I sat here Saturday morning, just hourz before the 20th Anniversary of the Louis Farrakahan led Million Man March, looking through social media feedz seeing many of my comrades and Sis-Starz making the trek down I-95 South to Washington, DC with mixed feelingz.
On one hand, I’m 100% hardbody for any kind of communal gathering of our folk to address the ever constant plague of white supremacy tactics that become alarmingly similar to issues that seem to come to the boiling point every 30 or so yearz: police brutality, judicial inequity, and the prohibition of socio-economic homogeneity.
But on the other, I am dismayed to realize I have to accept that we are not yet ready to actually “do” what is necessary to bring about solutionz to our — what most refuse to believe are — intergenerational needz (or are we?). I say this because most of us are so caught up in the “here and now” we don’t realize these are the same issues we’ve faced since emancipation. If we were in fact cognizant of this historical timeline, we would not be flocking by the hundredz-of-thousandz and possible millionz to hear yet another “sermon” of empty rhetoric from Minister Louis Farrakhan and party.
This piece is no personal beef against the man, nor is it about his religion-now-possible-cult-beliefs (with scientology). This is about a man who has called for this congregation of Afrikanz-in-America three tymz now, and it is most appropriate to state thingz have been no better since; in fact, thingz are far worse off!
So I ask you, with the 20th anniversary of the original Million Man March’s theme being “Justice or Else! I insistently ask… “Or Else What?!!?” I mean, how is one to take such a statement other then there would be a course of responsive action if one’s needz are not addressed and satisfied?
Really, what is the meaning of “Or Else!”, Farrakhan?! Does this mean you have a plan you’re ready to implement and execute once we see our plea for equal and humane rights by this country’s educatorz, economists, labor and law makerz, and clergy are yet again denied?
Do we not all realize one will never be taken serious as long as one refuses to back up what one actually sayz? Ask yourself, just how effective is the all too familiar rally call, “No Justice, No Peace!”?! We’ve even commercialized our movement with a few new ones! Fresh off the movie ‘Straight Outta Compton’, folks were spotted at the march wearing ‘Straight Outta Patience’ tee-shirts! Really?!
Of the millionz of hedz who've been told to chant this by our so-called leaderz, ask yourselves, have we gotten peace yet? And since we haven’t, how peaceful have we continued to be? Images of “Hands Up Don’t Shoot” and “I Can’t Breathe” should run through your head about now. These are no different than the image of Henry Webber and Josiah Wedgwood’s “Am I Not A Man and Brother?” Wedgwood medallion of the late 1780s where the image of a chained Afrikan knelt on his knee with his handz closed in prayer looking upward pleading for fair treatment. Further, just who are these written gestures to? Are they to our historical adversaries? Can we actually say they’ve actually taken heed? Have they stopped shooting us? Have they allowed us to breathe? Have they begun treating us like a Wo/Man and (Sister)Brother?
Using Drs. Neely Fuller, Jr., Francess Cress Welsing, and Keidi Awadu’s 10 Areas of People Activity (10 APA): Economics, Education, Entertainment, Health, Labor, Law, Politics, Religion, Sex, and War) we don’t have to go back in history to address these issues for as we know, it happenz on the daily. Just recently, we can see:
Economically, banks like 5/3rd (Fifth Third Bank corp) who on September 28, 2015 agreed to pay $21 million for compensation to American-Afrikan and Hispanic borrowerz who were overcharged for car loanz. (NOTE: it’s no coincidence 5/3rds bank bearz a striking resemblance to the term “3/5ths” synonymous to Three-Fifths Compromise; a compromise reached between delegates from northern and southern states during the 1787 United States Constitutional Convention debating was over whether enslaved Afrikanz would be counted when determining a state's total population for legislative representation and taxing purposes. The most degrading, Afrikanz being labeled not whole but 3/5ths of a human being.) These same institutionz who “legally” launder our money to other neighborhoodz in the form of loanz are the seldom-named culprits of gentrification.
Our Afrikan-centered educational institutionz are but a small percentage as we continue to send our children to schoolz that teach nothing about our historical culture outside the same Black historical “usualz". Even our so-called HBCUs (Historical Black Colleges and Universities) are not Afrikan-owned with many being forced to “integrate” just to keep the lights on.
The entertainment industry continues to be the driving sedative to our slumber. If its not the colonization of Hiphop, it’s the increasingly alarming castration of the Afrikan male role and principle in tv showz. Long gone are positive male examples of James Evans of Good Times and… damn! cain’t say Bill Cosby anymore!
Todayz youth are exposed to the likes of Empire (Jegna Anthony Browder did a dope lecture on the unknown facts behind Empires jewish exploitative screenwriter, Danny Strong and outwardly gay producer Lee Daniels). Throughout the main characterz (played by Terrence Howard) home you’ll find artwork by another gay man, Kehinde Wiley. He paints larger-than-life portraits of gay males in poses similar to portraits by europeanz. In a February 2013 article, ‘Kehinde Wiley, gay artist: shattering concepts of normalcy’, author Jane Eisner notes:
“Wiley's paintings are large and hard to ignore as he paints proud, bold, nearly regal images of black men, many who are gay, and putting them in public spaces. By doing this, he is deconstructing concepts of normalcy, including heteronormativity, the cultural bias in favor of opposite-sex relationships and against same-sex relationships.”
Let’s also not forget venture capitalist Ben Horowitz of Andreessen Horowitz, who said he's gonna make a billion dollarz off Black culture thanks to his negro informer, Brand develoer, Steve Stoute.
And I dare not even go into the countless other tactics this industry uses via AgitProp (Agitation Propaganda) for it would make this piece more of a book than an article.
In the field of Health, we continue to have the highest rates of heart failure, high blood pressure and stress mainly from dealing with white folk, but also from inherited eating habits, ala ‘Soul Food’ and our inability to sever our tastebudz from fried chicken and pork, not to mention sugar, dairy products and soy.
In food production, we have no say what comes into our communities. Black Farmerz, for instance, who in 1920 made up 14% of U.S. farmerz, today are less than 2% serve as a true testament that we are not in control of our communities for the very thing we all depend on (food and water) is controlled by other ethnicities. Not to mention Monsanto and the governments lobbying to eliminate labeling GMO (genetically modified organiszm) foodz. This should be the most alarming for you can look on their site and read of their opposition to food labeling where the openly admit they are in the seed making business claiming these frankenstein seed and foodz are safe for human consumption.
With labor, according to PewResearch.org, the unemployment rate among American-Afrikanz is double that among whites, as it has been for most of the past six decades, all-the-while over the past decade, our graduation rate has improved at almost all of the nation's highest-ranked universities. Question is, what work, if any, is available for us — especially when the share of all businesses owned by American-Afrikanz was a mere 7.1% nationwide in 2011.
In Law, reports of police brutality and killingz escalated (thanks in large part to social media) giving birth to movements like Black Lives Matter showing this is a national epidemic, not something isolated to a few big city police departments. This devalue in life is the driving force behind the #BlackLivesMatter movement.
Meanwhile, the religious clergy remain idle more interested in leading “sheep” in a circular race with no pit stops nor checkered flag in sight.
Real talk: “No Justice No Peace!”? Justice Or Else!”? Just reviewing these few that reflect the 10 APA, prove we’re not being taken seriously. And it starts from the bottom to the top, meaning, the followerz on up to leadership. The people we accept as our leaders are in these positionz because we choose to follow them. They will become irrelevant the moment we turn our attention toward those capable of delivering our needz, simple as that.
STANDARDZ OF PROGRESS & VICTORY
When we look at statistics, despite the countless millionaire athletes, poliiticianz, doctorz, lawyerz, and Afrikanz winning Oscars and Peoples Choice Awards, we are actually worse off than we were pre-integration. I’ve often said integration “effed” us up, leading to our loose sense of self, trading instead for this illusion of inclusion when in fact the only thing that’s included is what we create (and they then plagiarize) and also what’s in our pockets.
We wanna talk about progress under integration? According to InfoPlease.com, media incomes between caucasian and POADUS, whites in 2011 was $55,412 to POADUS’ $32,229. We are substantially lower in all social aspects of life: income, employment, job creation, education, etc. And yet we still show up to ‘masa’s’ back yard with our handz out and holding signz of a dream deferred practically still asking “Am I Not A Man and Brother?” Is this due to our lack of desire or is it systematic?
In a piece I wrote, ‘Back When Revolutionareez Were Real’, I compared our so-called leaderz to coaches in professional sports like the NFL and NBA. Many don’t even remember the dayz when coaches had several decade-long tenures with the same team despite a winning or losing season. Nowadayz, you can have the best record in the league and still loose your job (ie, Mike Brown for the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2010).
Simply put, ownerz and fanz want victory now! They don’t want to go through a rebuilding phase, they expect to be on the ups every year and not cellar dwellerz.
So I ask, where are our “leaderz’” leading us to? Why are we so content with our losing leadership?! Why have we not fired our self-appointed (and even annointed) leaderz for lacking deliverables of solution-oriented strategies toward our liberation? If you differ, then ask yourselves what have they actually delivered? I’d say the only thing they’e delivered is DELAY; or even a detour.
I’m speaking about our current leadership that includes Farrakhan. When we look to see who is the “spokesperson” for blackfolk, there’s the fast-fading Jesse and Al Sharptonz — most notably replaced by Obama (although in his 7 yearz as HNIC, he has never opened his mouth nor done anything of significance on our behalf), and Farrakhan.
In 2005, I wrote a piece ‘Should We Support the Million Man March’05?’. After the Million Man March we witnessed a slew of “Million Marches”: the Million Woman March, the Million Father March, the Million Meat Eaters March, the Million Weave March… the purpose of marches have become ineffective turning to be more like a gathering of Blackfolk for the sake of gathering, then going back home to the same issues and problemz until we meet again in a decade (those of us who survive).
WHAT IS THE REAL MISSION AND WHY ISN’T IT BEING ADDRESSED?
In the dayz post the march, now what?! For those who attended, forget the sea of Afrikan people you saw—although seeing so many segregate themselves from the one commonality we have (being Afrikan) in the form of the many “groups” like fraternities and sororities and religious sects dawning their masonic, greek or religious paraphernalia show and proved just our disunited we are—but dealing with our identity crisis is another story. So again I ask, in addressing Farrakhan’s “No Justice Or Else!”… now what? Or better put, “Or Else What?!”
Media outlets have already begun conveying the main talking point of Farrakhan’s marches are to demand justice over the shooting deaths of Afrikan women and men and the handz of the police, as if this is but a decade-long problem that came about right after the last Million Man March in 2005. This is strategically a tactic to keep us on the defensive and not the offensive.
First, let’s be clear, the “boyz in blue” have been doing what they were created to do since its inception right after our Ancestorz were emancipated. In Victor E. Kappeler’s book, The History of Policing in the United States, he noted,
“The birth and development of the American police can be traced to a multitude of historical, legal and political-economic conditions. The institution of slavery and the control of minorities, however, were two of the more formidable historic features of American society shaping early policing. Slave patrols and Night Watches, which later became modern police departments, were both designed to control the behaviors of minorities. For example, the St. Louis police were founded to protect residents from Native Americans in that frontier city, and many southern police departments began as slave patrols. In 1704, the colony of Carolina developed the nation's first slave patrol. Slave patrols helped to maintain the economic order and to assist the wealthy landowners in recovering and punishing slaves who essentially were considered property.
I often think of KRS-One’s classic, “Sound of Da Police” when he mentioned how close the wordz “Officer” and “Overseer” are.
We are clearly repeating history refusing to realize the beefs we have today with our government and white folk is the same beef our Ancestorz had on the plantation. meaning, this has yet to be resolved and under the current tactics, it won’t be.
At this pace of ignorance, our issue with the police will be as old as the millennium-long jihad between the christianz and muslimz that upgraded it’s global crusade on September 11, 2001. Hedz like our so-called leaderz and the white-owned media want us to dwell on the physical attacks because it has proven to be the most strategic in preventing counter attacks. Think about it, for every cop that’s disturbed our community with either racial profiling, false arrests, brutality, or even murder, what’s the ratio of counter attacks? Not even 100 to 1, more like slim to none.
From the perspective of what a war general may perceive, I would think they are pretty much convinced we do not live by the biblical virtues of “an eye for an eye” nor to even defend ourselves in the least. So again, the “No Justice, No Peace” and “Justice Or Else!” cries fall on deaf earz because we’ve proven to be a people of “all talk and no walk”!
Am I saying to arm up and go sacrifice ourselves when we would be bringing rocks to a shootout? Absolutely not. What I am saying is peep game, there are other factorz of war we can engage in.
To me, an overlooked—and probably foreign to most—tactic is economics! No, I’m not talking about Black Friday Shopping Boycotts, where we “think” one day of no shopping will make a difference—even though we’ve proven the most successful kind of boycott of modern history was one that lasted 381 dayz with a bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama in 1955-56. Todayz boycotts barely last half a day!
Let’s ask ourselves, what’s the most pressing issue we face in this country? At the base you will find it is economic disparity. Most of us can’t see this because of our inability to reclaim our identity — we don’t know who we are, thus, we don’t know our power. But trust, everyone else does!
Numerous outlets have projected POADUS (People Of Afrikan Descent in the United States) purchasing power exceedz the amount of $1.1 Trillion in 2015! Yet the ratio of 99% consumer/1% producer (or entrepreneur) is a direct statistic we’ve yet to address. Simply put, who’s getting this $1.1 Trillion if we are not in position to get it ourselves? Who’s communities benefit from this never-ending well of funding?
Add in the fact we continue to be renterz instead of land ownerz. Gentrification, which to me is synonymous with colonializm, is a result of our lack in owning land! This is why I feel a natural solution to #BlackLivesMatter is #BlackLandMatters!
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
— Spanish philosopher George Santayana
The above quote speaks volumes to the Afrikan Diaspora yet we are not yet listening. And although there’s a slight nudge to wake up from this slumber, I hope the following statements metaphorically serves as a bucket of water to the face! WAKE UP!!
Whenever there’s a (justified) riot where Afrikanz burn “their” neighborhoodz, the media and so-called leaderz will label us savages for burning down our block but I ask you to have the foresight to see that “we” do not own our block! Many rent, and many of the chain stores are not owned by us, so in actuality we are doing the same thing our Ancestorz did on the plantation during riots… burning down the overseerz home and crops!
Not even an hour north from the march is the city of Baltimore, Maryland where earlier this year we can see the the full effect of the FHAs (Federal Housing Administration) role in “redlining”; a condition of where neighborhoodz are colored red on government maps to indicate areas that should be considered poor credit risks as a consequence of POADUS’ living in (or even near) them. This is “legally” happening now, Afrikanz, in 2015, not 1950! The FHA also practices the barring of POADUS families from obtaining bank mortgages for house purchases even in suburban subdivisionz which were privately financed without federal construction loan guarantees.
This is institutionalized racizm Farrakhan, Jesse, Al, nor Obama will talk to the government about, much less us! “Redlining” also prohibits POADUS from moving to white neighborhoodz while whites are allowed to gentrify ourz! This is why in my piece, ‘The Unapologetic Quest to G.E.N.T.R.I.F.Y.’, I came up with seven acronymz for the term:
• Get Ethnic Neighborhood Traits Removed In Favor (of) YT
• Grab Ebony Neighborhoodz, Take Realty = Invaluable Fortunes Yearly
• Get Ethnic Neighborhoodz To Relocate Influx From Yard
When you read 'Collective Courage: A History of African American Cooperative Economic Thought and Practice’ by Jessica Gordon Nembhard you will learn how we historically dealt with institutionalized racizm through cooperatives! This is a proactive, tangible solution we can address ourselves without our so-called leaderz.
Through the history of communal cooperatives, poolz of people brought their monies together and created their own communities. They bought homes, created schoolz, health care, and even created credit unionz! Brooklyn, New York’s Weeksville is an example and through Black Land Matters we are doing the same.
Through cooperatives, we don’t need their banks to get loanz for a home, we can create sustainable, intentional communities for ourselves, by ourselves! From land, we can create numerous entrepreneurial ventures from food production to intentional communities. The only major hurdle we have to get over is a 5-letter word… ’T-R-U-S-T’ and this comes with education — a historical one of cooperative examples as well as those who plotted against it (like those against Marcus Garvey’s Back to Afrika movement).
This is the kind of topic that could have been addressed at the Million Man March but for no coincidental reason, the likes of Farrakhan don’t want us having any awareness nor discussion of — and they’ve been efficient for after three Million Man Marches over 20 yearz of no inclusion of the impact of our economic potential diasporically proves it. Think about it, has he ever spoke on self-reliance?
Sankofa, or in order to go forward, we must reach or go back and fetch, is calling. Our Ancestorz are pleading for us to learn form their triumphs and mistakes and realize it does not take one person to lead us to liberation, it takes the involvement of many.
I humbly leave you with a tangible solution, learn about the history of cooperatives and available projects at BlackLandMatters.com.
Watch ‘Dr. John Henrik Clarke: The Million Man March and Fake Leadership’
Not only does he disect Farrakhan, he also goes in on Maulana Karenga!
• In Segment #3 below, he speaks on solutionz, many that could have been shared at the march:
Abibifahodie (Afrikan Liberation)!
CLOCK'S TICKIN': A PERSONAL CHALLENGE!
As of this writing (Monday, October 26, 2015), we are 16 dayz since Farrakhan’s march and I ask, what’s happened since? Although this is no surprise to me (as this followz the same course as 1995 and 2005), I address this to the one’s who made the pilgrimage to DC and back.
It should be obvious NOTHING is planned for if it were, there’d be some kind of correspondence made public by now. Ask yourselves, while there, did anyone ask for your info/email address so they might contact you post the march? Was there any listing of an organized group you could’ve joined to develop and implement the idealz Farrakhan mentioned?!
Consider this an open-handed slap in the face followed with a back-hand slap with the pinky-ring on… “WAKE UP!!!!!”
As I scurried through social media venues looking for post march ideas and organized tactics, I came across a post that asked, "In 3 words, how do we improve things for Black people?" where my reply was “
“Buy Land Cooperatively” (read here). I’m sharing my response in hopes you feel compelled to act:
***A CHALLENGE TO ALL WHO RESPONDED***
In my humble opinion, we are not accessing the true potential of social media. To me, this post serves actually as a call to action. We cannot continue to stand idle, falling into the trap of thinking "liking" a comment or sharing a post is all that's needed to bring resolution to our socio-, economic-, and cultural challenges we collectively face in this world like we do when we exercise our right to vote. This is not about how many likes and shares, we need real answerz.
As I was pinged with response after response to this game-changing post, I waited for the next step. Nothing against Natasha Jones who started this post for I am appreciative of her initiating this post. I additionally felt the need to say something before we forget the potential this post bringz resulting in our moving on to something else – proving a point I've long believed: social media breedz ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder).
So... I ask that each one of you review the many 3-word contributionz offered and carefully dissect into 3 categories:
1) New idea (or something you'd like to know more about),
2) Old idea (been there done that), and
3) Ideas you would like to do.
Next, review the numerous replies and put them in the 3 categories I just proposed... then, within one week, familiarize yourself with #1, start researching the historical positives and negatives of #2, and then ACT on the ones you list in #3.
It is far too late in the day for us to not realize the change we desire will only come through us. There's no god coming to save us unless we begin to save ourselves, and we can use current events to realize the government's not wearing a cape for POADUS (People of Afrikan Descent in the United States) either, so let's be cognizant of the fact that change for Blackfolk in this country came and will only come from the efforts of Blackfolk!
If you don't know what the "or else" is, you simply haven't been paying attention.
I'll give you a hint. The reason Farrakhan didn't come out and say exactly what the or else is is because he didn't want white folks to know what it was. He's on a public forum. If he told everybody what the plan was on national tv cause C-Span covered it, you'll have white folks and their coons ready to sabotage it. If you were paying attention you would know exactly what the "or else" is.
Posted by Keith D. Witherspoon from Facebook on Tuesday, October 13, 2015 at 9:22pm
Umm, that would be a plausible "theory" had he NOT done this two other times (remember 1995 and 2005?!!?). What has he done/accomplished from those, Bruh? And don't think he ain't already in bed with white folk. Peep game (photo link of Father Pfieger, roman catholic priest in Chicago).
Either WAKE UP or continue to get slept on!
He's not supposed to do shit. He did his job. He got a million black folks together for change. It's not HE is Supposed to do, it's what YOU'RE supposed to do.
You're supposed to rebuild our black economy. You're supposed to link up with other black people and pull your resources together to create an infrastructure to obtain and maintain resources for your fellow brothas and sistas to have access to so they don't have to go outside of our community and become dependant on other communities to gain access to resources they need.
Farrakhan did his job. The question is did you do your job?
Obviously people didn't do their job the last time, so we'll see if people do their job this time.
So are you now telling me what you just stated is "his" plan or is it what you "think"? And if he is just a conveyer of the "message" what are you suggestions to him as an obvious poor messenger, because as you just stated, we "other people" didn't do our job... Be clear homey, either he don't wanna tell the plan for fear of white folks hearing, or his plan is "lemme tell y'all what to do and I can go home to my multimillion dollar lifestyle." And oh... I'll see ya'll in 2025 to deliver the same message and pick up some more checks!
If you actually believe this, then you might as well be waiting on jesus to come.
But if you really about planning the work and working the plan, you don't need Farra-can't to tell you anything. Our needs are obvious, him telling us is not some foreign tongue!
btw, regarding me personally, I mentioned at the end of my article what I'm doing. What you doing?? Not to be tit for tat, but I really do want to know...
He and many others have been lacing the message for decades. You're setting up here worrying about the messanger but did you get the message?
You want him to speak his message out loud so the entire world including the white supremacists can hear it. If he did that, the White Supremacists and their Coons will sabatage it.
So how do you propose that he could have presented the message without the white supremacists knowing what the message was? He obviously spoke in code. And if you couldn't decipher the code who's fault is that? He can't post the code on the internet for everybody to decipher. So obviously he's been lacing the code throughout and if you were paying attention you would know the code and it would have been clear. And even if it isn't, he and many others have been telling black folks exactly what to do for years. My question is do you even know that is and are you doing it or in the works of doing it?
Either you're in someway his assistant or you're delusional. You really expect us to believe he would call for a meeting of a million to come and hear him speak in code?!!? Really?!!? You really think he thinks everyone has this book of codes you speak of?? Besides, why would he call to meet in a very public place where these white supremacists live (although they have a negro family temporarily living there for another year) knowing there's camera's, security, and all sorts of surveillance we can't imagine in place where he intendz to speak in "code"?!!? You delusional, B! He can speak 'direct' in The Final Call for that matter. And let's be 100, collectively we are not intellectually prepared to decipher any kind of tongued code or we woulda BEEN out of our situation. Take some smelling salt, B, cause you definitely sleep (and I don't mean it in an insulting way, you just really talking some cray -ish!)
I ask/challenge you to give factual evidence of this coded "plan" he delivered since you seem to be "one of the few" who listened and apparently deciphered. Or maybe your excuse not to will be because you don't want to share it on Facebook cause Mark Zuckerberg will have access to it! And I guess you can't use email either... dam! Guess the plan will stay with you and Farrakhan!
Kiddin' aside... anyone who has to deliver a message of liberation 3 in code 3 times in 20 yearz and the people still haven't caught wind, might not be someone we should be listening to...
He got people to gather as one so we could link as one to build together as one and show America and the world our ability to come together as one. All we got to do us keep ourselves linked and actually start building shit like we should have did the first time.
We don't need everybody to get the message. All we need are those willing and able to reviece and put action to the message.
If you didn't get the message that's ok, you will if the people that did succeed in building shit. It will all make sense then.
The author of this most noble piece YET accurately pinpoints the gut of the problem in the third paragraph: "...we are not yet ready to actually “do” what is necessary to bring about solutionz to our — what most refuse to believe are — intergenerational needz (or are we?)."
Posted by Tabia Ani from Facebook on Tuesday, October 13, 2015 at 1:34pm
Excellent article, on point as always!
Posted by Khnum Ra Khai Maa from Facebook on Tuesday, October 13, 2015 at 12:57pm
I don't advocate for any division amongst us but I agree that this could have been much more effectively strategized to produce real concrete, immediate results.
Posted by Jullanar CaramelQueen Dee from Facebook on Tuesday, October 13, 2015 at 12:51pm
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