Saturday at 11am (ET) on C-SPAN & C-SPAN Radio.
State of the Black Union - Making Good On America's Promise.
When is the promise of America going to stop being such a dichotomous, partially-empty promise for Black people? Perhaps starting this weekend in Los Angeles
What a time to consider the conditions of Black people in America.
We live in such a time of dichotomies.
An African-American man has become president for the first time in the history of the country. And we have an increasing number of Black males going to jail and dropping out of high school.
There are some communities in the United States that may have a Black city council member, a Black governor, and a Black president simultaneously. And those residents may still not feel safe enough to walk the streets of their communities.
We can note the accomplishments of Black professionals such as Dr. Ben Carson as documented in "Gifted Hands" on TNT. And we have an alarming rate of new HIV cases to add to our disproportionate rates of hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease.
Yes, we are at a crossroads of action and accountability, apathy and despair. Hopefully, this weekend's "State of the Black Union" in Los Angeles will put us on the right path. ...
Before arriving in town for the event (which begins with a reception on Thursday evening), I may have a chance to read Accountable: Making America As Good As Its Promise, Tavis Smiley's final book in his Covenant series of books. T
he book covers the task that America – and notable Black America – has before it: to aid President Obama in the task of bringing about a more secure, prosperous, and fair America for a greater number of its citizens.
As I look through the book and participate in this weekend, it is my sincere hope to hear more about putting solutions in place.
All that I have heard this week about the recovery bill is that we have never seen a perfect piece of legislation, but since something had to be done, the bill was pushed through (without much bipartisanship and decreasing support from the country.)
Regardless of your view on the bill, we need to take the same approach in Black America.
We can not continue to take the "paralysis by analysis" approach to the issues in the African-American community. I understand that many are doing a lot to turn the situations around. For that, they must be commended, supported, and assisted. However, our level of outrage has not hit a point where we are forced to do nothing else but act.
This must change. Even if we can't put together the perfect plans of action this weekend, we must take immediate action – and more of us must be involved in that action.
It will take a divergence of thought, backgrounds, and cultures to turn this around. It will take us breaking down stereotypes within the Black community in order to break down the walls keeping Black people from greater levels of success. We must talk honestly and deal with our internal pain inclusively if we are going to heal from the trauma incurred by our communities over the past 20 years in spite of the national Black accomplishments obtained.
Most importantly, we must establish a new level of standards, ethics, and acceptable behaviors within Black America if we are going to rise up and increase self-esteem, educational achievements, martial vitality, and acceptance of our Americanism before we rot away from Black-on-Black crime, increasing poverty, and a paralysis that prompts us to observe more than engage, talk more than tackle the issues head on.
If we are going to make America as good as its promise, we had better become more accountable. It's the only way we will get back on the right path.