news for some. But if we look at the social movers of our times — Gandhi, King, Cesar Chavez, Mother Teresa — respectfully, none were politicians. They were moral leaders who had the vision and a passion to make a difference.

Having strong spirit-centered leadership throughout the black community, starting in our homes and in our individual lives, helps and strengthens our political leadership in Lansing.

Urban conservatives have to become moral and fearless leaders in our community by embracing other brothers and sisters in the Diaspora to help revitalize our community in 2008. We can still "attempt" to educate our people in this community but I am thinking bigger now. I am pushing for international charter academies in 2008 through embracing people overseas as well as planting seeds for opening schools in Africa. Our people have to stop thinking from a socialist point of view and think from a free market point of view if we want to survive.

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