Life has taught me that we should all pay attention to popular sayings that have survived for decades, if not centuries. For example, the saying “Birds of a feather, flock together” is valid regardless of one’s socioeconomic status, race/ethnicity, gender, or religion. A person who refuses to recognize the wisdom and truth of these popular sayings is needlessly placing themselves in peril.
The refusal to honor such sayings is one of the reasons that I shook my head upon learning that Rev. Al Sharpton and his National Action Network were gearing up for a pre-inauguration ‘March on Washington’. Apparently, Sharpton and those preparing to descend on the nation’s Capital fail to understand another wise saying, “If you do what you always did, you gonna get what you always got.”
Were it not so sad, the fact that African-Americans are once again ‘Marching on Washington’ would be hysterical. After all, ‘Marching on Washington’ appears to be one of the most reliable means that Black leaders strategically implement in a desperate attempt to extend their relevancy. The fact that such activities have produced negligible results for African-Americans does not matter to Black leaders or those that follow their directives as if they have absolutely no independent thoughts.
When one considers the limited results such marches produce, it appears that African-American leaders aim are not tangibly impacting the poverty and dysfunctional culture that sits at the core of so much of Black suffering, rather it is performing the maintenance needed to legitimize and re-establish their position as the H.N.I.C. Put simply, ‘Marching on Washington’ is an efficient way for leaders such as Al Sharpton to display to the relatively naïve and politically illiterate black masses that they are out here working on their behalf. Amazingly, this tired activist routine works; definitively proving what a stupid people we have become regarding the actual path to African-American liberation.
I am neither ignorant of nor denying the utility of protest marches in African-Americans historic struggle against oppression. However, one has to wonder when will this old protest dinosaur be coupled with or even replaced by non-reactionary activities such as education, life skills training, vocational training, business (entrepreneurial) classes, etc.
It is time that so-called Black leaders understood that endeavors such as “Marching on Washington” are doing little more than redundantly pointing out the continuing socioeconomic problems facing Black America, an activity that will never positively impact the harsh realities of being Black and poor in America. Until Black leaders abandon nonsense such as “Marching on Washington” and focus on building independent Black institutions, they are doing little more than “talking loud and saying nothing.”
Dr. James Thomas Jones III
© Manhood, Race, and Culture, 2016