I watched the movie the “Butler” recently. I don’t usually get to catch a movie, I’m always too tired. On the occasion that I bother to drag myself to do so, it’s usually to see an autobiographical film. I like those films because they usually provide a window into the Subject’s life, depending on the ability of the Director to capture that subject’s story and translate it through the Actors.
The Butler tells a tremendous tale about Cecil Gaines a man born and raised on the cotton fields of the American South. Young Cecil witnessed his father being murdered, shot to death. His transgression? Having the gall and temerity to challenge the piece of trash who had just raped his wife. I won’t give away the movie, I would suggest though, that everyone who haven’t seen this film, do so. At a time when blacks in America are standing on the sidelines of their own destiny, it is important that we use every tool at our disposal to kindle the dying embers of revolutionary fervor. A fervor which has been doused by our acceptance of the drug of tranquil gradualism, Doctor King warned against. Not only should all 37 – 40 million American blacks be mindful of the tranquil drug of gradualism, they should ignite that with the fierce urgency of now, courtesy of President Barack Obama. (“You must be the change you wish to see in the world“.—Gandhi)
President Obama did not gloss over the need for African-Americans to take responsibility for their own lives in his speech commemorating the 50th Anniversary of Doctor King’s iconic “I have a dream speech”.
Raising the issue of personal responsibility is not very popular in parts of our community. It is far easier to blame them, the man, they, than take responsibility for our own lives . We have to assume responsibility for our own communities and our own circumstances. It ought to be clear by now, no one will fix things for us. We could begin with our men being more responsible by not assuming having multiple baby mothers makes us men. Maybe we could find a way to have our young women aspire to more than just pushing a baby stroller with babies they are ill-equipped and cannot afford to raise. That would exponentially lower that frightening 71% of all black babies in America being born to single black females. I totally get all the arguments about the hurdles which are placed in the way of black upward mobility. Guess what? They are not about to come down, the same forces which placed them there in the first place are still engaged in erecting barriers, they are not into bridge-building. We simply have to find a way around them.
Responsibility come from dealing with the prison industrial complex and what it means to our people, while we simultaneously deal with how we raise our young men and women in a way which will keep them out of Courts. Understandably, there are complexities which has to be considered insofar as the details are concerned. We simply cannot continue to stand around waiting for the grass to grow to eat, cattle do not, we cannot afford to either. We could begin by starting new businesses and supporting them. Every other ethic group in this country has done so. It is an incredibly empowering concept. It does us no good to continue to be the people who buy what everyone else produces. yet produces nothing anyone buys.( “Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there”.—Will Rogers).
Every household must take responsibility for the child/ren it puts into the public domain. We simply cannot depend on teachers to discipline our children , they are not allowed to anymore , they simply call the Police. We must stop blaming the Police when they arrive and cart off our dysfunctional kids, that’s what they are obliged to do by law. We must stop blaming the judges who put them in jail, they are doing what the law mandates. Stop blaming the Legislators who drafts those laws, usually they tell us what they plan on doing, yet we do not vote. Those who like their policies vote. We Do not vote so they decide to take that right away. They put our children in prisons and they don’t have to worry about us ever. Check mate.
The time for action is now>