Are black leaders capable of communicating with the black community with straight talk?
By straight talk I mean, state the facts as they are and without trying to concurrently open an escape hatch for our mostly dismal results.
I am not talking about the so called blame the victim mentality. However, it is dangerous and demeaning to always sugarcoat the facts. And why is it wrong for us to admit that a lot of our problems are self-inflicted? And that many of the solutions are within our reach and control.
Here are examples from a recent news stories.
"The fact that our nation seems tone deaf regarding the economic inequality faced by African Americans is of great concern." This statement is followed by a litany of economic measures i.e., income, unemployment rates, poverty rates, wealth, etc., all of which show the black community trailing everyone else.
Another news story proclaims "Because of the current economy and high unemployment rates, Black people in the U.S. are witnessing a severe downturn in economic status with respect to wealth attainment and empowerment."
On the one hand, it is the NATION that ignores our problems and on the other it is the CURRENT ECONOMY that is taking us out.
Now, I am not naive to the historical conditions out of which black Americans have arisen. For illumination on our struggles, I would suggest a read of at least From Slavery to Freedom by John Hope Franklin and Roll Jordan Roll (The World The Slaves Made) by Eugene D. Genovese.
And I think Norman Kelleys' The Head Negro in Charge Syndrome provides a thought provoking critique of black political and intellectual leadership.
I am just plain nauseated by black writers and leaders who will not state the facts; point to a strategy that is self-owned, managed and monitored, and challenge our folks to regain the will demonstrated by our ancestors.
If they could survive slavery and create the foundation for our existence, then surely we can summon the courage to honor their suffering by competing and winning in any modern day arena.