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5 Comments

  1. 1

    Roger

    Norm,

    I read this a couple of times today. I also read it a couple of times when Phillip Jackson first wrote this piece. What struck me about this article is that it is written in the third person. I couldn’t grasp that when I first read it. What will America do with 36 million Black people?

    This is not America’s problem if we want a good outcome. America has shown what it will do – and that is why there is no more cotton to pick. America will harass, hang, and incarcerate Black men. America will bamboozle Black women into thinking that they can raise a family alone, with only food stamps and public housing. America will allow urban public schools to decline to the point where even those who graduate from high school only have the equivalence of a 7th grade education. America will replace Black workers with immigrants of every stripe. Just look at who the TSA agents, cab drivers, convention workers, and hotel porters and maids are today.

    The cancerous disease of self-analysis has created a cottage industry of so-called Black experts who go on and on about what is wrong with “those Black folks” – as if the problems staring us in the mirror are happening to someone else. There was a time when sharecropper Black farmers pooled their resources to help one another to improve their lot. There was a time when those who migrated to the North made provisions to help their poor cousins to find a place to stay and to find a job. They didn’t accept failure as an option. There was a time when families pooled all their finances to send the best and brightest in the family to college so that the chosen ones could help other family members. In short, there was a time when we took responsibility for doing all we could against tremendous odds to improve our lot.

    Now, we speak about broken families, single parent households, 50% dropout rates in high school and high rates of crime as if these are the norm, or imposed upon us by some mysterious outside force. What is America going to do about 36 million Black people? The real question is “What are we going to do?” There is no end to programs, initiatives, organizations – and then there is the Black church which use to be the pillar of the Black community. The short answer is “More.” We need to do more of what works, just as any other endeavor which looks for best practices to replicate. Sadly, the challenge has become greater as the current generation has declined from the last – less homeownership, higher unemployment, flat or fewer college graduates. How did we see the mountain top with Dr. King, and sink back into the valley with President Obama? Now, we can’t even get a job picking cotton. What a slide!

    My solution is to stop all the third person analysis, and deal with the challenges before us in in the first person. The end of most analyses is a recommendation that someone else do something. My New Year’s resolution is to only speak about solutions that I am personally engaged in or willing to support. When I see a problem, I won’t ask “What is America doing about it?” I will say, “Here is what I am doing about it.” No more analysis — only a call to action beginning with me. I encourage everyone to do the same. Then I will ask, “How can I help you? And here is what I need you to do to help me.” I will only participate in first and second person activities, and discontinue indulging in analysis “about them and what should be done about their problems.” We are suffering from analysis paralysis.

    Here is my final analysis. The conditions that impact Blacks more negatively than positively are not the result of a zero sum game (I win, you lose). Life isn’t fair, but each of us can do something more about his or her personal situation. We live in a win-win society. Some win bigger than others. But the only losers are quitters. Those who accept their condition as intractable are losers. The rest of us need to focus on winning – first winning small, and then winning bigger. There is a winning outcome scenario to every condition – education, employment, relationships. We can use adjectives like – poor, good, better, great – to define our position with every condition we face. Our actions determine which of these adjectives apply. Each of us can do something to overcome obstacles we face. The reality is that I have been dealt a bad hand, so I have to work – harder, longer, faster, better – to overcome my position of disadvantage. AND WHEN I DO, I MUST HELP SOMEONE ELSE.

    This is not something that America must do. It is something that I must do. When I do, I influence change in America, because I am America.

    R.E. Madison
    iZania, LLC
    More than networking… Making the ‘NET WORK for you!
    Roger Madison Jr.
    CEO
    rmadison@izania.com

  2. 2

    Richard Mabion

    Please go to my website and after seeing why I am asking you to go there, then click on the 2012 BTS conference and see for yourself what one black man in America is doing to address the problem this Phillip Jackson so elegantly described. I agree with everything that is being said, and I would like to put this article on my website. I want your opinion of me doing so. I also would love for iZania to become a producer of this year’s BTS conference, and will let you do that for you help in marketing our production. We can talk about that if you decided to participate. That is http://www.breakingthesilence.us

    Peace!

  3. 3

    Richard Mabion

    I am really sorry I keep replying, but you have touch me brother. I had not read your response when I sent you my two (I mistakenly sent my first response twice) previous responses. then I read your response, and found I had actually on my own done what you were asking us to do. I had you take a look at my personal contribution and suggested ways we could help each other. As I said before, I agreed with what is being said about us a black people, just as much as I agree with your thoughts on the lost souls of our black sisters and brothers (the professional working class). But I also say, you can count me to be a member of the caliber of black American we all know needs to emerge from the ashes.

    Educated, Black, & Free!

    God Bless!

    Peace!

  4. 4

    benniebrown

    Its time to revisit the “Philosophy and Opinions” of Marcus Garvey. A must read.

  5. 5

    Cachae7

    I am a Frustrated Black American for all of the reasons stated above… I’ve written an eBook entitled, “Red, White AND Poor, How Economics (and Outsourcing) have Racially Divided America… Now that White people are reduced to poor (like we were in the 1970s) I chronicle how our own Gov’t LET THIS Happen.
    Available on Amazon.com

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