Sunday, April 15, 2007

Where Are Our leaders?

The Don Imus incident once again illustrates our lack of “real” leadership. The real issue we should be discussing is not the comments of a white radio personality who has made a career of being offensive. The majority of black’s in America have never heard of Don Imus. Don Imus was not offensive to Blacks as much as he was offensive to the white myth of racial tolerance.

There are two issues that stick out in my mind that should be under consideration. The first is how we have allowed a few individuals to speak on our behalf for their personal enrichment and secondly, how we continue to depict ourselves in a degrading light for the same goal of personal enrichment.

To begin, let us start with our “so-called” leaders. It never fails that when there is opportunity for self-aggrandizement and personal gain our two favorite civil rights leaders show up to offer the offending party an opportunity for public penitence. Of course this opportunity comes at a cost to not only the offending party or “victim”, but also to our legitimate feelings of outrage. Any chance of the situation being taken seriously immediately disappears when Messer’s Jackson and Sharpton show up. Due to the past history of both men they bring baggage to any situation they intervene in. My initial question is who has appointed these two; spokesmen for anybody?

I recall in the 80’s and 90’s, two “so-called boycotts. One involved the Coca-Cola bottling company which was spearheaded by Mr. Jackson and his organization. For those who do not know, one of Mr. Jackson’s sons was rewarded with a Coca-Cola distributorship, a very lucrative business. Then of course there was the “boycott” of Anheuser-Busch again spearheaded by Mr. Jackson and his organization. And again, another of Mr. Jackson’s sons was rewarded with a Budweiser distributorship. Mr. Jackson has a history of using his organization and the threat of civil rights action for his own or his families personal gain. He has also demonstrated a lack of moral judgment in his own personal life and yet he continues to want to be the moral compass of others?

It now appears that Mr. Sharpton has recognized the profits in using threats and bullying tactics to gain personal rewards. Mr. Sharpton has a history of supporting fabrication and self-promotion.

The Imus affair will never be taken serious because it smacks of hypocrisy. We have an industry known as hip-hop that has made millions using worse language and depicting the lowest values of the black community. The excuse for allowing this to continue is that it is artistic freedom and that they are just speaking about street life in America. While these are partly true, I don’t think they completely explain what is going on in our communities.

It is time we stop allowing others to define who are or appoint themselves as, our leaders. It is time we hold our leaders accountable and put an end to those who enrich themselves at the expense of those less fortunate. Even during slavery, the darkest period of our history in this country you had blacks willing to sell out their brothers to live in the masters house.

We need leaders who are willing to tell the truth, not only about what others are doing to us but also about what we are doing to contribute to our own suffering. The biggest enemy to the Black man today is lies and ignorance, not Don Imus. We must be willing to stop being entertained and discuss those issues that continue to enslave us. Issues such as the drugs poisoning and turning our neighborhoods into war zones, our refusal to live morally, and our continual usage of language that demeans all of us. Over 50% of all unwed women bearing children are black, yet we only constitute about 12% of the population. This represents a breakdown in our moral fiber. The biggest threat against young Black men is not the Klan, but other young Black men. We buy our children the latest “Jordan’s” and fashions, but won’t but them a book. It is time for us to stop looking for enemies on the outside and begin to turn the mirror on ourselves. To continue this discussion please check out my other blog, Fornication: Our Dark Little Secret

So again I ask, where are our leaders?

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