When Will America Embrace the Collective Prosperity Movement?
Posted By: J. A. Faulkerson on September 18, 2009 |
When will Americans embrace the Collective Prosperity Movement?
I agree that more black Americans need to be in the forefront of this current racism debate, but I'm not one to downplay the importance of white Americans speaking out against racist and discriminatory practices. I applaud President Jimmy Carter for speaking his mind. I am also appreciative of Keith Olberman, the work he is doing to give us black Americans a voice on MSNBC's COUNTDOWN.
White Americans like Carter and Olberman are what I consider the new abolitionists. But rather than combating slavery, they are combating the misinformation that continues to drive a wedge between racial/ethnic groups. They are also trying to win over hearts and minds. Olberman has had a number of different black Americans on his show as special guests, and they tell it like it is. It is now time for us black Americans to work on the grassroots level with like-minded white Americans to use this information to write the next chapter in the Civil Rights Movement.
If you ask me (and I know you didn't), I think we need to transition to a Collective Prosperity Movement. The fact that white Americans voted overwhelmingly for the black man is an indication that they are now willing to work with black Americans and other persons of color on a prosperity agenda. Truth be told, race is becoming less significant (and it should) while class issues are becoming more prevalent. Thus, we have to end this trend of allowing the rich to get richer, the poor poorer. We also have to identify and integrate those Hubs of Influence that are still controlled by White America's Good Ol' Boy Networks.
Identifying these Hubs of Influence is a somewhat difficult task, but it is made easier when members of the controlling majority show a willingness to look under every stone. Black Americans like Thurgood Marshall played critical roles in opening doors that now allow us black Americans to learn and work alongside white Americans. But there are many schools and businesses that continue to be devoid of multi-ethnic groups of students and workers. To hear some of them tell it, they are having a hard time recruiting "minority candidates". Nonsense. There are plenty of black, brown, red and yellow students on this nation's campuses that salivate at the mere thought of earning a paycheck.
A Hub of Influence that Americans of color need to gain a more equitable stake in is the media (i.e., television, newspapers, radio, Internet). No one will deny that we live in an age in which the information that we receive has been reduced to sound bytes. For black Americans and other persons of color, this information does nothing more than encourage some white Americans to continue their mistreatment and marginalization of other racial/ethnic groups. It also gives these same white Americans a false sense of self, of how they should be relating and affirming the rest of humanity.
Please know, however, that this relating and affirming is a two-way street. Black Americans and other persons of color shouldn't have all of the fun. We should also be letting white Americans know when their individual and collective behavior is in line with what's right for a united America. But slavery and oppression were white Americans' invention. And contemporary white Americans have benefited greatly from keeping their American brothers and sisters down. Consequently, we need more white Americans to speak out boldly about the need for a Collective Prosperity Movement. Those two words -- collective prosperity -- have the power to unite us like never before.
What do you think?
I look forward to reading your responses.
From "The FIRM...but fair" TOWN HALL MEETING"
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Dr. Okpara NosakhereExcellent brother Jeffery !
President/ CEO at www.educationalmanagementassociates.com
One of the greatest White Americans was John Brown, because he was willing to give his life for what was right. He should have a statue attributed to him like any other freedom fighter of the past. I also believe those of "mixed race" can have a significant impact on America because of their position between the color line. If they are loved by their families, their words, pain and sorrow about Racism/Colorism will be heard.
Monday, September 21st 2009 at 10:18AM
In a nutshell, racism has a utilitarian purpose for those at the top: as long as working and middle-class whites see the problems they face through the warped lens of race, e.g. that blacks are the source of all that ails them, they will never see that it is the ever increasing and concentrating power of wealth at the very top that is the source of their and our issues as well, when it comes to economics and politics.
This is the reason, in part, that the media finds so much interest in fanning the flames of racism, no matter how trivial, whenever it raises its ugly head. Look at all these so-called “tea baggers.” They should be cheering what Obama is trying to do for them, in health care, for example. Yet these people have been led to believe Obama is their worst enemy; a “socialist,” just because he is “black.” Instead they remain convinced to vote and fight against their own interests by the same forces that will benefit from maintaining the health care status quo, by making them think, in essence, that black and brown people will benefit. And of course, the frame is that anytime that happens, it’s always at their expense.
At the end of slavery the barons of the industrial revolution fanned these flames to prevent a natural evolution of a workers movement of black and white tradesmen joining together under the same interests regarding the value of their labor, labor rights, etc. Race was the perfect divide and conquer tool. White workers were made to see blacks as their enemy, and the die was cast. This helped them create and enjoy a Gilded Age of fantastic wealth.
Today they are doing it again. The bailout was the mechanism to reconstitute themselves in the same frame that they had in the early 20th century. To wit:
“…an internal Citibank report happily declaring America a ‘plutonomy,’ with 1 percent of the population controlling 95 percent of the wealth; an expose of "dead peasant" insurance policies that have companies cashing in on the untimely deaths of their employees.”
Do you think that 1% gives a rat’s behind about those foolish tea baggers? Hell no!!! They no more see them as “blood brothers” just because their skin is white, than they do the rest of us. But they do know that as long as these people are fed a steady diet of racism by the Becks and Limbaughs of the world, their purposes are well served. Again, the tea baggers are instructive. The resulting plutocratic environment creates a situation where we ALL are slaves in a system that can no longer even be called capitalism; it’s more like “corporatism.”
The false construct, at least from an economic perspective, of race must be dismantled if we are going to prosper. But it must first be understood and seen for what it really is. The question is, has race become such an intrinsic part of white culture, such that any meaningful change in that regard as I have described is doomed? Because the bottom line is, most people, black and white, don’t get it. They’re too busy crossing swords over who said what about whom, name-calling and other, essentially trivialities, with the very people who share the same interests while those at the top are pulling the strings with one hand while the other is in are collective back pockets, as they laugh all the way to the bank. It’s actually a very pathetic situation, because we still like to think of ourselves as a “free nation.”
Monday, September 21st 2009 at 6:29PM
Monday, September 21st 2009 at 9:31PM
I read the blog but still have no idea how to define a Collective Prosperity Movement. I also have questions with ideas from the blog. I would like to start with the following:
“that they(white people) are now willing to work with black Americans and other persons of color on a prosperity agenda” -
I believe this exact ideology that blacks should desperately search for partnerships with other successful communities and If we guilt them enough, then they will go to their goldmines and share some free gold nuggets.
Why would a successful white business community create unearned market competition from its consumer base (the black community) and GIVE profits to the black community?
Why would I as a black man (raised by a strong single black mother) who has earned and paid for my education and built a home and family from sweat and tears now join a movement that persists in begging for handouts? I would rather push a hot dog cart, live in a box until I could afford to open a restaurant (well , isn’t that what the Mexican do) and now you are saying to go those same people for handouts in this collective prosperity movement?
The black community does not need to partner with anyone except itself…..period. Then we can proudly enter the free market. We can raise our own capital and qualified blacks can buy companies, provide services to the world and invest in our country.
You stated “And contemporary white Americans have benefited greatly from keeping their American brothers and sisters down”
Please tell me how contemporary white Americans kept Michael Jordan or Michael Jackson down. How does contemporary white America keep Oprah down? What about Morgan Freeman and other wealthy black Americans?
When the black community raise capital and build their own high rise buildings , buy corporations and finance their own political candidates – who can keep them down again?
Can you see that the way they keep the black community down is by creating generations of workers, beggars and consumers.
Remove “collective” and keep the prosperity movement and I think you got something.
One little thing – you stated “But slavery and oppression were white Americans' invention” Slavery and oppression goes back to pre history of man. The first writings in history told of war, slavery and oppression.
Another little thing – you stated “We also have to identify and integrate those Hubs of Influence that are still controlled by White America's Good Ol' Boy Networks”
Too late the Chinese and Mexicans beat you to it - textile industry, manufacturing industry, agriculture – you name it – The good old boys networks are not even a 10th of what they were in the 80s. Now they are just middle tier managers, and slipping more and more, victims of a global economy, just like the black community. What if the wealthiest blacks created a good old boy network – and went into side businesses as a venture capitalist intuition and loaned money to qualified blacks to grow businesses and buy corporations. What would things look like after another 20 years or so? Why is such a stretch to imagine we cannot do what the Asians and Russian do in this county?
I must comment on one item that raised my eyebrows – you stated “Thus, we have to end this trend of allowing the rich to get richer, the poor poorer”
A trend ( Webster dictionary) is defined as “to extend in a general direction : follow a general course” - getting rich is not a trend – it is an economic formula of prosperity which employs millions from the NFL player, the wall street investor, the insurance salesman to the fruit picker.
It goes something like this – Person A or group B invests in some RISK venture to provide service and earn profit. It could a be a cable company, some service business, real estate, computer manufacturing company - it doesn’t matter but the general population has asserted some kind of demand. The rich person or group stands the chance of LOSING or PROFITING from this investment.
This confusing idea of poor people somehow ending prosperity for the wealthy is the same as saying - mass unemployment for the poor. The wealthy are already there – you can’t take away what they already have. If a man owns 1000 acres of prime real estate and he holds on that land for 40 years – the rich will get richer.
So you must be saying that you want to end profitable prosperity for FUTURE white people or you have some plan to forcefully extract wealth? I am confused – the black community is ALREADY rich – the future opportunities are as endless as for white people. How can you say stop the rich from getting richer and then say the black community should get richer with the movement? This is a confusing concept .
Saturday, September 26th 2009 at 2:43PM
Saturday, September 26th 2009 at 5:38PM
Jon C.African Americans have embraced collectivist / socialist political doctrines for quite some time; the question is whether those doctrines will provide sustainable solutions for our communities. The founders of the UNIA, NAACP, Black Panther Party, Nation of Islam etc. all promoted collectivist ideologies.
Benefits Management Analyst at State of Ohio
I do agree that we are moving away from a race (caste) based society towards a class-based society. For the first time in America's history, a wealthy Black, Latino, or Asian entrepreneur probably has more in common with a wealthy Caucasian entrepreneur, socially and culturally, than a working class person of their own race.
In this, we've learned a valuable lesson - at some point of the spectrum, wealth and value creation exceed the importance of race. Although there may be antipathy towards those outside of one's ethnic and social group, that antipathy usually disappears when there is a practical or financial incentive to do so. The success of Jewish entrepreneurs in the 50s-60s and Indian skilled professionals in the 80s-90s are two good examples.
Financial success and control of resources give us the leverage to overcome discrimination by placing us in a position to negotiate and collaborate with others, rather than have others dominate us. It also creates the ability to provide for our own people. Traditionally, free enterprise has been a vehicle that can knock down social barriers. It is difficult or impossible for others to control our destiny when we create our own institutions, schools, curriculae, business ventures, and communities.
Ownership is critical. We must have resources that we own and control outside the sphere of others' influence. Until we build institutions that generate wealth, accumulate resources, and command our own destiny, our children will continue to be taught by teachers that don't care about their success, our needs will be ignored, and we wil remain an underclass.
Friday, October 9th 2009 at 2:32PM
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