What will it finally take for the Black people in the United States to wake up? How many more of these unarmed shootings of Black men will it take for us to open our eyes? These are questions that should have been answered many many years ago, yet they have not because we are still asleep. Most of us are asleep by choice, we think if it is not affecting us then there is no problem. Or we think that since we do not live in the affected area, there’s no need to rock the boat. Others are couch sleepers who chime in while watching local and national news, but when situations call for us to move into action or boycott make excuses as to why we cannot participate.
It is as if we enjoy being downtrodden, we take pride in always having to struggle, fighting for crumbs off the table. Only making noise when the next man screams out, making signs and creating catchy quotes to put on t-shirts. When our ancestors revolted against the slave masters, they knew they would die and they died trying to give their children a future out of bondage. We have allowed ourselves to be placed back into bondage and have accepted the terms of said bondage.
There are four main ingredients keeping Blacks from waking up: ignorance, greed, selfishness, and the most influential is power. Ignorance keeps us unaware and blind to what is going on around us. Ignorance comes in many forms; we are so preoccupied with so much nonsense, which is just another form of ignorance. What’s going to happen on my favorite TV show? Who is going to win the next game? And what is the next hot music single dropping this week?
When in reality none of that matters. If that TV program is just promoting more bad Black propaganda and stereotypes we should not watch it at all. If those pro athletes do not give back to our community when they know how despairingly bad it is, don’t support them. Also many of these musicians only teach our young men how to kill and glorify ruining the community and their lives while being pimped by the white label owners, so we should stop buying their albums, why should we keep supporting them when they are tearing away our biggest and most valuable commodity: our youth.
Greed is another form of containment or being asleep, the vast majority of Blacks remains in poverty because we would rather have the big house, drive the new Mercedes and be flawlessly dressed, which in turn all increase our debt. Instead of coming together and creating better communities, or learning how to invest our money, we spend our money on anything that makes us think that we have accomplished the American dream. We want so badly to be accepted that we turn our backs on our own people to satisfy our greed. All we are doing is destroying ourselves and helping build up the white communities and put them in a place to have generational wealth off our backs. We are still slaves, just on a different plantation. We are content consuming the lives of each other while having nothing to show for it in the end.
Selfishness is a major problem within the Black community. It seeps into the minds of some who “have made it.” The Black folks that have made accomplishments in life feel like there is no need to return to the community and pull up others who are in the very situation they were able to navigate out of. They turn their nose up at the very thought of rubbing shoulders with those that they left behind. Why give them a chance to take what I have, is the attitude of the “have made it” Blacks. They reside in a world they feel is off limits to the Blacks who have to deal with getting an inferior education and struggle to live off minimum wages. Their egos control every aspect of their lives and if they ever do go back, it is their egos that they are trying to promote. They want their names to ring out and all accolades to befall them. It is the “look, I am helping them out, watch me” syndrome. These are the very people who award each other with plaques and accolades to the great speakers but not the doers and the Blacks on the front line.
As for power, it is one on the most deadly isms that kill off the Black community and provides the constant power struggle between the so-called leaders of the Black community. If one cannot be out in front and deemed the leader of the community there is fighting and a total lack of commitment to any kind of support. The old do not want to listen to the young and vice versa, when the common goal should always be bigger than the individuals. Blacks use leadership to stay asleep and to stay divided. The movement should be about the movement, not about who leads or who should be the leader.
We need each other, that’s how any revolution will succeed. No one idea is the end all idea, no one person will change the state of the black community. Only the community as a whole will change the state of the Black community. We all have to be leaders, we all have to be committed to change, and we all have to look to wake one another up. We need to have geese sense. When a flock of geese travel they move in a unit. When the goose out in front gets tired, he falls back and lets another take over when one is lagging behind, one pulls back behind him and keeps him going. They fly faster as a unit than they do separately, covering more ground and flying more miles as a unit. We need to have geese sense as a people and move as a unit and end our separate flights. We need to come together and prove that Black Live Really Matter, to us first and foremost so that everyone will take us seriously.