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Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Black Leadership

I found a story about Al Sharpton marching with PETA (you'll have to register with the NY Times to read this story) against KFC over their treatment of 750 million chicken they process every year. The only thing I can question is why PETA would let a questionable guy like Al Sharpton march with them.

Well this begs another question. Could today's "black leadership" be irrelevant? Would they have a legacy to leave behind like other black leaders have?

For instance Frederick Douglass fought slavery, he was a ex-slave himself, and saw the freedom of his people. Then there was Booker T. Washington who founded an education institution that still exists today. Then his rival WEB DuBois he would be more in line with many in black leadership today but his positive achievement was the NAACP. Then of course there's the Morehouse Man Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Who led a successful Civil Rights crusade. Malcolm X went to prison and remade himself to be a great leader and a positive one and he left us way too soon. Those are to name a few and if I did enough research I can list their achievements.

But what do "black leadership" have today. Today they're not merely civil rights leaders and ministers. They serve in gov't either in executive position whether elected or appointed, but they also are on county boards, city councils, state legislatures, and congress. What can they point to as far as successes.

Jesse Jackson can point to getting business for Black Americansor at least expanding opportunity but how he does and who he does it for is questionable. There are some who would say that he does this only for those in his inner circle.

What do those on the Congressional Black Caucus in Congress have that might be worth bringing to light. I'm sure they bring in the money for road projects and schools or whatever federal money that might be needed at home but what else. Right now all they seem to do is throw fire at whitey or the Republicans (doesn't matter what color they are).

What about Al Sharpton? He became famous under many dubious circumstances. Jesse Jackson is his role model and now he seeks his place in the spotlight. He went so far as running for the Democratic nomination for President. He stood up for a girl who as it turns out was lying about being raped (link to information forthcoming), he apparently exasperated a riot between black and Jews. His run for president may have really been more of a grab at some money more than it was to just see a black man run for president and win.

What about today's NAACP? Is Julian Bond going to be a positive leader or is he just going continue to be a fire thrower?

The black leadership today (this is they way I see it), is extremely partisan and they aren't at all worried about the success or failure of black America. A celebrity is standing up for black America the way it should be. I'm talking of course about Bill Cosby. There are serious problems in the black community. They include economic growth and education to name a couple. Right now listening to Bill Cosby and the "black leadership" black America's still struggling, however the question is to whom to point the finger.

"Black leadership" seems to insist on blaming racism (those with the Confederate swastikas and Republicans), while Bill Cosby seems to want to blame ourselves. To that I'd agree. We have ourselves to blame if our children are out of control and they speak like "knuckleheads" and dress like thugs.

This is not to say racism doesn't exist or vast inequalities. It's just that racism is often used as a crutch instead of rising above it and doing something with your life. I remember an ABC special with John Stossel a few years ago. There were a group of black guys in a New York neighborhood who he queried about getting a job downtown. But they were convinced that they wouldn't have a chance downtown and they wouldn't even try, but weren't most of these guys unemployed themselves? Did they have anything?

That being said I'm sure this post will be met with some controversy, but I do find this to be true in many respects. And to be fair there are actually those who are truly seeking black advancement especially in those communities that need it. But race baiting and putting the blame elsewhere is not going to help the cause.

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