I agree. I think both Mr. B and Cornell West rushed to pigeon-hole Farrakhan's comments which, while I thought they were a bit out of place, I didn't see them as substantively that far from the core attitude behind the Convenant Movement. There's an overriding sense and emphasis on self-help in both.quote:Maybe B felt F stole the show? Again, I don't see much difference between them - in what I heard yesterday.
What did you think?
Cornell West definitely wanted to act like Farrakhan was talking about a "separatist" nation or something. Maybe I took that wrong but that seems like where he was trying to take it to. And I found it rather interesting upon researching MLK's comment that it is Mr. B's surmise as to what MLK would have supported - i.e. the "Fireman" Instinct. Of course, I was reminded of the words of Malcolm X on this very "Burning House" subject, and I couldn't shake the irony:
- "If the master's house caught on fire, the house Negro would fight harder to put the blaze out than the master would. If the master got sick, the house Negro would say, "What's the matter, boss, we sick?" We sick! He identified himself with his master, more than his master identified with himself. And if you came to the house Negro and said, "Let's run away, let's escape, let's separate," the house Negro would look at you and say, "Man, you crazy. What you mean, separate? Where is there a better house than this? Where can I wear better clothes than this? Where can I eat better food than this?" That was that house Negro. In those days he was called a "house nigger." And that's what we call them today, because we've still got some house niggers running around here."
So I guess the big part of my question about what's practical, etc. is which lofty goal seems more realistic (for lack of a better term)? Both are very lofty and ideal - admirable. In that sense, considering things as they are both can be equally called PIPE DREAMS.quote:"And I'm afraid that even as we integrate, we are walking into a place that does not understand that this nation needs to be concerned deeply with the plight of the poor and the disenfranchised. Until we can come to grips with the fact that, given the consequences of our own history, we owe the world an opportunity to lift up the underclass and bring people to a new level of existence, we'll forever be perpetuating the ills in which we now find ourselves."
One would have us do the seemingly impossible seemingly for ourselves. The other would have us do the seemingly impossible, not only for ourselves, but for others, the whole world even of marginalized and oppressed people.
That aside, I think we all know Farrakhan wasn't talking about leaving or going anywhere or even withdrawing from America. You know and I know that Farrakhan meant exactly what you reported. I do, however, think there's a bit of ego on either side. I just wish there was a constant, moderating voice that says "We Need To Do Both and Can't Afford To Put All Our Eggs In One Basket" particularly one where there's some type of expectation that America will fulfill its promise.
So I agree with Mr. B... It's about taking whatever it is we determine we need. And, as he noted when he referenced the FDR vs. A. Phillip Randolph story, we have to be about making things happen but that can't exclude or de-emphasize what we have to do for ourselves.
So I wonder how Mr. B, West & Co. would respond directly to the idea of having a FEMA like Black National "Ministry" as an agency capable of responding to such emergencies. I don't blame Tavis Smiley for his reaction, though I thought the situation was going to blow over since no one interrupted The Minister.