Sunday, July 19, 2009
NAACP Interview - Gwen Ifill Fails To Tie The Black Establishment All Together
PBS News Hour - Gwen Ifill Discusses The Past, Present and Future Of The NAACP
"The pain of discrimination is still felt in America" - said President Obama.
Why is it not also true and as frivolous to say: "The pain of rape and murder is still felt in America"?
Will we ever reach a point in this nation where there is No Racism, No Rape and No Murder?
I will fight to end all "rape and murder". I will allow you all to fight to end all examples of individuals of one race seeking to avoid giving advantage to "their own kind" and thus displaying "racial prejudice" to another. Since I have 2 tasks in my bailiwick I expect you to finish first and then provide me with the best practices that you have used to achieve this end. I suspect that a society that lives in fear from the government sanction that comes from doing anything that closely approximates a hint of racism will result.
The truth is that President Obama has set up a fake objective that will never be accomplished. Such a framing allows "one ignorant White person" anywhere in the nation to have his individual actions be promoted as evidence that this entire nation is not "there yet" when it comes to race relations. How does this one person have so much power to speak on behalf of the nation? Does he have any special appointed position to be viewed as such? What of a Black person who does the exact same thing to you? Does his skin color dismiss him from speaking for the state of race relations as such?
In truth a far better measure for our racial advancement is how the GOVERNMENT speaks as it relates to those who violate our laws as they suppress one's civil rights.
I continue to make note of the irony regarding the large amount of "civil rights violations" that take place within the Black community as executed by a fellow Black person while our collective attention is focused upon the threat from a White person violating us in the same way.
Absent some structured means of evaluating this "threat" in proportion to the other noted THREATS to us today - "Racism Chasing" will continue to be the gift that keeps on giving. Giving to which ever external force comes to Black America and 'Feels Our Pain". Transacting from us that which is valuable (our loyalities) as we help them get what they want. Clearly after going through this particular groundhog day many times yet hearing the voice of Black people - it is our community who is on the losing end.
The Gwen Ifill Interview Missed The Mark
I thought that Ms Ifill missed the mark with her line of questioning to the three individuals that effectively marketed the agenda of the NAACP. She talked about the Civil Rights community and the political machine of the Obama Administration as if they were totally disconnected. In truth the presence of Barack Obama in office AND the Democratic Party control over the federal government is most ceraintly the handiwork of the NAACP, the Leadership Conference On Civil Rights, which they are a member of and the array of progressive operatives who dreamed that this day would come some day.
When Ben Jealous mentioned the failures of the Baltimore School district there was no mention of the fact that the same political machine that has won the White House is the same machine that runs the Schools in Baltimore. Not only Baltimore but every other major metro school system in the nation. In fact from local (100% Democratic city council and mayor), through to the state and up through the federal legislature and the executive office - a person residing in the City of Baltimore has only Democratic Party representation and legislative bodies with Democrats in the majority to speak of. Who do you blame now? The United Nations?
At this point in my live debates my friends tell me "This is not about politics. The problems within the Black community are cultural in form. We have been made this way by 400 years of oppression. Why do you always seek to convert it to politics?". OR - "If the Republican Party was in place in the same way - would any of this be different?"
This is a fraudulent diversion from the facts at hand and what they allowed to flourish per their liking.
My rebuttal consists of my demands that my debate adversary focus these same words upon the Progressives who sell our community about the benefits of the Democratic/Progressive control over their key institutions. Not upon ME!
Since they are now enlightened to the fact that the problems are "cultural" and not "political" why don't they stop their favored political operatives from saying what they know to be counterfactual (that means "a lie" ) when the spoils of obtaining more institutional seats within Black America are at play?
Clearly we don't have a transparent entity that regulates our communities best interests. One who keeps the operatives at bay from our crown jewels.
Ms Ifill failed to mention the aggregation of all of these forces at the present time in America. In effect they have "won". After a long struggle we see what they were after. They are now in the seats of control over the key institutions that provide services to Black America. Despite this fact about the present arrangement they are allowed to make the same type of complaints about these entities that service Black America as if we were back in 1959.
Today we reside at a point in time in which the forces that the NAACP had advocated for are in these leadership positions. I noted in a previous blog entry about the contents of the documentary "Eyes On The Prize Part II" in which the same people who were carrying civil rights protest signs months earlier in 1968 within Cleveland OH had put them away to work on the political campaign of Carl Stokes (D-OH). Stokes later became the first Black mayor of a large city in America. The linkage between the civil rights community and the present prevailing political class in Black America is clear. (Politicians - Black, White and Hispanic who are seen as allies because of their policies, that is)
I can't accept Ben Jealous' observations about Baltimore's schools. These are not racist White people who are denying Black people anything, causing the conditions that are present within the schools to harm them. Instead Baltimore and other places in their present form serve as proof of the delivery of the very agenda that has been long struggled for. This was the control over key institutions within the Black community.
In as much as they still have these fundamental complaints, this should indicate to the objective observer that there were fundamental flaws in their agenda and strategy. Indeed they were in a persistent "struggle mode" - a fight AGAINST someone. I am now not certain that they had a plan for when they had obtained control.
Our people now suffer from the lack of depth in their strategy that we bought into.
Commonality With Poor Whites
Ben Jealous attempted to divert the conversation about today's NAACP back to some connectedness with MLK Jr's struggle in the past. The poor White prison guards had more in common with the poor Black prisoners than they both realized. In other words - "if only we could get the poor White trash to put away their bigotry and come fight the progressive fight with us against the capitalistic establishment".
While this line of reasoning was misplaced in the conversation and thus Ms Ifill quickly redirected him, it is telling about how the NAACP and others think.
Despite their political success they have no intention of stopping their forward movement per their and taking responsibility for the conditions that have been wrought where they are most powerful. Last week they told us that we should make use of technology in support against racism against Black people. As a technology guy - I got excited.
They told us to use our camera phones.......(Yeah Yeah!!!).........to take pictures of Black people being abused ........(Brilliant....Yeah Yeah!!!)...........BY THE POLICE!!!!
Oh no!! The police!!??
What cable channel does the NAACP watch to get their news about the community from? BET?
Clearly they are out of touch with the reality in our community.
This is the problem.
I can even accept the notion that progress is not a light switch. A people who have been marginalized don't magically become heads of large corporations. I get it. At the same time the fact that their political power grab did indeed have illusions of grandeur as to the resulting economic benefits that would flow their way upon ascension into office proves disturbing.
I have repeated incessantly about the key founding principles of the American city. They were developed as points of synergy for the human, commercial, natural resources that were available in the local area. By incorporating and thus receiving a charter from the state, they could produce more value for the people living within than the present arraignment of sending their tax money to the state or the county. Indeed if these present cities cannot accomplish this and in their insolvency they are looking back to the county, state, federal government to stay afloat - why are they still chartered entities?
Some people believe that operative groups such as the NAACP are going to step back and accept responsibility for the areas where their policies are in effect once the pain becomes compelling enough for them to do so. They are not going to do this.
No group is going to do such self assessment. This would be like the fox feeling some guilt about the loss of chicks suffered by the hen after having eaten too many eggs out of the nest. No such interests exists.
What other entity avoids conflict as a means of honing out the "best practices" for their operations? There is none. Only dictatorships and monopolies operate from a unitary voice. They are far from efficient and they suffer no consequence for their failings.
Keep in mind - the NAACP has no elected position within the Black community. They are a group just as if I took my paperwork down to the Secretary of State and formed a 501c3 organization of my own.
This is why I don't centrally blame the NAACP. Instead it is the fault of the aggregate Black Establishment and the disconnectedness that they have for our Permanent Interests as a people.
It is the Black community that lacks a transparent body of evaluators to make note of the impact, good and bad, of the policy initiatives that are driven by the NAACP and other forces that purport to be operating in our own best interests. How do we know this any more than we know about Benie Madoff's investments with our money are sound? What about "transparency" is required for corporations that is not for the Black Establishment forces?
Absent transparency and enforcement there in we get the present "let's focus upon climbing to the next plateau" milieu. It works as a diversionary tactict. Despite the unfinished business on the present plateau, they keep our community constantly "struggling" outward.
With the NAACP present ideological and partisan alignment - score one for the Democratic Party, record a strike out at bat against the Black community.
Rushing To Utopia
Professor Eddie Glaude in his comments sought a bit of forbearance in the expectations upon the Black Establishment. He attempted to make the case that the long history of oppression of Black people serves as the primary force downward for the Black community of today.
I am in agreement that ABSENCE A MANAGEMENT FRAMEWORK TO PRODUCE CHANGE, time alone is NOT GOING TO PROVE TO BE A CURE.
Being that he is an educator I was disappointed in his failure to note that each proceeding wave of students entering his classroom each year represents an opportunity to impart a new consciousness upon Black people. This is true via the "18 year interval" prior to the time of their entry into his class room which served as their incubation period. I am convinced that the "slave master's whip from more than 120 years ago does not have the power to trump the efficient workings of a household and community to set those who are our future leaders upon a path that is more functional than present.
In as much as the Black Establishment and forces favorable to them have more control over the key institutions that impacted these children at this time - it is clear that these same forces cannot be allowed to grade themselves.
They will always seek forbearance from the responsibility that their position in power provides them.
Who is there to stop them, after all?
THE MISALIGNED BLACK PRESS
This is where the Press would normally step in to provide such of a critical assessment and redirection .
For our community the "Black Press is all we got". (A take off from the post-Katrina t-shirts that I saw)
The mainstream press is not "allowed" to do hypercritical inspection of this situation, lest they be labeled "Fox News". The CNN's "Being Black In America" fails as well because we know going into it that they are planning to "explain why" rather than critically chanllenge and address the root of the problems. Their type of "explaining why" is similar to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg's recent "explaining" that the Black fire fighters in New Haven received their test materials late and thus could not study as the others could. We don't need anyone else arguing our inferiorities better than we already do. Putting it into the permanent judicial record of this nation, no less.
It is the so called "Black Press" that is the void here.
I have spared no expense to show how much in the bed this press entity has been with the Black Establishment. They are akin to the doctor who is filling out prescriptions for the international star. They do so at his bequest rather than operating in line with their own professional guidelines. When the "favored individual" dies and objective eyes are set upon the symbiotic relationship between the popular force and the professional - these external eyes seeking to provide a logical narrative to the situation will no doubt make note that the professional failed to supply enough push back to the demands of that individual and thus HE DIED. The compensation checks to the professional will also cease because of the death of his benefactor. He had indeed compromised himself for far too long.
This is why Ms Ifill's interview was off of the mark. She was "Interviewing the NAACP". She needed to be "Analyzing the condition of the Black community and the forces that are navigating it". (Please note - I have high regard for Ms Ifill. She and Michelle Martin operate at the top of their field. Neither have moved beyond the "historical times" that we are living in over to the need to recraft an improved history for those who will consume our works in the future.).
I do not require a hostile interaction between the Black Press and the Black Establishment. I only expect that the press agent have a clear construct of the POWER RELATIONSHIPS between the elements of this establishment, the press and THE RANK AND FILE OF THE BLACK COMMUNITY.
What good is a protection racket as afforded by this press if the key element that they purport to be advancing - the Black Community - is kept in a sickly state?
The Black Press needs to push EFFECITVENESS over their own ideological biases. We can't afford any "court reporters" today.