I think that it would be helpful to provide my personal disposition that I come to the table with as I read an article like the one that Dr Wilmer Leon from XM Sirius "The Power" has put forth.
In reading his article it is clear that his measuring stick for Obama and other Black leadership is that of PROGRESSIVE PUBLIC POLICY.
- Did Obama pass "The Public Option" for health care?
- Did Obama close Guantanamo?
- Did Obama end the 'Bush Tax Cuts'?
In my view these are transactional appraisals that are rooted in one's ideological disposition.
Just as I have noted about the "NAACP Legislative Report Card" - these are not ABSOLUTE assessments of right or wrong, nor do these points - in and of themselves - prove that the Black community's permanent interests have been moved forward.
They are ONLY - measures of PROXIMITY toward a progressive index. If you are a progressive and believe that your policy set is correct then Dr Leon's framework for analysis will sit well with you.
I, on the other hand, believe that the more effective appraisal is to consider the attributes that the Black community started the interval in question with (ie: 1968) and where we stand today. Less important is the evidence of progress as shown by having a "Black President" and 10,000 Black people in elected positions. Instead the model which looks at the 39,989, 956 other Black people.
Progressivism and conservatism are methodologies that purport to take us toward a certain end.
Democrats and Republican Parties are vehicles by which people are transported to the desired ends.
To focus on the methodology and the vehicle is akin to worshiping a car and its stainless steel rims while avoiding looking at the GPS system to determine your present coordinates relative to when you first got into the car.
In addition - my logic tells me that the votes that the Black Community has made in support of the characters that Dr Leon speaks of tells of a certain amount of complicity by the rank & file in believing in and then fusing their "Black Community Development Consciousness" to these operatives in question. Sadly there is no spirit of "Black Community Investment Protection" coming from the average Black Progressive media commentator. More frequently we are told about the THREAT to all that we have by Tea Party racists and thus we need to double down our investment in to the golden cistern.
Where The Black Community Stood Prior To Engaging In The Bayard Rustin Black Community Development Scheme
The average commentator is prone to go back to 1968 and look at the attributes of victimization suffered by the Black community:
- Police Harassment
- Job Discrimination - Hiring and Hostile Work Places
- Restrictive Housing Covenants
- Inferior Public Schools
They point out as their accomplishments the body of laws that are now in place to mitigate and punish any of these actions today.
My personal preference in appraising the efficacy of this entire engagement that the Black community has bought into is that we as a community should be able to look at the state of the institutions that we have at present. Are these institutions governed in a manner by which all of our people who matriculate through them have their human potential recognized? Are they in a position to take control over our communities once they reach adulthood and move us closer to "the next level"? Or are we still catching "economic pneumonia" decades after these forces took over the steering wheel.
In the background as I am typing these words I am listening to Embedded Confidence Man - Warren Ballentine giving approval of Obama's CBC speech. He agrees with it because "it is the truth". And I quote - "HE KNOWS what is going to happen to Black people IF THE REPUBLICANS take over the Congress. Look at our communities!!! Look at the number of single Black mothers. Do you think that this is going to improve if the Republicans have their way?"
The only person that will fight you physically harder if you dared call them a "Sellout to the interests of the Black community" more than would Mr Ballentine is Professional Progressive Political Preacher Al Sharpton. These entire force of operatives don't bat an eye in interchanging BLACK COMMUNITY INTERESTS with DEMOCRATIC PROGRESSIVE INTERESTS to retain power. It is out of their consciousness scope to make note that the Black children in 9th grade today had their entire exposure to the world of education, civics and industry during a time where the Black community ultimately had the final say on the thoughts and ideas would represent us.
The prevailing Black consciousness has the disposition of a STRUGGLE.
- You need a Job? You must FIGHT for it.
- Black people need better health care? We must FIGHT for it
- Shaprton stood on the steps of the former "Preparatory Academic For Colored Youth" and said that he intended to go after QUALITY EDUCATION - unaware that it was once in this same building in the past
If there is a FIGHT then there must be someone to FIGHT AGAINST.
When you find yourself left all alone with the institutions in your own hands (see Newark and Flint) - but retain this consciousness - you will find yourself exiting out of your city borders to find the person who is guilty of injuring you via benign neglect.
Rarely will you inspect the notion of Superiority/Inferiority where your present control over the same institutions that you used to protest against are no longer the target of your street protests because the leadership over these institutions are no longer worthy of protest. The forces that you seek to indict for these resources have moved away. Your job is to follow them to seek "Social Justice".
WHY don't we ever hear a transparent analysis of the system that the Black Racial Services Machine have compelled the Black community to engage in?
- Is it EFFECTIVE in regards to our community obtaining the greatest "bang for our buck" from the "human resource development" institutions ?
- Are we building a "house on sand"? Where our "social justice" is streaming from our "social contract" with the national government instead of showing evidence of ORGANIC INCREASE?
- Is the African-America - the wealthiest, most educated population of Blacks around the world in a position to help others in the diaspora?