Friday, April 24, 2009

Time For A New Synergy To Take Place by Akindele Akinyemi

In the age of silver rights I wanted to take some time to address some of the issues that we are facing as a country and why we need conscious thinking individuals to come together to solve the problems in our community.

Here is some advice to those who are on fire for the GOP. You cannot use the same message that worked 30 years ago. What worked in the past will not work this time in the present and most likely will not work in the future.

We are still protesting high taxes in this country. That is fine. At the same time this same party (GOP) and its affiliates (conservatives, libertarians) were silent when Black children lost their right to educational choices in Washington D.C. through a program called the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program. If we are a party of freedom then we need to practice what we preach.

The main problem is the fact that we are taking a page from something that is not working and still trying to force it down the throats of people. There is one way of discussing the truth and being factual but there is another thing about being honest and truthful with our community. If we are serious about transformation then we need foster a culture of educational success and economic development.

For example, I am still listening to people's reaction to the tea parties that took place nationwide on April 15, 2009. We are concerned about our grandchildren paying these high taxes. Here is the deal. Most ethic groups I am running across in this community, that owns and operates a business, are not even complaining. Here is why.

Take my friend who lives in a Jewish community. He lives here in Metro Detroit and his family owns their own business. He has told me that the economy is bad but what is keeping them afloat is the fact that the community supports their business. So while other businesses are going under their business is staying put because people in his community understand the power of economics.

In the Jewish community the dollar circulates 15-20 times. In the Black community the dollar circulates once (if that). Whites are losing businesses and homes just like anyone else so now the less fortunate has declared war on the U.S. government from a financial perspective.

You cannot declare war on anything until you have covered all of your bases. Not one protester discussed the need for financial literacy in our families. If American families were more literate on financial issues then protesting would have not been necessary. This is more political than policy and more fear than educational. Prior to the tea protests how many participants developed a vision for the under-served (including themselves) and those who are less fortunate to help see themselves differently? The reason I am saying this is because our energy must be re-directed to helping emerging markets in our community.

This is how I see it.

Some Blacks still use racism as an excuse to stop elevating in this country. Now we have some Whites making excuses about how government is restricting them from achieving the American Dream. Both racial groups are pointing the finger at government for their downfalls. Meanwhile, immigrants of all races are coming to America and prospering. They are not taking to the streets, they are too busy integrating the dollar into mainstream America. They are going to school and getting advanced degrees not just to help America but are helping their people overseas. Most of the immigrants I know are family-oriented, married and teach their children positive values. A BIGGER shock is that most of these immigrants are NOT Christians. Something to think about the next time we want to say America is a Christian Nation.

Again, both racial groups in America (Blacks and Whites) point the finger at government for the downfall of family, education and economics. Both groups do not fully understand that in each community we need a balance of government, business and technology to move forward. Rarely, I ever hear the term "personal responsibility" come out of either mouths of these groups. The financial crisis in this country has been brewing for years. Most of this is the lack of financial literacy skills to keep families and communities afloat. Also, not viewing things from a global perspective.

Toyota is the #1 automotive group in the world, followed by General Motors, Volkswagen, Ford and Hyundai/Kia Motors. Two out of five of the top automotive groups come from the United States. We should understand that our mission is global not just domestic and both groups (Blacks and Whites) must stop making excuses about who is holding who back and get on with the business of development and education.

We cannot wait until ELECTION TIME to conduct outreach in the inner cities. Most of us stop reading various viewpoints to diversify our minds. This is a careless mistake on those who think we can just go back to 1980 and do it all over again. The world has changed and we must change as well.

In urban communities the whole Black Democrat vs Black GOP is as old as Detroit Public Schools vs charter school debate. Both are demonstrations of old civil rights/Black power thinking. We are in the silver rights era and we will need a diverse train of thought to pull us out of the crisis we are in the urban communities nationwide. It does not make any sense to keep fighting like this. Meanwhile, small businesses are going under, education is suffering and we are sending our Black men to prison like clockwork instead of building them up to be REAL men and GO HOME to their girlfriends,significant others or wives and children. The man MUST be the leader in our community and his woman MUST be his support.

There is hope for urban conservatives under a silver rights agenda. Urban conservatives must fully recognize that the social conservative movement in this country needs a serious fine tuning. Some have completely written it off and says it is a dead movement. I disagree with that stance but I will say the way we have been pushing the social conservative message has damn near fallen on deaf ears. Therefore, social conservatives must utilize the faith-based and non-profit entities in our communities to help create a new reality in the 21st century. If abortion is your issue then the best approach to addressing this is setting up focus groups to discuss the dangers of this act.

The reason why urban Michigan is in the condition its in because most leaders in these communities lead by fear. Fear is connected to greed, and greed's best friend is individualism and the roommate to individualism is a focus on "me" instead of "we."

What we need now is to unleash once again the power of Michigan ingenuity, through a new generation of small business and entrepreneurship. It is necessary to return to "the power of ideas," instead of the power of simply, well, power and money. The best way to find true prosperity is to focus on what you have to give, and not simply what you are able to get.

Solutions, not name calling and fear, is what we need today. The housing crisis is impacting all communities not just in the inner city. An exit strategy for this crisis should not be focused on more government deficit spending, but rather new, value-added entrepreneurial "opportunity," or the "original power of the idea."

The flip side of this is looking at how families must become knowledgeable of how the financial process work. While there will be more regulation around predatory lending, greed has been with us since the beginning of time. Therefore, there will probably never be a consumer loan police protecting you and your family, so you must become you and your family's best protection against predatory lenders, and avoid decisions not in your own best interest.

Financial literacy issues and silver rights are not a partisan issue. Both sides of the aisle are losing homes and are losing jobs. Think about that.

Urban conservatism is also international not just domestic. We connect with others globally because the same crisis that is going on in Detroit with bad government is the same issue in Lagos, Nigeria or Accra, Ghana. Public education in poor regions of the world are almost the same as here in Benton Harbor, Inkster, or even Pontiac. We have a common issue globally and that is poverty. It is our duty to eradicate it. Therefore, we can no longer write off emerging markets such as Africa and the Caribbean. If China is investing in this market what is our excuse?

No offense to anyone who participated in the recent tea party protest but I was not personally motivated to participate in it when I am watching children come to school and go into a classroom hungry.

Or driving down West Jefferson Ave in Trenton, Michigan and seeing hospitals close.

Or watching people die because they do not have enough or any health care to take care of themselves or their loved ones.

Or watching education go further in the toilet by allowing Congress to eliminate the DC Opportunity Scholarships that helped Black children succeed in school.

Or living in environmentally unsafe conditions in Southwest Detroit to the extent of where children are developing asthma.

Or living in the basement of your house because you are afraid of a stray bullet hitting you or your child while you are watching the 6:00 news.

Or realizing that people cannot even cook or sit on their porches without harassment from thugs in the streets.

Or understanding the reality that foreclosures are REAL and people are losing their homes every day. This is not just a government problem it is a personal responsibility problem as well. The solution is sitting down, examine the issues that are relevant to 21st century thinking, cross-examining the other view point and then rolling out a relevant alternative plan to the plan that has been formally introduced.

We have to become intellectual in our approach to solving problems. That is what the Contract With America was all about in 1994. In fact, that message was very positive about transforming America and therefore the Republicans won the U.S. House. The operative word is positive.

Today, there is a great need to improve Michigan's understanding of financial and global issues. With the economic crisis expanding its impact from the broad-based levels of the poor to the middle class – here and around the world - the work to develop and improve not just financial education but EDUCATION IN GENERAL has never been more relevant. Improving Michigan's educational system will go a long way toward helping not only individuals, but the overall economy.

Today, in the 21st century, urban conservatives must acknowledge the issues is global education and economics is critical to the advancement of urban communities nationwide. Without an understanding of the language of knowledge and financial literacy, you are still a slave. Government cannot make anyone a slave, you make yourself a slave when we stop being innovative, stop educating and stop listening to others to help to our approach to solutions.

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