Friday, February 23, 2007

"Che Guevara" Man On The Street Interviews




After spending a considerable amount of time debating a good friend of mine about the efforts of Che Guevara (and Fidel Castro) I decided to conduct "man on the street" interviews with the various young people who I see wearing the seemingly ubiquitous t-shirt bearing the image of Che Guevara.

My friend who is a fan of Fidel Castro mainly because he "kicked out the capitalists out of Cuba and is thus the only island nation to establish a government of its own choosing" is also a fan of Che Guevara. (My friend lives in a capitalistic country by the way).

In our debate I did acknowledge the worthy deployment of Guevara to Africa in order to fight colonialism in the Congo. Beyond that, however, I am no fan of the man. The system of economics that is present within the United States has generated a higher average standard of living among a diverse group of people greater than any other nation in the world. While the USA is certainly not perfect - it clearly is not the epitome of evil either.

I thus set out to ask questions of those who wear the t-shirt to determine what they know about the man. I saw at least 5 people with the shirt over a 4 day period. I typically started out with the question "Who is that on your t-shirt? A reggae star?"

Most people tell me the name...one guy struggled to think about the guy's name.
Most people told me he was a "Revolutionary". A good many could not give me any historically substantive information beyond that.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Democrat President, Democrat VP, Democrat Senate, Democat House, Democat State Senator, Democat St. Representative, Democat Mayor, Democat CityCouncil

Two recent debates on a local Black talk radio station made things clear to me about what is needed in 2008 and for the next 4 to 8 years! In the first dialogue a Black man who was a spokesperson for the local Democratic was brought on to details for the audience what a "Barack Obama" presidency would mean for America and Black America. Each time he was asked why former President Bill Clinton had not done more to change the lives of Black America this guest referred to the Republican Opposition in Congress that stopped Bill Clinton and forced him to sign certain unsavory legislation such as "Welfare Reform".

The second guest was an "Anti-Hillary Rodham" campaigner who talked about what a "Hillary Presidency" would do to harm America. This guest faced a very different response for the majority Black callers. As a White man his motivations were suspect. Many callers based their opinions to support Rodham, if she is the eventual Democratic nominee because "White people like him fear her so much". When they were asked WHY they support Hillary they only gave passing reference to her attempts at socialized health care and fighting for the children. It was clear, however, that the bulk of their support for her was due to their position against this man and the force that he represents. Too many Black people position themselves as functions of what the White Right Wing stake out. If there was a formula it would be "Y=X * -1". They wait for X to define himself and then, regardless of their own deep seeded viewpoints they will stand opposed to the right wing position.

It is of no consequence for them to hold such positions at times. Even if the Black community in certain social areas is being torn to shreds by their "ideologically superior positions" they will continue to stand firm in their views. This is due to the powerful position that "all of our problems today stem from what THE WHITE MAN has done to us, not what we are doing today". The debiliatory effects of this thought process cannot be understated. It has the effect of ABSTRACTING one's thoughts, policy support and, most importantly, one's POWER to make change in his own life and community is shifted off of his own back and handed over to someone else.

With all of this as a baseline it is my viewpoint as a Black person who is thus an interested party but also a person who does not share many of the ideological biases that are popular among my people that the best way to move beyond some of the OBFUSCATION that was heard in the conversations above. The hope for the Black community as put forth by the so-called Black leadership during the closing days of the civil rights movement was that the Black community would have positive change within with the promotion of Black people as elected Democrats. This brought us the "First Black" phenomenon where a candidate of the right color and the right ideology was supported to run our cities, represent us in the state legislature and represent us in the US Congress.

Unfortunately after having this entire cycle pass through with the success of getting Blacks elected, few people could make the argument that such a strategy has effectively improved our schools, our communities and our retail and commercial districts within the Black community. Once again, however - these points of failure will be blamed on "more time needed" to over come the legacy of racism or that Blacks still don't control the economic forces that fund our schools, employ our people or police our communities. So again - the White man is still at play in our community. Not just the "White man" but the "Right Wing, Conservative White man". (White Liberals Love Black folks).

To date as those who influence Black people seek for us to climb the mountain to the next plateau have NOT held a review and a referendum on their abilities that were shown during the last interval of the mountain climbing expedition to the "Promised Land". We as Black people are supposed to accept the shortcomings as someone else's fault and "keep climbing".


So it comes as no surprise that just as the "First Black" phenomenon was what is necessary to move us as a people forward, the All Democrat Government from top to bottom has a similar set of aspirations. This too must run its course in order for the body of evidence that is needed to confront those who live outside of reality to have any hope of being checked. The strategic value of this is that unlike today where their strategy is to "Blame Bush" as they fight their battle with "Negative Positioning" against what this Right Wing Administration and former Congress.....with "Their people in charge" this strategy is no longer a viable one. They will be forced to put their playbook into action. There is no doubt that they will be defensive and protective of all that comes from that government. Sadly they are going to point to the "Republican Minority" for any failures that do happen. Just as some people believe that they are stifled in this country if there is any hint of "racism" regardless of the PROPORTIONALITY of its force, the same will be the case with respect to the Republican Minority and its supremacy to thwart progressive change.

I have confidence that the Black community will exit this new period standing on our collective feet. This latest phase in our development process is a necessary one. There are some Blacks who ARE NOT GOING TO CHANGE. I have accepted this. No amount of real world evidence is going to have them come off of their ideological fixation. I look toward the more objective set of Black people who's experiences through this period that we are entering into will have them to stand back and realize the pattern that is being put forth and seek to exit the hamster wheel.

The best way to insure this "progression" is to have the "adversary" in a diminished state and allow them to have their way with things. Sadly they don't look to various cities in America that have the progressive leadership that they are looking toward and do some interpolation as what to expect when this same ideology "goes federal".