Before I get carried away in the land of happy times. Let me share that one of the reasons we as a people aren’t moving. I know things aren’t perfect. I know we have issues with prejudices and racism. One of our biggest problems is how we look at ourselves. There is not a lot of love there. We think the only way to feel better is to put someone else down. Many of our paradigms are based on it. In the absence of a “white devil” we shoot our brothers. Some leaders use that as a means of focusing negative energy. “Blame” someone else so that we can be cohesive. But that eventually falls short. In the end, you learn that you are responsible for your own crap. Unfortunately, some don’t learn and allow us to be manipulated still en masse.
“My life can suck but as long as I am doing better than you…. I am ok.”
Sound familiar? I hope not. We by nature want to be significant to others. We want to make a contribution. But too many of us bought into the fable that all we can do is entertain and be sports figures. Or we are stuck living out someone elses’ dream for us. You can almost be anything you want to. If I hear one more 35 year old man say he wants to be a rapper I will go into convulsions. I see hundreds of black women suffer from this lack of manhood. We have grown boys playing instead of producing. And someone bought into the notion that just making babies is admirable or worthy of esteem.
Malcolm X said I don’t care what color you are…., that the only thing power respects is power.
But what happens when you think you have no power? What happens when you think your contribution is less than the white, brown, yellow man or the black woman? What happens when you feel slighted, belittled, maligned and marginalized? Most get mad. Some stay angry. We start to value our contributions less. We surrender and live defeated. And if you never have been out of your neighborhood to see what can be possible, the anger magnifies. Hate comes from this. Riots are born from this. Violence is perpetuated from this. It’s low self esteem on steroids. In every business plan there is a spot where you identify your object to entry. What are the obstacles you have to overcome to make “this thing” succeed? For many of us, its not our color. A blue black African man from Zimbabwe, works two jobs and has a masters degree to get his foothold in the American dream. What do we do? Complain about the African.
“I don’t have anything so you won’t either. It’s not mine so I don’t care.”
We have thousands of people in our communities that don’t think they matter. They don’t think they can rise above what they see. They have been rewarded for not doing anything in some form. They don’t dream. They don’t see their personal value.
Americans of African heritage are unique in North America. We are every shade of the spectrum. We have contributed to every great thing in this country. We have overcome genocide, fratricide, and work daily not to be a chalk outline of a homicide. We are made up of every race that calls the US home. We are truly American. We are not sure of ourselves though. We allow people to dictate how far we can go. We still idolize entertainers and make celebrities our spokespeople. We are self enslaved. We don’t need the Ku Klux Klan to put us down. We do it to ourselves better than any redneck could.
We (Americans of African descent) are beautiful people. We are survivors of human atrocity. The only thing that stops us is us. We are stuck in periods. We are waiting for handouts. We are waiting for set asides. We are waiting for the OK to move ahead. And if one of us dares to move out of the ‘hood, woe is them. And then there is politics. We have really been duped there.
“You can’t hold a man down without staying down with him.”
― Booker T. Washington
(to be continued)
Rev. Kenn Blanchard is a professional speaker, writer, podcaster, and digital influencer. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook He is the force behind BlackManWithAGun.com, founder of Blanchard.Media and the SpeaklifeChurch.net