AFRICANGLOBE – To borrow from the title of Carter G. Woodson’s famous book “The Mis-Education of the Negro“, it is shameful and quite sad to hear and read some of the things, in reference to Black people, are purported to be facts.
In many cases we are our own worst enemies because we promulgate much of the nonsense that takes hold in our neighborhoods, and we suffer tremendously for doing so.
As the saying goes, we are entitled to our own opinions but not to our own facts, and our penchant for being “experts” in everything not only makes us look silly and ill-informed, in many cases it causes us to play right into the negative self-fulfilling prophecy of subordination and subjugation.
That’s a sad state of affairs, especially in light of the “fact” that Dr. Woodson did his best to warn us about the dangers of being mis-educated.
Check The Facts
Take economic empowerment, for instance; we hear so much information about what we need to do to achievement it, what we need to have to obtain it, and how we can overcome our third-class economic position in this nation.
Admittedly, there are quite a few Black people in this country that have achieved very high levels of individual economic empowerment, and they should be commended. However, our collective economic position is in great jeopardy, one of the main reasons for which is mis-information and mis-education.
I encourage folks who read my column, watch my television show, and hear me on radio programs, to always check out what I say. Do your own research and study to determine if what I assert to be “facts” is true. That’s really the only way we can be truly informed; additionally, checking for ourselves many times leads to a stronger collective position and a more acceptable economic strategy – long term and short term.
Sound Bites For Stories
Take a look at political empowerment and ask yourself why we lack real power in the halls of Congress, on the Supreme Court, and yes, in the White House. Much of our condition in that arena can be attributed to the messages and sound bites we get every day from political pundits many of whom have no real interest in educating Black people; they simply adopt an agenda that someone has given them and regurgitate it to us, thus, further mis-educating and mis-leading our people.
And by the way, they get paid very handsomely to play that role.
Every election cycle Black people are bombarded with all the clichés about why we should vote, how our vote is very powerful, and how others died for the right to vote. All of that is well and good, but how can a people that rallies, registers, and makes such a big deal about voting be so ill informed? How can we always be at the end of line when the perks are handed out, if we are the ones who put the most energy in the political process? Are we that naïve? Or, are we just mis-educated and uninformed?
Carefully Select Who Leads
Quite frankly, I don’t have all the solutions to our dilemma (I wish I did), but I do know a couple of things: We must change our behavior toward ourselves and others; and we must select our “leaders” very carefully. Otherwise, we will surely continue to find ourselves at the bottom of the economic and political ladders.
Jim Clingman, founder of the Greater Cincinnati African American Chamber of Commerce, also is an adjunct professor at the University of Cincinnati and can be reached through his website, blackonomics.com.