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Wednesday, December 28, 2005


Today, right now, it is time for Black folk to build and maintain our community together, to make our brothers' and sisters' problems our problems, and to solve them together. As we look to the future and make plans for our grandchildren, we must not neglect today and the needs of our brothers and sisters, here and now. The clearest example of this need would be the thousands of displaced natives of New Orleans who have been disbursed throughout the United States. If ever there was a time for Black folk to come together and take care of Black folk this would be it, but we lack three essential components that are required for us as a people to handle such a responsibility.

First, we lack capital. Large-scale projects such as the restoration of New Orleans take money, serious money. Congress just allocated another $29 billion in Katrina aid to the victims of the storm, and that doesn't even touch restoration of the city. Restoring New Orleans itself has been estimated to cost north of $100 billion - now I've got $5 on it, but where are Black folk going to get the other $99,999,999,995? We, as a people, lack the capital to finance such an endeavor, and we have to change that in a hurry.

Second, we lack natural resources. Rebuilding a city requires wood and concrete and steel, and we own precious few lumber, mining and milling companies - certainly not enough to rebuild a city.

Third, we lack leadership. Who speaks for Black people? Jesse? Please! Rev. Al? Don't make me slap you. Colin? Condi? Clarence? As if they'd want to speak for Black folk. A big part of this is that there is no single Black concern so there is no single Black voice, but we should have a single Black concern - our collective survival and well-being. If you think you're not part of the Black concern then let times get hard - you'll learn the punchline to the running joke in Get On The Bus in a hurry. The truth of the matter is that we ain't them - or them. We have to take care of our own, and that requires coordination. That requires vision. That requires leadership, and today's leadership is woefully inadequate for the task at hand. It's time for us to get our act together. It's time for us to build and maintain our community together, to make our brothers' and sisters' problems our problems, to solve those problems together. It's time for Ujima!

Emancipated by Athanasius @ 10:30 PM

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...but there is a black middle and working class and a black professional class. there's even a black cultural class that has lots of money.

can we begin there? who among us would reunite under the banner that begins with what we LACK?

With you...(as your "devil's advocate")

Posted by Blogger Quintus @ Thursday, December 29, 2005 10:03:00 PM #

We can certainly begin there, but we must surely begin - there aren't many of us besides Oprah whose net worth can be measured with a "B" as in billions. If we are to do anything substantial then we need to be able to move billions on demand. Many, many billions. Considering how Black folk allegedly spend $300 billion annually (I'll have to dig that source up) I think it's possible, but it will take a lot of coordination and committed leadership. It's a daunting task, but a necessary task.

Like me heading to bed.

Can someone else do today's piece on Kwanzaa? My brain's shutting down for the night (working two jobs) and my body's right behind it.

Posted by Blogger Athanasius @ Thursday, December 29, 2005 10:24:00 PM #
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