I suppose that it's been the culmination of several recent thought-provoking posts here lately that really got me to thinking about the problem of our lack of unity and the problem that causes for harnessing any real power in this country … let alone using it effectively and to our primary benefit.

While realizing that it’s endemic for us due to our history and circumstance, as well as it being a condition of a highly self-centered mentality in modern times, it’s crippling to us as a people that we can’t even organize over things by which we are all (or at least a majority of us are) affected (i.e., racism, the (in)justice system, discriminatory economic policies, the (mis-)education of our children, etc.) … let alone agree on important matters such as what should be done, how or by whom.

And we are getting nowhere fast acting as individuals instead of a unit.  In fact, in many ways, we have taken a step backwards … and in many categories are doing worse, not better, in the area of progress than the generation that came before us.

So, I got to thinking … what could possibly be a "solution" to that?   What would be something that could bring us all together … that all of us could rally around and agree – at least basically - on that would effectively propel us forward and produce tangible results?  Especially for the young people who seem to be more graphic than nostalgic … and prefer to see instant gratification of accomplishment to prove that something rewarding is indeed being done.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that at least one of those things .. and probably the most powerful of them all ... would be something we already have access to … and that would be exercising our right to vote.

Voting is seldom recognized for its power and influence.  But when used effectively, it can and has been used to sway positive outcomes for a number of various special interest, ethnic and racial groups.

One of the main reasons that we don't see the type of benefits possible from voting is that most of us simply don't do it … especially in elections at the local and state level.  President Obama's recent election was historic in the number of people of ALL demographics that went to the polls.  Additional millions of young, first time, never-before-never-again, and non-politically-interested individuals voted in this election alone for a variety of different reasons.

But, in the recent local and state primary elections, less than 40% of the eligible electorate went out and cast a vote.  Of course, the majority of them were White (as always).  The nationwide percentages for eligible Black voters were put somewhere around 20%, I believe.  But having the power and using it are two different things entirely.

The vote is something we already have … not something that we have to struggle to obtain before we use it.  It's an established method for gaining power at many levels.  As far as unity goes, we basically vote as a (unified) bloc already .. not because we're stupid, as some people like to surmise, but because we pretty much have the same basic (moral) values of right and wrong, equality and justice  - as a culture and as a people. (Though the 'moral' issue is a shaky line these days, but that's another subject and another thread! )  Those of us that do vote generally vote what we perceived to be our best interests – both individually and as a community.   And that perception, for the most part, is pretty much the same.

Our biggest problem, as I foresee it, is getting the non-voting members of our community to become interested in the process.  Since that breaks down along a large number of variables and demographics, there are, I'm sure there are a variety of different and creative ways of getting that done!  But all Black “leaders”, organizations, activists and even the Black clergy need to be involved in mobilizing this highly powerful and critical tool to be used in our favor.

It’s a game-changer in "The Game" that America plays with its citizens.  Voting to place certain people in places of power and position is the way national business is conducted and an intricate part of the American way of life.  You can bet that come November – and in every other election to come – the Republicans, (known enemies of Black America) are going to use this very method to try to regain control of the government.

In fact, they've  already told us that this is their plan of action.  They intend to "vote" the Democrats out of office.  And, as always, they are destined to win … because we can’t help but lose if we don’t put up a comparative and parallel fight.

 

IMO, effective voting is a road on which we can pick up the materials we need to build  the foundation for a strong, self-supportive, prosperous and successful community.  The power to effect social, political and economic change for ourselves and the future of our children from our local surroundings to federal law can be achieved if we pool our numbers together through the simple process of the vote.  It took blood, sweat and lives to secure this very important right of citizenship for us … and for a very good reason.  It’s powerful.

 

It can give us a united voice for empowerment that would be a whole lot louder if we could only get our people to use it to speak.

 
 BLACK by NATURE, PROUD by CHOICE.
Original Post
I agree.

How?

Everytime I have considered a solution for the problem, it came down to the same thing.

Money.

We are...essentially...followers.

Most people are.

Success in the effort REQUIRES money.

It is the vote that exercises the ultimate power.

A political action committee (PAC) enables both.

Starting first with a national PAC, then extending into every State and Protectorate seems the strategic thing to do.

Now what?

PEACE

Jim Chester
Actually, JWC ... and I don't mean for this to sound as condescending as it probably does, but I believe that what you're suggesting is a bit too complicated for us to handle at this time.  Nor can we really afford to wait for the implementation of such a complex process to be formed and take hold.

IMO, the simplicity of exercising our right to vote is the biggest benefit to being able to immediately implement the power to begin obtaining our goals.  As was seen with the election of President Obama ,,, our people don't even need to understand the intricacies of political reasoning or process involved.  They just need to show up on election day ... in large numbers.  And vote collectively for people that can make positive change.

The youth vote showed that they can be motivated to participate if they believe that they are empowered to create change.  That's one of the main reasons so many of them showed up ... to make a statement that they believed could be seen and heard on a practical and realistic level ... not only in America but around the world.

Political strategies such as the formation of a PAC, or a Black (social, political or economic) advisory group, or a lobbying committee, or any such thing as that would definitely increase productivity, but is not necessary to get the ball rolling.  And, personally, I don't see 'unification' coming about by trying to gather us all together and make us agree on something.

That method has been tried, tested and failed many times over, over the course of several decades.  Integration pretty much blew that possibility all to hell when it destroyed our sense of togetherness for the sake of taking care of and looking out for each other.

But the right to vote and elect our representatives and dictate direction in our lives remains.  No matter how scattered or individualistic or even (politically) uneducated we are .. the vote is still a powerful, effective, uncomplicated and guaranteed method that can be utilized by all of us to effect positive change.  Right here.  Right now.  And free of charge.

All we have to do is step up to a polling booth .. and use it.
Hmmm ... well, that's the $64,000 question, now isn't it?

I'll tell ya, JWC, I don't think there is any one method .. and by extension, answer to that question, really.

President Obama was able to do it through a pretty much ground-floor-up grassroots effort of getting the message out (in his case he was selling "hope").  I would think the same kind of effort could be implemented within our community to encourage people to start going to the polls.  Some of these newly re-emerging organizations like the NAACP and the National Urban League are recruiting thousands of new members through colleges and youth groups.  They could provide the catalyst for reaching out to a large section of the population.

Also, a large number of our youngun's these days seem to be willing to do whatever the *popular* entertainer-of-the-moment tells them to ... so, I would think engaging the kind of activism that was implemented in the 2008 election through the music and entertainment could be used again for the same purpose.

I don't look at it as something that's going to happen overnight.  Ways and means are going to have to be found to encourage more people to make voting an eventual habit.  The way it already is for most African American people over 50.  Those who still remember the 'why' of it vote in practically every election our of a sense of duty, responsibility and respect.

It's those that don't who need to be motivated and encouraged.  And there are proven ways of doing that ... it's not like it hasn't been done before.

I remember when I first moved here, the (White, male) Mayor of Houston was leaving the job due to term limits.  But on the ballot that year was the determination of voters whether or not to keep Affirmative Action laws on the books for city and country government contracts for minorities (and women).

Mayor Bob fought real hard to make sure that happened ... and got a lot of his rich, White friends to support the effort as well.  With the money he raised, he then bought a lot of local radio and TV air time and set about getting the Black community all fired up about going to the polls to vote for the Proposition.  And it worked!  There were organized carpools, neighbors taking neighbors, dragging old people out of their beds .. but in the end, a record number of Black voters turned out.. AA was saved.. and the first African American mayor (who was just freakin' AWFUL!) managed to slide into a victory!  It worked pretty much the same way it did almost 10 years later when the President did basically the same exact thing.

I suppose, on a personal/individual level, we can just tell/encourage/motivate everyone we know to tell/encourage/motivate everyone they know. Especially our children & young voting-aged family members ... and their friends.  Maybe a heartfelt plea at family reunions!    Whatever works.

It just needs to be done.

When I attempted to open this topic……the text did no load in my outdated version of internet explorer that I am running. It was the ONLY topic thread; I kid you not, which would not open. Is that a sign? Is black unity in these times a non-starter that just will not load under the existing framework? I could not read the text until I opened the site using Mozilla’s Firefox browsers.  

 

 

That strange experience notwithstanding, human nature should be understood, first and foremost, as it governs all human behavior. Unity is the corollary of enmity. People naturally come together against a common enemy. If it were discovered that aliens from another planet existed and had desires to take over this planet, racial, religious, tribal, political, national, etc difference would be put aside as we will recognize our commonality in the face an existential threat. Unity, therefore, is a survival and defense mechanism of human nature.

 

 

In light of this, one cannot seek to promote black unity without first clearly providing the optics of who the enemies are. We had greater unity in the past because the optics was clear. By setting up a society, America, based upon white skin privilege and supremacy and with laws and violence designed to keep black people below white people, the enemy was clear. Naturally, when that optics faded from view, so did the degree of black unity. So again, to revive black unity, one has to revive or re-expose the enemies of black folks. I know I am personally not for a revival of the degree of racism that once existed that unified us as a people; however, I am for exposing the stealth forces against us.

 

 

The first thing we need to realize is that there are not 40 million black folks. Rather, there are about a billion black folks on the planet. We have to recognize our link to the other 960 million black folks in the world, to truly realize the hell we as a people are catching and those forces that are arrayed against us. One cannot promote unity while practicing tribalism, whether in African or America. As the African proverb goes;” War between grasshoppers delights the crows”. Too many of us just don’t see Africans in the same way we see African Americans and visa-versa.  However, we are all victims of the same phenomenon or external threat.

 

 

The truth is that today, unlike in the past, politics in America has little to do with the plight of black folks and our historical struggles. We are not going to vote our way to equality, which should be crystal clear when a black liberal president will not even give special attention to black inequality. Game over! Electing black mayors did not create equality in our cities or lessen the problems of black folks living in those cities, in net effect. We elected black governors with the same result and again, we have a black president liberal president and we are moving no closer to equality for the collective. Hence, anyone putting their faith in voting as a means, going forward, to this end of equality and unity, they are sadly mistaken. Nothing short of a revolution in the streets will bring change from hence forth.

Reference:
What does UNITY mean in practice?

Being willing to look out for somebody other than yourself.

At least it used to ... when we had it.

Before integration, we used to didn't have to give consideration to "others" ... other than ourselves.  In fact, interaction with Whites was highly discouraged ... 'cause it usually brought on misery and pain.  Sometimes death.

So Black people consciously looked out for each other ... we knew our neighbors and would come together and helped them out if they were experiencing hard times, we supported and patronized each other's businesses, we fed each other and helped to raise each other's children, we shared what little we might have had with somebody who might have had less.

My Dad says that when he was a boy, his mother used to get the newspaper delivered everyday (once she was able to afford to pay for it).  After she died, the delivery man still dropped the paper everyday for years afterwards ... and paid for it himself because he knew my grandmother was a strong advocate of education ... and the kids needed to continue to read it to stay on top of things.  Once they could afford it, they started paying for it themselves.

Everybody looked out for everybody else.  Not necessarily just because they wanted to ... and had to ... but because back then, unity was just the natural order of things.

But, unfortunately, it's not like that anymore.

Looking out for someone other than oneself is not called unity, but rather, compassion and or benevolence.  Unity is defined, by disctionary.com, as combining into one. My avatar is a Unity Man carving from Ghana.

 

Are we seeking geographic unity, economic unity, emotional unity, cognitive unity, religious unity, ect, or all of the above?  Does unity manifest as willful separation?

(i.e., racism, the (in)justice system, discriminatory economic policies, the (mis-)education of our children, etc.)

So what has been stopping Black Americans from creating book lists for out children?  Wouldn't the NAACP be a good centralized organization to handle that?  We act like all education comes from schools which are controlled and certified by Whites.  What if 75% of the important information that a person knows comes from outside of White controlled schools.  Why should the palefaces know where your info comes from.  It is the usefulness of the information to the individual that matters.

But in actuality my life experience has been that Black people are more stingy with knowledge than Whites.  And people act like there is something wrong with you if you know what you are talking about.

Xum
Reference:
So what has been stopping Black Americans from creating book lists for out children?

I believe the reason is because we don't have a long entrenched experience of cloaking our children in education.  Free and available access to it is only about a generation or so old.  Historically, while our ancestors always fought for, valued and encouraged education that they didn't have for their children, for most of them it just didn't happen that way.  Many families couldn't have afforded books or afforded to let an able body go to school when they could be working in the fields.

That's not to say that we don't need to take better control over our children's education ... I mean, obviously we do, because things aren't working out really well with the current method!  Too many of our kids are coming out of high school nearly illiterate .. if they end up graduating at all.  And that should be unacceptable.  We obviously need to do a better job.

But, there's a lot of things that we don't do as effectively as we should because (due to racism and oppression) we just don't have that level of experience of doing it to the point where we've figured out what to do and how to do it well.  White folks have been doing what they're doing for centuries and have established methods and systems in place for their continued prosperity and well-being.

We're just kinda getting started. And may be a little slow coming out the gate.
{{{  Include all the 'black' people of the world??

The first steps with:

1.   some define an entity

2.   establish a bank account (treasury)

3.   advertise the exist

4.   invite participation.  }}}

How about define objectives and admit the obstacles to those objectives both external and internal?

How to deal with the DAWGs?   [Dumb Ass White Guys]

Xum

PS - OK, I admit it.  I have an ATTITUDE Problem. 
Reference:
So what has been stopping Black Americans from creating book lists for out children?
A book list is no substitute for education. Not even close. I have said it before, but I guess that it bears repeating. While there are certainly things to commend about autodidacts, they often do not evince the ability to integrate, assimilate, analyze, and critically evaluate material. Most people need systems and structures to facilitate the schemetization of information and knowledge. In other words, they need to be taught to learn; they need facilitators and interlocutors in order to achieve comprehension.

I routinely have supposedly bright college students read a text and write a short response to it. They are supposed to state the thesis, offer a concise summary, and offer an insightful analysis and critique of the work. At the beginning of the semester, perhaps 50 percent can come close to doing so. It takes a great deal of work on my part, using different pedagogical methodologies and giving copious feedback for them to grasp many concepts.

What is needed more than books is a culture that values learning and education, that is not anti-intellectual, and that embraces discursivity.

I think we were designed to learn biologically, so I disagree that we have to be taught to learn. Observation and emulation (practice) is the most natural and hence efficient means of learning. All animals learn this way and humans don’t get an exception from this rule. The key to learning is INTEREST and receiving pleasure from it. Things one finds pleasure in they will do it as often as possible. People become computer whiz kids because they love playing around with computer code. People become math whizzes because they love the manipulation of numbers. One does not have to be a genius to have a high IQ, they just need to have a profound interest in learning.  

 

Learning has to be made FUN as opposed to a CHOR. The benefit or reward from learning is too far removed from its economic and social benefit for youth. When one finds interest and fun in learning, the reward is immediate.

Reference:
A book list is no substitute for education.
It depends on what you think education means.

To me education means the acquisition of relevant knowledge.  Now that can be done by schooling but that does not mean it is the only way.  We tend to assume that people got their knowledge of a particular subject from schooling but how can you ever know?  You only see the result.  Now if the grade schools kill children's curiosity and knowledge must be forced in after that then schooling is probably where they got it from.

I could learn more in a week as a result of a sci-fi book than in a month from the nuns.  They had science books and NEVER USED THEM.  So what might one learn about science by looking up stuff as a result of reading this:

http://www.gutenberg.org/files.../24161-h/24161-h.htm

How do you get oxygen from water?

What is the book list going to hurt?  The worst that could happen is they don't use it.  I did not say not go to school just because of a book list.

Xum
Reference by JWC:
Now we are going to analyze 'unity'??

Include all the 'black' people of the world??

The first steps with:
1. some define an entity
2. establish a bank account (treasury)
3. advertise the exist
4. invite participation.

Whoa there, Mr. Chester!  You're putting the cart before my horse, here! 

At least at this moment in time, what I am suggesting is not on that big of a scale!  Ultimately achieving a 'world-wide' unity of African people everywhere is a goal we need to strive for.  But, what I'm talking about now is just a unified movement of African Americans achieving direction with the tools available to us and ready to utilize... right now!

For example, in the 2008 election, the City of Houston voted overwhelmingly for President Obama ... while the state of Texas, as a whole, is so solidly considered a "red state" that they deemed it a victory for McCain before even counting all of the votes!

All around the country there are pockets of African American districts and cities  where we  make up a considerable chunk of the voting population, and it is in those places where, with a large voter turnout in elections, we can make a difference when it comes to who we put in office/positions of power, who we put in charge of who's educating our children and how, how money collected in taxes is spent, what kind of leadership we send to represent us in Washington.

Those choices (in every election) pretty much get made for us because we don't take the initiative to make them for ourselves.  Different cities and states have different needs ... but, directing individual monies (pooled together to create larger sums) to various candidates and organizations (in our own areas and in others where help might be needed) is a form of 'unified' organization to accomplish a specific goal.

And as far as putting the wrong people (politicians) in the wrong places .. well, hell, we do that anyway .. but, that will be something we will learn to work on and make better choices at as time goes on.

We can't expect to leave out of the starting gate doing all the right things and winning the race from the jump.  But what I am suggesting is a starting point ... the first steps being to learn to use something we already have at our disposal to make significant and effective change.

Simply convincing those in our community to go out and exercise their right to vote and make change and to get our voices heard is something is that basically free and relatively easy to do.  and if we can do it ... if we can make that happen ... the benefits would be many.  And astounding.

I'm on the run.  I'll have to get back to this later! 
Reference:
If you don't mind check this piece out. I am interested in what you all think about his comments regarding education and how might we go about it.

It sounds to me like what he is talking about is something we would need our own schools where we teach our own children to accomplish.  Fortunately, that type of education is already taking place in various areas around the country.  Unfortunately, the scale of such educational platforms are few ... and only a limited number of our children are reaping the benefits of it.

Hopefully, those numbers will continue to grow.
This is an interview with Queen Latifah (conducted by Tavis Smiley - just a warning for those who have trouble stomaching him!  ) ... but, her comments on the problems with educating our children were dead-on.

She has become the new ambassador for the Milton Hershey Academy, which provides a stable, effective learning environment for minority and low-income students and gives them opportunities for success that they otherwise wouldn't have.

http://www.pbs.org/kcet/taviss...vid=1445283926#video
Reference:
What is needed more than books is a culture that values learning and education, that is not anti-intellectual, and that embraces discursivity.
Agreed.  And tying this into the concept of "unity," you can't get there (to "unity") except through the use of some sort of centralized process.  A book list is a good idea, but anything like that has to be done in the course of compulsory education.  The black population here is around 40 million now, and even if you could somehow split that from the rest of the population, it is still huge enough that you could never expect any kind of "united" activity, especially in terms of education, outside of some organized, centralized system, like the compulsory education system that already exists. 

Tying that in with Ebony's discussion about voting, maybe the black electorate could make education its focus.  Organize and petition their congressmen on the federal level, and/or their state representatives, to overhaul education in some way consistent with what's been discussed here. 

Not that I'm necessarily advocating this, but what would a NATIONAL school uniform, for all American grade school kids, regardless of the state they're from, do to promote unity?

Well, none of this makes sense to me. Books, list, ect….makes no sense at all to me. Here we are as black people, who originate from a continent that is flourishing with natural resources, who have black presidents and Prime Ministers, legislator’s judicial appointees. It’s strange because the structure that we seek already exists….in Africa. If you water the root the leaves will flourish. The root for black people is Africa, but we don’t water it, but instead, water the roots that grow white wealth for Western civilization.

 

 

If African Americans adopted a small African nation and they intern adopted us, we could irrigate Africa and create a fertile land that we could depart to, if we choose, instead of trying to find acceptance in this here nation, which is circling the drain. Every people need a BASE to flourish. There is no place that black people can look to in this world and see black folks running things and flourishing. There can be no positive image of black people without watering the roots of Africa. There can be no true black unity and empowerment without Africa’s inclusion.

Reference:
If you don't mind check this piece out. I am interested in what you all think about his comments regarding education and how might we go about it.
Do you suppose he means something like understanding double-entry accounting which is 700 years old?   How hard can it be with today's computers?

Does he mean like understanding technology to tell when Whitey is trying to sell us crap designed to become obsolete.

That would come under DEPRECIATION in the accounting.

Physics affects machines.  Friction wears out the parts.  Thermal expansion and contraction creates fractures.  So how do the White economists say nothing about the DEPRECIATION of all of the things Americans have purchased in the last 50 years but they got added to GDP?  Economists add and call it growth but they don't subtract.

It's not about JOBS!  Its about WEALTH!  NAZInomics means designing the economy so the people that need the jobs run on a treadmill benefiting someone else.  That is the reason for accounting to NOT BE MANDATORY IN THE SCHOOLS.  Not even for the White kids.

http://www.toxicdrums.com/econ...s-by-dal-timgar.html

Xum
The unity of Black Americans AND sovereignty is a complex issue that will require a whole lot of hands on work. However, the first step will be a mind change. This was the first step that our enemies used to destroy us by killing our natural minds. Until we get our minds and children's minds in order we're screwed.
Even if we significantly improved 20% of the schools, which I think is highly unlikely, what does that do for the kids at the other 80%?

So regardless of the schools these cheap netbooks are a way to reach any kid that can get his hands on one.  And a Coby smartbook is supposed to be out for $85 very soon.  That isn't even one day's salary for a teacher.  So what can be done to stimulate a kid's curiosity with an $85 device?  I am not a teacher but I think curiosity is extremely important.  Then it is more a matter of getting out of the kid's way and answering questions now and then.

The trouble with the schools is they try to make you interested in what they decide  and competing with other kids is supposed to be a motivator.  Like who cares? LOL

http://www.laptopdrv.net/2010/...ndred-bucks-handson/

So it is a cheap e-book reader at least.  A better keyboard than any e-reader I've seen.  So what can it hurt regardless of what any teachers says?

Xum
Reference:
So regardless of the schools these cheap netbooks are a way to reach any kid that can get his hands on one. And a Coby smartbook is supposed to be out for $85 very soon. That isn't even one day's salary for a teacher. So what can be done to stimulate a kid's curiosity with an $85 device? I am not a teacher but I think curiosity is extremely important. Then it is more a matter of getting out of the kid's way and answering questions now and then.
Xum,
This conversation reminds me of the debate between Henry Highland Garnet and Frederick Douglas in 1849. Garnet wanted to get Bibles in the hand of every enslaved African because he believed that their reading of narratives like the Exodus story, or  Joshua, David, et al, leading the army of Hebrews against their enemies would inspire Africans to revolt and obtain their independence. Now Garnet was an exceptional individual, with an excellent education, but he had been born free. His parents were escaped Africans. He had not experienced first hand how slavery worked.

Douglas, on the other hand, had been a slave. Had been sent to a slave breaker when he was an adolescent, because he had shown himself to be too proud. Douglas also had knowledge that the Bible could be used as an instrument of control and pacification. He knew, as the old folks used to say, that the Bible could work as a Good Book and a Poison Book. It might inspire a movement, but it could also result in quietism and submissiveness.

I submit that the same problem obtains with respect to giving youth netbooks without instruction. I believe that they would be a powerful add to instruction in a supervised setting, but that in the absence of such, that curiosity is not a sufficient guarantor of a successful experience.

First, who is paying for the internet service that these kids are using. That is where the real cost is with respect to this technology. Are their parents expected to pay for it? One might suggest that there are places with free WiFi. It would be an interesting study to see how many such places exist in poor, lower economic communities across the country.

Next, assuming that a kid can get online, why in the world would they seek out a static medium like a text from Project Gutenberg , regardless of what the topics and materials are available. Why would they not play games, download music, look at inappropriate material (pornography, graphic violence, etc). What will prevent them from falling to the lure of internet predators. What is to keep them from falling into any one of a number of fringe groups from religious zealots to those that foment violence.

These are just a few ways that "it can hurt."
I won't bother with the Bible comparison.

{{{  I submit that the same problem obtains with respect to giving youth netbooks without instruction. I believe that they would be a powerful add to instruction in a supervised setting, but that in the absence of such, that curiosity is not a sufficient guarantor of a successful experience.  }}}

So you think I needed instruction besides the manual to build this when I was in grade school?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PeWq6oqeZI

That is the funny thing about those COMPLICATED plastic models.  The manufacturers know that these are OPTIONAL purchases.  If they write complicated manuals that frustrate the kids then they won't buy more models.  With computers, too many people have to buy them.  Then they have to upgrade.  What real incentive is there to make good comprehensible manuals?

The problem is that the computer industry produces confusing crap manuals.  I could not find the part number for doing a memory upgrade in a Compaq manual that was 1/2 an inch thick once.  Everybody is protecting their jobs.  All of the computers are von Neumann machines but you almost never see it mentioned.  But it is easy to find if you already know and go looking for it.   The culture works on information hiding and then we have all of this talk about education. 

They state it right here in a TIME magazine article 11 years ago:

http://www.time.com/time/magaz...,9171,990606,00.html

But if you start looking through books in a computer section of a major book store, most of the books won't mention it.  This society is very funny with its distribution of information.  So if EVERYONE could really get good comprehensible information fast strange things would happen with the way this culture works.

But that may be the next level of competiton in the culture.  Sure EVERYBODY has a degree but who actually has the more useful knowledge and where did they get it?  You can't tell where they got it.  If some kids do useful things with their computers they don't have to even tell their teachers.

Xum
Reference by Yemaya:
The unity of Black Americans AND sovereignty is a complex issue that will require a whole lot of hands on work. However, the first step will be a mind change. This was the first step that our enemies used to destroy us by killing our natural minds. Until we get our minds and children's minds in order we're screwed.

That could be a really long wait. 
Reference:
The trouble with the schools is they try to make you interested in what they decide and competing with other kids is supposed to be a motivator. Like who cares?
This is true .. today ... but the reason is because it has been federally mandated for schools, teachers and even students to perform in this manner.

Growing up, at every level of education, I had a variety of choices as to what I wanted to learn.  And my only real competition was with myself ... not against other students or the monthly report on (perceived) progress written by the school.  In addition to the obligatory "3 Rs" .. there were arts, sports, music, drama, wood or metal works, cooking, sewing, physical education.  I got to pick my "electives" every year (including in elementary school) .. and any kid with special interests could pretty much pursue them as much as they wanted to.

Today's education, as you say, resembles nothing like that.  But, too, today's students resemble nothing like we were, either.

It is amazing how many kids today are not 'curious' about learning and doing things ... especially about things that they don't already know about ... which in many cases is already quite limited.  And many of them and more are not the least bit motivated to do anything they're not seeing their "idols" or "heroes" (on TV) do .. which does not include education, innovation, or how they got from where they were to where they are now.

Added to that is a point that Kresge bought up ... that technology is not our strong suit ... and not only because of the number of our people who are simply uninterested in it (I know several Black people who own computers, but only use it for the one or two things that it serves their purpose for and that's it!) ... but also because of the lack of affordability and availability of broadband service ('cause dial-up ain't nothin' nice!).

While your special interest in science and technology and sci-fi and self-education is commendable ... and works really well for you ... the reality of the situation is that the majority of our people are not like you!  Not even remotely.  They do not share your basic interest and curiosity in the unknown.  Especially our youth.

Their interests are different and not all that varied.  Curiosity is a good thing .. but not something you can make somebody have if it's not already a part of their personality trait.  It usually goes better if you can recognize a child's talent,  strength and/or interest in a certain area or thing, and then nurture and motivate and educate them in that direction to better cultivate their skills.
{{{  Added to that is a point that Kresge bought up ... that technology is not our strong suit ... and not only because of the number of our people who are simply uninterested in it (I know several Black people who own computers, but only use it for the one or two things that it serves their purpose for and that's it!)

While your special interest in science and technology and sci-fi and self-education is commendable ... and works really well for you ... the reality of the situation is that the majority of our people are not like you!  Not even remotely.  They do not share your basic interest and curiosity in the unknown.  Especially our youth.  }}}

Well I assure you I have spent plenty of time wondering why.

I started reading science fiction at age 9.  School was boring and SF helped me learn stuff I wasn't being taught.

I knew a Black woman that owned a book store.  I used to stop over quite often.  She had a little section with science books for kids.  I had a plastic model of an SR-71 Blackbird hanging in my living room.  I thought it would be good advertising for the science section in her shop so I took it there to give it to her and I intended to build another one.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SR-71_Blackbird

She looked at it like I had a piece of horse manure in my hands even though she admitted that it would attract the attention of little boys.  When I started reading science fiction my mother told me it was "something crazy."  Of course I wondered how she could possibly know that without reading any even if it was true.  I ignored her and just didn't talk to her about it.

So I think there is a lot of discouragement from being interested in certain areas coming from members of the Black community.  But then I have had women that knew nothing about me call me ignorant to my face.  So if you create the problems you complain about what do you expect for solutions?  Blame it all on Honkys not funding the schools when computers cost $85.

That would be pretty hilarious!

If we refuse to think our way out of the White moron box it is absurd to try to blame it on the White morons.  Do you expect any of the technology to get less complicated in the future.  Bio-engineering which requires computers will be the next phase in technology.  Look at the movie Avatar.  How much is that an advance over The Matrix?  Don't you expect a lot more of that over the next 10 years.

The problem is not college.  The problem is all of the discouragement Black boys are bombarded with during their grade school years.  We are told stuff is difficult even if it is easy when it is just explained properly.  I started asking White people questions I already knew the answers to when I was in grade school and did it at IBM too.  Most of these Honkys are phonies that will tell you bullshit and often don't know the stuff themselves.  The system is mostly about just let people memorize only as much as they need to know.  Keep understanding to a minimum.  That is why I suggest books.  Teachers let their egos get in the way.  Books don't have egos.  It is just finding ones with good explanations that is the problem.

{{{  ... but also because of the lack of affordability and availability of broadband service ('cause dial-up ain't nothin' nice!).   }}}

That is the thing about wireless libraries now.

http://wirelesslibraries.blogspot.com/

Don't go the the library for the books.  Go for the wireless connections.

That is also the nice thing about BIG HARD DRIVES.  All we have to do is share what information to download off the internet.  Netbooks come with 160 gigabye hard drives.  Download the info.  Carry rhe netbook back home and study it there.  I think people paying $100 per month or more for cable and internet access are nuts.  I can live with lower speeds to pay $50.  But I know people that brag about have the fastest service.  For $600 I can buy a decent little oriental rug.  I can have torrents downloading in the background.  So it takes four hours to download.  It contains so much information it could take me weeks or months to study it anyway.

I talk about computers a lot but it is the INFORMATION the matters not the COMPUTERS.  The computers are just the METHOD.

Xum

PS - The really curios thing about the SR-71 Blackbird is that it could do 2000 mph in 1964.  What does that say about what they knew about aerodynamics in 1964?  What does that say about what they knew about metallurgy?  Doesn't that say the last 45 years of variations in cars that roll along the ground at less than 130 mph has been nothing but useless bullshit?  So we spent decades going into debt for useless variations.  It is late for learning about technology.  We should have been on it 40 years ago.  I have no patience for people saying we shouldn't be on it now.  It is the FASHION INDUSTRY that is totally irrelevant crap!  See how many Black women will scream about that though.  ROFL
Doesn't that say the last 45 years of variations in cars that roll along the ground at less than 130 mph has been nothing but useless bullshit?  So we spent decades going into debt for useless variations.  It is late for learning about technology.  We should have been on it 40 years ago.  I have no patience for people saying we shouldn't be on it now.---Xum

This has always been the case...with technology, cars, fuel, medicine, etc.

Airplanes have had 'automatic' brakes for decades before cars.

Synthetic gas was available...from coal...for years and years and years...coal gasification.

Liquid zinc was refused by the metal industry more than 40 years ago.

Recovery of our 600-year deep-mine, coal reserve was refused 30 years ago.

Relax.

It is not going to change.

PEACE

Jim Chester
Reference:
This has always been the case...with technology, cars, fuel, medicine, etc.

It hasn't always been the case that you could buy a computer for less than one day's salary for a teacher.  It hasn't always been the case that you could carry that computer into a library and access the internet for free.  The $85 Coby isn't available yet but it is supposed to happen this spring.

So here is a physics book perfectly legal.
http://www.lightandmatter.com/area1book1.html

Here is an e-book for $10 less than I payed for the paperback version.
http://ebookstore.sony.com/ebo...00000000000000096691

I don't know what the story is here:

http://www.filestube.com/t/tea...ronics+3rd+gibilisco

It may not be legal.

I spent 4 months trying to get a Black woman to get that in a library.

Xum
Knowledge is power.
      Sir Francis Bacon, Religious Meditations, Of Heresies, 1597
English author, courtier, & philosopher (1561 - 1626)

Things have changed since 1597. 

I would say:

Relevant knowledge is power.

But that creates a strange kind of psychological loop.  Knowledge is necessary to figure out what knowledge is relevant.  That is the trouble with being a little kid.  You show up at school when you are 6 years old with this shiny new brain and have no idea when people are putting bullshit into it.  So letting some people put crap into kid's heads is destroying their chances for future power.  Is that the true intent of school?

I bought this book back in the 80s because William Bennett, the Education Czar, talked about it on television.

http://www.amazon.com/o/asin/0...ockerybird/ref=nosim

I considered it to be mostly a waste of time though plenty of palefaces expect much of that junk to be known.  Knowing that stuff means a person is probably going to think in the officially approved European rut, hence the CULTURAL.  Don't think outside of their box.   But something like physics does not care about any culture and no culture can defy the laws of physics.

So what KNOWLEDGE really gives POWER?

So for UNITY and POWER do we need to agree on the RELEVANT KNOWLEDGE?

Xum
Reference:
So what KNOWLEDGE really gives POWER? So for UNITY and POWER do we need to agree on the RELEVANT KNOWLEDGE?---Xum

You determine which knowledge 'gives power'.

You determine how the knowledge you select is used.

We don't have to agree on that knowledge..., but...

The more there is agreement the powerful the knowledge becomes.

PEACE

Jim Chester
Reference:
But something like physics does not care about any culture and no culture can defy the laws of physics.
I take it that you have never read Thomas Kuhns,The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, nor something along the lines of Michel Foucault's, The Order of Things if you believe that science is immune from culture.

Logical positivism has is dead end street. Real power in the contemporary context is discursive power. It is the power that shapes peoples worldviews, shapes how they see the world, what they value, where they find meaning, etc.
Knowledge of football and basketball give POWER?

How many Black men in prison know a lot about sports?

Of course knowing a lot about Harry Potter novels is empowering.---Xum

I believe all knowledge empowers.

I do not believe that all power empowers all pursuits.

Pick your goals.

Select your knowledge to meet the goals.

That's a plan that is more likely to succeed.

PEACE

Jim Chester

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