Life isn’t fair unless we make it fair (Part 3)

October 1, 2014

In the first two parts of “Life isn’t Fair Unless we Make it Fair,” my main objective for writing this article was to call our attention to the following:
• The horrific experience of the American institution of slavery orchestrated against our ancestors for nearly 350 years – why isn’t this front and center in everything that we do; why aren’t we paying honor to our ancestors that paid the ultimately price (dignity, respect, and many times their lives) hoping praying that one day we would be free from these wicked and Godless captors;
• The staggering and alarming inequities that Blacks face daily in America (many of these demographics are not new) require that we take a real account and a different approach if we’re ever to change the trajectory for future generations – these are not just statistics. These statistics are our mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, neighbors, and our children – these negative statistics are “us”
– It is extremely important that we “unpack” the root causes for this condition and if you don’t, you almost have to adopt a Black inferiority position;
• While there are so many challenging issues we face, none can be more extreme (crippling every effort towards independence) than the fact that Blacks have very little/no capital in the capitalistic democracy we call America – this is our economic reality. If you don’t think where you start matters, you’re not brainwashed – you’re brain dead. Our economic reality is a direct result of the unfair disadvantage we’ve had since being brought to this country in chains and having to serve nearly 300 hundred years of hard chattel slavery without a red cent in return for that labor at the same time numerous individuals (America) built tremendous wealth off the backs of our ancestors;
• Yes, we have been dealt a terrible hand since we’ve been in this country, but today, it’s not all what “they” are doing to us; it’s what “we” are not doing in many cases. We find excuse after excuse for not working and supporting each other. Too many of our Blacks that have some measure of success, under the guise of “doing my own thing,” have left the struggle for self-determination of our people. They have either mailed in their participation or don’t even believe that they have an obligation to our struggle (this is so sad because but for our ancestors and their tremendous sacrifice and courage we wouldn’t be a physically free people). This behavior, in the form of example and sometime leadership, as a whole, has significantly contributed to the psyche of our people creating our inability to mount any campaign due to holding self imposed behaviors that are absolutely self destructive to our people (the nearly 2/3 that are at or near the survival
mode);
• Some of us, especially those that have received some of the spoils of this life actually believe that life is fair. If you believe that you must also believe in the inherit inferiority of our people (you can’t have it both ways). Because life isn’t fair and is a race (with winners and losers), this belief has caused us to assimilate and/or waste invaluable time chasing a pipe dream that has fundamentally robbed us of our own personally responsibility to fight to make life fair;
• From education, religion, language, mass media, and now within our own culture, we are bombarded with negative images of Black people that have put us at the deepest level of hopelessness and despair ever seen that is exhibited by even our brightest and most talented stars. After getting knocked down, we have refused to fight to get back up to work towards a “functional” Black unity on behalf of Black people – too many have just given up. Maybe we have been lulled to sleep by the media blitz of false information regarding the success of Black people in this country (there is no measurement of success that we can claim). We hear over and over again about the billions of dollars Blacks earn annually. There is stark difference between income and wealth. Income is what we received when we sell our labor – it is virtually impossible to create wealth with income especially when many of us spend more than what we earn. Wealth can be described as an abundance of items of economic value (i.e. money, real estate and personal property, etc.). An individual, who is considered wealthy, is someone who has accumulated substantial assets over and beyond their personal and family needs categorized by: 1) personal property, including homes or automobiles; 2) monetary savings, such as the accumulation of past income; and
3) capital wealth of income producing assets, including real estate, stocks, bonds, and businesses, etc. Maybe the election of a Black president is proof that America is color-blind– nothing could be further from the truth. Contrary to prevailing myths, America has never been a color-blind society. Racism continues to be ignored at all levels of government (i.e. Mike Brown, Trayvon Martin, etc.) while the nation’s attention and resources are focused on less contentious issues (i.e. Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson, etc.). These distractions take far away from the real issues facing our community. Dr. Claude Anderson stated, “White society has an out-of-sight, out-of-mind attitude about racism and avoids and substantive discussions of, let alone action against racism. The callous indifference, disrespect and sometimes actual hatred that the majority of society feels towards Black people are creating conditions that are dangerously parallel to those in Germany prior to the Jewish Holocaust.” The bottom line is my writing is not aimed at bashing Black people. I’m writing to bash the myth of Black inferiority and White superiority. I’m writing to bash the disrespect of our ancestors made by some Blacks who refuse to participate in the self-determination of our people. I’m writing to bash hopelessness and despair held by too many Black people. I’m writing to bash disunity and everything associated with
inactivity. I’m writing to bash the concept that we can achieve when we don’t believe. I’m writing to bash the idea that we can achieve what we want without earning it. I’m writing to bash the idea that life is fair. I’m writing to say that if we want life to be fair, we must make it fair. I’m writing to urge all of us to do for self and accept the fact that no one can/will do for us what we must do for ourselves. While we can’t control the color of our skin, the family we are born to, nationality, or life or death but we can control quality of life, ignorance and poverty – we can control our commitment to the struggle to make life fair for our people. Now is the time for each and every one of us to be accounted for – we must make our participation known. We’re not going to wish our way out of the alarming social-economic conditions that continue to threaten the future of our children. We must eliminate any/all excuses that prevent us from taking Action now. The more hands (help) involved, the lesser the burden that any one of us has to bear. We are hosting a Town Hall meeting on October 23, 2014 at 5:30 p.m. to discuss the issues facing Black Milwaukee with the goal to establish clear action
steps. We will utilize your individual skills, expertise and creative input into a collective response to assist our community. You are the fuel that will make this work, but we need you to ACT NOW! There is power in unity. The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the writer and not of the Milwaukee Times Weekly Newspaper or NCON Communication, its staff or management. “Universally Speaking” is a weekly column by Rahim Islam and distributed by Urban Media News to the Milwaukee Times Weekly Newspaper.