Country Before Party, Community Before Self
Last year, white republican senator Jeff Flake made a public contribution to the democratic candidate in the Alabama senators' race. On the check memo area, he wrote “country above party.”
I use this metaphor to speak to the African American community and have all of us (including myself) ask (and answer) can we do more for our community? The last ten years of me directing the mission of African American Registry has brought to light two characteristics of black America that I interact with. 1. In general our collective needs in the face of white oppression in all segments of society are still huge. 2. In general all of us need and can do more with our personal lives and for our community to continue making a difference.
The collective African American unity that was ever-present last century in the movements of SNCC, SCLC, NAACP, CORE, BPP, and others are not as unified in this century. In 2018, some individuals have the name recognition as entertainers, athletes, the artist Combahee River Collective, black reps from MeeToo, and others are making also statements. This is very important if for no other reason than to keep the discussion going, share ideas, and craft an anti-racism plan for American black people.
Yet I’d like to see more need as a motivator to prevention. I’d like self-sacrifice to fuel the energy more for our children and elders, more open embracing of our present failings because of who we see (our reflection) in the mirror. The needs of African America are that great, the devil of whiteness never sleeps in America and I don’t feel enough of us know this or takes it to heart.
Those high school students at Parkland Florida cannot feel any more vulnerable than many of our inner-city youths feel about guns and being safe. As black history month, 2018 ends we’ve come a long way since poll taxes, sharecropping, etc. but our daily needs must stay on the front burner especially for the safety of our children, family, and community before ourselves.
by B. mchie