Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. (Albert Einstein)
I do recognize that at the tail end of a political feeding frenzy this may not be the most opportune moment to express my anger at the current crop of Black leaders in this city. Nevertheless, here I go. I'm neither a Liberal nor Conservative, Republican nor Democrat, Libertarian nor a member of the Tea Party. I no longer subscribe to the myth of the “lessor of two evils” because the endorsement of either is a denial of freedom and the choice of conformity. What I am is determined by what the interests of my community call for me to be. What that means is that my allegiance is neither to “the party” nor the politician but to the interests of my community first and foremost.
Unfortunately the current crop of Black leaders in this city don't have a clue ( http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-jesse-jackson-jr-visitors-1023-20121023,0,6321185.story ). I'm including in this group Black Alderman, union officials, popular radio hosts, pundits, business leaders, activists and preachers who step down from the pulpit and into the Mayors office for they're 30 pieces of silver. For far too long Afro Americans in this city have been fed a steady diet of the entitlement doctrine by various people and for various reasons and none of which has been in our best interest. This has had a crippling effect on our community as a whole. We have been conditioned to look outside of ourselves to something or someone to whom we can assign blame for the challenges that currently beset us before asking what if anything have we contributed to these woes.
The result of this is a belief embedded into our collective psyche that of our own accord we lack the resources and ability to correct the wrongs over which we stumble. But nothing can be further from the truth. In my coming in and going out I frequently ask members of the masses of Afro Americans I run across if they think things will really ever get any better for us and unfortunately the common response is no. Without question this is a direct indictment of the failure of Black leadership here. But why so glum when there is so many possibilities for us?
What we have is a multimillion if not potentially a multibillion dollar industry all our own, The Black Hair Care Industry, and a very strong buying power that if used correctly can tilt the scales in favor of a more equitable distribution of wealth within our community. We have educational institutions at our disposal that can, with a reasonable contribution, present us with a 5 or 10 year plan of how to take back that industry in a way that provides needed jobs and financial support to fund institutions that are now being funded by government and other outside sources. Make no mistake about it The Black Hair Care Industry jobs run the gamut from technical to janitorial, from retail to warehousing and transportation, etc. No one should benefit more from this industry than us. Who else besides Black people use Black Hair Care products? It is absolutely imperative that not only should we control the industries where we dominate as a consumer group but also that no institution that's essential to our existence be funded by outside sources to the extent that they would cease to exist if that funding was withdrawn. Where else if not Chicago should this global empire be headquartered? But it takes leaders with vision to see past themselves and through the impossible and they must also possess the courage to go against the grain to successfully manage an endeavor of this magnitude. Sadly, the current crop of Black leaders fail to even come close to what we need. All they have to offer is more of the same, Black faces in high places but no substance, shallow victories, minimum wages, more dependence on government and more ways to keep they're hands in our pockets.
Truth be told our condition is directly related to our willingness to either accept or reject the responsibilities of our freedom and like it or not the machinations of leadership plays a very important role in that decision. Without question racism is alive and well and the legacy of slavery remains with us but at what point will we stop blaming the “Willie Lynch” of yesterday for the choices we make today and act accordingly?