Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Urban Transformation For Our Future by Akindele Akinyemi

The innovation as well as the reinvention of the GOP will come from individuals who are not afraid to walk the burning sands in the inner cities of America. You see we can no longer leave any community behind.

We no longer have to worry about No Child Left Behind because our community is being left behind. Our community is left behind when we have failing schools and these issues are not being properly addressed. The GOP had a chance to deliver on educational platform but was overwhelmed by the Obama machine of economics. Education is a civil right and if it's not addressed will become a national security threat.

Here is the deal.

African-Americans in the U.S., and Africans abroad, share a common problem of the 21st century – we both created a political power base, out of necessity, before we created an economic one. Now, I am not trying to criticize our leaders in the United States, nor for the most part, leaders across the African Diaspora. We all did the best we could with what we had to work with at the time, and for the most part we did it well. Truth be told, in America the Civil Rights Movement led naturally to a focus on political empowerment.

The problem is that African Americans have been unable to produce democracy rooted in capitalism. Ownership and resources matter, and individual property rights really drove the early success of the nation. In short, African-Americans lacked the economic resources to make its political agenda “stick,” so to speak.

However, there are examples, from Reconstruction forward, of African-American entrepreneurs and professionals making substantial amounts of money in early America, but the deeper problem with this argument comes from this angle.

(1) This form of prosperity did not extend to all, or even the majority of African-Americans of the day; at least not enough to create “an ownership class” able to take the entire community into a new and positive direction, effectively defined by these new values of work combined with thrift (saving), investment and an ownership mentality. This is why I did not engage in the "economic" debate with my Obama counterparts because how can anyone talk economics in Detroit when 80% of the city is Black and 90% of the economics are controlled by Chaldeans? If you go on the east coast or down south the Indians (from India) control the economics in our community.

(2) The other challenge here is that there is a big and very real difference between being “rich,” and being “wealthy.” That a basketball player in America with a $20 million contract is rich, but the guy who owns that team, and cuts the ball player his paycheck is well, “wealthy.” Think about it.

African Americans made some money - some of us - but because education through financial literacy was not stressed as much as a sense of public justice and civil rights were (both necessary I might add), we did not keep it (the money), and we certainly did not grow it.

Now, our community is trapped in many different ways. Education leads to economic prosperity. However, our focus in a post-Obama world must expand beyond Detroit, Washington D.C. and other inner cities in America. When I speak on diversity in the GOP I am speaking about a more global vision. This issue of building a fiscal network of the free-enterprise system and making it work for us, has to become a core part of any discussion we have around today, because in a very real sense the future of Nigeria, Ghana, Rwanda, Kenya, Ethiopia, South Africa and other forward leaning countries literally lies with the ultimate success of its African entrepreneurs and its business class.

The root of those entrepreneurs and business class is deeply rooted in education.

What I mean to say is that governments across the African Diaspora should be increasingly fed and funded by a healthy and robust and growing tax base, and not foreign aid. I can bring this argument home by saying that places like Detroit should be increasingly fed and funded by a healthy and robust growing tax base not depending on a $10 billion bailout or $500 million bailout for the failing public schools in Detroit.

If the GOP wants to come into the inner cities of America it must arm itself with issues that are relevant to creating a new class of citizenship. The only way you can do this is create real private-sector jobs and real economic opportunity without redtape or business taxes that kill small businesses.

The connection between the Diaspora is critical to create a dominant class of very successful entrepreneurs, at all levels of society, from the “self-employment project” businessman of sorts, selling his or her wares in the local neighborhood, to the owner of a major telecommunications enterprise providing cell service to millions of African people across the Diaspora.

Education is the ultimate poverty eradication tool, because when you know better, you tend to do better. And when you do this, you move individuals from the poverty rolls into the payrolls. If we stress this the next time we canvass inside the inner cities (in a NON ELECTION YEAR NOT 2 WEEKS OUT BEFORE ELECTION DAY) we will be helping people create a new working class and middle class taxpayers that local governments ultimately will need if progressive inner cities are ever going to become truly self-sustaining.

According to Ambassador Andrew Young, “Communism failed because it failed to create a middle class. And capitalism succeeded because it succeeded in creating a middle class, but capitalism has not yet to prove that it can work for poor people.”

This is precisely what Detroit and the rest of the African Diaspora will need to prove if in fact it is going to be successful; that capitalism and the free enterprise system can work for poor people. And when and if it does this, it succeeds as well in proving that when one person wins, someone else does not have to lose.

The GOP has ignored cities like Inkster and River Rouge, Michigan. These are cities that are only considered social wastelands because we have allowed this cancer to strike the hearts of people for so long. However, the GOP do not go into these cities because of fear and intimidation. This is why I am for race dialogues within the party to help break the ice so we can move forward.

The educational system in these cities are poor and therefore creates a poverty-stricken community. If these communities can convince the world that they are not sinkholes and can be connected to the Diaspora and beyond what will end up happening is billions of dollars from the private-sector will begin to flow into areas such as Inkster, River Rouge, Ecorse and even Highland Park, Michigan.

Urban conservatives must convince those who live in these areas that their community are not an economic sink-hole, but a profitable emerging market opportunity waiting to be tapped, and that people in those communities are all willing to work hard to make it happen. The result? Watch how the local, state and federal government will benefit from decreasing levels of crime, and increasing levels of personal prosperity and ownership that will eventually result in increased tax revenue to the government. We can take the same model across the world in depressed areas.

I strongly feel that urban conservatives must be the change agent not just here in the inner cities of America but abroad as well. No one else is going to do it for you. The mainstream GOP will not do it because they are still seeking the dead to save them. We know for a fact that the Democratic Party will not save us. If we are going to create a contemporary form of conservative thought we must sell ourselves, our community, country and continent, as worthy of investment. And we must produce something that brings value to consumers and customers alike here in Detroit, Africa, and around the world, where you dream of someday exporting, too.

Allow me to help you place this in view.

Education is serious because our children and families are taking this civil right for granted. In Africa, unlike America, if you don’t work you don’t eat. It is just that simple. There is no welfare program to lean back on in Africa; just hard work and sacrifice. And still, Africans survive. What an African woman can do with $10 dollars is simply incredible; send her children to school, take a child to the doctor, make household repairs, prepare dinner for her family – and invite guests like you and me over to join them for the meal. How come our people cannot do this?

I have taught children in the past who came from places in Africa where they learned math and science in the dirt. Yet, these children, who live in villages with NO RUNNING WATER and NO TECHNOLOGY are more advanced than our children here in Detroit.

Just look at the incredible healing process that has taken hold in both Rwanda and South Africa. In less than 15 short years, Rwanda and South Africa have moved from Genocide and Apartheid, to Black African Heads of State(in both nations), justice and healing with regard to their oppressors (in both nations), and an embrace of the free enterprise system, individual property rights, education for all and a respect for the entrepreneur and the private sector (in both nations), and an economy on fire with hope – fueled in many cases by the efforts of the former poor and imprisoned, made good.

So what is the problem with our people here in this country? The GOP calls itself a party of inclusion during election time but will not even staff an person to conduct outreach in the inner cities in Michigan or across the country. Then again, urban conservatives should be moving HIGHER after witnessing the carnage that just took place with our party on November 4th.

Africa should be a large part of our hope for the future, and I believe, a very real HOPE AND CHANGE as well as opportunity for the world in the 21st century. We no longer have to look into the graveyard or dead people for answers. The answer to the GOP problems is tapping into education that will lead us to open the door for global opportunities. You can only do this creating a diverse base of people that reflect America today. The GOP must be the Grand Opportunity Party or it will be just that....the Grand OLD Party. And we know what happens when something is dies.

4 comments: said...

It all comes back to education.

Did you see, A, the news that DPS has two full-time (plus massive overtime) police officers on the payroll just to carry the Super's bags?!

Resign those guys and bring in a couple more teachers!


maidintheus said...

"And capitalism succeeded because it succeeded in creating a middle class, but capitalism has not yet to prove that it can work for poor people."

This isn't quite accurate. Capitalism created a middle class because capitalism is a freedom of the people to do so. Capitalism is an environment that allows people to become middle class. Capitalism didn't concentrate on bringing someone down from some other class in order to have a middle class. It allows the poor to become middle class. Otherwise it would be Communism. So, capitalism proves that it creates a middle class. What hasn't been proved is that there's a way to make this clear to more people. That's why the education angle and it's results should be crucial to any and all who claim to care about anyone.

transfattyacid said...

Communism has a middle class, where do you think all the communists some from? They certainly don't come form the working class or the poor: one only has to look at the history of 19th century Russia to see the antipathy between the middle class utopian liberals and the collectivised peasants to see that.

You see the same thing pretty much today, with the 'L'iberal excuses for inaction and the whole crap of PC language that is needed to keep the working class out of the loop.

As for the whole African diaspora thing: I am reminded of the saying 'that when the Irish leave Ireland they stop being Irsh only more so'.

Akindele F. Akinyemi said...

I was with you until the last comment.