Monday, March 26, 2007

Left Wing Activism Has It's Place

I recently watched a documentary titled "Berkeley In The 60's". It detailed the campus activism that promoted the free speech on campus and then later moved to Civil Rights and then Anti-Vietnam war activism. The left is to be applauded in their actions on behalf of Black hotel workers that were being discriminated against in employment and salary. The documentary also showed the affiliation between the "Black Panther Movement" and the White liberal student body who was awed by the Panthers stand against the establishment - just as they were taking a stand for their particular issues as well.

It goes without saying that leftist dogma is effective when you are an oppressed individual within an unyielding system. The leftist inclination with "fighting the establishment" and seeking change is appropriate during this period.

My frustration with the leftist-dogma is that it seems to have no perspective on its own bearings and success. In today's post-Civil Rights time period they have successfully installed "progressive" mayors, city council members and police chiefs. They in fact ARE THE SYSTEM in many cities. After years of telling the masses of voters to install them into elective office to allow them to change the system many have not delivered on these promises.

By default an "outsider" or rebel only needs to deal with his own narrow interests. Once he assumes the mantle of leadership he is forced to deal with all of the various constraints that were not of his concern previously.

In addition his historic adversary that he sought political control over may move outside of the political boundary that he now presides over. Certainly many corporations have departed from the rust belt which is the heart of union strength in this country.

In the Hip Hop movement there is an active opposition to the establishment and the police. Most angst is directed at the police than at the thugs who are killing their "homies" at times. This new crop of Hip Hop "leaders" may one day have to live within the same environment that they had worked so hard against the foundational building blocks of the establishment. They have long cried for economic justice via jobs, judicial reform via reducing the number of people imprisoned and academic justice by providing the schools more resources. Upon their ascension to power they have the power to provide these policy priorities but often they lack the economic resources to fund them in that they have so often fought against the very engine for economic propulsion.

The fundamentalists among the left are more interested in staying true to their calling than being aware of the new realities which they find themselves. They are now the authority. Their job is to put forth a realistic strategy for delivering as they had aspired to do. The most frequent choice when they face this conundrum of having failed to consider economic reality is to scale their fight up to the next level of government. Where as their early charge to the masses was to take over the municipal governments - having accomplished this but retaining their empty feelings - they move on to the state and federal governments. In the wake of their efforts are squandered opportunities. They are activists and not managers. The crumbling major metro cities that they now govern have suffered under their lack of management skills. Absent the adversary who's intransigence allowed the leftist to ascend to power the leftist is now forced to make due with the resources that are left behind.

The leftist actually needs his adversary more than he would acknowledge. By his very nature he is defined by that which he stands against - a struggle to change the system.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Knowing The SUBJECTS That The Audience Wants To Hear

I am a Black man.
I am a Technophile
I am a Communications Expert
I research Economics and Finance


When I go to the Consumer Electronics show I expect to hear presentations and speeches related to gadgets and technology.

When I go to one of the various network communications conferences I expect to hear about the future developments that I should be studying so that I can be up on the latest trends.

When I go to a tax seminar or an "opportunity" meeting - I expect to hear about financial related information that pertains to the subject that brought me to the meeting room.

For some reason after hearing the speeches coming out of Selma Alabama celebrating "Bloodly Sunday" that came from the various Democratic presidential campaigners - that when Black people congregate we only want to hear about victimization and we like being pandered to as the speaker tailors his or her speaking style to the cadence of a preacher or they express a southern accent as they look out upon a sea of Black people.

All of the speakers above did preparation for their speeches. They thought about the PEOPLE they will be staring at from the podium. They no doubt thought about the subject matter that appeals to them the most. Their goal is to form a connection with these people, proving to them that they too understand that which is of most interest to them. All day yesterday I prepared for a presentation that I must give today to a group of business executives. I ran through my content thinking about the key points that I hope to get across to them during my delivery.

In all of the other forums the subjects are technical in manner. That newest tax strategy with the goal of lowering your tax foot print. Consideration of how we will conduct wireless commerce from our automobiles in 10 years. Or discussions about how new global audiences will be formed by the creation of more Internet media.

Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton told of how it was unconscionable for Black people to wait for 10 hours to vote while White people right next door could vote in 10 minutes and go along their way. For some reason this "vicitimization" was important for Ms. Rodham to get across to the crowd to show that she too "Feels Our Pain". Of course Ms. Rodham will not dig deeper into this issue to determine the truth of what this might be - but instead quickly points to some racial conspiracy behind this. In Ohio during the 2004 elections, for example, the various districts that were predominately Black were also administered by Black, Democratic personnel who were charged with administering the elections processes in those particular areas. These details were of no use to Ms. Clinton as she made her appeal to the audience. Of course in 2006, when the Democrats won the elections - the problems subsided.

How is it that such assumptions have been created regarding what appeals most to Black people?


For some reason, however, there is a set of disturbing assumptions that go into the preparation of content to be delivered in front of a congregation of Black people. You see I am a Black man. When I participate in these other forums I don't morph into a different form. My individual interests don't change. Each different group, however, represents an aggregation of different interests. It is clear that an aggregation of Black people represents a certain set of assumptions that this group is interested in hearing. We want to hear about how we are "victimized". We want to hear how "the man is doing us wrong". We want to hear about the conspiracies set against us. We want to understand who's profit bottom line is behind the high rate of incarceration. It is quite disturbing to me that such presumptions are made about what Black people wish to hear.

If "progression" is indeed the goal and not just the label - how is it that one can receive messages of grievance but so few messages that represent a framework for actual forward progress - detailing what Black people must do rather than what we must stop others from doing to us?