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“Are You Dead?” an Editorial by David Banner


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If situations dictate actions, what are the consequences of inactivity? This question is more relevant today than it has ever been for the Black community. Here’s another pertinent question, are we a dead people?

How can a people be dead you may ask? If by dead we mean “unresponsive”, no longer “significant”, “stagnant”, “without resonance”, “inactive” or “no longer productive”, can the Black community then be considered dead? Some examples may prove instructive.

The power to define is one of the hallmarks of an independent people. It speaks directly to the issue of control. As a community what or who controls our everyday thoughts and ideas? Are we programmed by the packaged stories and images from the corporate controlled media, which in turn renders us “no longer productive” of our own thoughts? Did we, for example, uncritically swallow the dominant narrative that underscored the coverage of the Haitian earthquake? A narrative that unconsciously suggested that the poverty and blight of the Haitian people were of their own making and had nothing at all to do with the invasions, the oppressive policies and the isolation implemented by Western nations since the very founding of the island nation? In short, did we define our thoughts or did we allow our thoughts to be defined?
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Economically, we are surely “stagnant” and “inactive”. While the national unemployment rate is currently around 9%, the official unemployment rate for Black America is at 16%. Add to this that fact that, during the greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression, Blacks still earn only 62 cents for every dollar earned by Whites. In the face of these stark realities, recent polling shows that (a) nearly 40% of Blacks currently believe that “the situation of Black people in this country” has improved over the last five years and (b) that the Black-White economic gap has gotten smaller (Pew, 2010). What is astounding about these beliefs are the facts that (a) just three years ago, only 20% of Blacks felt that our situation in this country had improved (but nearly twice as many do now) and (b) the Black-White economic gap has continued to increase since 2000. Now, in the last three years, what can account for this drastic divergence of Black opinion from the grim, economic reality? That’s right….. the election of President Obama. So, in effect, the “unresponsiveness” to our dire economic condition and the inability of our bleak financial reality to “resonate” with us is based solely on the election of one Black person to a political office.  Is this not a textbook example of a dead people?

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In closing, God says in the book of Hosea, “my people are destroyed for lack of knowledge, because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee.” My question to you is, are you a seeker of knowledge or a rejecter of it? Do you define your own thoughts and reality or do you have it defined for you? The biggest tool of the powerful are those who refuse to question. Do you educate yourself? Do you empower yourself? Do you question?

While we all were born, and to a degree, remain ignorant, it is the quest to WANT to know that makes you smarter.

Are you dead?

Join the discussion with David Banner on twitter! @TheRealBanner

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  1. BillyOceanFebruary 17, 2010 at 12:11 pmReply

    “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12

    How many Whites believe American life is much better for minorities, and racism-economics-advancement no longer persists b/c “Look who is the President.” There is an inherited psychology of master-slave, lord-serf that is part of the American culture inherited from the mother Anglo-Saxon culture that can be traced to he Roman Empire and beyond. It does not conform to just race/color but is a tool that serves capitalism, that serves a system of moral corruptness. None of us, no matter the color can escape this system, this “matrix”. It is why waking up and realizing the traps against us are important so we are not walking dead. As Black-Americans, we have a lot of advantages despite the disadvantages placed on us. We are provided a lot compared to our sisters and brothers in Africa, Haiti, Brazil, etc. They are able to succeed with a lot less. Perhaps b/c they are not Americans they do not have a sense of entitlement? They are more aware of their history, their ancestors and their “self”. Lately it seems folks have forgotten our struggles of today, 50 years ago, not to mention 400 years ago. It’s become convenient to forget and to sleep while covert and effective acts of ill-will persist.

  2. TQVisionFebruary 17, 2010 at 3:48 pmReply

    Balee Dat! Balee Dat!

  3. Tyson WoodsFebruary 17, 2010 at 4:14 pmReply

    Billy ocean,
    Definatly sounds like you have some racial issues, my proof being your statement ” becuase a black man is the president” why dont you work on yourself before you work on the world darlin.

  4. Tyson WoodsFebruary 17, 2010 at 4:23 pmReply

    After second thought Billyocean, What kind of world are you wanting, ofcourse there is a master slave relationship in the whole world. Wanna know why, becuase there is BAD people and GOOD people. There will always be a need for a policing force, and where there is a policing force, there are people with more power than others… Your nothing but a simple anarchist who obviously cant make it in this world so you build you own mental world around you… use your goddamn brain

  5. thedevilscashFebruary 17, 2010 at 4:26 pmReply

    This is how the youth can learn the importance of being themselves through accurate and original knowledge of spirit. We must raise the consciousness of people but also the awareness of the oppressors success in continuing to distant the masses minds from its indidenous origin!! Society is the box its creators (which are white people) put us in. Race for example is a socially constructed idea used to place peoples who are non white in subordienant social status. Assimilation is all the society wants for you. Meaning Conform to their ways, laws, customs, values, and do away with yours because what they tell you and your children is your life.

  6. organoizeFebruary 17, 2010 at 4:59 pmReply

    Seems like you equate the how “alive” a people are with economics. While it is a significant measure, there’s a lot more to that puzzle.

  7. BillyOceanFebruary 17, 2010 at 5:33 pmReply

    @TysonWoods not sure you actually read what I wrote with any comprehension at all. Your statements have nothing to do with what was written. Try again. Good Luck.

  8. raised rightFebruary 17, 2010 at 6:15 pmReply

    Genius is not taking something small and making it grand any intellectual can entice with words. Genius is taking something grand and simplifying that so the next one can intake and understand. It seems as if everyone is so involved in the 0 conspiracy theme and trying to figure out whats happening to us than starting on the inside and changing things. I challenge everyone to be quiet and do things differently thats how you make a difference through your actions. Stop buying rediculous objects to dangle in front of the unfortunate if you really want to address the issue. That is the root of crime and immoral activity in the pursuit of what the television and magazines exploit. They dont have to clip our branches because the roots are shallow so we wont grow as a people until we start from the soil.

  9. Mo the EducatorFebruary 17, 2010 at 8:31 pmReply

    As an ethnic group, Black American have been taught to be self-flagellating and self-deprecating. This means that we will find the least and worst among ourselves and use them to judge the efficacy our entire race.

    The reality is, most Black Americans are doing average things, just like everyone else in other races. We do have an inordinate amount of people who are failing to meet our standards – the dead? – but we have an equal amount that are doing the extraordinary.

    I’ve been accused of wearing rose-colored glasses, which I will take as a compliment, but it doesn’t preclude me from being critical as well. In my opinion, we are living, we are far from dead, and we are well on our way to thriving.

  10. MarionFebruary 17, 2010 at 9:26 pmReply

    As an educator, I agree that the lack of knowledge and the pursuit of knowledge is lacking within in our community. The idea of doing better in our has been equated to the materialistic things we acquire oppose to the thirst of knowledge. It saddens me to see the direction of our youth, more of our youth are in the hallways roaming during class and fighting in the parking lot of our schools fighting over property their parents do not own! Just because Obama is in office doesn’t equate our arrival into mainstream America. As a child, I had so many people in my life who encourage me to attend college and I went to their homes on the weekend to aviod the violence in my community. What happened to the “unofficial” mentors in our community?

  11. miss oFebruary 17, 2010 at 9:33 pmReply

    I seek knowledge everyday. People nowadays allow others to help them form their opinions. The thing that will piss me off is when someone is listening to music or reading a book or something and i ask, What it that? there response is usually You dont know nothing bout this. Im like really that’s why im asking then they act like its a secret to not pass their knowledge on to the next person. Maybe they dont know exactly themselves and they cant educate me because they are only listenin or reading on the surface and not taking time to actually decipher what they hear or read. This is just one point i wanna make dont wanna drag this out but i hope some get my drift. Stop bein selfish and pass on your knowledge when asked instead of lookin to make a quick buck or only wanting to be the lone holder of that knowledge because once u die that legacy is gone if u never share it.

  12. Luca BraziFebruary 17, 2010 at 9:53 pmReply

    I was wary of the election of Barack Obama not shortly after his cult of personality based campaign began taking hold of the media. It didn’t surprise me that, immediately after G Dubya’s two-term theft, they would need a superhero of sorts to reconstruct what little faith the general American public had in their government. This was the only time in a long time that multiple races (black and white in particular) felt that those in charge weren’t who they really pretended to be. Then lo’ and behold— the reincarnation of the Golden Age Superman presented himself in the form of a well-spoken, dark skinned man in an attempt to be our first black president.

    Needless to say, my (black) brothers and sisters fell head over heels in love with this figure with no knowledge of his credentials or what policies he planned to instill. They just looked at him and his darker than white skin and smiled because “WE” would finally have a president in the office and “WE” would be able to do whatever we wanted after that. Comedians like Steve Harvey and Cedric The Entertainer, household names in the black community, joked about how they planned to vote for Barack Obama solely because he was black and the crowds laughed and agreed— that’s when I knew we were finished.

    That’s when I really knew it was all a sham and, even moreso, that my people were “dead” as you put it. They had no interest in who he was or what he stood for. They only knew that he was darker than all of his opponents and that made him worth voting for. And no matter how much I told the masses that this guy was a complete SHILL— they dismissed me as a “hater” and continued praising the hollowed out, dark skinned figurine they knew nothing about outside of his “having Kenyan relatives”.

    Sadly, and I really hate to say this, but I realize that there are some of my people that are SO far gone… SO trapped within the web of the super structure and it’s illusionary blanket of freedom and security that there’s absolutely no hope for them. They will defend the super structure at all cost because they don’t know how to think for themselves.

    I’m 20 years old and there are people 30 years older than me that I can’t even speak to intelligently because they’ve become so encompassed in lies and society’s “norm”. Even worse are the people in my age bracket who can spend $300 on a pair of jeans and $150 on a pair of shoes but eat McDonalds everyday.

    People can only learn when willing and those unwilling will have to be omitted while the real leaders of our community stand up and assemble. It is only then that we can begin to resonate the truth of the matter.

    That being THE PROBLEM IS US.

    So as we stand side by side on the front line, speaking and acting outside of the norms that mainstream has FABRICATED for us— those who are willing to learn will learn.

    Those who are willing to act will act.

    And those who aren’t will undoubtedly see us, the enlightened few standing against the enshrouded majority, and realize that what we are is real and just.

    Some will envy us. Some will hate us. But all will know us.

  13. corneliaFebruary 17, 2010 at 10:15 pmReply

    Langston Hughes once pondered, What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up
    like a raisin in the sun? Or fester like a sore– And then run? Does it stink like rotten meat? Or crust and sugar over– like a syrupy sweet? Maybe it just sags like a heavy load. Or does it explode? same concept, no? and that was written over 50 years ago.
    I am a fully “alive” black woman. I am intelligent, questioning, unabashed and willing and able to do what i feel has to get donw… so no i dont think we as a race are dead. i do think we are in a sad state. a sad state of greed, materialism, and individualism. we are truly the crabs in the bucket…”if i cant have then neither can you” ” i got this on my own so you cant have none, figure it our for ya self.” i believe in and practice each one teach one, knowledge is not to be hoarded but to be shared. i dont shrink from or turn my nose up at the youth, i talk to them and more importantly i listen to them, make myself available to them to offer what ever it is i can. i believe in and live by accountability… all to say, change starts with each one of us as individuals. things havent gotten better we have just gotten complacent, comfortable in our projects, ghettoness and ignotance! everyday GOd gives me life is a day i can initiate change. i can breathe “life” into myself and others. so no we are not dead, just need some resuscitation.

  14. TangelaShines HisLightFebruary 18, 2010 at 1:21 pmReply

    NO I AM NOT DEAD… I WORE AT A STAND STILL FOR YEARS THOUGH BUT I’VE BEEN GIVEN A NEW FREEDOM AND A BRIGHTER ,SOLID SPIRITUAL FOUNDATION BUT THE ERROR WAS WITHIN HOW I HAD CAME ACROSS IN OBTAINING THIS NEVER INTENTMENCE OF STRENGTH IN VOICES AND AWESOME NUMBERS… BROUGHT FORTH AN ABONDANCE OF ALL THESE THINGS POWERFULLY CREATED WITHIN GOD’S BLESSING OF AN STRESSFUL WEIGHT, AN GREAT LOVE , AN UNSELFISHNESS STRENGTH IN SEPERATION STANDING FAST ON A LEAP OF FAITH AND A PERIOD OF AWAITNESS…. NO I AM NOT DEAD TO THE KNOWLEDGE OF WHATS WRONG WITH HOW I AND OTHERS ARE NOT PULLING OUR TODAYS POWERFUL WIEGHT OF IMPOWERMENT BROTHERN & SISTERN LIFE AND DEATH ITS IN OUR MOVEMENT IE AN UNGODLY STAND STILL WITH OUT SOME FORM OF WORKS IS SET IN DEATH… I HAVE BEEN THROUGH IT ALL… EXACTLY AND FACT TO SPEAK FARTHER OF ALL THE ABOVE THE ENTIRE JORNEY I BROUGHT LIFE PROUDLY TO ITS FEET I STARTED OUT AN POWERFUL ASSHOLE AND I BECAME AN POWER “Tangela aka life guard” ITS ONES WISEDOM TO BLESSFULLY FEEL WHOM IS PERFECT FOR THE WORKS AND DUTIES AHEAD… I AM NOT DEAD TO THE LIFE LONG STRUGGLE I CAN GIVE ONE AN RESUME BUT ITS BETTER THAT I GIVE ONE ME, MYSELF AND I UNCOVERED FYI INK DRYS BECAUSE IT SO CAN BE WRITTEN IN LIES WHY GIVE ONE A RESUME ALONE FROM DAY ONE GOD MEANT FOR ME GIVE ONE I …. GREAT WORKS SIR, THANK YOU FOR YOUR EFFORTS PLEASE KEEP THE POWER COMING AND I WILL DO MY BEST TO HELP PULL IT FARTHER AND OR STAND IN THE POWER FOR LONGER THAN YOU CAN DO SO BY YOURSELF ALONE… I AM HERE AND NO I AM NOT DEAD ….. *the end* ohhh ppl {sorry but i introduce new words kind lyk snoop/e4o mane}

  15. aka TitoFebruary 18, 2010 at 1:35 pmReply

    We may seem like a dead community because we are not actually a community. We have a similar skin color, however our values, culture, and ideals differ vastly. Just being Black simply isn’t enough to form a unified front. We try to assimilate into “White” American culture but be “Black” whenever its advantageous. The HBCU experience was special for most of us because for 4+ years we were in a oasis of COMMON UNITY. I don’t know if there is a simple answer as to how to create a single “Black Community” but I’m pretty sure it starts with open COMMUNICATION like what we are doing on here right now.

  16. organoizeFebruary 18, 2010 at 1:57 pmReply

    I’m sorry but there is no way Barack Obama was elected because Black America naively voted for him, or just voted for him period. Come on now! Black America can influence elections with their votes, but never have they a national bloc of voting power! The number Black Americans that voted is severely outnumbered by the number of White Americans who can exercise the same right. That’s like saying rappers go platinum because Black America exclusively buys their music…COME ON NOW! America as a whole can be persuaded…the appeal of Obama stretched past the Black community. A lot of America believed in his policies and his morals, and yes, his color. What race has ever fallen back with a deep sigh of relief once someone of their race was elected president? As if they had reached some goal indirectly through that person being elected? I’ll wait.

  17. kris haskinsFebruary 19, 2010 at 2:58 pmReply

    Hey all, I like to ad. It seems like the brother put some thought into it. I can only comment on the part about the education on oneself. I have a BS in Music engineering from Hampton University. I got lucky and blessed to have a few songs on major record labels but not due to my education at HU. My point is, I agree with the question of “are you educating yourself.” It seems as though our country is moving at light speed regarding technology and creating more “do dads” for us to buy but moving at a snail speed when it comes to public education.
    Are we taught how to make money or taught how to work for another person??? It was only until I got fired about 5 times that I took my future in my own hands and educated myself. Thnx Dave for that article.

  18. Linda GFebruary 19, 2010 at 3:53 pmReply

    I appreciated the article. I am a Washingtonian and I have observed a lot of “exhaling” since Obama has taken office. Unfortunately, many of us believe he will eventually solve the problems of the black people and have ridiculous and unrealistic expectations of him. We need to return to our roots of sharing information and stories in the educating of our youth and “not so young” peers. We continue to overlook a tremendous resource, our elders who were entrepreneurs and managed to educate their children while being uneducated. They made conscientious choices about spending and had disdain for credit. If they could not afford IT, IT stayed where it was. The elders’ largest contribution is the sharing of stories and reality, providing youth with a strong sense of self. While HBCUs appear to take on the role of the elders, so many are missing from the experience. Until we respect the past and what it can teach us… if not dead yet, we will continue on the path of not quite living.

  19. ElwoodFebruary 19, 2010 at 7:28 pmReply

    I have seen the enemy, and the enemy is us. We give too much time thinking and talking about what the White People think of us. Rather, we should use all of of time and energies to be all that we can be. You will not hear it any other place, especailly from the pulpits of Black churches, but black women and irresponsible men should stop bringing new babies into the world out of wedlock. The responsibilities are many and it is is a struggle financially and otherwise even for married couples to raise a child. It is doubly difficult for a single woman to raise a child, especially a boy. Secondly, we should equate getting an education to a level of a required religion. There is no substitute for a good education. And, that does not always mean compleging a four year college. We need to place a greater emphasis on vocational/technical areas such as carpentry, cabinetmaking, plumbing, electricity, computer repair and other areas.

    All homes should emphasize and require reading peorids. Subscribe to a newspaper or take turns on taking the entire family to the community library. Ask your child to read an article from the newspaper to you. Discuss the article with your child. Get to know your child’s teacher and be sure to visit to school to learn what your child is being taught. Become registered voters. These are just some suggestions. There are still many other things we can do.

  20. HazelFebruary 19, 2010 at 9:00 pmReply

    Intriguing question combined with bare knuckle facts. Death has symbolicly represented transformation from one state to another. It’s also been called the great equalizer. Do I think black people as a people are dead? No! I don’t. Do I think the current cultural mileaux we live in (regardless of color, creed or ethnicity) is dead? Not yet. I do believe we are involved in a culture of death, mass consumption, self annhialating mindsets, mind spaces focused on scarcity ( me want, me need, me take your share! Ie the Western world holds the majority of wealth in the world while simultaneously consuming two thirds of the worlds resources) do I think this culture is entering it’s own death throes? Yes I do. History has seen this phenomena before. Think Rome, think the Maya. What I see and feel around me is a crisis. One through which we, collectively as a human race will survive to be reborn as the Phoenix of mythology. Ahhh death, the one thing neither the rich, the poor, the black, brown, red, yellow, white or pink can outrun. We are all going to die… Someday. How we choose to live will make all the difference.

  21. lamoreFebruary 19, 2010 at 9:33 pmReply

    I am awe inspired by the very breadth of intelligence that is the black man and woman. I am not blind to our faults but I am just awestruck by our character and strength. These comments give me hope that I almost lost. They make me sure that I come from a people who think, and engage, and intuit. I am a firm believer in the power of God and ignoring the color divide that I”m sure is a divide and conquer strategy of the evil that is pervasive in this world, but these posts are proof positive that there is no boundary black people can’t overcome. Even the obvious attempts of genocide. I enjoy my culture I am an american of african decent and this is the black culture I mean and I clarify because I think no other group of black people share the black american experience. I believe the black culture embodies much less pretense and deceit than many other cultures. I believe there is no other culture more accepting, forgiving, hopeful, or strong as the black culture. I know statistics say our culture is dead, but my experience says we’re alive and capable and all we need to do is believe we can live. We have to love ourselves before we can love anybody else, and the only way we can overcome evil is with love. Love for ourselves first then love for everybody else.

  22. HazelFebruary 19, 2010 at 9:57 pmReply

    @Lamore, oh Yes! Beautifully stated! love conquers any divide!

  23. Sharon EllisFebruary 19, 2010 at 10:45 pmReply

    Let’s stop talking about and be about. Ask yourself, “Am I being a servant, or am I just occupying space?” If your answer includes ways that you are serving others, keep being about it, however if your answer shows you are just occupying space set up a plan to serve and stop just occuping space. The more servants we have operating in a productive manner the more positive changes will be seen and not just heard.

    Think about it and have a good day!!!!!

  24. AntonioFebruary 20, 2010 at 10:17 amReply

    Being educated is to gain knowledge outside the self, outside the family, primarily in an institution. An institution that’s usually state funded and state operated. The government and the Academic institutions are two of the seven major institutions created by Man. The other five are financial, corporate, judicial, religious, and media institutions. The most primary institutions are the two institutions created and designed by “God”. If we are to learn anything, then the teaching must began within these primary institutions, the institution of marriage and the institution of family. From these two institutions we venture out into the community and the world to gain knowledge and to become educated. In my experience, this way works better for us as a people and for the human race holistically.

  25. Earl Swami Nelson, Jr.February 20, 2010 at 1:41 pmReply

    @Billy Ocean I too concur with your thoughts as I too do not represent myself as an African-American. I am a Black American who is 5 generations removed from Africa. I have not forgotten what our people here in the States have struggle for. In fact as you stated earlier some of us choose to forget as a matter of convenience. Nobody wants to give up the house on the hill, the new car, or even the job that sensors our every word to speak up on race, and the state of the real Black America. We have not over come, but we sure have had more of our ancestors people come over. They mock us because they only know what they see today, but have little experience in how our people suffered to get to where we are. Some of us remember while others are pushing to have it all forgotten at the expense of our youth. Black History month should be a year long event for our community because this is the only link to us really knowing who we are, and how great it is to be a Black Man/Woman in America. No disrespect for Africa, but the very same people who want us to return, are the descendents of the people who enslaved us. Don’t be fooled by the smiling faces, they want what we have just like we want more of what we have. Thoughts?

  26. thillsFebruary 20, 2010 at 3:52 pmReply

    There is a huge difference between knowledge and wisdom. Which one are you in pursuit of? Which one will be more valuable to us as we approach our final days. DB seems to be encouraging Black-Americans to stop being “dead”…The question is not how the media, or anyone else defines a situation, such as the tragedy in Haiti, the true question is did you, as an individual, see people in need and not give what you could to help?

    The question is not why unemployment for Black America is nearly double that of the rest of the nation, nor is it why Black Americans only make 62% of what White Americans make…The question is am I, as an individual, doing everything I know to do to provide healthy food, a safe home, and the BASIC needs for those I am responsible for?

    Is White America happier because they do a little better economically? Are they truly happy period? I’m happy…Here’s why:

    1. I know the Lord and trust ONLY in him
    2. I recognize that my health is the most important thing I have in this world
    3. I don’t make a lot of money, but don’t mind working hard for what I make
    4. My job/career/title does not define me
    5. Wisdom has taught me not to spend my life in pursuit of things that will mean nothing once I’m gone
    6. It’s not what you’ve got, It’s what you share with others (time, talents, money, wisdom)

    In conclusion…For those who think having a Black person in the WH or gaining more political/economic power is the answer to the problems that plague us, as a race, country, and individually, ask yourself…Who will Barack and Michelle call on if one of their daughters, or themselves, get seriously ill? I bet they won’t call congress and tell them to speed up the Health Care Plan…Why don’t WE do our best for ourselves, stop getting mad and frustrated with middlemen, and go straight to the source for our needs?

  27. Brian E. PayneFebruary 20, 2010 at 9:16 pmReply

    While Tyson Woods and Billy Ocean go back and forth, I pray DB’s message is not lost. He is on point.
    Why can’t we leave it at that? Why can’t we gain from his editorial, then move on? Act? Do something that
    Will honor the message, not take away from it by arguing and insulting. Please. Let’s not be typical…

  28. TJWFebruary 22, 2010 at 12:57 amReply

    Kudos for the end focus on the desire/wanting to learn that is key. IMO, the focus on black/white/brown/purple will steadily be eclipsed by the competition/realities on the ground in a global economy. No one can argue on a percentage basis African Americans collectively start w/ disadvantages relative to education and financial standing, but I think the key is people can live their lives individually/separate from what is “expected” of them. It could be argued that Barack’s election “takes away the excuses” as I believe 50 (of all people) said; I won’t cosign or argue against this statement but I think it should be mulled. One more thing re: statistics: while I believe them I also would like to spend more time wrapping my head around the story they tell based on African Americans on a % basis of different jobs and sectors of the economy. I’d venture to say blacks are under-represented on a percentage basis in white collar jobs (tongue in cheek) and the historical reasons for that are real, but when manufacturing as a whole takes a crap and 40% of our GDP is tied to banking…..the #s COULD be less nefarious.

    One thing about our President reaching the heights he has is he accepted no one persons expectation of what he should be (black, raised by grandparents, foreign lands, single mom who wasn’t always there), but instead rose to what he wanted to become. Part of that was he also saw different people(s) striving for different things. If there is anything I think young blacks should know (if keeping to the racial block/singularity mindset, and really no different than any young group that doesn’t cross-pollinate/get exposed to different cultures, take your pick of whites/asians/latinos whoever) is that they can choose their own narrative. Your life, music, writing and twittering is an example of you choosing who you wanted to become: I doubt the 13 year old David Banner would recognize or understand the possibilities of what he’s/you’ve become today.
    I’m always reminded of the lyric “You can have the whole world or the boulevard”. We need to remind kids of all stripes that, and hammer them to choose wisely.

  29. HazelFebruary 22, 2010 at 1:40 amReply

    @thills “Why don’t WE do our best for ourselves, stop getting mad and frustrated with middlemen, and go straight to the source for our needs?”

    Your comments, especially the part I snipped above, really resonate with me.
    Education is important, knowledge is important But wisdom is tranformative. I truly believe institutions such as the ones mentioned throughout this thread are important. But not the end all and be all. University, college, church, family, marriage these exterior constructs of society are to reflect our inner selves. What happens when our conscience doesn’t match the institutions around us? Depression, angst, disorder. Does that not describe the state of the world today?

    When I look around, when I engage in conversations with others I see there is a type of incongruence between what the people want and need and the institutions we look to for answers, guidance and security. Dependence on institutions that do not flex and evolve with the folks they’ve been created to serve isnt practical, it isnt healthy, it is madness. When our institutions become irrelevant, it’s up to us, the people, the co-creators of the civilization within which we live to correct the direction of our leaders.

    Getting rid of the middle man, I like the way that sounds. I’m going to have to reflect a bit on what that really entails. I bet it’s more simple a thing to do than I can currently conceive.

    Correcting the course we are currently on takes wisdom. IMHO, wisdom comes from applying the intellect you were created with to the knowledge you’ve gained (via education, observation and or experience) and SHARING what you’ve learned.

    @Miss O I feel what you’re saying, and I agree with you.

    Thanks!
    Hazel.

  30. HazelFebruary 22, 2010 at 1:46 amReply

    @TJW *Applause~!*

  31. Emathieus Moncriffe-MosesFebruary 22, 2010 at 10:51 amReply

    This is worth lots of applause and a “BIG” Bravo!!!!!

  32. thillsFebruary 22, 2010 at 11:42 amReply

    @Hazel…”Getting rid of the middle man, I like the way that sounds. I’m going to have to reflect a bit on what that really entails. I bet it’s more simple a thing to do than I can currently conceive”

    IMM…I don’t know, but it might be as simple as 1)believing and trusting in the Lord & 2)encouraging others to do the same…the rest will take care of itself

  33. Ha-StyleFebruary 22, 2010 at 12:35 pmReply

    Pretty good read here. Makes sense that people have to seek knowledge, yet I think people remain ignorant because its comfortable for them. I think a lot of people like to use ignorance as a scape goat. The have the luxury of saying “I didn’t know” and maybe hoping for sympathy.

  34. 8break : Throwback « illist90skdMarch 1, 2010 at 8:02 amReply

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