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Title of Course: Philosophy 101: "Black Race Matters" Instructor: Mba Mbulu

Textbook: Essays by Mba Mbulu are provided online.

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Read the following Essay. Think about the questions below and explore them more fully.
(1) What does the author mean when he speaks of the "real" meanings of terms? Do you think the author's point is a worthy one?
(2) The author speaks of poverty, privilege, rich and poor. Do you think the distinctions he is making are valid?
(3) The author makes the following statement: "Every government serves the vested interests of those whose energy created it, and every government discriminates against those who do not belong to the vested interest group." What are the implications of that statement for Black People in the United States?
(4) Of the terms poverty and privilege, which would you apply to Black People in the United States? Why?

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Class #1 "Key To Poverty and Privilege"

A fundamental understanding of terms and processes helps individuals build the foundation they need to make intelligent decisions. That is one of Our, Black People's, major shortcomings; We do not understand the real meanings of terms, particularly power based terms. Therefore, We do not understand the implications of critical statements and developments. We must improve in that regard.
There has been a lot of talk about rich and poor, as in "the rich get richer and the poor get poorer." We hear so much about rich and poor that Our minds are deluged with images whenever either term is used. But, do We actually understand the meanings of those terms?
Think about this. The key to understanding rich and poor is knowing the difference between privilege and poverty. Without an understanding of privilege and poverty, rich and poor are functionally sterile terms. What characterizes privilege? At the deepest level, we find the quest for power and control. At the secondary level, we find self-interest, organization, focus and perseverance. And at the tertiary level, the one most visible to most individuals, we find authority, wealth and access. On the other hand, what characterizes poverty? At the deepest level, we find clouded thought patterns and disarrangement. At the secondary level, we find self-interest, dillydallying and vacillation. And at the tertiary level we find a subsistence mentality, erratic resistance to authority and capricious consumption. Rich people, then, are those who absorb the characteristics of privilege, while poor people are those who absorb the characteristics of poverty.

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I'm certain many of Us have thought about that already, but have We recognized how it works in the day to day affairs of human beings? In case We haven't, I will take a recent development in Europe and show how privilege will function to bring about certain results, while poverty will fail to function and end up at the mercy of privilege.
A new word has been added to European vocabularies and it is dominating the headlines. That word is "euro", the name of the new money that is supposed to replace every other European currency. Can the euro work to the advantage of the citizens of Europe? Certainly. Is that why there is a rush to get it incorporated? Certainly not. Can the euro work to the advantage of European commercial interests? Certainly. Is that why there is a rush to get it incorporated?. You'd better believe it.
Europe is a continent of more than 30 countries, and each country has its own language, culture and currency (money). Needless to say, these differences are unsettling to international travellers and business persons because of communications problems and the numerous currency exchange evaluations. Nearly fifty years ago, a political solution to this problem was suggested that involved the creation of a United States of Europe. Little has been heard of that since, but in the last ten years the rush for a single currency has burst forward in full force.
This push toward a single currency involves two major parties and two major players. The two major parties are big business and the citizens of the European countries. The two major players are big business and the governments of the European countries. Take note of that: the European citizens, one of the major parties in this issue, is not a major player. Why? Because European citizens are disarranged to the point where they cannot vigorously present an independent platform, even though they are smart enough to realize the advantages of a single currency. The people of Europe need to incorporate the euro under the auspices of citizen-centric bodies, but they are unable to do so. Meanwhile, the other major party, big business, is doing what is necessary to get the euro incorporated under the auspices of commercial interests.

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This is a clear example of privilege (big business) doing its thing and of poverty (European citizens) doing its thing. Big business will be able to manipulate the euro to its benefit at the expense of Europe's people. Europe's people, on the other hand, will have to rely on deviant governments to control the financial exploits of big business. Since the welfare of citizens is not a primary concern of Europe's governments, the interests of Europe's citizens will be poor-ly represented.
Every government serves the vested interests of those whose energy created it, and every government discriminates against those who do not belong to the vested interest group. Sometimes it clearly discriminates, against races, sexes, or religions for example, but it discriminates just as consistently and effectively, yet almost invisibly, against the citizens of a country. This "invisible" discrimination is a major source of the citizens' poverty because the citizens don't realize they are being discriminated against. They must overcome this handicap, however, and the only way to do so is by eliminating the present government and creating a new government. Unfortunately, the citizens of Europe are too disarranged to make such a move; their poverty characteristics have convinced them that such is an impossible task.
When privilege looks at a monumental task, privilege asks, "How can we get this done?" When poverty looks at a monumental task, poverty says, "We can not do anything on that big a scale."
Rich and poor are not money-related terms, they are power-related terms. Poor people are not poor because they lack money but because they are disarranged and fail to seriously seek the reins of power. Additionally, poor people don't understand self-interest in the proper context. Rather than use their resources to invest in power building, they purchase consumer items, thus giving more strength to the very vested interests groups that abuse them. That formula will not get the people the power they need.
Can every individual be rich? No. Can every individual be privileged? Of course. The latter, my friend, is what Black Nationalism must rest on.

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