Category Archives: Black Community

Do Black Preachers Play a Pivotal Role in Keeping Black Christians Clueless About Finances?

I am quite confident that the majority of African-Americans born prior to the eighties will understand my assertion that the primary socialization agent in our lives occurred within the sanctified walls of a Black Church.

Within these hallowed walls, we learned that there was an omnipotent and omnipresent God who “had the whole world in his hands.” Repeatedly hearing this message mesmerized my peers into believing that their life path was pre-determined by the guiding hand of God.

Of all the points emphasized in “praise houses” throughout Black America, one of the most common is the need for each of God’s children to live a life that would allow them to enter the kingdom of heaven. Entrance into heaven meant that we would be eternally reunited with our deceased loved ones and no longer subject to the daily hurt, pain, struggle, and strife that shadowed us in the land of the living.

The message being shared by black preachers was a simple one; that being, the struggle, pain, disappointment, and heartache experienced in “the land of the living” was more than worth it as the righteous would be rewarded with heavenly gifts and treasures that no man could conceive.

To the chagrin of many of my superiors, the omnipotent God previously mentioned gifted me with an intellectual curiosity that encouraged both an active engagement and investigation of scripture. After engaging the Holy Bible that a series of Sunday School Teachers at Mount Calvary Baptist Church had taught me was the very breath of God, I realized that black preachers were making conscious choices to accentuate certain portions of scripture while avoiding others. As a burgeoning Revolutionary Nationalist who was doing his best to balance faith and an unending urge to work toward the liberation of Black America, the reality that black preachers intentionally avoided prominent politico-economic issues and disparities that cut across racial lines troubled my soul.

My soul was definitely not comforted by routine teachings that advised Black America to be long-suffering and not conform to the ways and desires of this world. I am quite confident that I am not the only one who tired of hearing sermons built around Mark 8:36For what does it profit a man to gain the entire world and lose his soul.” Such a message always sounded like unwise advice seeking to get Black America to not only agree to be oppressed but also to participate in their downtrodden position. Even as a teenager, I wanted to rise form my seat, reprimand the preacher and tell him to turn his “good book” to James 2:17 and build a liberation sermon around the idea that “Faith without works is dead”. If I did not know any better, I would be convinced that black preachers, realizing that their people would carry the stain of blackness for eternity have colluded and decided to sell them hope, instead of life skills that hold the potential to liberate them from the terminal illness that has wiped out several generations of Black America.

Although I can only speak with authority on my personal experience, I can definitively say the Black Church led me down a path of being pious, considerate, and accommodating toward others and rationalizing my non-engagement with Capitalist America as an assured path to Heaven. With the benefit of hindsight, I clearly understand that the vast majority of African-Americans have avoided opportunities to accumulate wealth as such action would invariably curtail our chances of meeting our heavenly father. Could it be that such thinking flows from having heard far too many sermons revolving around Matthew 19:24Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

At no moment during my tenure as a member of the Black Church did I ever hear a black preacher articulate a message that addressed the gap between the words he spoke from the pulpit and the luxurious lifestyle that he and his contemporaries enjoyed. Put simply, even a cursory glance at the lifestyles of a mildly successful black preacher displays the cavernous gap between their sermon and their personal decisions. Black preachers failure to use their pulpit to discuss the financial concerns impacting their congregants in any way other than tithing or the infamous “building fund” ensures the continuation of poverty and foolish spending within our community. Black preachers refusal to address the black portions of the body of Christ in regards to finances is quite simply a dereliction of duty that makes them unfit to lead any segment of the community.

Considering the present economic community of the Black Community, there is little room to refute Marcus Garvey’s assertion that regardless of where he traveled that persons of African descent have always been the poorest, owned the least amount of land, and were tenuously situated in regards to finances. Put simply, wealth has rarely visited, let alone resided in Black America. Consider the following facts.

  • The wealth held by the average white family is seven times greater than the average black family.
  • Median white wealth is twelve times that of black families.
  • Economic studies tell us that twenty-five percent of black households have zero, or negative, wealth.

The most important question that needs to be asked at this moment is the following one; “Who is to blame for this enormous disparity of wealth between black and white Americans?” Those seeking to simultaneously disrespect Black America and explain the alluded to inequities will cite matters such as:

  • Undisciplined spending habits instead of investing money.
  • Pre-occupation with clothes, cars, and other depreciating trinkets.
  • Lack of educational attainments.
  • The failure to circulate the dollar to black businesses in the Black community.
  • The desire to find a job instead of becoming entrepreneurs.

Although each of the above issues is at best a partial explanation for the cavernous wealth gap, they fail to factor in issues such as unemployment, poor paying jobs, the school-to-prison pipeline, financial institutions resistance to providing the capital necessary for African-Americans to start businesses, purchase homes, or a host of other long-term goals. if everyone is beginning from the same starting position. Nothing could be further from the truth. Just as many whites have a long legacy of wealth-accumulation that extends back centuries, African-Americans have a similar legacy. Unfortunately for Black America, they have rarely been fortunate enough to begin the accumulation of wealth at the same moment as their white counterparts.

It is a sobering reality to learn that nothing African-Americans have done (educational attainments, professional occupations, entrepreneurship, investment, savings, and investments) has had a sizable impact on closing the wealth gap in regards to whites. Maybe that is why so many of us remain tied to the Black Church. Is it possible that the only balm for our seemingly endless suffering is found in sermons and preaching that revolve around hopes for a death that will allow us to enter “a land where we will study war no more.” I guess that when the black plight is viewed in that light, that it is understandable that many of our people consider death to be a more attractive location than being poor and black in a nation where “Cash Rules Everything Around Me.”

Dr. James Thomas Jones III

© Manhood, Race, and Culture, 2018

MEASURING THE CONTENT OF OUR CHARACTER: WHY IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT BLACK AMERICA SEPARATES ITSELF FROM A CERTAIN CRIMINAL ELEMENT IN OUR MIDST

Although every fiber of my being wanted to feign shock at the racial identity of looters arrested in the wake of Hurricane Irma, however, it would have been disingenuous to do so. Additionally, I long ago abandoned efforts to hide my feelings regarding a certain incorrigible portion of Black America. Although sad to say, if you are being truthful with yourself, you intuitively know the racial identity of those seeking to capitalize on the above natural disaster by stealing tennis shoes and other material trinkets.

Making matters worse is the reality that Miami was not the only city that saw its black citizens exhibit such inexcusable behavior. Houston, where I reside, experienced similar antics with individuals seeking to exploit devastated citizens by pillaging their homes under the cover of darkness.

Make no mistake about it, this is not a short-sighted argument asserting that African-Americans have a monopoly on lawlessness during difficult times, however, it would be shocking to not find black faces when such activities are occurring. It is this reality that further solidifies my belief that there is a roguish element within our midst that needs to be extricated from our community by any means necessary. The alluded to subculture serves as a consistent disruption of black progress.

In his celebrated address at The March on Washington, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., advanced an argument where all Americans would be judged by “the content of their character.” When one considers the deplorable behavior of many within our community, I shudder to think what an evaluation of “the content of their character” would reveal. It is past time for the best segments of our community to execute definitive steps to address the criminal element in our communities; such decisive is desperately needed as these individuals consider our communities a refuge for their lawlessness.

Although it may be politically incorrect to state these things, however, the truth of the matter is that the alluded to criminals and hell-raisers are a significant distraction to an embattled community that cannot afford such inefficiency. With the many formidable non-black opponents fighting black advancement, it is shameful that there is an element in our midst that has consciously decided to aid those efforts via criminality and unprecedented dysfunctionality.

Until we address those who relish the opportunity to be a supreme intra-racial disruption, there is little hope that progress will occur. Hence, at this moment it is imperative that non-criminal elements within our midst step forward and denounce criminality, social dysfunction, and other social vices that severely curtail all of our endeavors. History indicates that politico-economic collectivism is the only reliable path for group improvement, hence, it is time to separate ourselves from those whose actions prove that they have neither interest nor desire to uplift the community. Trust me when I say that it is one of our primary steps in lifting the African-American community from an unfortunate position that they have occupied for far too long.

The American historical record indicates that politico-economic collectivism is the only reliable path for group improvement, hence, it is time to physically separate ourselves from those whose actions prove that they possess neither the interest nor the desire to uplift Black America. Trust me when I say that this is a fundamental step in the fight to uplift the African-American community from the unfortunate position that it has have occupied for far too long.

Dr. James Thomas Jones III

© Manhood, Race, and Culture, 2017

 

 

 

 

MIAMI (Reuters) – Miami area police arrested more than 50 suspected looters during Hurricane Irma, including 26 people who were accused of breaking into a single Wal-Mart (WMT.N> store, authorities said on Tuesday.

City officials on Tuesday lifted a local 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. curfew that had been in place since Sunday. As normality began to return, police commanders said officers will work 12-hour shifts, 24 hours a day, to discourage any more criminality.

“I said we would not tolerate criminal activity or looting or anybody who takes advantage of our residents,” Deputy Chief of Police Luis Cabrera said at a news conference. “I was not joking.”

The Wal-Mart incident took place on Saturday night at a store on the north side of the City of Miami, said Miami-Dade Police Department spokesman Alvaro Zabaleta.

Among others suspected of looting were six men arrested on Monday and accused of breaking into stores at the Midtown Miami shopping complex, near the fashionable Wynwood district, before making off with merchandise that included shoes, bags and laptops.

The looting attempts spanned the city, said Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado, from the well-heeled Brickell and downtown neighborhoods to the low-income Liberty City and Little Haiti areas. He said police will stay vigilant as the cleanup goes on.

Officers have also been busy trawling roads that can be perilous for motorists because power cuts shut off traffic lights at intersections and streets have accumulated shredded vegetation spread by the storm’s powerful winds.

“We have never experienced, not even with Hurricane Andrew, the amount of trees that are downed in the city,” Regalado told the news conference. Hurricane Andrew hit Florida in 1992.

Since Irma began bearing down on the state late last week, authorities have been warning any would-be looters against taking advantage of the situation.

Rick Maglione, the police chief of Fort Lauderdale, about 30 miles (48 km) north of Miami, told residents to stay home during the storm and look after their loved ones. “Going to prison over a pair of sneakers is a fairly bad life choice,” Maglione said in a statement.

Miami police posted a photo on Facebook of several accused looters sitting in a jail cell under the caption: “Thinking about looting? Ask these guys how that turned out. #stayindoors.”

 

How Conspiracy Theories Continue to Work Against Black Liberation Efforts

I am confident that if you have been anywhere near a member of the so-called “conscious community” that you have noticed their propensity to engage in a medley of conspiracy theories. The alluded to individuals have an uncanny knack of weaving together events that on the surface have no connection whatsoever. The fact that their fanciful anti-intellectual creations are not supported by any evidence does little to dissuade them from propagating such foolishness to anyone within a one-hundred-mile radius. The typical conspiracy theorist spends incredible amounts of their time unraveling things that do not exist. Consider for a moment the recent Steven Stephens case. For most sane individuals it is a case of a mentally disturbed African-American male murdering an elderly black man for no apparent reason. These conclusions are significantly bolstered by the fact that Steven Stephens not only filmed the incident himself but also posted the crime and a subsequent recording of himself confessing to the crime on Facebook. Such a mountain of evidence is a mere molehill to your typical conspiracy theorist.

In a move that would be shocking to those with little exposure to the twists-and-turns that occur within the minds of conspiracy theorists, conspiracy theorists seized the Facebook postings and ran with it in their usual manner. According to such individuals, we were duped as the entire tape was a perfect ruse to divert us from something that had already occurred or was on the verge of happening. During a recent discussion with a self-styled conspiracy theorist, I questioned his perspective regarding the Steven Stephens shooting via the existence of a dead body, a grieving family, and a distraught police chief. His response, “they have all gotten paid off. I am telling you that this is an orchestrated event created to divert your attention from a yet to occur event.”

Probably the most disturbing thing about the constantly multiplying and increasingly elaborate conspiracy theories is that a major portion of the so-called “conscious community” cannot resist engaging them. Unfortunately for the sake of black liberation, the alluded to “mental masturbation” sessions are sufficient to keep conspiracy theorists busy for an entire lifetime. This busyness guarantees that vast segments of the so-called “conscious community” will never focus the bulk of their mental energy and physical activities toward the planning, creation, and execution of politico-economic liberation plans.

I am confident that we can agree that a better use of the mental energy expended upon conspiracy theories is for such individuals to turn their focus toward researching matters that could have a positive impact on the black liberation struggle. At this late date, we do not have the luxury of spending even a single moment investigating foolish nonsense conspiracy theories; those energies must be directed toward the development and execution of a plan to tangibly improve the lives of black men, women, and children. Anything else is yet another display of black cowardice, inefficiency, and ineptitude.

Dr. James Thomas Jones III

© Manhood, Race and Culture, 2017.

An Efficient Plan to Remove the Uncivilized: How We Could Improve the Black Community Overnight

I write this posting with the full realization that there are segments of Black America who will vehemently disagree with its contents; however, I could not care less about their flawed perspective. You know the type of people that I am alluding, those who choose to excuse away the criminality and foolishness that so many within our midst execute on a daily basis against their own solely because they were born into an impoverished area.
Not only will I never be counted in their number, but also I could care less about an irrational political correctness that demands African-Americans mute their voices when the perpetrators of violence against black folk are black themselves. I will most certainly air our ‘dirty laundry’ for the world to see. My unbridled love for African-Americans mandates that I never let my pen fall silent on matters affecting my people.
My commitment to uplift the African-American community is the catalyst behind my condemnation of Miami-based gang members who took the opportunity to defame the legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., by using a parade assembly as a shooting gallery that left 8 innocent bystanders, ranging in age from 11 to 30, wounded by gunfire. According to the Miami-Dade police, the shooting is attributable to rival gangs.
It is ironic that on a day created to honor Dr. King’s legacy dream that society would one-day judge African-Americans by the “Content of Their Character” that we have such a sizable population in our midst devoid of any positive character traits. Although I am confident that my call to have this population separated from the black community ‘By Any Means Necessary’ will sting the apologists in our midst who choose to make excuses (racism, unemployment, female-headed households, poor schools, Donald Trump, the fact that it is Wednesday and raining outside) for the deplorable behavior of roving bands of African-Americans of various ages. Rest assured that when I say ‘By ANY Means Necessary’ that it includes calling law enforcement authorities to collect this rubbish from our midst.
I will tell you that I care little about where they are going, who is taking them to their destination, or how they will survive; all that I care about is their separation from honest, hardworking, moral, progressive people who have diligently attempted to model the historical cooperation that has undergirded Black America.
It is time that African-American progressives realize that except for skin color and a few cultural commonalities, we have absolutely nothing in common with this roguish band of thugs that have used our communities as a haven for their immorality and our commitment to take of family as an exploitable survival strategy as their laziness and drug abuse has made them a hardcore unemployable.
I have already divorced myself from such individuals and will let you in on a little secret; life is grander without them. So do yourself a favor and cut those who mean anyone around them any good out of your life. Trust me when I say, that your life will be much better as a result.

Dr. James Thomas Jones III

© Manhood, Race, and Culture, 2017.

Why are Black-on-Black Crimes Rarely Solved: Should African-Americans be Considered Accessories to the Rampant Crime in Our Communities

I could never blame anyone for coming to the conclusion that there is a segment of Black Chicago that is totally out of their mind. Hence, the recently taped abduction of a mentally challenged teenager is not as shocking as it would be under normal circumstances.

Although I consider the latest actions of Jordan Hill (18), Tesfaye Cooper (18), Brittany Covington (18), and Tanishia Covington (24) to be little more than another ‘sign of the times.’ There is absolutely no reasoning that could ever justify their abduction and torture of Austin Hilbourn (18) a white man who reports are indicating has some mental challenges.

I believe that I am speaking for the vast majority of sane African-Americans when I say that the four black Chicagoans that police have taken into custody not only deserve the current charges of aggravated kidnapping, hate crime, aggravated unlawful restraint and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, but also additional charges.

The Chicago Police Department swift movements to solve this crime are commendable. I am certain that the fact that the perpetrators themselves recorded their demonic actions greatly aided the investigation. This morally repugnant episode raises an interesting question, why aren’t Black-on-Black crimes solved as quickly as the offensive attack perpetrated against Mr. Austin Hilbourn?

The most readily available answer to the above question is an incorrect response that law enforcement personnel, many of whom are African-American, do not care about criminal activity in the black community. Now, I would never dismiss my personal engagement with a few officers whose lack of interest in black-on-black crime was evident and say that a few officers just do not care about the safety or well-being of African-Americans. However, such an explanation does little to explain why black-on-black crimes often go unsolved. I believe that the most honest reason behind why black-on-black crimes go unsolved is the African-American community.

Considering their peculiar second-class citizenship status, African-Americans have become adept at responding to a hostile white community at a moments’ notice. From their initial arrival on the North American continent, experience taught all persons of African descent that their time to deal with the hostility and brutality of marauding whites could come not only at any moment but also without the slightest provocation. Considering such a context, African-Americans developed survival strategies to protect themselves and their loved ones from hostile outsiders. One of the most prominent adaptations was to become insular as a community. Put simply; blacks closed off the hostile outside world in a desperate attempt to protect their own; particularly the men who were most likely to be seized and lynched by a white mob for a perceived offense or challenge emanating from either that particular individual or the community in general.

Law enforcement officers frequently led the alluded to ‘lynch mob’ pursuing African-American males. Hence, it should not be surprising that to this very day that the average African-American male tenses up when in the presence of law enforcement officers. The harsh reality that American laws have consistently proven detrimental to their existence makes African-Americans staunch non-cooperation with law enforcement officers understandable. One would be hard-pressed to convince African-Americans that law enforcement officers are not continuing this tradition in the twenty-first century.

However, this tradition of not cooperating with law enforcement personnel has been seized by a criminal element within our community for opportunistic reasons. An immoral and unlawful element within our community has publicly demanded silence regarding their illegal activities and uncivilized behavior. I applaud this population for the manner in which they have been able to seize a historic cultural adaptation and use it as a cover for their evil doings; unfortunately, Hip Hop Culture has been the perfect conduit for this transference of misinformation.

Although their mantra that ‘snitches get stitches’ is rather poetic in a ghetto fabulous kind of way, it betrays the solidarity that generations of African-Americans displayed against a hostile external enemy. The actions and activities of the criminal element within our midst are having the same effect that marauding white terrorist had throughout the 19th and 20th Centuries respectively. The only difference is that the criminal element in our midst begs us not to report them to the proper authorities. However, one must take their hat off to this thuggish element when you consider that they have been able to get such values integrated into our cultural diet and belief system. We now find elementary school children attempting to “persuade” their peers to ‘not snitch,’ often via violent attacks that they are amazingly filming and posting on the internet.

Obviously, the mantra ‘snitches get stitches’ has no place within our community and serves as yet another example of how we have indeed lost our way. Of all the things that we need to be poetic about, lawlessness and criminality are not on that list.

Make no mistake about it; this is a call for the African-American community to be vigilant against the black evil-doers who are attacking and ‘bringing the community down.’ A decision that would terrify those within our midst who commit a crime and continually live in an uncivilized manner that is unreflective of how African-Americans have ever lived.

If we are serious about cleaning up the African-American community, it is the time that we expose those individuals who consider our residential areas as havens for their criminality. Failure to do so makes us accessories to the destruction of our community and ensures that our children will never have a safe space to grow to their full potential.

Dr. James Thomas Jones III

© Manhood, Race, and Culture 2017