Saturday, July 25, 2009

Economic Independence a must

“At the bottom of education, at the bottom of politics, even at the bottom of religion, there must be for our race economic independence.” - Booker T. Washington

Recent events this week made me revisit our man Booker T. Washington. Some ideas he discussed decades ago are becoming more clearer to me today. When I look at shows such as BlackNAmerica, I see people that economic independence is the best thing. Higher education always seems like the high road we should take her in America. We want to prove our intellect to the USA. At the same time, maybe we need to expand the simple things we can do as African Americans, and as women. By doing these simple things, and supporting each other while we create our own community independence may be a better investment than sending a black kid to Harvard. At the end of the day, that black kid will fight to gain access at that fortune 500 company, or Law Firm, or Production Company etc., maybe we are wrong with our approach in America. We need to go back to self sufficiency. Our freedom is not just about sitting at the front of the bus, but the ability to realize our dreams, and also to realize our dreams without killing ourselves in the process because of stress. So maybe, we need to look at our history of resistance, what did blacks do before the civil rights to survive and support each other. The incidents of the President being forced to apologize for suggesting racial profiling exists is opening my eyes. Even more Sonya Sotomayor has had to denounce her Latina heritage. These examples show us that America may not accept us 100%. On another note, are there two extremes in black empowerment where many blacks in higher education go on to assimilate into white culture, seeking some type of approval by main stream america ( wanting to break down barriers) and the other side is on welfare, struggling and getting by ? If so, then I think we need to expand the group that is in the middle, we need to work with other Americans but sustain our independence. So many other ethinic groups do this, but why cant we?After the civil rights, ther were people such as J Edgar Hoover that intefered with our progress. African aMeriacns have naturally resisted and progressed, but now the line is lost and we are losing our identiy in 2009. We have always had great talent in the words of Spike Lee, and he is right we need more control over this talent.Furthermore, there has been recent incidents that are now questioning affirmative action? We African Americans may have to create a stronger safety net for ourselves in society. So once again, at the base of these disparities in our community, where do you see economic independence as part of the solution?