Tag Archives: Priorities

The Failure to Prioritize: An Essential Ingredient in the Extension of Black America’s Oppression

There is probably no more frustrating quality found among African-Americans today than their inability to evaluate current events and then prioritize. Trust me when I say that it is our failure to prioritize matters affecting our collective well-being that not only extends African-American suffering but also makes us accessories to our oppression.

The lack of a significant response from Black America regarding Trump’s decision to repeal the Affordable Care Act speaks volumes about the average African-American’s inability to monitor, prioritize, and respond accordingly to pressing political matters. Instead of addressing the looming curtailing of reasonable access to health care, Black America has preoccupied itself with relatively mundane issues such as a proposed Atlanta Orgy, the 20th Anniversary of the Notorious B.I.G.’s murder, or some other brain draining social media topic such as Remy Ma’s ‘Shether.’

Considering the disproportionate amount of time that African-Americans spend upon topics that can be efficiently termed “mental masturbation” exercises, one could be fooled into believing that their community is not lagging behind other groups in every single political, economic, and educational measurable. A critical mass of African-Americans decision to bury their head in the sand regarding our contemporary politico-economic blight that paves the way for African-Americans to behave as if they do not have a single care in the world, put simply, so many within our community behave like “good time Charlie’s.”

Although I would never deny the pernicious effects of discrimination and institutionalized racism, the failure to take life seriously also severely compromises African-American progress at every turn. Black students across a wide-swath of educational levels often behave as if they have absolutely no interest in learning anything of utility during their educational experience. Anyone who has dealt with our people will tell you that the following variables exist. There is a segment of African-American males of varying ages and socioeconomic classes proudly flaunt their immoral ability to skirt responsibility for their offspring. Many females within our midst busy themselves executing voluminous amounts of unnecessary mischief that invariably facilitates the arrival of a small mindedness that serves as the primary socializing agent in their children’s lives.

Make no mistake about it, until politicization becomes the standard mindset of Black America, these issues will not only remain but also serve as a reliable point for our individual and collective exploitation.

This issue should be considered an absolute blessing and curse. The blessing is that the development of a politicized mind and the ability to prioritize continually shifting political issues is achievable via a voracious regimen of study dedicated to Black life. The curse is that the most reliable agent in black activism is an outrageous offense from whites. Until the African-American community abandons its usual reactionary position and begins to understand that pressing political matters such as the repealing of the Affordable Care Act are markedly more important than the anniversary of the death of the Notorious B.I.G., ‘Shether’, or an event such as the “ATL Orgy” that definitively proves the comprehensive nature of the social dysfunction enveloping far too many members of our community, liberation will continue to elude Black America. The addressing of this matter requires an abandonment of reactionary politics. It can be done. However, it is solely up to Black America, and there is “the blessing and the curse” that continually haunts our collective liberation.

Dr. James Thomas Jones III

© Manhood, Race, and Culture, 2017.

America Through the Eyes of an Black Millennial

Since its birth, America, the single-greatest experience in civilization has repeatedly proven to be false to its cry of “A government for the people and by the people.

To say that I, an African-American millennial, can relate to the challenges that my ancestors faced would be a gross overstatement. However, as I consider the America that I live in, I can say that there are still mountains to climb if we are to reach the ‘promise land’.

Many will argue that this nation, built upon African-American oppression, will never achieve racial equality. I cling to optimism regarding America’s racial future.

For Black Millennia, contemporary America is stocked with both familiar enemies and unforeseen challenges. However, I have faith that the development of a blueprint will greatly bolster us in our pursuit for racial equality.

I never thought that I would articulate the following to my children, however this fact is true nonetheless, on November 8, 2016, I witnessed Donald J. Trump become the President of the United States of America.

Make no mistake about it, a Trump Presidency presents innumerable challenges for racial progressives. It is my desire to extend this analysis beyond the blatantly racist and vulgar statements the President Elect has made to an attentive world by first analyzing his slogan of “Make America Great Again.”

One must look into Trump’s past to understand what this slogan implies. Trump, born in 1946, one year after the conclusion of World War II, is apparently desiring a return to the “good old days” that were most certainly not good for non-whites. The America of Trump’s youth was stocked full of segregation and public discrimination. If one pays close attention to Donald Trump they will hear him reference the return of the “silent majority”, a term frequently used by former President Ronald Reagan. There is little room to debate the fact that the Reagan-Era was unconscionably damaging to our kind.

One does not need either an extended or insightful analysis to realize that Trump’s rhetoric conveys an unfavorable view of the Black community and its inhabitants. The most powerful weapon against figures like Trump has been Love and Unity among African-Americans. The onus is upon us to prepare for this dogged battle by uniting with one another in an unprecedented manner. There is no doubt that unity is the greatest weapon against the tyrannical threat that Trump poses.

Once we have achieved a united front, it is imperative that we pursue financial stability. Despite what polls, studies, and news media would have one believe a great amount of wealth flows into and quickly exits the African-American community. It is imperative that we keep our finances resources within our community. Put simply, it is crucial that we begin investing in ourselves and our people. Across America we see Jewish areas having Jewish restaurants, Jewish banks, and much more. We must begin to spend our money in our communities instead of taking our profits elsewhere.

To add to this unifying plea, I would add that our vision as a unit must be shifted to less tangible desires. That is to say, I believe that we as people should have more ambition than being either a sports star or rap star. I am not implying that all Africa-Americans have this ambition, however I have seen it enough to where it has become alarming.  Even myself once dreamed of a pro football career and even once recorded a song under the moniker “Phenom”. However, we must invest our ambitions back into education and diversify our interest in black arts. Once our mindset shifts back to the days of old, we will again make great leaps and bounds. Taxes and cutting of the proverbial safety net are at our door step, we must be prepared.

Finally, I believe that once we began the process of uplifting ourselves we can then begin to work with other minorities groups and began a true “rainbow coalition” against the challenges we face. In every advancement our people has made in the past we had assistance. While not trying to come off as disrespectful, I must allude to the fact that African Americans have done most of the heaving lifting in terms of Civil Rights issues in this nation. With a growing Latino population and the finical stability of other minority groups it is time that will all come together and fight for the America we were promised. Together we can form a large enough faction to fight against the economic and social woes that mass incarceration, discrimination, and neglect has caused. We as minority groups must take action for first our own cultures and then find ways to work together against the “great” America Trump, and clearly a large sum of Americans, feel is necessary. Only together will we make our most desired American dream come true.

Patron Payton

© Manhood, Race and Culture, 2016

What if African-American Men only had Two Weeks to Live?

One of my favorite movies, I guess it is the one “chick flick” that I am allowed is Last Holiday starring Queen Latifah and LL Cool J. For those who have failed to view a ‘must-have’ film for any African-father 3American living within the stifling constraints of America, trust me when I say that you may want to get yourself a copy. The premise of the film is relatively simple in that Queen Latifah’s character — Georgia Byrd — is given a dire medical prognosis that gives her only a few weeks to live. It is this information that causes Latifah to begin living life in a manner that she should have always been living; courageously, carefree, and as if there was no tomorrow.

I began to wonder what would I do if I only had two weeks to live?

What are my priorities? What is important enough for me to spend my precious time upon? Who would I visit? Who would I call? What television shows would I watch, if any? What would I read? What would be my regrets?

One thing is certain, if faced with such a dilemma, much of the foolishness that we witness on a daily basis from African-American men would cease if for no other reason than them finally gaining an understanding of the old axiom, “The only thing that God ain’t making no more of is, TIME!” Make no mistake about it; time is precious, fleeting, and unrecoverable.

I would like to think that knowledge that death was around the father 5corner would cause many African-American men who have desperately needed to clean up and straighten up. I am certain that they would find their way home to those they love, particularly their children, they would take every opportunity to tell those that they love, “I Love You” as they understand that man’s days on earth are but a few short, yet unbelievably precious, moments.

If I could, I would advise every Black man in America to live as if he only has two weeks to live. I am quite certain that it would markedly change not only your life, but also the lives of those around you for the better.

Dr. James Thomas Jones III

©Manhood, Race and Culture 2016