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Exiles from a city and from a nation

Cornel West
Sunday September 11, 2005

Observer

It takes something as big as Hurricane Katrina and the misery we saw among
the poor black people of New Orleans to get America to focus on race and
poverty. It happens about once every 30 or 40 years.

What we saw unfold in the days after the hurricane was the most naked
manifestation of conservative social policy towards the poor, where the
message for decades has been: 'You are on your own'. Well, they really were
on their own for five days in that Superdome, and it was Darwinism in action
- the survival of the fittest. People said: 'It looks like something out of
the Third World.' Well, New Orleans was Third World long before the
hurricane.

It's not just Katrina, it's povertina. People were quick to call them
refugees because they looked as if they were from another country. They are.
Exiles in America. Their humanity had been rendered invisible so they were
never given high priority when the well-to-do got out and the helicopters
came for the few. Almost everyone stuck on rooftops, in the shelters, and
dying by the side of the road was poor black.

In the end George Bush has to take responsibility. When [the rapper] Kanye
West said the President does not care about black people, he was right,
although the effects of his policies are different from what goes on in his
soul. You have to distinguish between a racist intent and the racist
consequences of his policies. Bush is still a 'frat boy', making jokes and
trying to please everyone while the Neanderthals behind him push him more to
the right.

Poverty has increased for the last four or five years. A million more
Americans became poor last year, even as the super-wealthy became much
richer. So where is the trickle-down, the equality of opportunity?
Healthcare and education and the social safety net being ripped away - and
that flawed structure was nowhere more evident than in a place such as New
Orleans, 68 per cent black. The average adult income in some parishes of the
city is under $8,000 (£4,350) a year. The average national income is
$33,000, though for African-Americans it is about $24,000. It has one of the
highest city murder rates in the US. From slave ships to the Superdome was
not that big a journey.

New Orleans has always been a city that lived on the edge. The white blues
man himself, Tennessee Williams, had it down in A Streetcar Named Desire -
with Elysian Fields and cemeteries and the quest for paradise. When you live
so close to death, behind the levees, you live more intensely, sexually,
gastronomically, psychologically. Louis Armstrong came out of that
unbelievable cultural breakthrough unprecedented in the history of American
civilization. The rural blues, the urban jazz. It is the tragic-comic
lyricism that gives you the courage to get through the darkest storm.

Charlie Parker would have killed somebody if he had not blown his horn. The
history of black people in America is one of unbelievable resilience in the
face of crushing white supremacist powers.

This kind of dignity in your struggle cuts both ways, though, because it
does not mobilize a collective uprising against the elites. That was the
Black Panther movement. You probably need both. There would have been no
Panthers without jazz. If I had been of Martin Luther King's generation I
would never have gone to Harvard or Princeton.

They shot brother Martin dead like a dog in 1968 when the mobilization of
the black poor was just getting started. At least one of his surviving
legacies was the quadrupling in the size of the black middle class. But
Oprah [Winfrey] the billionaire and the black judges and chief executives
and movie stars do not mean equality, or even equality of opportunity yet.
Black faces in high places does not mean racism is over. Condoleezza Rice
has sold her soul.

Now the black bourgeoisie have an even heavier obligation to fight for the
33 per cent of black children living in poverty - and to alleviate the
spiritual crisis of hopelessness among young black men.

Bush talks about God, but he has forgotten the point of prophetic
Christianity is compassion and justice for those who have least. Hip-hop has
the anger that comes out of post-industrial, free-market America, but it
lacks the progressiveness that produces organizations that will threaten the
status quo. There has not been a giant since King, someone prepared to die
and create an insurgency where many are prepared to die to upset the
corporate elite. The Democrats are spineless.

There is the danger of nihilism and in the Superdome around the fourth day,
there it was - husbands held at gunpoint while their wives were raped,
someone stomped to death, people throwing themselves off the mezzanine
floor, dozens of bodies.

It was a war of all against all - 'you're on your own' - in the center of
the American empire. But now that the aid is pouring in, vital as it is, do
not confuse charity with justice. I'm not asking for a revolution, I am
asking for reform. A Marshall Plan for the South could be the first step.

· Dr Cornel West is professor of African American studies and religion at
Princeton University. His great grandfather was a slave. He is a rap artist
and appeared as Counsellor West in Matrix Reloaded and Matrix Revolutions.

Interview by Joanna Walters, in Princeton, New Jersey

Guardian Unlimited © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2005

 

 

Peace,

 

AudioGuy

 

*************************************************

"I am African, not because I was born in Africa; but because Africa was born in me"

-Anonymous

 

"The cost of Liberty is less than the cost of repression."

-W.E.B. DuBois, John Brown 1909

 

"... can you imagine Doobie in yo' funk??!!"

-G. Clinton

 

"...Black men walkin' / with white girls on they arms / I be mad at 'em / as if I know they moms / told to go beyond the surface / a person's a person / when we, lessen our women / our condition seems to worsen..."

"Real People" - Common

 

"You are not supposed to be so blind with patriotism that you can not face reality. Wrong is wrong no matter who says it or does it!"

-Malcolm X

 

Sense is far from COMMON!

-Me

 

"... The tragic irony here is that a lot of African Americans may not fully recognize the implications of this decision for years to come. Stop by any barbershop, barbeque or church basement in Black America and you will hear – with distressing frequency – that old canard that "integration" ruined the Black community."

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My wife sent out the same article from Cornell West this morning. Here is my response to Mr. West.

Cornel West, as expected speaks from his perspective of structural victimization of the people who were impacted by the storm.

As always we don't hear of any expectations cast upon these same people in attempting to TRANSFORM from this current state. The fact is that the society that they lived in and the messages and associations that were received both from inside and from the outside by their handlers such as West has caused them to believe that their own fate lies outside of their own ability to have their "works" be the central element that allows them to rise up out of their poverty and in some cases – ignorance.

We frequently hear about America being "the wealthiest nation on Earth" and how these people should not be allowed to live below the "American standard of living". Those who have this belief will then go into these communities and LIFT these people up to the American standard of living. You can be sure that upon their departure these same people, absent their buy into this same standard as supported by their own works will fall right back down to their previous level or there abouts.

It seems to me that permanent change will only take place when these people who are the object of our sympathies adopt a culture and a mindset that has them to do the things necessary to live up to these standards.

We can take a drive through many neighborhoods in Atlanta and see UNEMPLOYED MINDS sitting on the corners during the productive hours of the day which show up as unemployed persons in the economic statistics. All the while their communities are left in disrepair in need of man power to transform them or at least keep them clean. The bigger indictment is to ask the question – How is it that these men are so disconnected from their own communities due to the messages that they have been receiving that they are not inclined to apply their unused energy to making their environment more physically accommodating for the children that they produce. Such introspection will not be had at the hands of Cornell West and others who look to the Federal government as the key means of lifting these people up.

It is quite interesting that Mr. West makes use of the poverty statistics of the Bush years and implicitly compares them against the relative prosperity of the Clinton years. (There are other articles going around now with these same talking points.) What is very interesting but unsaid is that Mr. West stands in opposition to much of the capitalistic "horse trading" that produced the economic boom in the late 90's under Clinton, instead attributing it to "good government policy". Listen to one of Mr. West's speeches. He frequently condemns the system of capitalism to the core. Now it seems that it ain't so bad when he can make use of it to make an argument.

There are plenty of cities that have "good government policy" yet no MONEY to fund these policies. To attempt to abstract the truth where the money came from the change in poverty rates is disingenuous.

It is interesting how so many Black politicos start the clock of Black misery from 5 years ago when Bush came onto the scene – From Iraq to the levees to the poverty rate we are left to believe that everything was just fine and dandy B.B. (Before Bush).

The sad part about this strategy of political blame beyond it's temporary euphoria is that absent any other changes Bush will depart and the problems in our community will still remain. Dr. West and others will simply find a different boogie man to place the blame on with no absolute change in condition of so many that can be attributed to HIS POLICIES.

"If you don't want to be poor then stop acting in ways of the impoverished. More importantly stop allowing people to tell you that you are poor because you will begin to believe it."


QUESTION FOR MR. WEST - "Were you satisfied with the state of poverty in absolute terms prior to George Bush assuming office? If not then why are you cheerleading the mediocre improvements that are barely statistically significant?

Worse yet can you detail what the people who are NOW POOR STOPPED DOING between back then and now that has caused more of them to fall into poverty?"
I am glad some black people think progressive and understand that many black people who were systematically disenfrnchised during jim crow still have the burden to bear from those times....it seems as if the stupid motherf-kers of this society can understand how an abused child can grow up to be abusive but they do not understand the pathologies associated with being relagated to poverty and second-class schools with a racist employment structure to boot....it is like the azz kissing negro who rails against AA because angry racist whites told them to....while never acknowledging the benefits whites still enjoy in the midst of working class, higher-qualified blacks or why affirmative action was needed in the first place......or state what happened one day with racist inbreds and their lackey nigga following decided there was no more racism and that fairness in hiring and contracting was now the norm........and that part about the poor acting poor...was some bullschit newt gingrich said during the failed contract with america........house niggas/poser racists just don't get it.....stupid fucks......
CF - you constantly blame the poor and discriminated against as it relates to expectations. What expectations do you have of the wealthy, of those in power, of those who this country was made for? What are your expectations of them?

quote:
Originally posted by Constructive Feedback:

"If you don't want to be poor then stop acting in ways of the impoverished. More importantly stop allowing people to tell you that you are poor because you will begin to believe it."


You have a chronic need to blame victims without seemeingly any interest in addressing the external (human) factors that contribute to their conditions. What responsibility do those who exploit have in eradicating poverty and discrimination? Do they have even the slightest moral obligation to do what is right by their neighbors?

CF - in what ways has America allowed poor people to think anything else but that they are poor and 'less than'? We live in a society that is absolutely addicted to consumerism. The 'haves' know who they are. The 'have nots' certainly do as well. What effect does being a 'have not' create on the self-esteem and psyche of those people? Capitalism and consumerism create whole classes of people who not only are without education, skills, and training (with which to improve their lot), but who also are burdened with the psychology of American classism/consumerism - that "to have is to be". Without a basic understanding of this dynamic then you lack a fundamental concept of how this country works.

CF - if you are not a multi-billionaire - then why not? We live in a nation where, according to you, all one has to do is adjust their thinking one day, and they too can be Donald Trump. Please explain your position in life vis-a-vis your philosophy.
people are victims of racism and should not be castigated as a result....me....i'm an intended victim that racism did not have such adverse effects on.....I have been a part of so many racist azz incidents....and I am WAAAAAAAY more qualified than the house negro who defends the white man's position and garners his existence by living in deference and accepting token meager handouts....stupid motherfuckers do not understand that the more you strive for as a black, the more bullschit you face....if you are highly educated...you are better equipped to fight against it....but that does not mean that racism and discrimination does not exist...and that it does not still affect those who look like you in a much more adverse manner...........
quote:
Originally posted by Constructive Feedback:
...Worse yet can you detail what the people who are NOW POOR STOPPED DOING between back then and now that has caused more of them to fall into poverty?"


Evidently, according to you, they must have abandoned the culture of success they previously had lived under and then newly adopted a brand new, detrimental culture of poverty. No loss of work or anything could have contributed... bs

I am as big a proponent of individual responsibility and cultural norms as anybody, but there is just so far you can logically go when we're discussing an organized society, with its checks, balances, and give and take.

Meanwhile, man, reading this diatribe of yours, you have one appalling belief system.
quote:
Originally posted by Vox:

Evidently, according to you, they must have abandoned the culture of success they previously had lived under and then newly adopted a brand new, detrimental culture of poverty. No loss of work or anything could have contributed... bs


Vox, Kevin, MBM, others:

You hear me making the statement of "false dichotomy" frequently. This is the notion that there are only TWO choices of results that you must settle upon based on a decision point that you raise.

You all SAY that these people have experienced a history of "Slavery, Jim Crow, racism". I SAY YOU ARE WRONG. OUR ANCESTORS FACED THIS.

The primary chance that we as a people have to overcome this and TRANSFORM ourselves is with OUR CHILDREN and what they are INDOCTRINATED TO BELIEVE.

In your resentment, pacification of medeocrity based on the programs that you support and ULTIMATELY the SELF-DOUBT that you have that these people can produce anything beyond what they currently have unless the MAIN propulsion behind such an effort is the Federal government that is handing resources that were not organized from the hands of these people YOU NEVER DIRECT THESE SAME PEOPLE to live up to the STANDARD THAT YOU ARE ATTEMPTING TO LIFT THEM UP TO.

Cornell West is nothing more than a Black Conscious WHITE LIBERAL such as Ted Kennedy who's main appeal is to those who are VICTIMS.

I assure you that the day that these Black people and any others who seek a better way of life ACTUALLY ACHIEVE IT they will have PURGED many of the messages and thoughts that are being HOISED UPON THEM by caretakers such as West, Kennedy and Jesse Jackson just to name a few.
CF,

Serious question, have you ever met and talked to a real live poor person about their plight? [I mean one that you were not related to? We have baggage with our relations. We are too close to their errors, we are too close to their plight being ours.]

Or are you relying on Heritage Foundation and Bill Cosby reports on the state and cause of poverty?

It seems that you take a group of people that are bound hand and feet, and blame them for drowning in the rising flood, because they allowed themselves to be tied.
quote:
Serious question, have you ever met and talked to a real live poor person about their plight?



Brother man - for the past several years I have participated in a youth mentoring program out of South Atlanta high school - one of the poorest schools in the metro area.

My last match up was with an 11th grade male with 3 brothers and a mother who is divorced, living in a small, single family home.

OF COURSE I SEE THE CHALLENGES that they face.

My job was to EXPOSE HIM to a different framework to purse in his life.

We talked about what his peers were into. We talked about his father who lives across town.

YOUR PRESUMPTION that I have no understanding of such a condition IS FLAWED.

Unlike you I am not going to buy into excusing certain actions that he might do because of his environment that would have him to fail in the future.

He is into football and hopes to get into college based on his ability to play. I remind him that his odds of making a good living is through education. Practice his sports but also practice his academics as well.


*****************
Kweli4Real:

DO YOU KNOW OF A POOR PERSON WHO HAS ATTEMPTED TO UNDERSTAND THE MEANS BY WHICH A MIDDLE CLASS PERSON IS ABLE TO DRAW THE PAY THAT HE DOES AND THUS LIVE A CERTAIN LIFESTYLE? (and I am not talking about a drug dealer).
Before this thread devolves into the usual name-calling & mutual insults, can we consider this portion of CF's post:
quote:
Originally posted by Constructive Feedback:

The primary chance that we as a people have to overcome this and TRANSFORM ourselves is with OUR CHILDREN and what they are INDOCTRINATED TO BELIEVE.



As a generation, do you believe Black America is diligently attacking this angle of improving our situation?
quote:
Kweli4Real:

DO YOU KNOW OF A POOR PERSON WHO HAS ATTEMPTED TO UNDERSTAND THE MEANS BY WHICH A MIDDLE CLASS PERSON IS ABLE TO DRAW THE PAY THAT HE DOES AND THUS LIVE A CERTAIN LIFESTYLE? (and I am not talking about a drug dealer).


Of course I do. Having worked as a job coach, I know poor people that are poor primarily because of circumstances beyond their control. For example, the person that suffered an on the job injury, or the plant closure. I know yet more people that are poor because of a decision made up to 20 years ago. In each case, they have a full understanding of "THE MEANS BY WHICH A MIDDLE CLASS PERSON IS ABLE TO DRAW THE PAY THAT HE DOES AND THUS LIVE A CERTAIN LIFESTYLE." They were there.

But now they lack the infrastructure to live today and do the things to get ahead.

No one here is advocating against personal responsibility; I merely want you to recognize that outside forces are real hinderances. And, also that being a "Week-end Warrior" in the war on poverty, does not give you the same perspective as living in poverty. In many instances, the obvious solution, simply is not an option. But not having been in that situation, you would have no way of knowing it.
quote:
Originally posted by ddouble:

Before this thread devolves into the usual name-calling & mutual insults, can we consider this portion of CF's post:
quote:
Originally posted by Constructive Feedback:

The primary chance that we as a people have to overcome this and TRANSFORM ourselves is with OUR CHILDREN and what they are INDOCTRINATED TO BELIEVE.



As a generation, do you believe Black America is diligently attacking this angle of improving our situation?


I agree that this is at the core of our solution. I have said a number of times here that one of my favorite quotes is "whether you think you can or not - you're right"! Neverhteless, IMHO, CF sounds extraordinarily naive about the collossal task it is to do that. Yes - individuals, families, communities can do this, but largely - African America was told for GENERATIONS, for HUNDREDS OF YEARS that we were less than human, that we were property, that we were unable to learn and think, that we were genetically inferior etc., etc., ad infinitem. Beyond that, white folks believed the opposite side of that coin - that we were the above. The weight and impact of those messages don't just erase themselves overnight.

You know an elephant chained to a tree in youth will never walk beyond that radius of that chain even after the chain is removed. Luckily people aren't as fixed in their thinking, but it takes concerted effort and time.
Last edited {1}
I really like that Cornel West! Smile

quote:
Originally posted by ddouble:
As a generation, do you believe Black America is diligently attacking this angle of improving our situation?


Not even a little bit. There are small organizations and individual efforts that are able to change the minds of some in need of such a transformation ... but for the most part, as a generation, I don't believe we reach back and pull enough of our young ones (or our older ones) forward.
quote:
As a generation, do you believe Black America is diligently attacking this angle of improving our situation?



NO.

From my past diagram I made the distinction between the "ENTIRE BLACK COMMUNITY" and those who have HI-JACKED the messages and interpretations that flow through to the masses.

The problem with the Black community today is with our "handlers". Many of them appeared on stage in Atlanta a few months ago during the bogus march in support of the Voting Rights Act. We saw their true character displayed when they had a clean slate available to them to HIGHLIGHT A VISION for the masses but instead used this time to name call and advance cohesion by RESENTMENT AND VICTIMIZATION.

There are TWO FRONTS to the battle that we face as Black Americans - 1) The struggle to have the US Constitution work for everyone that is a citizen (and thus keep White Supremacy in check) and 2) The struggle to TRANSFORM the internal workings of the Black community so that we develop a CULTURE that is able to produce the results that we strive for once #1 is in check (though RACISM will never die there can only be CONSEQUENCES if someone chooses to act upon their feelings.)

The current set of Black Quasi-Socialist Progressive Fundementalists have FAILED MISERABLY at MANAGING INSIDE OF THE BLACK COMMUNITY. They have no competence in having Black folks to CHANGE OUR WAYS so that we might advance. Their only skills it to have Black folks act against the deeds of White folks and/or the system.

To this day I ask "What is the magical point at which after one more Civil Rights initiative, anti-racism legislation or banking regulation is present to which Black folks prosper on average?"

CLEARLY it is going to take more than this to arrive at this point. Those who have been come expert at the use of a "hammer" have no qualifiations to work a precision instrument when it is required. They see everything in terms of a protest march rather than showcasing the ability for INTERNAL MANAGEMENT.

Overall folks are PACIFIED by finding someone to PLACE BLAME ON. They don't worry about all of the evidence that might prove overwise or beyond their target.

The consequence of this is that they never achieve RESOLUTION of the problem ONLY MENTAL APPEASEMENT. The wildest Conspiracy Theories can be heard on Black Talk Radio stations. Where as I get cut off for challenging the host to prove their assertion when I call in these psychos are given as much time as they want to to draw out their conspiracy with an "uh huh uh huh" being heard in the background from the host.

Again I say "The biggest fear of some folks has to be the day in which they find themselves outside of the system that they now find themselves living under but hate. On this day they will come face to face with the THEORIES that they have lived with for so long and will have to attempt to recreate the STANDARD OF LIVING that they now have while being 100% responsible for the outcome, absent anyone else to blame".

The name calling against ME does not move BLACK PEOPLE a single millimeter forward as a race. Only bondage to the TRUTH and willingness to CHANGE will do this.
quote:
Originally posted by Constructive Feedback:

From my past diagram I made the distinction between the "ENTIRE BLACK COMMUNITY" and those who have HI-JACKED the messages and interpretations that flow through to the masses.


For a moment will you just stop and think about what you are writing. We now live in a world of ultra communications, where whether via TV or the internet or whatever - information is disbursed freely and almost immediately. With that as context, PRECISELY HOW WOULD SOMEONE "HIJACK" ANYTHING??? Confused td6 nono bang

quote:
We saw their true character displayed when they had a clean slate available to them to HIGHLIGHT A VISION for the masses but instead used this time to name call and advance cohesion by RESENTMENT AND VICTIMIZATION.


How do you know? You weren't there and you have no clue what people said. Beyond this, as we've discussed about this issue in other threads, why are you placing the onus on them to communicate some grand vision when the objective and topic of the day was the VRA? Every time black folks get together they have to discuss their grand vision for our uplift? Why?


quote:
The current set of Black Quasi-Socialist Progressive Fundementalists have FAILED MISERABLY at MANAGING INSIDE OF THE BLACK COMMUNITY.


Can you name one black conservative who has done jack shit for the black community? Confused Furthermore, can you name one leader of any race that has managed their community singularly in the way that expect of African Americans? bang


quote:
To this day I ask "What is the magical point at which after one more Civil Rights initiative, anti-racism legislation or banking regulation is present to which Black folks prosper on average?"


Whenever there is a level playing field in this country.

quote:
They see everything in terms of a protest march rather than showcasing the ability for INTERNAL MANAGEMENT.


Perhaps you can provide an example of this in other communities? What is this "internal management" that you espouse?

quote:
The wildest Conspiracy Theories can be heard on Black Talk Radio stations. Where as I get cut off for challenging the host to prove their assertion when I call in these psychos are given as much time as they want to to draw out their conspiracy with an "uh huh uh huh" being heard in the background from the host.


laugh Have you ever "proven" anything with regard to your 'blaming the victim' neuroses?
CF ...

Since you seem to be presenting yourself as someone who is able to be opened minded enough to see past only two possible choices in everything, perhaps try to understand that the cross road that you don't seem to be willing to cross is an acknowledgement that, yes, Black people have a myriad of opportunities and, yes, more need to take advantage of them in order to bring themselves out of the disparaging situations many find themselves in. With that I totally agree.

However, not all of those opportunities that are available are actually available to those particular people because of the centuries of racism and discrimination and disenfranchisement perpetrated against them as a people. I mean, yes, you have banks ready, willing and able to offer low-cost loans for housing or businesses ... but you also have people who don't have the proper clothing to look presentable enough to enter the bank and ask for a loan, because they are poor. You have people who have no way to get to a bank (because there isn't one within miles of their neighborhood because one won't build there) because they don't have transportation to get there. Or poor families who out of the past 3 generations have no one who even completed high school who can even complete an application.

Our government has actively sought to keep Black and/or poor people down and outside of the American dream. That's no fantasy. The long-lasting campaign has been and in many ways continues to be quite effective. Just because you open an opportunity, doesn't mean it automatically makes it obtainable, especially when you are still intent on making it as hard to actually take advantage of as possible.

The government doesn't have to help Black/poor people with a handout. Improving the public school system so that more get educated and learn how to get to those opportunities is not too much to ask for a government that up until 40 years ago condoned forbidding higher education to Blacks based on their race. That type of barrier kept generations from a) going to school themselves, b) passing down the benefits and importance of education to their children and their children's children and down the line, c) kept generation after generation of Black people illiterate and poor and ignorant of what's even available to them, let alone where to find it and how to get it.

It needs to be a two-way street. The government DOES need to do somethings to combat the poverty of millions of Black people that it created due to the racial discrimination it inflict(s)ed on them to get them to this situation. AND at the same time More Black people DO need to take more and better advantage of the opportunities that are now available to them, if not for themselves then for others they can help. Help is out there and available ... but not everyone has unabated access to it. You can't expect them to act line the barriers aren't there. Some of them are generations high and long.
quote:
However, not all of those opportunities that are available are actually available to those particular people because of the centuries of racism and discrimination and disenfranchisement perpetrated against them as a people. I mean, yes, you have banks ready, willing and able to offer low-cost loans for housing or businesses ... but you also have people who don't have the proper clothing to look presentable enough to enter the bank and ask for a loan, because they are poor. You have people who have no way to get to a bank (because there isn't one within miles of their neighborhood because one won't build there) because they don't have transportation to get there. Or poor families who out of the past 3 generations have no one who even completed high school who can even complete an application.



EbonyRose:

YOU JUST PROVED MY POINT!!!

You spoke of the INDOCTRINATION that spans GENERATIONS of Black families. THIS IS WHAT NEEDS TO BE MANAGED if the TRANSFORMATION that I keep speaking of is to be achieved.

The healthy indoctrination that is absent within certain families must be introduced by the community.

Needless to say THE PEOPLE TODAY HAVE NOT BEEN SLAVES. Only the general culture that they have been raised in has made this journey.

The public school system that you speak of is not just a "government function". It is also a COMMUNITY FUNCTION. Regardless the amount of money that the government pours in if a culture of learning is not present as supported by the parents, administrators and students the performance of the school will be below standard.
MBM, C'mon... You know he isn't going to answer that question. Plus, I've been there and done that. And still haven't gotten an answer. Oh... but he does has a Stock Evasion. As you suggested, he does put the onus even ridiculously so on the "traditional" Black Civil Rights Leadership to the exclusion of all other dynamics and, of course, the given contexts.
quote:
Originally posted by Constructive Feedback:

The public school system that you speak of is not just a "government function". It is also a COMMUNITY FUNCTION. Regardless the amount of money that the government pours in if a culture of learning is not present as supported by the parents, administrators and students the performance of the school will be below standard.


Although this maybe true.......but first we must realize that the government, does not POUR money into schools located in certain areas.

(this is really not that hard to understand)

The more experience teachers run to the 'best' schools, because the pay is 'much' better. These schools are 'new', with up to date equipment, (computers, science labs, books etc.)

Now a child coming from a poor family that cant make enough money to pay their bills, or to buy clothes, etc, is being mentally drained. Now send them to a below standard school, expecting them to perform as 'well' as, a kid coming from a different environment..........its just not going to happen.

I would hope that some of us realize that, although we work hard to have what 'little' we own.................we must understand, that a door of opportunity opened for us........and we walked through it.

Most never get that opportunity...
quote:
Although this maybe true.......but first we must realize that the government, does not POUR money into schools located in certain areas.



In suburban Atlanta there is a BRAND NEW HIGH SCHOOL - Mundy's Mill HS. Last year was their first year of operation. This high school with brand new books, brand new building and kids that are a mix of solid middle class Blacks and moderate income Blacks HAD PROBLEMS WITH GANGS and experienced shootings after a school football game and then at an off campus party. Gang activities are expected in both incidents.

The money spent and the comparison to "rich White people" alone does not address all of the issues.

I was glad to see the community come together to address the problems with gangs in their community. It is the COMMUNITY that has come together now to manage the school and put forth a different outcome than what these kids, left unchecked would produce.

The danger in pursuing the agenda of playing the "equal funding game" BEFORE we could have quality education HAS THE PEOPLE GOING AFTER MORE MONEY THAN AFTER QUALITY EDUCATION?

Secondly if you are shorted by the State and the Feds AND you are the chief beneficiary in receiving these funds - do you SIT AND WAIT for someone else to come through for you prior to you engaging into action?
quote:
Originally posted by Fine:
Cornel West has unlimited insight in his bucket, he is a forerunner in modern times in the field of philosophy, and I personally think his ability to put together an unparalleled perspecive of the Katrina is noteworthy for all people of color!

Fine


The question is "What is his bucket full of because it smells funny to me?"

Unfortunately the poor people in New Orleans and other places have been listening to PHILOSOPHERS for too damned long and look at where it has led them.

They need to hear new messages from people who can put forth the equation IF YOU WANT TO ATTAIN AND SUSTAIN A CERTAIN STANDARD OF LIVING THEN THIS IS WHAT YOU MUST DO AND STOP DOING IN ORDER TO ACHIEVE IT.

Cornell West and many others will NEVER, NEVER, NEVER provide the leadership and the message to TRANSFORM the people only to COMFORT THEM that IT IS NOT THEIR FAULT.

This man can't even get his story straight on CAPITALISM. I listened to his speech on C-SPAN earlier this year to a college crowd in which he trashed capitalism as an economic system. Now we see that capitalism is not that bad when the poverty index is increased largely because of the hyper activity of capitalism in the broader economy lead to more jobs for the poor.

People traveling created jobs for hotel personnel, people working security at the airport, people cleaning planes, people perparing the meals, the list goes on.

Many of you how are inclinded to accept his Bush bad/Clinton good comparison don't bother to inspect what made for the temporary boom in the economy AND WORSE YET how this maps to your own personal ideology with regard to economics.
quote:
Originally posted by Constructive Feedback:

This high school with brand new books, brand new building and kids that are a mix of solid middle class Blacks and moderate income Blacks HAD PROBLEMS WITH GANGS and experienced shootings after a school football game and then at an off campus party. Gang activities are expected in both incidents.


Do you have a coherent point here CF? White folks have Columbine. SO WHAT? What is your point???? Confused Furthermore, nothing that you've written says that the high school kids were responsible for the problems. Perhaps they were local kids out to start trouble. Who knows? Bottom line - what does this have to do with academic achievement?
quote:
Originally posted by Constructive Feedback:


Cornell West and many others will NEVER, NEVER, NEVER provide the leadership and the message to TRANSFORM the people only to COMFORT THEM that IT IS NOT THEIR FAULT.


Obviously, you've never read anythng he has written. nono You have such a warped view of the world.

quote:
This man can't even get his story straight on CAPITALISM. I listened to his speech on C-SPAN earlier this year to a college crowd in which he trashed capitalism as an economic system. Now we see that capitalism is not that bad when the poverty index is increased largely because of the hyper activity of capitalism in the broader economy lead to more jobs for the poor.


Why is this so difficult for you? Here, I'll even personalize this to ensure that the examples are as clear as possible for you.

1) I AM A CAPITALIST. I make my living in the business world. I believe in the profit motive and free markets. Furthermore, I like money and have been blessed to earn more than my fair share in my life.

2) I ALSO SEE CAPITALISM'S NEAR FATAL FLAWS. As practiced now, capitalism is more about exploitation than not. Greed becomes the ultimate behavioral driver and morality and ethics and concern for fellow man often are ignored.

There is no inconsistency in these two statements. I can embrace a system, yet be critical of it - working to mold it into a shape that better fits my vision.

It is in no ways inconsistent for Cornell and others to reject those aspects of capitalism that are exploitive and negative for black people while embracing those things that are positive and that help black people. Why is this concept completely lost on you?
quote:
Originally posted by qty226:
quote:
Originally posted by Constructive Feedback:

The public school system that you speak of is not just a "government function". It is also a COMMUNITY FUNCTION. Regardless the amount of money that the government pours in if a culture of learning is not present as supported by the parents, administrators and students the performance of the school will be below standard.


Although this maybe true.......but first we must realize that the government, does not POUR money into schools located in certain areas.

(this is really not that hard to understand)

The more experience teachers run to the 'best' schools, because the pay is 'much' better. These schools are 'new', with up to date equipment, (computers, science labs, books etc.)

Now a child coming from a poor family that cant make enough money to pay their bills, or to buy clothes, etc, is being mentally drained. Now send them to a below standard school, expecting them to perform as 'well' as, a kid coming from a different environment..........its just not going to happen.

I would hope that some of us realize that, although we work hard to have what 'little' we own.................we must understand, that a door of opportunity opened for us........and we walked through it.

Most never get that opportunity...


tfro tfro

CF ...

The amount of money that a government "pours" into a school is the difference between school books, quality teachers and effective teaching methods, and extracurricular activities and elective classes that help to promote a more healthy learning environment. It is the difference between learning in fan-cooled bungalows vs. air conditioned class rooms and providing proper lighting and an atmosphere that is condusive to learning.

It damn sure does matter how much (or little) is "poured" into the system. There are millions of below-poverty-line students in sub-standard schools with a strong support base that make it through school despite the odds presented to them and become the first in their families to make it to college. There are many caring communities that do their best with what they have (which are not millions of dollars they need or should have) to support their children (and their parents) with afterschool care and activities where the schools they attend have the ceiling falling in on them.

You cannot dismiss the need for the government to hold up their end because the community may not being doing all they can with the limited resources they have to hold up theirs. It's not an either/or proposition. It's a too/and one.
Because I live in New Jersey I have had the opportunity to meet and hear Dr. West. Big Grin I am a big fan and agree with his article for the most part. He is, however, dead wrong about George though. George is not a Christian, has no soul and his behavior is on purpose just as Kanye West said. I absolutely agree with Kanye on George.

Unfortunately, Dr. West is also right about the fact that the Black middle class is doing little to change the nightmare of poverty in our country for poor or upwardly mobile but economically challenged Black people, I share fault for this as well on a macro level, I do what I can on a micro level.

Dr. King did die for his cause, so did Malcolm X. Farrakhan had a real opportunity to change things after the Million Man March, he has failed. Jesse has no moral authority. Frankly, there are no Black leaders who are leading the charge, all they do is posit powerful rhetoric, but words do not change facts in this case. It is a sad testament to our people that we have failed to capitalize on our opportunities as a group.

My thought is that we as a group have difficulty with the concept of delayed gratification because of our history of short miserable lives so we take what scraps we can when we can get them. I am a big proponent of private or boarding schools for inner city kids. Any child if given the chance to thrive will do so, but having children at 13~18 years old is a recipe for poverty. Our kids still do it every day, which I find even more troubling.

Jim Chester said "'Unprepared Parenthood' may well be called 'The Entrance Door to Poverty'". See Affirmative Action v. Abortion. I also think it was Bill Cosby who said that they [ people who have children at a young age with no resources]are bringing us down. I guess I am bringing this up because I was most troubled during the Katrina coverage at the sight of all of the infants and small children that were caught up in that Superdome/Convention Center/ Roof Top/Street Swim New Orleans maelstrom.

Perhaps, these recent event will cause our girls to think twice about having babies who they cannot afford to economically support. Who would want their child to suffer like that? Now that the government has proven that they truly do not give a shit about us it may be time for us [the Black middle class] to get some real FUBU going. tfro
I was most troubled during the Katrina coverage at the sight of all of the infants and small children that were caught up in that Superdome/Convention Center/ Roof Top/Street Swim New Orleans maelstrom.---Nikcara

The consequence of the system exposed by Katrina distrurbed me deeply as well.

As I indicated in another post, I am coming to grips with the prospect of laying, at least, the early steps for establishing an African American Party.

This is what I see as the long-term solution to our generations-old political problem.

I am starting by learning what is needed to 'clear the bar' in Pennsylvania.

It will be very slow going.

But then we didn't get here in a day.

I am hoping what I learn here will be transplantable in other States to assist those inclined.

By the way, I too like the boarding school approach.

Controlled environment is great assist.


PEACE

Jim Chester
quote:
Originally posted by MBM:
quote:
Originally posted by MBM:
CF - sil vous plait

quote:
Originally posted by MBM:

Can you name one black conservative who has done jack shit for the black community? Confused


PLEASE DEFINE WHAT A "BLACK CONSERVATIVE" IS AND I WILL GLADLY DO SO FOR YOU.

CONVERSELY - Do you think that Louis Farrahkan is a "Black Liberal"?
Can I get anyone on this message board to tell me that they were SATISFIED WITH THE RATE OF POVERTY IN THIS COUNTRY BEFORE BUSH GOT INTO OFFICE ON ABSOLUTE TERMS?

Clearly Cornell West must have been (even though we didn't hear him say it during that time) since he is now able to make reference to the percentage of increase over the last 5 years.

What was the most memorable phrase heard from Black Quasi-Socialist Progressive Fundementalist leaders?

1) Brother - they are handing out money from venture capitalist funds like water - you had better get out there and start a business so you can get funding

or

2) The stock market is booming Black folks! You had better get that money from under your mattress and watch it grow

OR OR OR

3) There is a DIGITAL DIVIDE in which those WITHOUT about being LEFT BEHIND in this economy that is being changed by the Internet. We need the GOVERNMENT to step in to make sure that poor Blacks are not LEFT BEHIND?

I can go to Jamaica in the NON-TOURIST AREAS and see "Kinko's type" SHARED COMPUTER centers to make sure that everyone who can't afford a computer can have access to it and they pay for what they use.

THERE WAS NOT A SINGLE Black Quasi-Socialist Progressive Leader who talks about the DIGITAL DIVIDE that mentioned anything about creating a business that provided the SERVICE of computer services to the people.

Secondly can anyone stand here and tell me that the poor people of NEW ORLEANS had their heyday during the Clinton Administration where their lives were transformed from a state that many of you would otherwise say stemmed from SLAVERY except now that the comparison is to Bush and thus you pretend taht they were just fine before Bush took over.

In your quest to carry forth the partisan SCHEME that is strong within the Black community you CONTENT YOURSELF with placing blame with your political adversaries but never seem to SOLVE THE PROBLEM. You are PACIFIED for the moment only to be "screwed" once again in the future. Could it be that YOU are part of the problem?

Cornell West and Michael Eric Dyson suffer from the same fate. Both are elloquent speakers but both are THEORISTS.

Black folks tend to be attracted to scholars from the HUMANITIES, as both of them are, WHEN WE NEED SCHOLARS FROM THE RHELM OF BUSINESS MANAGEMENT, SCIENCE OR ECONOMICS THAT CAN TRANSLATE THEIR KNOWLEDGE INTO JOBS AND ECONOMIC PROSPERITY. Some of you are satisfied with mental PACIFICATION.

Despite West's constant hits on capitalism he is a PRODUCT OF CAPITALISM. From the airline fight that he takes from location to location to the electricity that he uses to carry his voice within the hall of the school that is named after a BUSINESS TITAN.

When Black folks get serious about JOBS and ECONOMIC PROSPERITY more of us will look at the ratings of inviduals by the Chamber of Commerce than by the activist group who has yet to create a job.
CONstructive "Feed"back...

Your Question Asking privileges have been REVOKED!! Big Grin

Deflect and Redirect tactics will not be excused and you will not skirt the issue by trying to change the issue.

You are on record as saying you are a Black.... Conservative. Whether that has anything to do with you supporting the Republican party or not, the fact remains you espouse views in line with those core WHITE CONSERVATIVE views not unlike THE Black Card Carry CONservative/Republicans, etc.

So SEMANTICS won't save you. What have people who have promoted views approximating the sum total of your views ever done for the Black Community? That is, by the same standard you hold the so-called BLPF to, what has your ideological group (of which Farrakhan is not one) ever done for the Black Community. Again, utilizing the same standards YOU apply to BLPF?

What has you and yours (people like you, in mind and CONservative ideology; and your ideology itself) done for the Black Community? How has it TRANSFORMED the Black Community? Some examples of the worth, value and strength of your ideology to do whatever you charge that the BLPF should do or should have done...

There is no reason to dodge that question... This commands you to move beyond RHETORIC. You claim you want DEMOCRACY within the Black Community complete with the chance for all views to have a Fair Hearing or what-have-you... Now it's time to show what you and yours are made of. Show us the FRUIT of your type of Black Conservativism. Or are there any?

Again, you and I... hell we all know Farrakhan is not your ideological brother and, as such, it is complete irrelevant where and how MBM or anyone else would classify Farrakhan because his ideology when compared to yours is a no-brainer as it relates to the obvious and glaring differences. Further, it makes absolutely no sense for you to invoke him for any other reason.

And, as a matter of fact, you pretty have already labeled anyone who doesn't follow some WHITE strains of socio-political CONservativism a "Black Liberal"... Progressive Fundamentalist. Hmmm.... Can't get more "fundamentalist" than those who have strong religious sentiments, especially those with religion as the core of their philosophy, even the so-called psuedo-religious.


ALL YOUR WOLF TICKETS ARE IN MY POCKETS!
NOW WHAT!!! sck
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK
Nmaginate - what ever you say dude.

Again I ask "Was Malcolm X a Black Liberal? Is Louis F a Black Liberal?"

What were their views on gay marriage? Welfare? Mental Dependency in general?

What about Marcus Garvey? The man who arguably was able to MOBILIZE BLACK FOLKS into an organization that changed their consciousness for the better more than any other Black man to date. Was HE a Black Lib? He certainly REPUDIATED the "Ted Kennedy type policies hoisted upon Black folks".
quote:
Originally posted by Constructive Feedback:
Can I get anyone on this message board to tell me that they were SATISFIED WITH THE RATE OF POVERTY IN THIS COUNTRY BEFORE BUSH GOT INTO OFFICE ON ABSOLUTE TERMS?

Secondly can anyone stand here and tell me that the poor people of NEW ORLEANS had their heyday during the Clinton Administration where their lives were transformed from a state that many of you would otherwise say stemmed from SLAVERY except now that the comparison is to Bush and thus you pretend taht they were just fine before Bush took over.


Can you say that having the number of Black people living under the poverty level go up every year under Bush is not a worse condition for Black people to be under?

quote:
Cornell West and Michael Eric Dyson suffer from the same fate. Both are elloquent speakers but both are THEORISTS.


nono

The only similarities is that they are both Black, and both could use a new barber! Big Grin
Dude, again... None of those people you name fit into your category of a CONSERVATIVE. This ridiculous attempt to MISAPPROPRIATE those people who, while they are in some respects, by some definitions, "conservative"... does not work. You can't separate all that they were in an attempt to get your half-assed ideology some props.

For one, they never used RHETORIC to the extremes you do without balancing it with some common sense and making sure that common sense was a common and constant strain in their RHETORIC.

Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X, etc. won't save you nor do they provide you any cover. You and I both know you didn't and would stand with them, especially considering your FANTASTIC Issues.

Even using similar RHETORIC doesn't help you. Ain't Nothing Like The REAL THING, CF. And, when it comes to those mentionables... you're a fake. Your ideology, as expressed... that is.
quote:
There has not been a giant since King, someone prepared to die and create an insurgency where many are prepared to die to upset the corporate elite.
-- cornel west

dr. west's thoughts have rarely ever resonated with me like his thoughts in this commentary, particularly the unction of words quoted here. if i'm not mistaken, malcolm x expressed a similar thought. i certainly share both thinkers appeal to those who desire some revolutionary change in the affairs of today. it's the only option remaining.

the bickering back and forth has done little but maintain the status quo. liberal or conservative, the noise represents nothing but a continum of the same wretched debate that has spanned since the formation of this union: what about them[the negroes]?

the only way you gain some measure of respect in the world is the willingness to die for your cause while using nothing but brute force. that's one fact that terrorists have demonstrated time and time again.
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