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Reply to Empowerment:

Empowerment: My definition of "Speaking Truth to Power" is someone, especially one without direct power, indicating to someone else that they perceive, or who has actual power, their will or desire. A civil protest march or rally is a great example of ˜speaking truth to power', but it could also be written petitions, and/or phone calls as well.

Rowe: I mean no disrespect. However, "Speaking Truth To Power" especially when it concerns African Americans soliciting sympathy from whites is a waste of black people's effort and time. Why do I say this? Because for white people to relinquish their power; that is, voluntarily give up their elite status, racial priviledges and preference, and economic advantage to minorities means to totally dissemble a cultural structure that was initially established and maintained ultimately for the benefit of a white majority. In other words, African Americans, as well as other minorities, need to find another way to ascend to the status where they believe they belong, because its never going to happen in a culture and/or society where European-Americans are the majority.

Empowerment: However, once one secures power and wants to secure more power they should use strategies akin to ˜power struggles' rather than ˜speaking truth to power'. Power struggles take place by people that have relatively close authority.

Rowe: There will never be a "power struggle" between European Americans and African Americans because Europeans understand the way culture works, they are masters at cultural imperialism (domination) and universalism, with their culture and way of life usually taking precedence. This is how they got ole' Ocatchings here thinking that a "democractic" society is the best society for EVERYBODY on the planet. Where's the 'freedom' in that? He doesn't understand that long before Europeans arrived to America with their ideas about how to run a society, Africans, Asians and other indigenous peoples had very organized, affluent, and highly developed civilizations. But Africans, and other indigeous people, lack the desire to globally control and dominate; this is primarly why they are constantly being dominated and what I think accounts for European's successful domination of the world. Europeans simply have the desire to do so. They don't know how to behave, unless they are in control. Its an inseparable part of their culture. In addition to this, Europeans are masters of persuasion and lipservice. They still have people following their lying lips. They know what they're good at and they do it well.

Empowerment: I believe Efume, and McKinney were empowered by, and understood clearly the ˜speak truth to power' movement, but had many difficulties with respect to the ˜power struggles' in order to realize much of the gains they envisioned for their respective districts.

Rowe: I applaud anyone that is community-oriented and enjoys doing things for someone other than themselves. However, many African American leaders are ignorant about how to relate to European-American political leaders. There is a specific way that you must interact and talk to Europeans. These are people that can detect a person's weakness very quickly and use it incisively. They are forever looking for incompetencies and shortcomings, a reason why they should remain in control and you should remain in the subordinate position. They are a very competitive, political, and confrontational people. Yet, many African American leaders will naively try to relate to white leaders in the ways they would relate to fellow African American leaders and I believe this is when they're thrown for loop.

[This message was edited by Rowe on December 02, 2003 at 05:22 PM.]
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