I must relate that I was not particularly surprised when Isaiah Washington, an individual that I actually have much respect for in regards to his public persona, stepped forward and became the latest notable African-American to attempt to provide a solution to the problem of white police officers murdering Black men in the streets of America.
According to Washington,
If every single African American in the United States that was really fed up with being angry, sad and disgusted, would pick ONE DAY to simply ‘stay at home’ from every single job … I’m very sure that within 72 hours from Wall Street to the NFL…Black Lives Would Matter…September 26, 2016 is THE DAY!!!!!
Let me first say that I absolutely understand where Mr. Washington’s sentiment emanates from, however, I respectfully disagree with his contention that “If every single African American in the United States that was really fed up with being angry, sad and disgusted, would pick ONE DAY to simply ‘stay at home’ from every single job…” that a positive change would result from the act. If anything, such an action could result in the termination of a wide-swath of African-Americans from their jobs.
Although I highly doubt that a man of Mr. Washington’s intelligence does not realize that any attack directed at an institution such as your local law enforcement agency must be a well-thought out challenge that is simultaneously aimed at addressing both short-term and long-term goals in regards to the organizations policies and operations. A one-day boycott of our individual jobs will achieve absolutely nothing in this regard.
The path forward in regards to African-Americans not only addressing, but also solving the voluminous issues facing them has not changed since the first persons of African descent arrived in the colony of Jamestown. Leaders such as Frederick Douglass, David Walker, Maria Stewart, Washington, Du Bois, Elijah Muhammad, Malcolm X, and Harold Washington have repeatedly advised our people that the foremost prerequisite to Black uplift and liberation is politico economic collectivism. It is in the areas of collectivism and solidarity that African-Americans have historically proven to be the least efficient and credible for a host of reasons.
Unfortunately for not only Mr. Washington, but also the entire Race, until politico economic collectivism and an agape love replaces hatred, back-biting, distrust, and irrational thought, behavior, and strategies as the primary pillars under-girding African-American intra-racial interactions, there is no plan, no matter how logical, that is capable of uplifting African-Americans out of their historic position as America’s ‘have-nots’.
Although I am certain that the vast majority of African-Americans may consider it foolish and inconsequential, it may be time for African-Americans to take quite a few moments and reassess how they feel about their ‘brothers and sisters’ and work toward healing the prominent divisions found in our midst. I am certain that the alluded to discord and hatred that seemingly dogs our people at every term is the supreme obstruction to political solidarity and economic collectivism.
Considering that ‘every great journey begins with a single step’, it is most certainly time for our people to consider that our first step needs to be healing our individual and collective discord. Without that step being taken, history has repeatedly shown us that there will be no lessening of the yoke of oppression that our people have existed under for far too long.
Dr. James Thomas Jones III
© Manhood, Race and Culture, 2016