Recently America witnessed an exercise in futility. Donald Trump invited a group of 100 black Pastors to come to Trump Tower for a meeting. The obvious implication was that Mr. Trump, a 2016 presidential candidate was seeking an endorsement from the black clergy. That’s what presidential candidates do.
Jamal Bryant, a pastor based out of Baltimore, Md. went to social media to call out the pastors that were listed on a flyer for the meeting with Mr. Trump. Mr. Bryant mentioned several of the Pastors by name and even stated that he was going to contact them directly. In his online video rant, he questioned their motives and tried to convince them that the meeting was a bad idea. Due to pressure and intimidation many of those on the list refused to meet with Mr. Trump and several disavowed any connection to the meeting at all.
This type of foolishness goes on a lot in the black community. The intimidation and emotional blackmail is one of the reasons that Black America is struggling. The groupthink mentality has kept us bound for quite some time now and its time that it stops. Too many black leaders are afraid to go against the grain for fear of being labeled as “outcasts”, “uncle Toms”, “sellouts”, etc. Instead of introducing viable ideas and solutions to our problems, stunts like what Jamal Bryant pulled is par for the course.
For the record, I am not a Republican nor am I trying to convince anyone that they should vote for Donald Trump. I do not agree with some of the things Mr. Trump says. My desire is to wake up the masses of Black Americans so that we can break out of the emotional and spiritual stronghold that we are in. We have been manipulated for far too long and its time for us to come out of the stupor we have been in for the last few decades.
The current arrangement isn’t working for us. President Obama and the democratic party has failed black America. Jamal Bryant, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and others like them have spent more time pursuing fame and media attention instead of really dealing with the issues. We need to shift our focus on what is really plaguing the black community and stop with all the useless distractions.
Three of the most talked about issues in the Black community are: 1) The lack of job and business opportunities for blacks 2) The targeting and murder of black men by police officers and 3) The perceived bias against blacks in the criminal justice system. If those are the most pressing issues that blacks face we need a better strategy to fight against them. The current strategies against these issues seem disorganized and misguided at best.
Since January 2009 the President of the United States has been black. During that time, the attorney generals (Eric Holder, Loretta Lynch) both are black as well. You consistently decry racism yet they never address those that are actually able to do something about it, which incidentally are black themselves.
The Black clergy in particular has shirked their responsibilities in leading our community, they are not leading from the front. They have given President Obama and the democratic party a pass. They have passionately defended and supported them instead of holding them accountable. They seem to have forgotten that elected officials work for us, not the other way around. Instead of defending the president, we should be more critical of him.
Black Americans have an unemployment rate that is twice the national average. Images of black men being killed and mistreated by police litter the media. Investigation after investigation have identified nothing but an inordinate amount of traffic stops directed towards blacks. In regards to police misconduct, either the issue is exaggerated or someone is not doing their job. The US Attorney General has the power to prosecute individuals who violate the laws of the land anywhere in the country.
Until we get a backbone and some direction, we will continue to wander aimlessly around the wilderness of America looking for answers to the obvious problems we face. Until the current leaders concern themselves more with addressing the real power structure instead of seeking after celebrity nothing will change for us. Past leaders such as MLK and Malcolm X were very clear in their approach to combat the problems of their day. They were fighting for causes; they were not fighting for publicity.