The Last Dance

by Jim Clingman

Those of you who are my age will remember the house parties in our parents’ basements with the blue and red lights. Whether boy or girl, although you were reluctant to ask or too shy to accept that slow dance with someone you considered special, when the moment finally came and the two of you embraced each other, that dance was the most you could ask for in your teen aged years. Unfortunately, that dance was usually at the bewitching hour when your parents said everyone had to go home. You finally got the nerve to do it, and then it had to end—you had to let go. That’s what I feel as I work my way through this final Blackonomics article.

Since the age of 24 or so, after I visited the Topographical Center in Chicago during the late 1960’s, I finally found the consciousness I needed to do something in response to what was happening in this nation vis-à-vis Black people. I began to speak out and do whatever I could to ameliorate our problems on a local level.

From 1972 until 2012, I earned my living by working for Black administrators and business owners, on behalf of Black people, in the public and private sectors. My much-anticipated dance began forty-five years ago, and I have embraced my dance partner, the uplift of Black people, ever since.

In 1993, after writing a letter to the Editor of the Cincinnati Herald, I started this particular dance by embracing the opportunity to write on a weekly basis. Now, nearly 25 years later, the houselights have been turned on, drowning out the blue lights, and it’s time to let go of my dance partner. But she was never mine to keep anyway; someone danced with her before me and someone will dance with her after me.

Yes, after authoring some 1500 articles, editorials, and essays, and writing nine books, five of which on economic empowerment, giving hundreds of speeches and teaching numerous classes across this country, there is probably not much more I can say on empowerment. Moreover, as I suggested, the message was never my own—it was just in a different form, relative to my time and experiences.

The economic empowerment message belongs to no one person; it is not new and it certainly is not unique or proprietary to anyone of us who chose to spread that particular “gospel.” It was touted by the likes of Maria Stewart and Frederick Douglass, Mary McLeod Bethune and Booker T. Washington, Ida B. Wells and Marcus Garvey, Maggie Lena Walker and Malcolm X, Amos Wilson, Carter G. Woodson, Kenneth Bridges, and Maynard Jackson. Contemporaries, along with myself, are now the messengers for economic empowerment. Same message, different griots. No one has all the answers and no one alone can take us where we must go; a critical mass of us must go together, based on collective leverage, cooperation, and strength.

Like those before me, I am leaving a compendium of writings on economic empowerment that will be catalogued and available, via streaming, for study groups and individuals to read and use in building a solid foundation for future generations. Like others before me, the lessons I have learned will be there for developing and executing solution-based strategies. The question is: “Will they be followed, or merely discussed, ad nauseam, by the folks who believe that by talking about our problems they have actually ‘done’ something to solve them?” Based on our errant history since 1964, I pray we will act appropriately by using the knowledge left to us by our progenitors.

    Here are a few ways to do that:

    Raise our consciousness to a level of “unconscious competency”

    Leverage our dollars and our votes against injustice and inequity by withdrawing them

    Use our consumer dollars to create conscious Black millionaires

    Establish more viable, professional, well-managed businesses, and support them

    Establish trusts, equity funds, revolving loan programs, and endowments

    Form strategic business alliances and partnerships that can take on larger projects

    Scale up our businesses to provide more jobs for Black people

    Teach our youth the history of Black business in this country

    Teach our young people to think entrepreneurially

    Demand reciprocity from politicians and the marketplace, from a position of economic strength

    Vote for those who publicly state and commit in writing their support for our interests

    Withhold our votes from anyone and any party that will not support our interests

    Hold ourselves accountable for our own economic freedom

    Organize ourselves around practical economic and political solutions that benefit US

    Commit some of our time, talent, and treasure to the uplift of our people

Always remember: “Well done beats well said every time, and if people put you on a pedestal, don’t take up residence there.” Peace and Love to all. What a dance, huh? What a dance!

James Hankins

J. Hankins Realty
Veteran Owned Business

Excerpt from my book “WHAT WE BLACKS NEED TO DO”—"STAY IN THAT LINE”.

You missed early voting and now you are standing in a long line on November 7th. Your legs are tied; your back is starting to hurt, and your left foot is killing you. You can quietly slip out of that line go to your car and none of your friends will ever know but a few people looking down on you will say “STAY IN THAT LINE”. Your slave ancestors who were taken from their homeland, transported in the bottom of a ship and treated less than dogs but never gave up are saying to you. “STAY IN THAT LINE”. Harriet Tubman (our Black Moses) who escaped to freedom, but made”13” trips back to free other slaves. She once told Frederick Douglass “I freed a thousand slaves—I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves”. Harriet would look you in your eyes and say, “STAY IN THAT LINE”. Thousands of people were demoted on their jobs, fired, beaten, run out of town and some killed fighting for congress to pass the Civil Rights Bill in 1964 and the Voting Rights Act in 1965. Both bills were signed by Democrat President Lyndon Johnson. They all would say to you “STAY IN THAT LINE”. The late Medgar Evers (Field Secretary NAACP), Malcom X (Muslim Minister) and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (Baptist Minister/SCLC) all assassinated fighting for civil rights would say to you. “STAY IN THAT LINE”. Your family members who taught you how to register and vote will not physically be in line with you but will be there in spirit are whispering to you “STAY IN THAT LINE”!!!

                                       


Clarious Call To Overcome

by H. Lewis Smith

Question is overcome what?  Is it tyranny of oppression, injustices and inequality or is it the noxious stimulus of something else?  It was1863 when physical enslavement was supposedly abolished, and albeit [chattel] slavery essentially was, slavery in of itself   under the guise of different names continued for another 100 years finally dribbling to an end in the early 1960s.

Many people black and white alike are indubitably ignorant about what racism is. Racism is about [structuring] social, political, and economic circumstances. Psychological and cultural circumstances such that one race can take advantage of another. One race can enhance itself at the expense of another. It has little to do with overt race hatred, or negative attitudes or the projection of racial stereotypes. Racism involves the power of one race to impose its [will] upon another.

Racism isn’t contained in the words and attitude of a people it is contained in the total ideology of the American institutionalized systemic. The power to control the fate and destiny of another people. If we are one nation, why are many treated so unequally?  If the flag is supposed to represent equality and justice, then it should be for all Americans and not for just a privileged legion of people. Anything less serves as a reflection of ethnocentric bias. When someone tries to tell you how to protest they are not acting in your best interest.  When a black voice is raised opposing oppression those who are comfortable with our oppression are the first to criticize us for daring to speak out against it. 

There’s a long-standing contention in America which need to be addressed we all, in this 21st century are victims of a pernicious historical legacy of which we had no control, but are affected by it nonetheless.  Pooh-poohing this national calamitous patrimony, being in denial, doesn’t resolve anything.

What’s never addressed is that during slavery the enslaved were subjected to both physical and [mental] enslavement. The institution of mental slavery, which is far worse than physical enslavement has NEVER been grappled with. And this is where the hoodwinking and bamboozling of Black America begins and has yet to come to an end; and where modern day White America is complicit in continual evolving circumstances that’s never been eradicated.  No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it thus it is a gross error in judgement for Black America to continually look to its oppressor for answers which is NEVER to be forthcoming.

For centuries it has been of a political and societal necessity conditioning African- Americans to think backwards to be dumbed down.  Mental slavery is a state of mind where discerning between liberation and enslavement is twisted.  Where one becomes trapped by misinformation about self and the world.  What makes it far worse is that the chains are invisible.

Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery. None but ourselves can free our minds ~Bob Marley

Many in Black America dismiss the true significance of its polemical embrace of the N word, there is ONE and only ONE reason why African-Americans cling to such a pejorative term the users are genetically predisposed to embrace the evil, immoral, contemptible term.

Slave masters paid a great deal of attention to the education and training of the ideal slave. In general, there were five steps in molding the character of the enslaved: (a) strict discipline, (b) create a sense of inferiority, (c) belief in the master's so-called superior power, (d) acceptance of the master's standards, and, finally, (e) a deep sense of his/her own helplessness and dependence.  At every point this education was built on the fallacious belief in white superiority and black inferiority. Besides teaching the slave to despise his own (African) history and culture, the master strove to inculcate his own value system into the African's outlook.  In a desire to maximize the profits of his investment, the slave-master strove to develop the perfect slave, physically and [mentally].

The N-word represents carnage, dehumanization, objectification to African-Americans thus embracing it gives the user and race the wrong self-image and self-definition. Embracing or condoning usage of the N-word is approving the total description of it, sanctioning the evil deeds and carnage perpetrated upon the black race past, present and future.  Let’s be clear about one thing, n**ga is ghetto vernacular or Ebonics for n**ger.  Attempts at pseudo-intellectualism to justify embracement and maintenance of the N-word drills a message that African-Americans are powerless, of lesser moral and intelligence, detaching us from our sense of power and reality.

African-Americans who don’t use the term, but condone use of it by their peers need to understand indifference is the epitome of evil. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented, we owe it to our ancestors to hold their struggles and sacrifices in the highest of esteem and not allow embracement of a word that dehumanized and objectified them, regardless of the user’s skin color. Blacker than coal, whiter than snow, use of the N word by ANYONE should be an emphatic NO NO. To jump up and down about inequality and injustice yet simultaneously embrace a white supremacy term (the N-word) goes beyond the realm of conscientious stupidity.

Presently, African-Americans are misdirected, scattered and leaderless. For the past 30 years the voices of dissent in the black community have been silent against rap music, and its relentless messages denigrating women, drug use, violence. The promotion of positive reinforcement through the airwaves to convince a kid that use of the N-word and behavior that might send them to prison is normal perpetuating continual decline of moral and character values.

First order of business is a need to recognize the enemies from within, there is an element within Black America that provides aid and comfort to the oppressor, refusing to reach back and help their own. For their loyalty they are rewarded with privileges and benefits unobtainable by grassroots Black America. They are sell outs and do more harm to the preventing of equality and justice than the oppressor itself.  They are the modern day bred sycophants of the Meritorious Manumission Act and are looked upon by their manipulators as stupid pigs that grunt and squeal the chants given them to maintain white domination whether they be truth or lies.

Secondly, recognizing that the NACCP, Urban League have no economic program, no theory, no program, no plan. This isn’t accidental it’s all by design. Black America spends more than a trillion dollars annually yet it’s funding by white contributors that keep the NAACP and Urban League afloat so long as paternalism reigns there will never be an economic program, theory or plan enabling Black America to OVERCOME.  We either become self-empowered, or continue to moan, groan, beg and plead throughout ETERNITY.

H. Lewis Smith is the founder and president of UVCC, the United Voices for a Common Cause, Inc., http://www.theunitedvoices.com author of Bury that Sucka: A Scandalous Love Affair with the N-Word, and Undressing the N-word: Revealing the Naked Truth, Lies, Deceit and Mind Games. Follow him on Twitter: www.twitter.com/thescoop1


American Born and World Circulated...It's on the way back, baby!

"The Manhood Line" comes BACK for publication starting in January, 2018.  We may be living in a new day, but the same old rules apply,baby!  It will still be written for Men, from a biblical, business and common-sense perspective.

So, brothers, cut your man-buns; get out your smelling salts for trigger words, and get ready to get some truth.  Oh, BTW, if women read the column and get it...that's even better.

To you 'veterans' of the column, the wait will be worth it! 

Lift up Christ and lay the sinner low. --C. H. Spurgeon

THE RAMEY COMMENTARIES ™ BY MIKE RAMEY

OBSERVING THE MISDIRECTION?

    When I got into the ‘ink game’ I was trained by the best of the best.  Reporters and writers were held to high standards.  Broadcast, print or write a lie?  You would find yourself unemployed, and hard pressed to ever be hired by another publication for a long time.  (Let me also add that I thank all of those who read, share, and print my columns.  If the Lord continues to give me wisdom, courage, and strength, I’ll keep on writing these bits of wisdom, praise and light against a sea of doom, gloom and increasing darkness.)

    I’m a ‘rare Saint’.  I’ve been blessed to appear in radio, television AND print.  Yes, you could add the Internet…but, I still continue to log this in the ‘print’ column.  No matter what many may think the video screen is still very powerful, mainly due to the fact that it ventures past the eyes and into the brain in rapid fashion.  Before you can say ‘Captain Kangaroo’, you have been impacted by what you see…presented by people (mainly of the lighter hue) who have their paychecks and political agendas in mind ahead of the truth.  Furthermore, being a Christian gives me a lot more insight into what is happening behind the ‘allowed’ headlines.

    That’s right, I did say ‘allowed’.  The mainstream media (MSM) of today does NOT cover the ‘real’ news.  They ONLY cover what is supportive of their agenda and their ‘view’ of the news, wrapped up in viral ‘cute cat videos’.  Back in the day, real news agencies shunned too many features and emphasized the reality of what was out there, good or bad.  These days, you may have seen more cute videos than told how much your taxes will be going up, or, how many jobs have been phased out at the local major employer.  Let me add this little item…there are fewer Black journalists and fewer true Black news organizations in existence in the present.

    Now, if you haven’t paid attention to the MSM over the last few years, you would think that young men didn’t exist!  Not by accident, but by deliberate calculation, successful young men--especially successful young African American men--have once again been ‘shuffled’ off into the realm of the invisible.  The stereotypes are still plentiful.  If you are a young Black man who can dribble or throw a ball, appear in a Rap video, in the streets leading a riot, or saying/doing something stupid like refusing to stand for the ‘National Anthem’, the MSM wants YOU!  The young Black men who are graduating from high school/college, becoming successes as police officers, lawyers, doctors, writers, etc., or, even registering people to vote are pushed off to the side as ‘nonexistent’…until they are needed in an emergency.

    We’re back in the sixties, folks.  The stereotypes are not dead…they’ve just been re-packaged for this new century.  Sadly, since young people--and many adults--have become glaringly ignorant of their OWN history (and are addicted to those little handheld gadgets like a junkie loves heroin) the new lies have come into play…that is IF anyone remembers the old ones!

    What makes the culture of misdirection the more hurtful is that our Black churches and Black press have been virtually silent, again pushing young Black women AHEAD of young Black men--with the blessings of their friends in the MSM.  At the end of the day, when successful young Black men are ushered to the shadows, and young Black women ‘cry’ that ‘there are no good young Black men’ out there to marry, the line uttered by Billy Dee Williams to Diana Ross comes echoing back:

    “Success don’t mean a DAMN thing, unless you have someone to share it with!”   In short brothers and sisters, we’d better get back to setting our own table and stop longing for what appears on other folk’s dining room sets.  We’d best get back to loving our color, our culture, and one another.  God provides worms for birds…but EACH bird has to ‘get to work’ in digging those worms up!

    As I wrap up this month’s column, I can’t help but to think of the nation of Israel; probably among the smallest nations on the face of the earth.  In their society, EVERYONE watches out for each other.  The young men and women EACH serve in the military for a few years, before they go on with their careers.  Senior citizens are respected.  Excellence is honored, and family life is cherished.  In short, this tiny land has the essence of what it means to be a solid people.  I don’t mean a ‘perfect’ people, but a people who know the stakes of survival, and the reality of God.  The Israeli government has rekindled an effort to reach out to the Motherland of Africa, by bettering relations with four African nations--including infusions of new technology--and clearing the way for African Christians and Jews to come back to Israel.

    Why hasn’t the American Black community been made aware of this?  We’ve been too busy accepting the misdirection…and not paying attention to those things that matter.  You fight injustice NOT by protest marches, but by registering people to vote and then VOTING out the politicians who program your city.  That was the lesson from the sixties that the #BLM people haven’t bothered to check into.  As a matter of fact, #BLM has been protesting against Israel and supporting Israel’s enemies in the Middle East!  This according to REAL media outlets outside of the USA that still cover REAL news and issues.

    Misdirection is a powerful weapon.  Unfortunately, it makes for a lousy epitaph to be buried under…when you find out that you have missed the truth and accepted a lie birthed by people--be they sports stars or street rioters--contrary to our own good!

Ramey, a Minister, syndicated columnist and book reviewer lives in Indianapolis, Indiana.  To correspond, drop him an email at manhoodline@yahoo.com.  © 2017 Barnstorm Communications.

Lift up Christ and lay the sinner low. --C. H. Spurgeon