If you’re here, you hopefully read my first essay “A New Response To An Old Problem In The Black Community (Part I).” If not, I got ya covered. Part one of the essay addressed things the Black community should stop doing because they are just bad for us collectively. I have had lots of inquiries about offering suggestions for the Black community which I have shied away from previously because I’m a behind the scenes kind-of-gal, but desperate times calls for desperate measures. It’s time to take about what we need to do to protect ourselves from America.
We must love ourselves back to life.
What We Should Do
Because our attention spans are short (thank social media and technology). I can’t write all of my thoughts on this subject because it would make this piece too long. I’m working on setting up a social justice community advocacy page with free and low-cost resources for small groups in need of organizing formally. It makes no sense for me to have information that an individual or community could use but I withhold it waiting on a payday. Capitalism mindsets and zero-sum thinking have no place in social justice. I believe no one putting in hard days work should forgo pay because it costs to live. We need to change our mindsets about what we value. Sports shouldn’t supersede justice, and the Kardashians shouldn’t be the face of our social and criminal justice causes. It’s time we stop allowing others to come in and steal our movements.
It’s a form of White Savior syndrome, and we need to break from the dependence of outside help to speak for us.
One reason Black Lives Matter (BLM) was hijacked and de-legitimized was because it was a bunch of loose, small, unfunded, mostly informal organizations under a nationally operated and heavily funded BLM organization. Messages were different, motives were different, and moochers used the deaths of Black men and women killed by law enforcement to raise and plunder money. It’s time to create a new strategy and a new response to our recurring old problems; racial injustice, inequality, and discrimination. Let’s do this!
Wake The Dead
So many Black people are so heavenly bound, they are no earthly good. God and church are the centers of their lives, and they are waiting on Jesus to take the wheels of racist car drives so they can make it to those pearly gates. They’ve surrendered to all oppression here on earth. Or maybe it’s the educated bourgeois Black who believes nothing is wrong here in the republic and they are comfortable. They’ve taken on the zero-sum thinking like privileged Whites and aren’t able to understand how that mindset harms our communities. These Blacks enjoy being a part of the small class of Blacks who have made it, but haven’t reached back to help the next man. Then there are the Blacks who believe celebrities before they’ll believe their local leaders vested in their own communities. They do not understand these celebrities have different income brackets and financial and governance interests from ours. We are fighting to keep/gain rights and celebs are trying to get their bags (money). The Black community has to do a better job of making our family and friends aware of the dangers for us and all impediments to our well-being and health.
Sometimes our own people are our impediments. Anyone not for our progress is for our oppression, and I don’t care what color they are. It’s time we choose our leaders and our messengers wisely. We need to rise from the wave civil rights movement slumber. We thought we had arrived, but it was just the beginning. The Black community is under attack. Every generation must fight to maintain our rights and to force America to become a more fair nation. We can’t fight if more than half of us are asleep. Each one must teach some to get us moving forward again. Every year we don’t move is another year we lose ground. Wake up and wake some folks around you up too.
Organize, Organize, Organize
Create a legitimate vehicle (a nonprofit charitable social justice business), and get hard-working local people passionate about police injustice and Black community well-being. We need people with nonprofit/community-based organization management and operations experience so that when you are making petitions to the government and law enforcement communities, your petitions are recognized and heard. Being incorporated as a nonprofit also takes away personal risks and liabilities we may assume when trying to go it solo without a business umbrella and liability insurance. Don’t allow what happened to the BLM to happen to your movement. Get organized, advocate with transparency and integrity and be visible. Understand nonprofit law before getting organized.
White people respond to money, gaining it or losing it. Many have stocks, 401Ks, and assets/wealth we could only dream of. You never know what you’re White neighbor is investing in. Money moves them. We are the biggest consumer group collectively in the nation, and White businesses are always looking for ways to get us to buy stuff. Hit them where it hurts in your town, the purses and wallets. Nothing would hurt America’s capitalists more than Blacks withholding our money from local and national companies. Don’t buy hair weave from the Asians. Fix your own hair, cook your own food, shop used and not new so they don’t make money from the immediate depreciation hit. Buy what you need, but be cognizant of where and how you spend your money. Stop buying and bigging-up name brand European and White American brands. Don’t overdraft Black bank accounts, shareholders even make money from our over draft fees. Economic boycotts work if we all take part. Invite allies too. The less money spent, the more they will work with us to address our issues. They sacrificed in during the civil rights movement with far less than we have today. If our ancestors could do it, so can we.
Donate to Local Social Justice Causes
Everything takes money. Everything. Flyers need to be printed. People need to travel to community events and meetings, and websites and other methods to communicate to the Black community need to be paid for. People dedicate their time and we expect people to work for free.This is one of the biggest hangups I have about the Black community. We want everything free. We don’t want to pay for anything! Nothing is free in this day and age. Not water. not power, not toilet paper, not gas, not even the internet to tweet to your community. Donate money please! Time is valuable, but we all don’t have the time to mobilize. We need to get rid of our welfare mentality in general about charity.
We need to learn to pay volunteers and passionate social justice advocates for their time, skills, abilities, and talents. You know why White folks run most of the charities in the United States? It’s because they pay to incorporate them. They follow all the rules they’ve put in place to be respected and to operate legally. They raise money how it should be raised, and they are transparent (most times) about how the money is used (salaries, etc.). Black folks want to fuss, scream, cry, claim they didn’t know, and expect someone to just drop knowledge on them for free, lead them out of bondage with the leader’s paycheck from his/her other job, and do car washes and plate sales. There is a road map. Follow it!
You’ll get nowhere with a poverty mindset Black people. Sacrifice and donate to social justice causes by us and for us. Blacks must start investing in themselves. We invest in everyone else’s movements, and we expect them to donate to ours. They aren’t going to. If we don’t save ourselves, no one else will.
Demand Black Americans (ADOS) Be Made Whole (Reparations)
The only thing some people respond to is money. Whether it’s receiving it or giving it up. The only way America can pay for its sins is to pay with money we’ve helped her and millions of White families accrue. We must begin to demand reparations in the same way White farmers demand the government helps them when they have losses. America owes African American descendants of slaves (ADOS) for all the land they stole from our families, for all the broken promises, for government failures, for its racism, and all the injustices we’ve suffered at the hands of police, and lynch mobs. Until America address the role of race in our disparities, America will continue to disregard our existence and well-being.
Black people must demand and expect the government will pay for all the injuries we’ve suffered, and all the losses we’ve suffered. As long as we keep praying and marching; asking a racist government to legislate its racist behavior; allowing the cops to kill us and then investigate themselves, and asking for justice from an unjust system instead of reparations and reforms to make us whole, White policing systems keep killing us and asking us to forgive them. Blacks need to be made whole with reparations, and nothing will make White people wake up and realize how long they’ve been injuring us like cutting a reparation check (re-read the boycott section). I’m talking about money. Don’t let anyone tell us they can’t do it. I see trillions of public dollars allocated throughout the country by state and federal governments for many things that don’t benefit the Black community directly or indirectly. Never let it be said we don’t have the money. We also need to have a plan to prove we are ADOS. You already know the questions are coming. Start retracing those family roots and your ancestor’s master’s last names.
If America can build bombs to blow up nations for war, give unlimited monies to generals for war, give humanitarian aid to rebuild all they’ve destroyed, then dammit America can pay reparations to Blacks. It’s easy, America just needs to do it.
Create Black Political Agendas, Vote, and Run for Office
Black people need a Black agenda, but the current political system isn’t interested in giving us one. Anytime Black people are mentioned or “courted,” it’s for our votes. As soon as we tell politicians what we want, they bail because White America can’t stand anyone to be attended to except themselves. Politicians running for office, regardless of political persuasion will move away from our concerns to appease Whiteness. Appeasing Whiteness means winning. Therefore, we get never get a Black agenda passed. Blacks instead get a White-working-class voter agenda and we’re told it will be good for us too because we’re all “the same.” Most Black folks know how that works out for us. We need to change our strategy and demand more from our America.
The Black agenda(s) should be multifaceted, multi year, and contain metrics for state, local, and federal government so we can determine how far we’ve come and when we’ve achieved our goals/objectives. Once an aim or metric is met, we should add new ones. We are so far behind, there are always more aims to pursue. Never be complacent. Never get too comfortable. Comfortable and complacency got us here. Never take our rights, freedoms, or lives for granted.
Blacks must get into politics because we don’t live in heaven yet. Black folks gotta stop practicing for heaven and start living and working here to make things better for us here on earth. We shouldn’t be wishing for heaven just to have peace. We need peace on earth. We need to learn how to lobby for our issues, and we need to raise young people to become public servants. We also must become comfortable living mediocre lives. Doing the right thing doesn’t pay much. As school teachers. Some of us need to live within or below our means so we can do the work for our people.
Lastly, we need to vote more. Not enough us vote. We also need to work to get voting rights restored for ex-offenders. Lifetime punishments for after debts to they have repaid society is bad for our community. The fewer voters we have, the fewer opportunities to select our representation locally and nationally. When Whites communities cheat to steal our chances to vote, call it out. We should monitor and work the polls. Is the ratio of watchers and workers comparable to the community makeup? If not, call it out. Our silence means we’re okay way inequity, making it easier for cheaters to cheat us of our opportunities to cast a vote.
This is not a hate the White man or White people message. This is a recall our history, learn America’s systems, develop strategies to survive America, and do the work message. There are plenty of other things we can do to help protect, heal, and grow Black communities, but it will not happen on its own. Black people, we gotta do the work; we gotta work together; we gotta get on one accord, and we will probably need to leave some Black folks behind.
There are plenty of Black people heavily vested in White Supremacy and all the trappings that keep us blinded from seeing our oppression. We can’t allow them to deflate us. Every generation we must fight for freedom.
“I freed a thousand slaves I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.” ~ Harriet Tubman
Some Black people don’t know they are oppressed, so you can’t free them. Understand that’s the nature of the White Supremacy beast. Do what you can, teach who you can, save who you can, and make things better for the next generation. We are being gunned down in our own homes by our government. We are being ignored by politicians and political systems. It’s time for Black people to mobilize and demand what we’re owed. Let’s do this!
Got suggestions? Leave them below. Ally support and tips are welcomed and appreciated.
©2019 Marley K. All rights reserved.