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Black Unity: Moving Beyond The RHETORIC

By Anthony Asadullah Samad

The African American Diaspora went through a lot in 2005. Legends of our 20th Century legacy and culture, like Rosa Parks, Ossie Davis, John Johnson and Richard Pryor, came and went. Tests of our resolve like the poverty politics of Hurricane Katrina, the beating of Minister Tony Muhammad, the execution of Stanley Tookie Williams and the "call to unity" of the Millions More Movement, found Blacks all over the board as to how we face individual and collective challenges to our personal humanity and our collective dignity, as well as how African Americans progress in the New World Order Paradigm (American unilateralism).

Black advocacy has never been weaker as continuing efforts to use outdated activism to attack the now invisible modus operandi of the new "Jim Crow," Colorblindness, is compounded by reoccurring questions as to "Who speaks for us?" has us in, what the Temptations once said a "ball of confusion."

...African Americans often find themselves engaged in generic pursuits, so esoteric that most cannot grasp the concept in anything beyond a symbolic stance. Of course, the work of achieving black unity goes way beyond symbolism.
    How do we move from premise, to promise, to the pragmatism of achieving-not just a unified front, but-a unified purpose? Given what we know to be underlining motives and agendas that will not be forsaken for the purpose of so-called, "black unity," how do African Americans create a "unity paradigm" that works for the highly stratified "black diaspora?" I mean, it's time for us to move [beyond] the rhetoric.
...Blacks are more divided now than at any point in their history. There are more strands of religious beliefs (non-demominationalism being the fastest growing of organized religion), the point being that Blacks can't agree on the best way to reach God, much less serve God. African American political beliefs are just as twisted. Blacks are still in the pockets of the Democratic Party, and are getting literally nothing (beyond individual concessions) in return, while its becoming more and more obvious that Blacks don't even believe what democrats say they believe anymore (partly, because the Democratic Party doesn't know what it believes). Blacks are more socially conservative than they've ever been, splitting on abortion, same sex marriage, and even the death penalty (as we found out around the Tookie Williams issue).
    They say talking religion and politics are the quickest way to start war. Well, the black community has long been at war with itself, largely over its shifting beliefs and its shifting politics.
Shifting beliefs include the shift away from the traditional family unit (the new "traditional" black family is now a single parent or a mixed family, couple with children from prior relationships), and shifts away from the traditional male-female relationship (same sex and bi-sexual relationships representing the biggest shift in African American sexual politics since the master-slave sexual politics of slavery). This further convolutes what African Americans say they "believe." The shifting politics are centered egalitarian pursuits of equality that, in essence, force Blacks to accept race-neutrality in order to achieve some semblance of equality, by assimilating America's cultural beliefs, partaking in "American dream" material benefits," namely work (job), wealth (land/home) and culturalization (Euro-scholarship). .
    The wealth and education divide among African Americans is greater than it's ever been-since slavery. Blacks who are doing well, are doing real well, and Blacks that are not have become a part of that self-fulfilling prophesy called "the permanent underclass." Much of the "black on black" conflict that we see in black communities nationwide is class conflict, the have-nots attacking the haves, or the wanna haves (those who have the desire and ambition to leave their deprivation behind). This creates frustration on both sides, not exactly condusive to unity.
Then there's the agendas mentioned earlier. The three most prominent agendas that work against black unity [are]:
    [1] profiteering (pursuit of fortune), [2] notoriety (desire to be famous), and
    [3]self-hatred (anti-black, intra-racial sentiments).
    {{{AKA The CON-Feed Trifecta! Wink }}}
  • Those who put money before unity (whether its at the street level [gangs/drugs] or so-called businessmen "getting theirs") will not put their economic interest at risk for collective interest and thus, will limit their involvement to tokenism.

  • Those who want to be famous will do anything (and say anything) to be famous, thus neutralizing themselves in the unity movement. You can't say you're for black unity or black dignity while degrading the race in music and film, or saying what the white man can't say (the rise of the black conservative) to undermine black equality.

  • Then there are those who, no matter what you do, will not trust Blacks enough to pursue an interest agenda. You have rich Blacks distrust of poor Blacks (and vice versa), educated Blacks that devalue uneducated Blacks (and vice versa), nationalist Blacks distrusting integrationist Blacks (an argument that goes back 100 years to the DuBois-Washington conflict), then throw in religion, politics, lifestyles, and you have what we have in the black community today, a total, directionless, mess.
      In 2006, African Americans have to give some real serious thought as to whether black unity can be achieved, and if so, how can black unity be achieved. That's our charge, and it's a big one, but necessary to advance any notion of black progress, and the achievement of black equality.
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