FreeMan said; "So how do we change the people?
This would seem to be the problem.
It isn't racism that is the cause of our malaise - it is the inability to overcome the obstacles put in place by racist institutions in general,
and Black racist institutions in particular.
The common (or shared) consciousness of our Black institutions is one of victimization, or of seeking the material rewards without having done the temporal works, or of surrender.
This view is racist because it assumes a position that is predicated on one's race.
When was the last time a major television bishop or pastor spoke on the second half of the Beatitudes?
Everyone knows the "Blessed is he ...", but what about the "Woes"?
There is a responsibility that goes along with the authority that is desired by most.
There is a responsibility to do for others.
But this message doesn't get ratings. This message doesn't elicit donations. This message isn't glamorous.
I was watching a young cousin clean only his dishes after he'd finished eating dinner ("Supper" in the South.).
When I asked his uncle why the children are taught to only clean up after themselves - "Because I ain't gonna' ", was his reply.
(I had to re-train these kids with the belief that one does something because it needs to be done - not just because one has made the mess.)
But this is the same thinking behind the NBA ball players who are more concerned with "getting theirs" than they are with the team winning.
This is why Iverson can't win a championship.
Even the boring-ass Spurs win championships because they play as a team.
Their slightly better than average group is better than an excellent individual.
(Or better than a group of players who play as individuals.)
This is why ghettos are so dirty and devalued.
People leave trash in the street because it is someone else's job to pick it up.
Kids do poorly in school because it is the teachers job to teach the children.
People don't point out robbers, rapists and killers because it is the policeman's job to catch the criminals.
Everything is "Someone else's job".
Everyone is only looking out for themselves.
Since religion is often used as a control of our shared consciousness - our religions are failing us.
Our religions are leading us down the wrong paths.
Our religions are leading us further down the path of dependence on others instead of having others being dependent upon us.
We are in a constant state of looking to others for the answers instead of having people come to us for the answers.
(Hint; Answers generate money, money generates power and power dictates the terms of peace.)
Ghettos and slums have been in place since there were two groups of people who lived in two different areas.
The more desirable area was the "burbs" - while the less desirable was the "ghetto".
But things are not always static.
When those from the "ghettos" ("Ghetto", in this case meaning low lands, forests, bayous, or any land or area that is less than desirable at any given time.) decided to capitalize on their resources, and market and sell those resources to people from another area, wealth began to flow into and take root in these areas.
As more people became aware of a better way of life - the better life became one that was expected.
This expectation created a shared consciousness of propriety.
But this prosperity wasn't readily available to all.
Some groups of people assumed that prosperity belonged to them alone.
These groups oppressed and subjugated the other groups to maintain their expected way of life.
This dominant group had a shared consciousness of dominance.
Most within the minority groups assumed the position of inferiority.
This group accepted and preached a message of surrender.
Their (the minority group) expectation (and eventual realization) became that of "The Victim".
Even when opportunities became available - most within these minority groups lacked the understanding to take advantage of them.
They had no concept of success beyond what had always been taught in their homes, schools and churches.
This group kept themselves back because they couldn't see themselves as anything other than "Victim".
Many of our schools coddle our children into a false sense of success.
If a group of kids can't pass tests - "Make the tests easier" is the common response from many of our school teachers, administrators and districts.
If a group of firefighters can't pass a test - "Make the tests easier" is the response from our local leaders.
Why not just make the schooling more rigorous?
I'm not saying that this problem is endemic to Black schools - but how many tales of remediation do you hear from teachers and professors at the college level that is required for Black students?
Why are students even graduating if their level of understanding is that of an eighth grader?
Why do we accept this as the norm?
But there are some who are called "Uppity", "Sidity", "Bourgie" or any other pejorative.
( http://theblacksocialite.blogspot.com/ )
This group possessed a shared consciousness of success.
This group viewed their former condition as a challenge.
This group knew that they were more than the limited expectations of the presumptuous dominant culture.
This group chose a life beyond the limited expectations of their friends - many of whom are still stuck on the block.
This group had to overcome the constant pushing by the dominant culture,
and the constant pulling by the submissive minority culture.
This group failed to believe that; Black=Bad.
(@ FreeMan - FreeMan Jr. will be part of this group and he will be called the same names that many call this group today. He will lack the understanding required to live on the block unless he is forced to experience the block. His values will be shaped more by his experiences than by yours. Seeing that you value success more than acceptance, expect him to do the same.
This isn't wrong.
We have no concept of what it is to be a sharecropper, servant or slave,
but our grandparents and our predecessors do.
This is just progress.)
So FreeMan, How do we change the people?
By being honest in our criticism.
By not settling for less from Black people just because they are Black.
By raising our level of shared consciousness.