When black people fail each other

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 22, 2007

&uot;Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.&uot; – Martin Luther King Jr.

In case you thought there were only white citizens who are angry with some of what I’ve written, let me assure you that is not the case.

Two weeks ago, a black woman at the Elk’s Lodge in Winton called me an Uncle Tom who doesn’t care about black people.

I didn’t even honor her with a response because I know what my agenda is, and if she as well as many other blacks cannot see it then that’s their problem, not mine.

If Curly Morris is an Uncle Tom, then trust me, the revolution has taken a serious turn for the worse.

So once again, I will address the issue of us as black Americans shooting ourselves in the foot.

Last week, I wrote a column stating that the passing of both of our local General Assembly representatives was an opportunity to watch something special unfold right in front of us.

Little did I know that what would unfold would be more evidence that collectively we still have not managed to see the big picture.

Black Americans are still slaves, but not to white America, but rather to ourselves.

We are slaves to a mentality that puts style before substance and revenge before practicality.

I assume the reason some blacks think I am a sellout is because I speak openly about issues that affect the black community in a newspaper that many blacks in the region feel has a racist agenda.

I guess I am supposed to walk around wearing a dashiki sporting an afro-pick, quoting Malcolm X to satisfy many blacks.

The lunacy of that of course is that so many black leaders gave their lives for us to not continue be radical revolutionaries, but to ensure our inclusion in the machine that is the democratic republic called the United States of America.

Inclusion means we would have a voice, and with that voice we should be able to make intelligent decisions to guarantee the well-being of future generations.

Instead we continue to shoot ourselves in the foot because ever since Dr. King moved on several decades ago, we have not been able to find the right type of leaders to address the new challenges black America faces in this millennium.

If Dr. King was alive today, I would like to think that he would absolutely giddy over the fact that in a state below the Mason-Dixon line two black politicians could pass away and two more black politicians would replace them.

Unfortunately, I think Dr. King would’ve recognized the internal partisanship that took place during last week’s political process and called it what it was, short sightedness at best and idiotic at worst.

The Democratic Party sent a strong message to Raleigh last week, and that message was &uot;we are still bush-league when it comes to politics.&uot;

In fact, I really wonder how citizens in this region ever managed to get Hunter and Holloman into office at all.

The people did not speak last week, several individuals allowed themselves to be bought and paid for and instead of sending young, progressive representatives to the state legislature we are going to send retreads with no significant policy agendas, and in one instance no experience or knowledge of how to even manage the process.

Last week I attended a public rally at Indian Woods Baptist Church in Windsor where people had gathered to discuss the actions of the county school board, another group that appears to be substituting Jack Daniels for water in their drinking fountains.

The issue came up about the lack of education of members of that board and how qualified they may or not be to making decisions about a superintendent who holds a PhD.

While I agree that the Bertie County School Board has certainly shown itself to be out of touch with reality and quite possibly totally incompetent at making decisions in the best interest of the county’s children, I had to remind those in attendance that those individuals were indeed voted into office by the citizens of Bertie County.

The future of black America right now is dubious at best.

With issues like Roe vs. Wade and Brown vs. the Board of Education being attacked by groups that are much more organized and definitive policy-wise than anything blacks have to offer right now, you would think that at the local level we would be scouring for candidates with some sort of vision on the future and even more importantly a connection with our youth.

Instead Annie Mobley, who said openly in an Ahoskie Town Council meeting that she didn’t want Dr. King’s name on a street in the ghetto, will go to Raleigh to represent the very same people who she was quick to turn her back on.

If Mrs. Mobley doesn’t want any part of the ghetto, why should the ghetto want any part of her?

If Bertie County children think their school board is a joke, why would they take the school itself any more seriously?

The reason so many of the region’s best and brightest flee the area like the Roadrunner trying to duck the coyote is because once our children go to another area, where intelligent blacks sit down and create public policies, organize social groups to affect change and even more importantly engage whites and the government with intellectual competence and not just with singing Kumbaya, why in the world would they want to return to this area?

A wise man once said, &uot;Do not mistake action with progress.&uot;

How true indeed, how true indeed.

There is a lot of action going on in the region, but considering how our children are sinking further and further into the abyss of decadent morals and underachieving academics, I don’t see progress, I see regression.

If that makes me an Uncle Tom then so be it.

Peace, holla back.