By Tre B.
Let me start off by saying that I voted for Obama because I thought he was the best choice given the other options and I think he will be an exceptional President for the United States. However, as Black Americans we must remain grounded in reality and think about this so-called triumpth of integration and if it will really do much to improve the state of Black America beyond giving Black kids someone to look up to. I believe we should support our new President and work as hard to help improve this country as we did to get him elected. We do, however, need to get our heads out of the clouds and think strategically how we can use this time to improve Black America because we can't rely on Obama to do it for us since we know that he is not just our President and has other interests to cater to. And don't let these white people make you think they did us a favor by electing a Black man, as if in their infinite benevolence they elected him despite his color. They did themselves a favor because he was obviously the best man for the job, so Black Americans can thank white people for doing the right thing, but we don't owe it to them.
I think an excerpt from Dr. Amos N. Wilson's African-Centered Consciousness Versus The New World Order has some relevant commentary on this matter. (Note: when Dr. Wilson refers to Afrikans, he's talking about Black people.)
Much of the pathology of Afrikan people today is this vain hope that somehow we will be able to escape our Afrikan heritage, that somehow the white man will become color blind and will not see us for whom and what we are, that somehow we will be looked upon as some kind of abstraction--as just a man. Not as an Afrikan man, not as a black man, but as a man, a human being only--without culture, without recognition, without identity. Too many of us want to shed our Afrikanicity for this kind of bogus, abstract existence, which is no existence at all, and which is the ultimate acceptance of invisibility. We must recognize that we are an Afrikan people and we will be an Afrikan people until the end of time-and we must accept the good, the bad, and all the possibilities that go with being Afrikan. We must accept the fact that this white man is never going to accept us totally, and get used to the idea. Hope is a wonderful thing in some senses, but it can be pathological in others. The neurotic individual uses hope in a pathological way. He lives in hope and does not know when to give it up. There's a time when hope has to be given up; when one looks at reality and recognizes reality for what it is, and one accepts certain asepcts of that reality and moves on it. The hope that this white man is going to accept you as one of his own, is one of those hopes that you must give up. The hope and the dream that you're going to be holding hands with little white boys and girls; that the white man is going to feed your children before he feeds his ow; that he's going to clothe you before he clothes his own; that he's going to give up his ill-gotten gains and wealth in the name of some kind of bogus brotherhood or classless society, is a vain hope. Give it up! Turn it loose! When you turn it loose you will see a growth and development of self. It would mean then an acceptance of self...we cannot get self-acceptance through another people accept[ing] us as one of them.
Now this exerpt is not about hating white people or holding them responsible for our condition. If anything, we are responsible for allowing ourselves to be put in the situation we find ourselves in today. This is about Black love, which we can't find looking for the approval, acceptance, and respect of others. This is not about making white people feel guilty for being themselves and acting in their own interest. This is about us thinking for ourselves and doing for ourselves and accepting the reality that we need each other more than we need them. If you think there's no such thing as an Afrikan nation in America, then you've already lost. The more we start thinking as a collective and controlling our own communities, the further we will be able to advance so eventually it won't matter what color the President of the United States is because we will control our own fate and we won't require token positions of power and authority to gauge our advancement as a people.
Why wait for Obama to clean up Bush's mess? It's going to take a lot more than good leadership to get America out of this mess it's in now. We need to look out for our own interests by helping Black homeowners via peer-to-peer lending, using our buying power to support responsible Black businesses that create jobs for Black people (as opposed to Black businesses that have no loyalty to the Black community like BET), saving our money to invest in equity ownership, and creating Black businesses and jobs instead of letting outsiders control the commerce in our communities. We can't continue to keep doing what we're doing and expect a different outcome. We have almost $1 trillion worth of buying power, but what do we spend it on? We can't consume ourselves into wealth and power by supporting white and Asian businesses. We must invest in ourselves and bail ourselves out because we'll be waiting a while for Obama and the US government to finally get around to helping the Black community. Wanna know how? Stay tuned.