The Hard Truth – The Essence of the problem
15th July 2013 · 0 Comments
By Min. J. Kojo Livingston
It’s about attitude.
The antidote to white supremacy/racism is Black Power, which begins with Black Self-Love, which is the basis for Black Unity and Collective Action.
How we will be treated as a people boils down to our collective attitude about ourselves. What continually happens to us is based on what we will tolerate. Instead of doing what other groups tell us to do, we should observe how they handle their problems and goals and notice the difference.
Nobody else tries to play the “colorblind” game but us. In fact every group that comes to the U.S. does better than us, largely because of a powerful sense of group identity, loyalty, commitment and a collective strategy for survival/prosperity. We’re the only ones who seek success by separating and fleeing our own. This makes us vulnerable to economic exploitation, political manipulation and physical attacks.
If Asians or other groups found out that a major music festival aimed at them was not owned or controlled by them and did not profit them, they would simply cease to support it. No one would have to tell them to boycott that activity. They would not need a national campaign to address this. Their love of self would cause them to be offended and would inform their next move.
If a Black man stalked and killed an unarmed teenager from another ethnic group, that man would have as much to fear from that child’s community as he would from the cops or the courts. They would be determined that he should pay for his crime as a message to anyone else who might even be thinking about stalking and killing their children. And like Dr. King, they would not limit their options to that which was legal.
The Supreme Court waffled on gay marriage because they did not want to further piss-off a very active and vocal gay community. That, my friends, is Power. Let no one fool you; the days of protesting are far from over, it’s just that this cannot be the sole weapon in our arsenal.
So how can we start winning?
First, let me repeat my mantra that a prolonged, intensive campaign to promote Black Self-Love is imperative. That Love will come from a true Knowledge of Self that no one else can teach us but us. This can be done in living rooms, backyards, community centers, are anywhere people can gather.
Second is to change our attitude about our situation. WE ARE AT WAR!
We have to stop seeing ourselves as victims of a multitude of isolated and unrelated attacks and offenses by white people or by this system. Check the pattern and their objectives are clear. This is a hybrid war that has the classic features of a war of annihilation combined with those of a war of subjugation. The goal of this nation is to kill off a large number of Black people and re-enslave the rest. There is no third category. This is consistent with U.S. history.
If we do not accept their plans we must be ready to do something about it. That “something” is to craft our own strategy for Liberation and prosperity. We have to fight and build at the same time, just like Nehemiah who had to rebuild the wall with “a brick in one hand and a sword in the other.” We have to understand that anything we build within this system can be legally taken away from us by this system. We must build anyway because that’s how we learn to rule and govern ourselves. You can’t learn nation-building by protesting alone.
We must learn to see every attack as an opportunity. It is an opportunity to learn and observe the ways of our enemies. More importantly, it is an opportunity to educate, mobilize and organize our people.
Time Warner/Essence, for example is a great opportunity to help our people understand how we are exploited everyday on various levels. It is a chance to show ourselves our own power by shutting the whole thing down and by redirecting those millions of dollars to festivals, activities and publications that are run and owned by us. It can force us to grow in our ability to do-for-self. It also lets our adversaries know that we are not to be toyed with.
Beginning in October, I will either build or participate in a coalition that will engage every Black civic, religious, political, professional, fraternal and social organization and every Black participant in the last Time Warner/Essence Fest. We will inform them of the situation and offer viable alternatives.
In the coming year, the Time Warner/Essence boycott can also teach us something else. Already this year, we have seen conscious/cultural folks take their stand with Time Warner, promoting the Fest in social media and elsewhere, while completely ignoring the racism and greed issues.
Perhaps this time we can find a principled and effective way to deal with an issue without it deteriorating into a circus where Black folks are fighting Black folks over something that white folks own (like street gangs). Yes, I know that in these situations, white people generally trot out their negroes to deflect Black energies, but I believe we are smarter than that today…at least I’m hoping we are.
Again, personally I have no demands for Time Warner/Essence. I do not want them do do a better festival…for us. There is nothing that I want them to do. They have already shown us their color…their only color. I just want our people to spend our time and money elsewhere, on something that we own and control.
Next week we conclude with some ideas for addressing other manifestations of white supremacy in ways that lead to long-term empowerment.
Until then, other folks are showing their hands, racism is more overt every day; it’s time to get active and get it together. It’s time to.. STAR — Stand Together And Rise
…And That’s the Hard Truth!!!
This article originally published in the July 15, 2013 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper.