I have observed the consciousness of a Black person who in his settled form agrees to compromise what he believes in as he "gets in where he fits in". This was the case with many Black Conservatives who, up until the election of 2008 were voices of reason in their criticism of the Black Establishment powers. I am thinking of two people as I write this:
- A caller named "Fred" on Atlanta's Black talk radio station WAOK
- Charles Payne of Fox Business Network
With Fred in particular, after years of calling in and criticizing the establishment he chose to go with the flow and actively support Barack Obama. For a few short months those Black Quasi-Socialist Progressive-Fundamentalist Racism Chasers who attacked him on a daily basis were put in abeyance as "he" started speaking as "they" wanted him to.
The true cost of him having compromised himself came in 2009. Fred went back to criticizing the Black Establishment and Obama. His critics not only attacked him as they used to - they learned that he had no firm basis for his beliefs.
To be clear - the choice to vote or not to vote for Barack Obama IS NOT the key litmus test for "Black Consciousness".
For me the measure of "Black Consciousness" is to make note of how closely your THEORIES map to the REAL WORLD OUTSIDE which you must live within. I am not swayed one bit by the notion of what is POPULAR. What is POPULAR does not provide evidence as to what is an EFFECTIVE SOLUTION. Popularity is more of a statement of the prevailing consciousness based upon where people stand at a given point in time. Effectiveness, on the other hand, is a measurable change between some fixed end point - and where you once stood at some previous point in time and where you stand TODAY.
No amount of radio play or persuasive individual on stage can change this fact.
Only the system of the MANAGEMENT OF EFFECTIVENESS among the people can insure this point.
Some Background Information
I recently read my friend RiPPa's blog in which he referenced the "We Are Respectable Negro's Blog" story entitled "What Would A Black Militant Say About Obama's First Year In Office?"
I will allow you to read the exchange at the link above.
In my view revolutionary words can't trump "consumer actions". The best way to inspect the resolve of a revolutionary movement is by inspecting the relationship between the people and the entity they wish to "revolutionize" against.
If there is a pattern in which this group demands that the value on their umbilical chord that runs from their own body to the stomach walls of the "beast" who's "belly" they reside in (example - government paid health care as funded by capitalism) then we must conclude that beyond their bombastic words - they merely want more time at the nipple to receive their nourishment.
Why is it fanciful to deny who you are with regard to being a GOVERNMENT DEPENDENT? If you proclaim your right to these resources per your "Social Justice Rights" does such a rationale make you LESS of a DEPENDENT? Or is it a mere appeasement of your mind?
I Exchange My Talents For A Salary And Benefits Package
After obtaining a degree from an American university and working to perfect my skills through years of long hours and active study - I am where my coordinates place me today.
The corporation that I am associated with pays me a good salary. I receive health care benefits and a retirement fund.
This corporation provides me a framework by which I:
- Focus upon the skills development I need to convince other human beings to purchase the services that I have been enlisted to sell to them
- Learn how to interact with other people in the context of them looking to me to be a representative of my company to a larger extent than they could care about my race and the stereotypes that may or may not come with this
I refuse to cower down to anyone on this point.
Ironically the greater evidence that their apparent angst against the corporation is largely based upon their feelings of exclusion from the ranks of these firms. In the exodus of these firms from our communities our living standards and ability to fund the local governments have been COMPROMISED. This has a greater negative impact upon our community than has the assembly of the local political machines have BENEFITED us.
In truth the loss of the framework by which the "equal human beings" within the community have been allowed to express their talents in exchange for salary and a greater purpose in life has been a death blow to the productivity and order within these places.
The statutory freedom of our people has been placed imperil by the loss of a structure for them to plug into for productive means.
In the popular consciousness the "greedy corporation" is blamed for this loss. They were attacked as the enemy who was exploiting us while they were in place. After they left they were cursed for damaging our communities. My question is: WHY HASN'T THE BODY OF THOUGHT THAT HAS ENDURED DURING BOTH INTERVALS NOT BEEN SUBJECTED TO SCRUTINY?
Worst of all - if the corporation, after being whipped into shape by the Labor Movement (and I do agree with this) were able to build sound Black middle classes around America - why don't we demand that this more radicalized, anti-corporate movement produce the very same living standards with an equal amount of productivity?
As this consciousness took over and were looked toward to produce this very same standard - they chose to look past their local control and instead to assemble NATIONAL power. This allowed them to retain their "perpetual struggle" while escaping any particular accountability for failing to garner productivity from the people where they live.
In my book a person who seeks to retain the MORAL HIGH GROUND - who on his death bed is able to say "I never exploited a man by not paying him anything less than a 'Living Wage' " is also a man who is unable to make note of the great costs that was suffered in total by the masses amount of unemployed minds who were removed from the market as they held out for what no one was willing to trade with them at their fixed price.
I assure you that every one of you make use of the products and services that I "sell". The fact that you are able to read the views of someone who is anonymous to you bears this out.
Our goal must be to erect a model that is an accurate sample of the real world IF our goal is to resolve our community's problem rather than "out radicalize" the next guy. Just as some communities seek to "out-conservatize" the next guy into office - our community loves radicals in the same way. I assure you that many Black women who had originally been enticed by the young brother who was the "Rough Neck Rebel" soon came to see that when it came to providing the stability and security that she needed to raise a family - this brother's theories did not pay the bills.
I can hold my head up high, with confidence that what I "sell" has common productive use by the masses. The imprint that I make as a Black man on other people who I engage with opens the doors for others. The school children that I interact with on "Career Day" are served well by the knowledge that I impart. I am not doing these talks with them as a condition of my probation.
At what point do we, en mass, reinspect what we popularly believe as it relates to our consumer action? Choosing to "fish or cut bait"?