Recently on Roland Martin's "Washington Watch" we discussed what must be President Obama's exclusive agenda to empower black America is his second term. The only advice I could share with Roland's national audience was that American Blacks must cultivate an entrepreneurial spirit independent of any president in the White house. Why is it that no matter who occupies the White House the plight of minorities and especially American Black's continue to diminish overall. Why hasn't the billions of dollars invested in these communities not lifted their boats from poverty and despair. In fact the government nanny state has only worsened the plight of many across our nation.
I think of my own experiences working on the family farm with my seven brothers and two sisters. Each morning my father would come into our bedrooms around 4:30 a.m. and tell us to get up and work the fields. We would spend the next two hours before school slopping pigs and cropping tobacco. Was it fun? Not even close. But these early lessons in physical striving taught us discipline, work ethic, routine, and responsibility and instilled an attitude of achievement that was the better part of our later successes. The point I'm trying to convey is that it is not enough to merely wish for the good things in life. You must develop that kind of 4:30 a.m. discipline that distinguishes you from others; you must think of yourself as an entrepreneur.
I guess it is not surprising that minorities, who were traditionally shut out of mainstream society and treated as second caste citizens, would be susceptible to thinking of themselves as victims. Up until just one generation ago, black American's were relegated to the fringes of American society. The overall white, patriarchal society was not about to give up its sense of superiority. So it leaned on minorities with its full weight.
Black children were segregated in underfunded schools. Black adults, regarded chiefly as a source of cheap labor, were denied opportunities for economic advancement. The results were straightforward: many young minorities received a poor education, lacked role models to cultivate their talents, plainly saw that society expected them not to succeed, and consequently stifled their own sense of future possibilities. In countless specific ways, minorities were made to hate themselves. This kind of conditioning was necessary for the maintenance of the elitist white, patriarchal ruling structure.