The Hard Truth…Five ways to win
4th March 2013 · 0 Comments
By Min. J. Kojo Livingston
I know how to win.
I know how to win absolute Liberation for Black People.
I also know what some of you are thinking. “He’s just being an arrogant ni&&er.”
Any time a Black man expresses confidence it is interpreted as cockiness or arrogance. Confidence is reserved for whites only. Well, screw that.
I really DO know how to win. I am certainly not the first and definitely not the only one, but I am one and the good news is you need no special anointing or genetic mutation to figure this one out. Study our history and do some work and you will start to unravel the mystery of how to get Black folks out of our current situation and into some real Liberation. All of your solutions may not be the same as mine but there is enough to do and enough ways to do it that we can both be right about a whole lot of things.
As I watch folks obsessing over video games, the Oscars and Super Bowls, reality shows and Mi?chelle’s hairdo, while our children die in the streets, it can get a little disheartening. When you see our popular culture descending into a form of open savagery, it really does not look good for us. I understand those who get frustrated with our people and want to throw up their hands, but that ain’t the way to go. The machine that wants to turn this society and our world into a giant, polluted prison full of mindless people who are sick on every level is a formidable opponent…a type of Goliath. But even they can be defeated.
So here is my list of Five Things to do to WIN absolute Liberation for Black people. (No, it ain’t the ONLY five, it Just Five. Okay?)
FIRST: GETTING AGREEMENT ON OUR OBJECTIVE. I have several mantras, one of which is “We must agree on a Vision and a Broad Definition of what Libera?tion is. Our common Vision, Goals, Objectives and Plan will help drive us through adversity but will let us know when we have arrived at our destination. What does Liberation look like? What do you see, feel and think when you wake up one morning in a condition of real Liberation? My basic formula is still the same, LIBERATION = SELF-SUFFICIENCY + SELF-DETERMINATION X JUSTICE. Self-sufficiency means we Provide for Self. Self-Determin?ation means we Decide for Self. Justice means we treat Everybody Right. The specific form or forms this will take, i.e., repatriation, general expatriation, land here, nation-within-a- nation (post or pre-revolution), is a secondary discussion to me.
SECOND: ADDRESSING THE FACT THAT THERE REALLY IS AN OPPOSITION. There is no “post-racial” USA. In fact racial tension and injustice are on the rise. In New Orleans and Louisiana alone there are so many levels of oppression schemes that you can’t turn in any direction without facing an attack. Education, housing, streets, policing, employment, entertainment, you name it and this government have a plan to “knock the Black off of it.” We cannot win by ignoring or denying the reality of opposition. At the same time, this war that we are in will not be won by us continually reacting to this very real opposing force. This means we must study to understand the tactics and strategies of the other side while still pushing our own agenda forward in spite of opposition.
THIRD: GETTING COMMUNITIES INVOLVED IN PRACTICING SELF- SUFFICIENCY. There is so much simple stuff that we can do, it’s ridiculous. Supporting Black businesses is one way to build and gain control of the economy of the community. Then we can teach our history to our people in classes in homes or schools or wherever. Growing your own food is the most basic form of self-sufficiency. It is also a way to take back our collective health. Doing for self is addictive. It builds our character and our understanding of what real Liberation will require of us.
FOURTH: TRAINING LARGE NUMBERS OF PEOPLE TO DO ADVOCACY WORK – I don’t like having to confront any aspect of this system. I’d like to spend 100 percent of my time building our own. However, we are in the belly of the beast, which means we are likely to be affected by its gastrointestinal functions. We have to deal with this system now and possibly after Liberation, if it still exists in any form. Remember our adversary is a worldwide entity. Much of my work involves helping people in crises caused by some component of this beast. So we bust a tentacle here and another one grows over there. This continues until we starve it to death by withdrawing our massive support from it. (At least that’s one way of going about it.) I had to start teaching people how to fight for themselves because there is more craziness and injustice now than in the 70’s when I first started doing this. I couldn’t handle all the cases by myself. This work is fairly easy to teach.
FIFTH: FIND SPIRITUAL COMMON GROUND – This has got to be the most difficult aspect of the work, because we tend to be a very sectarian people. We have been taught through the years to have a low tolerance for people who think differently about God, religion or spirituality.
“But if it’s such a touchy issue why even go there?”
Glad you asked! We need to address the issue because we are a spiritual people. Without a spiritual or moral anchor or compass we will become our enemy. I have no intention of creating a Blackface version of the USA or its value system. I want to create a better system and condition than the world has yet known.
We’re going to need a lot of wisdom to figure out how to collectively access the power and goodness of our various belief systems and use that power in ways that will ultimately impact the observable world. Doing any of this without the usual infighting, proselytizing and other garbage is the trick. But it is encouraging that I have been a part of groups where we found ways to do this on a small scale. As an individual, I have found direction, protection and power from/in my relationship with our Creator. I know so many others that have found the same in different ways. If we could combine what is working for us, it could be powerful.
So that’s five out of dozens of things that I believe need to happen immediately. You may have others. The point is to start the work on whatever you feel is important and build from there.
If our intentions are pure, our direction is clear and our work is consistent and excellent, then we can and we will restore Liberation to Our People…
…And That’s the Hard Truth!
This article originally published in the March 4, 2013 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper.