What is "Black Lives Matter"? – William Reed Columnist

The Political Agitator’s response: My friend I agree with your comments about the movement to a certain degree. However you are speaking a truth but I don’t feel that it is those few who are tarnishing the movement speaks for the whole movement. I hate that when something negative happens it tarnishes the whole movement but I strongly feel that there are more folk in the movement that wants to do it the right way versus the wrong way. I feel strongly that that is why it takes black folk so long to accomplish our goals because we the folk who want to do things right get put in the same damn category with the folk who make a bad name for us. Well I refuse to allow folk to put me in the same category with those few negative folk who are doing things on their own and not a part of an organization or group that I may be associated with. I do things on an individual basis however I am a member of the NAACP, Democratic Party and other but I don’t condone the wrong that any of them may do as it relates to the movement. If they get out of order I will call them out. Those few who are tarnishing the movement, I don’t know them don’t believe they are a part of the NAACP. I am quite sure they have a name for their own little group or association. I am not with them.

America’s racism is a devastating force that possesses the power to render black Americans virtually invisible.  In our society, it is not unusual for an African American to experience a sensation that he does not exist in the real world at all.  And, at every turn the black experience seems to exist in an ongoing and nightmarish odyssey of white superiority.

The “Black Lives Matter” movement to rid America of prejudice and racism could find tutoring from the premise of the Invisible Man novel.  The novel traces the nightmarish journey of its unnamed black narrator from his high school and college days in the South to his harrowing experiences in the North as a member of the Brotherhood, a powerful organization that purports to fight for justice and equality for all people but in reality exploits blacks and uses them to promote its own political agenda. Invisible Man describes one man’s lifelong struggle to establish a sense of identity in white America illustrates the powerful social and political forces that conspire to keep black Americans “in their place,” and continue denying them their “inalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

Published in 1952, Invisible Man is regarded as a classic of American literature.  It is a tool black Americans need to know about to gain an identity and positive visibility in white America.  The “Black Lives Matter” movement represents a generation of African Americans convinced that their existence depends on gaining the support, recognition, and approval of whites — whom they have been taught to view as powerful, superior beings who control their destiny.  Sadly, “Black Lives Matter” people are using rude and crude tactics trying to establish their image and presence in a society that refuses to see them or their worth.  The “Black Lives Matter” movement’s “in your face” tactics will do little to gain Blacks’ equality in America.  Ultimately, African Americans must create an identity, which rests not on the acceptance of whites, but on our own acceptance of the past.  

“Blacks Lives Matter” is a Black Agenda gone rogue.  In the new movement against racist police violence, “Black Lives Matter”” activists literally force themselves onto (and into) the campaign platform of Democratic candidates.  In Seattle “Black Lives Matter” movement militants took the stage from Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders condemning the largely white crowd of being “white supremacist liberals” as they demanded a program addressing the crisis facing black communities.  Sanders later released a policy statement detailing the campaign’s support for racial justice and hired Symore Sanders, a young African American organizer to help shape the campaign’s racial justice program agenda.  If the field of presidential aspirants all followed Sanders’ lead, dozens of African Americans will be getting high-paying campaign jobs preparing policy positions and papers.  

“Blacks Lives Matter” gives many millennials a glimpse of the structural inequality that exists in America where one category of people is attributed an unequal status in relation to others. This relationship is perpetuated and reinforced by a confluence of unequal relations in roles, functions, decisions, rights, and opportunities.  The status of blacks’ economics in America is dire. Youth unemployment hovers at over 30 percent — nearly twice that of white teenagers.  What is the candidate you currently push saying about employment, job growth and educational opportunity?

There is nothing wrong with making presidential candidates address the concerns of Black people, uniquely.  Willingly, or through bullying, political candidates must be made to articulate policy and show deeds on issues such as unemployment, health care, voting rights and education..  After the crude and rude political protests conclude more emphases must be placed and practiced regarding a African American agenda. Blacks need more emphases in entrepreneurial education.  Across America entrepreneurs are often the spark behind community growth and vibrancy. Blacks need to tone down the “liberal politics will empower us” mindsets and more broadly nurture entrepreneurship across urban enclaves.

We should all become involved in blacks having equitable participation in campaign positions and platforms to advance a common goal of a society of equality, democracy, and solidarity.

William Reed is publisher of “Who’s Who in Black Corporate America” and available for projects via Busxchng@his.com

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