A friend of mine recently got his hands on an information sheet that detailed average salaries paid by the Washington Post newspaper to its employees. The salaries were broken down according to race (Asian, African-American, Hispanic, White), sex and department. In the Accounting Department, Asians receive the highest average hourly salary ($24.14) and African-Americans receive the lowest ($17.48). In Advertising, Whites receive the highest average hourly salary ($24.88) and African-Americans the lowest ($19.11). In Marketing, there are too few nonwhites to make the information relevant. In Miscellaneous fields, Whites receive the highest ($33.36) and African-Americans receive the lowest ($18.16). In Systems and Engineering, Asians receive the most ($34.44) and African-Americans the least ($23.86). And in the News Department, Whites receive the highest ($37.39) and African-Americans the lowest ($31.82).
According to the information sheet I am citing, there are 954 full time white employees at the Washington Post. Their average hourly pay is $33.48, which translates into a weekly salary of $1256.00 and a yearly salary of $65,286.00. The average figures for the 548 Black full time employees are $22.07 per hour, $828.00 per week and $43,036.00 per year. That is a big difference.
What holds true for the Washington Post probably holds true for a lot of other leading American companies and corporation also.
No one knows how many original persons there were. The thought that there was only one original person is not consistent with the laws of creation. Equivalent conditions will produce equivalent results, and the conditions that led to the development of humans in one spot on the African continent probably produced humans in other areas of the continent (nearby) that experienced the same conditions. There could have been 12 original persons (which is what the bible might suggest), or 1200, or more. However many there were, of necessity they moved about, encountered each other, interacted and reproduced.
The species-centric rhetoric that claims human beings were placed here by a god for a special reason is flakey and unsupportable. No master plan created humans. We were not meticulously designed in advance, we were not endowed with a glorious mission and we were not made in the image of any kind of god. We were a random consequence of a process; a by-product of natural activities and processes. Certain elements came together at a certain time which made it possible for our life form to develop, and we not only developed, we survived. If everything had not happened exactly as it happened at that particular time, we would not be here and nothing else in nature would have missed a beat.
Recently the earth yawned for 45 seconds in the country of Turkey. In 45 seconds, the lives of 2 million people changed dramatically. In 45 seconds, what humans had spent decades and decades establishing collapsed into a cloud of dust. In 45 seconds, probably as many as 40,000 humans died in their sleep. Those 45 seconds are proof of how "special" humans are. To nature, and within the overall scheme of things, human beings are just like alley rats, picnic ants, buzzing flies and biting mosquitoes.
Human beings had better get real. Within the overall scheme of things, the only special treatment we get will be how we treat each other. And Black People had better get real because it will be a long time before groups of humans get intelligent enough to treat everybody the way everybody should be treated. Until that time, the only fair treatment Black People will get in the human scheme of things will be the fair treatment We generate for Ourselves as a politically responsible, organized and functioning nation of people.
"THE BLACK EYE" is a newsletter that is published by Mba Mbulu. [Home]
My heroes don't have a good reputation. My heroes are usually hanging out on white America's streets, driving by in white America's ghettoes, using white America's vibrators, dildos and syringes, "fuckin" white America's niggas and "bitchin" about white America's wenches. My heroes do poorly in white America's schools, don't know "how to talk," have the manners of social misfits, love music that degrades their humanity, don't value anybody's property and distrust rumors like love, respect and honor. My heroes are bad off, but they have what it takes to make the Black Nation a physical reality.
Why are my heroes so special? Because they care. That is one of the reasons they resort to violence so quickly. They possess that zone that Frantz Fanon refers to, that zone that ultimately defines a person as human, that zone that can't be found in many Blacks today. My heroes don't know who to get violent with, but that is not their fault.
My heroes are special because they are brutally honest, because they have survived, because they have evolved a daring code of conduct, because they are strong, and because they fight back in their own way and on their own terms. My heroes' terms are lacking in substance, but that is not their fault.
My heroes are the products of "integration," whereby Black adults let white power raise Black children. My heroes care, but they don't trust caring because they have never been genuinely cared about. They degrade themselves because both Black adults and white power mistreated them with impunity. They are brutally honest because they don't trust undefined terms, and they fight back on their own terms because the terms of others have victimized them.
My heroes are the victims of "integration." They were disrespected, so they disrespect. They were taken lightly by others, so they take others lightly. Nobody valued them, so they don't value anybody. But they are intelligent, and mad; and they want to make somebody pay. They will make Black adults pay, and they will make white power pay. WORD!
"THE BLACK EYE" is a newsletter that is published quarterly (four times a year) by Mba Mbulu. "THE BLACK EYE" is issued in January, April, July and October, and subscribers to "THE BLACK EYE" are partially responsible for alternative learning institutions like ASET University. [Home][AFRICAN-AMERICANS] [Top]
A nation's vital statistics reveal its true
condition. In human terms, vital statistics refer to the condition
of critical organs like the brain or heart, the presence or absence
of quality of life altering diseases like cancer, the general
availability of necessities like clean air and water, etc. It's
not the obvious indicators, things like fancy clothes, expensive
cars and houses, etc., that reveal the condition of a social structure,
but it is the obvious that lead people to conclude that the people
of the United States are much better off than the people of Cuba.
But the vital statistics tell another story. Peep this:
The infant mortality rate per 1000 people is lower in Castro's Cuba than in the US of A. Advantage Castro's Cuba. The death rate per 1000 people is lower in Cuba than the US of A. Again, Advantage Castro's Cuba. The population growth, birth rate per 1000 people and median age are all lower in Cuba than the US of A. This means Castro's Cuba is doing a better job of keeping its people healthy and controlling population growth than the US of A. In each case, Advantage Castro's Cuba.
Can you believe this? The life expectancy at birth of people in Castro's Cuba and the US of A is about equal. After the way the US of A has been attacking Cuba, trying to strangulate the economy of Cuba and trying to sabotage Cuba's social infrastructure, it's amazing that Cubans still live just as long as Americans do. But that's only the beginning of the surprises. In the year 2001, 15,000 Americans died of AIDS. In the same year, only 120 Cubans died of AIDS. What that means is that if Cuba were as large as the US of A population wise, 3000 Cubans would have died of AIDS in 2001. 3000 Cubans compared to 15000 Americans! That's a big difference. Again, Advantage Castro's Cuba.
But those figures are only a small slice of that cake. There are presently 3200 Cubans living with AIDS. If Cuba were as large as the US of A population wise, that would be the equivalent of around 80,000 Cubans living with AIDS. But in the US of A, there are 900,000 people living with AIDS. That means that, per 1000 people, the US of A has more than 11 times the number of people living with AIDS as Cuba does. The US of A clearly does not take the health of the American people seriously. Castro's Cuba does take the health of Cuba's people seriously, and for that reason, once again, Advantage Castro's Cuba.
Do you know what literacy means? If I were to ask you if Castro's Cuba or the US of A has the greater percentage of people 15 years and over who could read and write, I know you would say the US certainly does. You would be wrong. Not only do more people know how to read and write in Cuba, Cubans get a better overall education than Americans do. In fact, nearly everybody but the people in the US of A admit that Cuba is the best place in the world to go for medical treatment and medical training. Castro's Cuba takes education seriously, but I can't honestly say the same about the US of A. When it comes to education then, Advantage Castro's Cuba.
After looking at these statistics, one can only wonder how much better off than Americans Cubans would be if the United States had not been undermining Cuba's development. When we see vital statistics like these, it becomes crystal clear why the US government does not want Americans to know about what is going on in Cuba. Americans are not the smartest people in the world, but it doesn't take a genius to compare the vital statistics of Cuba and those of the US of A and see that Cuba's system is better for the population as a whole than the system that dominates in the "good ole US of A." [Top]
You can not have overlooked the change that
is taking place inasfar as the US's approach to Cuba is concerned.
An innocent or ignorant onlooker might quickly conclude that the
US is trying to make amends for the senseless damage it has caused
Cuba and her people since Fidel Castro assumed power more that
40 years ago. But don't be fooled by appearances, and don't forget
to make use of your common sense. There is no remorse on the part
of the United States for what it has done to Cuba or any other
country, and no readiness on the part of the United States to
recognize Cuba's sovereignty and right to operate a socialist
economy. The only change that is taking place in the United States
is the realization that Fidel Castro, in all likelihood, will
be dead in a few years. Before that happens, the United States
wants to make an impression on the individuals who will be Cuba's
power players after Castro has passed on. That way, the US figures
it will have an easier time influencing them, buying them off
or putting lackeys in place who will help the US destabilize the
new, Castro-less Cuban government.
We have to understand that a little bit of bad can destroy a whole lot of good. Even though most of Cuba's people are in favor of the government and policies established by Castro, there are some there who would prefer to do things the American way; that is, concentrate on "number one," live the good life at the expense of the masses, concentrate the wealth in the hands of a few and disregard the well being of everybody else. But it is the American way that should be eliminated. In order for Us to make the progress We are capable of making, people have to learn to appreciate the well being of the masses and use wealth for the well being and development of the whole, not the pleasure of a few. [Top]
If capitalism and socialism were to start from
step one on a level playing field and allowed to develop, each
on its own merits, people would quickly see that socialism is
a better system for human beings than capitalism. Capitalists
recognized this long ago. Long ago, capitalists, the most selfish
of human beings, recognized that people who got the opportunity
to see socialism in action would choose socialism over capitalism.
That is why capitalists adopted a modus operandi that not only
promotes capitalism, but wages constant warfare against socialism
and all other worthwhile alternatives to capitalism.
The reason capitalism is prevailing around the world today is not because it is a better form of social organization for human beings, but because capitalism uses its militaries and other institutions to attack, cripple and wound socialism wherever socialism may be. By contrast, socialism does not attack capitalism, does not attempt to thwart its growth, and allows people to look at it and assess it on its own merits. Socialism does not try to project a distorted image of capitalism, one that fools the people and makes it hard for them to recognize capitalism's true advantages and disadvantages. Capitalism does distort socialism; making it difficult for most people to get an unbiased picture of it.
Let's look at it as we might look at a beauty contest. Let's say there are several contestants, capitalism being one of them. While capitalism is on stage impressing the judges as best it can, thugs of capitalism are backstage beating up on the other contestants, hiding their outfits and cosmetics, spiking their food and drink, spreading rumors that upset them and make it difficult for them to put their best foot forward, and outright physically maiming them when all else fails. Because capitalist thugs put the other contestants through so much unnecessary stress, they look disheveled, uncoordinated, unorganized and dysfunctional when they finally get in front of the judges. The better candidates are not able to demonstrate their multitude of virtues to the judges, so the judges, who are unaware of the underhanded machinations being carried out "back stage", come to a conclusion that is uncomplimentary of capitalism's competitors.
Put everyday people in place of the judges, and you understand why Americans tend to think capitalism is a better system than socialism. Other people don't know that what they know about systems like socialism, communalism and communism is a consequence of malicious propaganda and machinations carried out by capitalist thugs. If capitalists had let Cuba do its thing under Fidel Castro's leadership, everyday people throughout the United States of America would see that socialism is better and demand and end to capitalism and the institution of a socialist economic order.
I just mentioned malicious propaganda. Capitalists know they are misleading people and misrepresenting an issue that is critical to everybody's quality of life, everybody's life experience. They attempt to destabilize and destroy countries like Cuba, Haiti and Venezuela, and then point to them as proof of socialism's limitations; and they point to cases like the USSR as proof of communism's shortcomings, knowing all too well that communism never became a reality within the USSR's political and economic scheme of things. Capitalists can not point to a failure of communism anywhere in the world during the modern era, because no communist state has ever existed in the world during the modern era. Yet they talk and teach as if the USSR was an example of a communist state.
As for communalism, that is an African institution. Capitalists have spent so much time maligning, devaluing and deprecating everything African that people tend to dismiss African institutions without a serious thought. That is a shame because African institutions adapted to the realities of Africa's people throughout the world are the cure for Black People's woes today, wherever We may be. [Top]
Everybody seems to be concerned about whether
Ralph Nader's bid for the presidency is going to hurt John Kerry's
chances of defeating George Bush in November 2004. Many declare
outright that it was Nader who caused Al Gore to lose in 2000.
With all due respect, I beg to differ. Al Gore didn't lose the
election in 2000, he stood meekly by and let the George Bush forces
steal it from him. Noone can blame Al Gore's lack of fight on
Ralph Nader's candidacy.
As for 2004, the question is not "Will Ralph Nader hurt John Kerry's chances?", the question is "Will the American people be able to break the grip America's leaders have on them enough to elect a candidate who will try to take this country in a different direction?" If the American people were willing to go in a different direction, and John Kerry articulated that in his platform, the people who tend to vote for Nader would vote for Kerry instead. But the people of the US of A aren't ready to move in a different direction. It is conceivable that, at this moment, they might prefer to have Kerry than Bush, but they also would prefer to have Bush than Nader. The essential choice here, as far as the people of the US of A are concerned, is not what Bush is in favor of versus what Kerry is in favor of, it is what Bush is in favor of versus what Nader is in favor of. In that competition, the people of the US of A are, hands down, in favor of the incompetent who is currently president of the US of A.
George Bush and his cohorts have stuck a 12 inch blade in the backs of not only the Iraqis, Palestinians and Afghanis, but the people of the US of A as well. Kerry is willing to move the knife out an inch or two, but he is not willing to remove the knife altogether. If moving the knife out an inch or two is all one needs to do to satisfy the "liberal" voters of the US of A, then they deserve four more years of George Bush. [Top]
I have asked this question over and over again, using a number of different approaches. I have asked, "What makes African-Americans think that white Americans are any different from any other white people?" I have asked, "What makes African-Americans think that the level of political violence that is taking place in other parts of the world cannot take place in the United States?" I have asked, "What makes African-Americans think that today's white people are any different from the white people of 50, 150 or 350 years ago?" I have asked, "What do African-Americans see that makes them think white Americans are incapable of committing the crimes they have historically committed?" "What makes African-Americans think that American whites are less racist and less inclined to react to racist impulses than they were at any time in the past?"
What makes African-Americans think that white Americans are any different from the white people in Israel who are abusing the Palestinian people? What makes African-Americans think that the level of political and ethnic violence taking place in countries like Ireland, Spain, Colombia, Russia, Hungary, Indonesia, etc., can not take place in the United States? What makes African-Americans think that today's white American is any different from Jim Crow (the white American who staunchly defended segregation), Billy Reb (the white American who fought for the right to continue stealing the labor of Black People), or the Great White Father (who wiped out the Native Americans, raided Africa of its human wealth and labelled Black People as 3/5 of a person)? What do African-Americans see that convinces them that white people would no longer resort to the type of low-life activities that led to the Tuskegee Experiments, the shameless exposure of Pacific Asians to radiation or the illegal invasion of Grenada and assassination of its president? And what do African-Americans see that convinces them that white Americans will not use their system to promote and encourage anti-Black genocidal activities. What do African-Americans see that I don't see?
"THE BLACK EYE" is a newsletter that is published by Mba Mbulu. [Home] [Top]
A better question, I think, is "What do African-Americans refuse to see?" That is a better question, and it is relatively easy to answer. African Americans refuse to see the blinders white America has placed over their minds, and African-Americans refuse to admit that fear is at the root of their response to what white power systems are doing in America and the world. Because of their refusal to see, African-Americans are contributing to an unhealthy balance of racial power throughout the world. That unhealthy balance enables white people to impose their preferences and enjoy disproportionate benefits, while dooming non-white peoples to endure the role of the victim all too often.
It is what African-Americans refuse to see that renders them incapable of bringing about worthwhile changes in this country and the world. But the fact that African-Americans are incapable does not mean Black People are incapable. Black People have the ability to restore a healthy balance of racial power and, in so doing, make the world a better place for all races and colors of human beings.
A talib is a student of Islam. The plural of talib is taliban. Thus, taliban means "students of Islam." When one hears about the Taliban on the news, it refers to the well armed believers in Islam who have taken control of the nation of Afghanistan.
According to information I have received, the present government of Afghanistan is waging a war on women. "Since the Taliban took power in 1996, women... have been beaten and stoned in public for not having the proper attire, even if this means simply not having the mesh covering in front of their eyes. One woman was beaten to death by an angry mob of fundamentalists for accidentally exposing her arm... Women are not allowed to work or even go out in public without a male relative; professional women such as professors, translators, doctors, lawyers, artists and writers have been forced from their jobs and restricted to their homes. Homes where a woman is present must have their windows painted so that she can never be seen by outsiders. They must wear silent shoes so that they are never heard. Women live in fear of their lives for the slightest misbehavior.
"Husbands have the power of life and death over their women relatives, especially their wives, but an angry mob has just as much right to stone or beat a woman, often to death... Women who were once educators or doctors or simply used to basic human freedoms are now severely restricted and treated as subhuman in the name of right-wing fundamentalist Islam."
Taliban do not dispute any of these allegations. According to them, "women should be neither seen nor heard because they drove men away from the proscribed Islamic path and into wild temptation." It is this apparent obsession with the "proscribed Islamic path" that causes them to not only attack women's rights but to ban every kind of entertainment, including "music, TV, videos, cards, kite-flying and most sports and games."
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The Taliban are young men, most in their mid-teens and twenties, and fewer in their thirties. Many have spent their entire lives in refugee camps, and have never seen their country at peace. They know nothing about history, have no tribal memories, and are socially disconnected. Until they joined the Taliban, all they had ever known was abuse, disruption, instability and hopelessness. The leaders of the Taliban put some order in these young mens' lives, gave them a cause to represent and a group consciousness to cling to and build a world around. Unless something radical takes place, they are going to be doing what they are doing for a long, long time. And, unless something radical takes place, that does not bode well for the United States and its western allies.
Nor does it bode well for the women and detractors of Islam. The Taliban don't value the well-being or lives of either. In fact, if reports are true, there is very little about the Taliban that can contribute to the betterment of humanity. In spite of that, there is much that Black People in the United States can learn from the Taliban.
The first thing concerns nationalism. Because the Taliban formed their own government, they are able to take their concerns beyond the talking stage and into the development stage. When people are serious about getting something done, they assert themselves as people with power are prone to do. That makes an impression not only on those who oppose them, but potential recruits and sympathizers also.
Secondly, the Taliban are warriors. People who want to be granted their due share of the political power can not do so if they are unwilling to fight. This is as true in the United States as anywhere else in the world. The propaganda in the US always refers to negotiating and taking a reasoned approach to solving misunderstandings, but in the final analysis, if negotiating and being reasonable does not get the US its way, the US plays the war card. It has always been that way, and it always will be that way. Black People in the United States need to appreciate that reality.
There is another thing about the emergence of the Taliban that sends an important message to Black People in the United States. That message revolves around Islam. For almost 30 years now, I have been urging young Brothers and Sisters to be careful about leaving one white religion (Christianity) for another one (Islam, Judaism, etc.). There is nothing pure, holy or heavenly about a religion. Religions are cultural enigmas and political tools, so to adapt an alien religion is to adapt an alien culture and an alien political slate. If Black People in the United States are concerned about spiritual or religious salvation, they should seek answers in the religions of Black Africa. Neither of the well known religions, neither Christianity, Islam or Judaism, are constructed to address the spiritual and religious needs and aspirations of Black People.
Readers of "The Black Eye" should keep an eye on what happens in Afghanistan and the surrounding areas. Events that unfold there could have an appreciable impact on the further development of Black nationalism in the United States of America. If We demonstrate even a small level of independent intelligence, We could benefit immensely as events unfold in that part of the world. [Top]
Surprise, Surprise!! The United States was in charge of the election in Iraq, and the vote count numbers just don't add up. I am relatively certain that an appreciable element of vote count fraud took place. I'm certain other astute observers have come to the same conclusion.
A fraudulent vote count would be the logical next step in developments in Iraq since the United States decided to illegally take control of that country. First there were fraudulent reasons given for invading Iraq. Then there were fraudulent labels attached to the Iraqi resistance movement. There were fraudulent arrests, and fraudulent excuses given for the late night raids of Iraqi homes and families. Next there was a fraudulent interim government set up to follow orders barked out by the United States. A few months later, there was a fraudulent election. Now United States officials expect Us to believe there was a non-fraudulent vote count. It just doesn't fit into the mix.
The Sunnis knew in advance that the election would not produce an outcome they would be satisfied with. If the Shi'ites had won a majority, the elections could have served the purpose the Shi'ites wanted them to serve. The Shi'ites didn't get what they wanted. If the election had gone right for the Kurds, they would end up with enough political clout to make strides toward an independent Kurdish state. The Kurds didn't get it. The only ones who got the best they could hope for from the elections was the United States. The US wanted a coalition government. They got it--- but only because they cheated on the vote count.
Let's look at the numbers. They, US officials, told the world that any faction that got 50% of the vote could effectively control Iraq's political and economic destiny. They told the world the Iraqi population was 60% Shi'ite, 20% Sunni and 20% Kurdish. They told the world the Sunnis would barely vote, if at all. They told the world the Shi'ites would vote en masse because their religious leader told them to.
They told the world the Kurds would vote en masse, and they did. They told the world the United States feared a Shi'ite controlled government because it would be religion based and closely allied to Iran. And they told the world the best the United States could hope for from the election was a coalition government.
The Shi'ites, who make up 60% of the population, had made it clear that they expected to receive 60% of the vote for their faction, even if everybody voted. But the Sunnis, 20% of the population, did not vote. That means that, of the sects that voted, approximately 75% were Shi'ite and 25% were Kurdish. If the Shi'ites expected to get 60% of the vote if all sects participated, they would certainly get 60% if one sect, the Sunnis, boycotted the election. That is a no brainer.
The Shi'ites voted, as everyone expected. The Sunnis didn't vote, as everyone expected. But Surprise, Surprise, the Shi'ites failed to get a majority of the votes. If you believe what the vote suggests, more than one third of the Shi'ites voted against their own faction. Under the circumstances that presently prevail in Iraq, I can't believe that at all.
First Florida, then Ohio, now Baghdad. White power democracy, United States style, is alive and kicking.
The Shi'ite leadership can't be naive enough to think the count was fair. They must know something is amiss, and they should be calling for a recount. But they aren't. Why? Perhaps because they think any amount of relief is better than no relief. Perhaps it is because they think life will be better overall for Shi'ites, if not for Iraqis in general. And perhaps, it might be because they don't realize how big the difference is between a little bit more than half and a little bit less than half. In a situation where the people are highly politicized, nearly half of the eligible voters boycotted the election. Sell out candidates abound, and many of the best known players have spent most of their recent lives outside of Iraq. To say the least, stability is going to be hard to come by. A fly in the soup here, a fly in the soup there, and absolute chaos could become the order of "new" Iraq's day. Absolute chaos would not be good for the Shi'ites, the Sunnis, the Kurds or the Americans, but of the four, the Americans would benefit most from absolute chaos the most.
As I just stated, what the Shi'ite leadership should do is demand a recount. If they call for a recount and get the more than half they deserve, they might be able to do a decent job of running the United States out of their country. If they accept the fraudulent count, US influenced parties can frustrate the Shi'ite program to no end.
Under the circumstances, a coalition government is exactly what the United States wanted. A coalition government leaves the door open wide enough for some US backed flies to swarm in and spoil the soup. The United States has a long and sordid history of spoiling other people's soup, generating discontent and disorder and taking advantage of the chaos that follows. Now as much as ever, Iraqis should keep their eyes, ears and minds wide open, and be ready to join those freedom fighters who have already realized that their only hope for a free and democratic Iraq lies in taking up arms against white power America. [Top]
Six years ago (JAN., 2000), in Vol. 3 No. 1
of The Black Eye, I included an article entitled THE MAR TIN LUTHER
KING JR. CENTER that anticipated some of the developments that
have recently hit the news airs. I am reprinting that article
below because a number of individuals seem to be upset at the
likelihood that white people might gain control of that institution
(the thought appalls them because they think Black People should
be in control of a Black institution like that). I am pretty much
neutral on this subject because I think Martin Luther King's
approach to racism and inequality was fundamentally flawed. I
think King became so popular because (1) he appealed to Black
individuals who were afraid to compete with white power in the
manner white power needs to be com pet ed with and (2) white power
projected his message into the television and radio sets of Black
individuals in order to keep them from learning from someone like
Malcolm X, whose message was much more essential, power-centric
and therapeutic. Martin Luther King's message accommodated white
power much more than it empowered Black People. He never, to my
knowledge, mentioned the merits of Black nationhood or laid out
a game plan for the establishment of an independent government
for Black People. And, as the following article points out, that
short coming helps explain why his memorial is so under attended.
Black individuals have to develop enough courage to face up to one fact: the problems facing Black People, from the agony of Hurri cane Katrina to the relative irrelevance of salvaging institu tions like the Martin Luther King Center, will not be properly addressed until Black People start concentrating on and working to establish an independent Black nation. That way We will have a government that exists in order to take care of Us and look after Our concerns. Those of Us who fail to come to this realization can be well meaning, but well meaning is not good enough. We need concrete steps taken in a specific direction. Those who come up short in that regard, and Martin Luther King was one such person, generate little of benefit and much that augments Our degradation and trivialization.] [Top]
If you want some peace and quiet, if you don't
want to be bothered with the constant buzz of human chatter and
activity, if you are in search of a place where you can go to
sit and meditate without being interrupted, then go to the Martin
Luther King Jr. Center in Atlanta.
Ten or so years after the constant and frenetic activity associated with getting the center established, it is practically an abandoned site. It is not surprising that the Blacks in Atlanta don't visit the center; the people who live in an area rarely visit its cultural and historical "attractions." The museums and monuments along the Mall in Washington, DC are practically ignored by the citizens of the DC metro area. The Leaning Tower of Pisa is not much a spectacle to the people who live there. The same is true of New Yorkers who live around the Statue of Liberty and Egyptians who live near the time defying pyramids. Locals rarely take the time to check out such attractions, but the sites are visited by millions of foreigners and tourists each year. What is the difference between them and the Martin Luther King Jr. Center?
Time is one difference; the MLK Center is an infant compared to other such attractions. It took time for the others to become the attractions they have become. History is a second difference. The other attractions seem to have taken on a personality and self sustaining aura of their own. There is no indication that the MLK Center is evolving in like manner, though it is still not too late to do so. But the major difference is that the other attractions benefit from the support of an empowered culture and independent national reality. The other attractions have an infrastructure that promotes them, finances their popularization and markets their relevance. They have an infrastructure that believes in allocating money to them and is convinced of their profitability and legitimacy as a cultural and national symbol. The MLK Center lacks that, and will continue to do so. Whereas the others have become focal points of international interest and renown, it is quite probable that the MLK Center was an American illusion that saw a day of "glory" before settling into a lifetime of dismissal.
It is ironic that a tribute to the master advocate of integration is proof of the need for Black People to govern Ourselves and control Our own affairs. White power does not care about Martin Luther King, Jr., nor what he stood for. If Malcolm X's message had not been so appealing to Black People, white people would not have regarded King in such a favorable light. King's "holiday" and the Center in his honor were concessions whites made to numb the Black masses and pacify some worrisome Black activists, but whites don't feel any attachment to either. Whites are not going to use their infrastructure to support, popularize, finance and market an attraction that they feel is not representative of their essence. And, in all true honesty, I don't blame them.
Our failure to govern Ourselves incapacitates Our potential and gives the world reason to question Our adequacy. It makes it impossible for Us to take on the responsibilities that normal adults are expected to take on. There are poverty stricken and sparsely populated nations whose people are looked upon more favorably and granted more respect than Black People in the United States. Though small and poverty stricken, they are making the decisions that determine their destiny. We should be doing likewise.