Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Stick To Moral Leadership Values People by Akindele Akinyemi

Urban conservatives must take the lead in revitalizing the inner cities in Michigan. While some of us are following the Presidential races there are some of us who are not even involved because many of us are dissatisfied with both Barack Obama and John McCain.

So, while we allow Fox News and ABC, NBC, CNN and CBS spin the issues and try to embarrass Don Imus again (what he said the other day on the radio was not racist) we need to move on some serious issues.

One such issue is the importance of leadership in the inner cities. Leadership is based on values. Ask yourself this question. How come so many people are voting for Obama in our community when he does not reflect our value system traditionally?

In addressing fundamental questions of human, progress, values, help to clarify the relations between individualism and collectivism, self–interest, liberty and equality, inclusively and exclusivity, as well as the attendant moral and ethical considerations – issues at the heart of urban Michigan's leadership challenge.

REAL urban conservatives firmly believe that the forces which truly define you as an individual are your values. Values give meaning and substance to your life.Values will predispose you to behave in certain ways. Values lie at the heart of compunction, the pricking of the conscience – that sickening feeling when you KNOW you are ashamed of what you have said or done.

With the proper set of values in business and politics, people will behave in a manner which builds, inspires, motivates and has the courage to face unpleasant realities and address them constructively. This is the stuff that leaders are made of. And don't think of leaders just as the prominent figures in public and civil life that clutter newspapers and magazines. Wherever you find yourself in life, there you can lead.

Let us consider for a moment what constitutes real leadership. No one can analyze leadership without associating it intrinsically with a value system. Leaders inspire – they do not coerce. Leaders mobilize people to tackle tough problems. They interact and are influenced by people as they in turn influence them. Such leadership creates value. It is socially enriching. It leaves a lasting legacy.

So where is that leadership in Lansing or Detroit? Where is the creativity at in our community? How many times do we have to remind Black people that they are not free or oppressed (which are all lies and deception from the enemy). How many times do we need to remind Black people in urban Michigan that a vote for John McCain is a vote for President Bush? How many times do we have to remind Black people in the Black community across America that if you do not vote for Obama you are a turncoat to your own race?

Whatever. Leadership does not have to be some rock star like Barack Hussein Obama. In fact, real leadership begins in the community.

Our children who are being raised on core Christian values and have graduated to go go college in Detroit are examples of true leaders. They are motivated by a profound value system, believing intensely in the worth of every human being and in principles such as integrity, compassion, probity, responsibility and respect, all grounded on solid moral and ethical foundations. True leadership must be infused with a value system that reflects the culture in which it has been born.

In Detroit, emerging leadership must embrace a moral, even compassionate, dimension, not just a practical, material one. Different situations may demand different personalities and call for different behavior but leaders should never, ever, compromise their moral and ethical stance. There is no excuse for unjust behavior. There is no excuse for a lack of compassion which is vital in considering the individual and the community. There is no excuse for irresponsible behavior, which aims only at self–gratification and self–enrichment without recognising the consequences – not only on individuals, but entire societies and nations.

So I cannot understand to hear Black Republicans voting for Obama for President based on race and not moral and ethics. How can I take any Republican seriously if they switch over the vote for Obama. I know McCain is not the BEST candidate for urban policies but it is not going to matter who wins on November. Urban Conservatives must be in the business of implementing educational and tax models that are outlined in the Covenant For Detroit.

Detroit, which are led by purely materialistic leaders according to purely materialistic goals, lack heart and soul.The leadership here strip people of the very essence of humanity and unconditional worth. Sterile leaders such as these undermine the long–term sustainability of a society. What is important to them are short–term objectives, like status, pseudo–importance, appearance, opinion and material rewards. A society based on such transient principles produces nothing of worth. Detroit has become a fertile ground for the lesser elements of human nature, which lead to violence, tyranny, oppression and might rather than dealing with morality, improving education and building stronger families.

Corporate governance is increasingly recognized as essential if economies, indeed even small isolated communities, are to grow in the interests of all and not just an elite few. It limits the possibilities of oppression and exploitation and springs from a profound acknowledgement of the critical role that values must play in developing our people here in Detroit and other inner cities in Michigan.

It makes me proud as an urban conservative who vote Republican to recognize that many of these leadership values: compassion, respect, responsibility and integrity – are those which are inherent to real Christian values. True Christians seeks consensus through consultation and accommodation. It appreciates that those who differ from us are not necessarily against us. This recognition of shared intrinsic human values is critical to the makeup of true leadership in the inner cities of Michigan.

As an emerging economy, we cannot afford to be blasé about the leadership which emerges to guide our city. We are at a sensitive stage of Detroit development where we need to attract of both domestic and foreign investors, be respected globally, be exemplary in corporate governance and be free of corruption.

We need to be prescriptive – even proscriptive – about the kind of leaders we want to lead us. We cannot leave it to fate or circumstance. We must groom our young leaders into moral thought and not allow them simply to emerge, as it were, by accident. Emerging leadership in our 21st Century framework should be neither incidental nor accidental. It must be planned. It must be purposeful. It must be driven by ideals which we define and demand. And if any presumed leader in our community does not stack up against those requirements, we should put our foot down and say bluntly: this does not meet the requirements of the citizens of this community. This person will not enable us to deal with the complexities and challenges of the 21st century.

So why are we still voting by name recognition? How come we cannot count our money when we go to the store? Why are we still stuck in the hood when the hood continues to take us under?

We know what is required of visionary and inspirational leadership. Detroit's own tragic political, economical and social history has thrown up countless examples of what we do not want or need. We need an adaptive approach to leadership, evaluating "leadership in process" rather than waiting for what we know will be the inevitable result. This also means testing that leadership in terms of its social usefulness and applicability to prevailing socio-economic needs and cultural necessities. Even of that means embracing free market capitalism, voting for Republicans in a Democratic district and embracing the school choice movement we have to think out the box if we want to redefine leadership in our city.

We, as urban conservatives, are carrying the future of Detroit and urban Michigan on OUR shoulders. It is vital for us to understand the critical role which values play in our individual and national lives and appreciate the consequences when those are missing. Let a value system based on moral and ethical foundations influence OUR opinions, OUR attitudes and OUR behavior – wherever you are. That will make you a leader in your peer group, your company and your business relationships.

If we just stick to our moral principles we can create a urban revolution in our communities in Detroit.

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