Filed Under:  OpEd, Opinion

The Hard Truth-Face the future – demand more!

2nd January 2013   ·   0 Comments

By Min. J. Kojo Livingston
Contributing Writer

Black people are the most giving people on earth.

Problem is we give to everything but our own advancement.

We give and give and give in church. We give our time, our money, our labor and energy. I have heard white pastors marvel at how much more their, often broke, Black parishioners give than their white counterparts. I have watched thousands unload their rent and bill money on religious institutions that offer no observable return to them individually or collectively. People are still broke, families are still breaking up, and communities are still broken, yet most churches are only preparing people to die and claiming that things would be worse if they were not around. There is little or no evidence of the Kingdom or power of God working in or around most of these fine edifices.

It’s time to demand more.

We give our support to political parties and a system that give us nothing in return. In fact most Black elected officials, once elected, proudly declare that Black people should not expect jack from them except for a visit and a smile next election time. You won’t hear them tell this to the gay or Hispanic community because they are not stupid.

Black people have overwhelmingly supported the Democratic Party with little or nothing to show for it. Demos won’t even advance a national discussion about social or racial justice. They have joined the Republicans in their rhetorical exclusion of concerns for the poor and needy in this nation.

In Louisiana it’s worse because you have a Demo party that is both racist and incompetent. With major local and statewide elections coming in less than two years, you can bet the rent that the Party leadership has yet to make a short (or long) list of candidates for governor. You can also bet they will not get involved in mayor’s races in major cities such as Shreveport because of their large Black populations.

The primary skill that most politicians develop early on is the art of creating excuses for the absence of progress. They really feel that you should be satisfied with a good excuse instead of results. They even act like you are stupid for expecting them to keep their promises or make anything better. “You don’t understand how things work,” they love to say. This happened with the election of President Obama. We watched every other group “get theirs” while our “leaders” insulted and chided anyone who dared say that Black folks’ issues should be addressed also. Maybe we should ask what other groups ask, “If you can’t help me, then why should I elect you?”

It’s time to demand more.

We support schools that don’t educate and school boards that subject our children to academic experimentation and “accountability” schemes that have never worked. We support health systems that “manage illness” instead of healing or preventing disease. We overwhelmingly support media that portray us as idiots, buffoons, criminals, deadbeats, sidekicks, weak-minded, lust-driven, animals. Then we sit in denial as our children emulate these images to their own destruction.

It’s time to demand more.

We support foreign businesses that come into our neighborhoods and never give back. The only suck money out of our communities to enrich other communities, sometimes other nations. These stores are often openly disrespectful to our people, yet we throw money at them buying products that are overpriced and outdated.

It’s time to demand more.

In families and communities we have persons who do so much for others that it makes those they serve weak, helpless, and unappreciative. Resentment rises when the person playing the “crutch” realizes that they are always needed, but rarely appreciated. They always expected to be “on-call” for others but their own needs are often ignored. Activists and caregivers do this a lot.

The problem with making insufficient demands is that it creates an unnatural imbalance, which harms or perverts everyone involved. A lack of self-love is responsible for the refusal to make reasonable demands for a return on one’s time, labor and resources. When we love ourselves we will demand more from every situation and everybody in our circle, including ourselves.

We need to be clear on what we want out of every relationship and situation in our lives. Then we need to be determined to get it.

In the Bible, in the oft-quoted passage in Malachi, even God offers accountability, “Bring the tithes to the storehouse…and prove me now herewith, if I will not open you the windows of heaven and pour you out a blessing…” In other words “Check me if I don’t handle my Divine business.”

Well heck!!! If you can “check” THE BOSS, how dare anyone else claim to be above questioning regarding results and reciprocity?

My New Year starts in Spring, but individually and collectively, it’s time to make a commitment to demand more from, for and of ourselves in the coming season…

and That’s the Hard Truth!!!

This article was originally published in the December 31, 2012 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper

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