• I want to start this blog by saying that I am a complete supporter of anything that takes place in our community, that provides a tangible benefit for the community as a whole. Where, that tangible benefit outweighs the downside risk of the actions taken. I also have an overall respect for Minister Farrakhan as an intellectual and a man with the right intentions in general.

    Background:

    In 1995, Minister Louis Farrakhan called upon African American males to form a united front and descend upon our nation’s capital to march and protest. The aim of this endeavor was to gain the attention and support of politicians in D.C., to highlight the myriad of issues that plague the African American community and to begin conversations that (it was hoped) would bring legislative action, that would provide more access and opportunities to the African American community.

    While it is unclear, to date, is what the exact numbers in attendance were for this march. What is clear is that hundreds of thousands of African American men from all of over the country did converge en mass on our nation’s capital in a unified march and protest of the relevant issues of the day.

    Results:

    Some of the issues that were/are of concern to the African American community, that were to be raised during this march and protest included but were not limited to:

    • Race Equality
    • Economic Empowerment
    • Voter Registration
    • Inner-City Primary and Secondary Education Reform

    It is clear, at least from this writer’s perspective, that not much (if anything) has changed in a way that is tangible since this historic march. The question, than, should become, why? Why is it that after such a historic march, nothing has changed? More importantly, why is it that we as a community continue to find ourselves in the same plight year after year? Why aren’t things changing for us while other communities seem to gain ground everyday?

    The Issue:

    Before I get into this, I apologize for anyone who is offended by what I say here, but I do not apologize for laying out the facts as they are. With that said, here is the issue as I see it… We as African Americans are slow to change and adapt to the ever changing, ever evolving political and economic landscape that is present in the United States (and the World for that matter). We have the misapprehension that “If it worked once, it will work again” and that is simply not the case.

    In the 1950’s and 1960’s we marched, we organized and we protested against racial inequality and segregation  in voting rights, employment and education. Prominent members such as Martin Luther King Jr. marched in solidarity against these issues. In the end, they were successful in bringing about, among other things, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Voter Rights Act of 1965 and Brown v. Board of Education. We look at these accomplishments and methods and believe that because they worked then, they will continue to work into perpetuity.

    Here are the facts that are not well known in our community. During the 1950’s and 1960’s the International Community had a negative perspective of the way the United States treated African Americans, these opinions were voiced with fervor in the United Nations by several European, African and Asian nations, especially given the fact that as justification of his practices, Adolf Hitler cited The United States position and treatment of African Americans. As stated by one of Hitler’s Nazi propagandists:

    “In America, Negroes are killed by mobs without fear of punishment and for the most trivial reason… The treatment of Negroes in America [is] far worse than that accorded Jews by the Nazis and America’s criticism should be turned in that direction rather than toward Germany… As we do not bother [you] about executions of Negroes, you should not bother [us.]”

    As the United States, at the time, was emerging as a world power (after its victory in World War II and a crushing defeat of the Nazi Imperialists) and with the attention of the world focused on it; The United States could hardly be seen as a hypocrite in such an important and pivotal time in its history, especially, when international sentiment toward racial inequality and the atrocities that stem from the same was so high. Thus, our forefathers of the Civil Rights movement had the perfect storm to mount opposition to racial inequality, they had the ears and eyes of the world on them. They had the world as an ally in the fight for change and it was these culminating events in totality that made that change possible, and though it was still a hard fought victory, that victory was only attainable because of the circumstances and international sentiments of the time.

    Today, circumstances are markedly different from what they were at that time. The United States today, is the most power country in the world both in military might and economic prowess. They have a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council[1] and because of their world standing today, very few countries of merit question their domestic policies and practices with much seriousness. Thus, The United States of today can act with impunity within its borders, as is seen with the events transpiring against Mexican immigrants today!

    The Solution:

    The solution, than, is quite simple… We can no longer only march and protest in the streets, sing “we shall overcome” and hold our hands out expecting this government to do anything for our community that will benefit us long term. We can no longer beg for access. We must be students of history, as well, observant to the changes around us and how they happened if we are to be able to gain the access that we really want and deserve. We must take a page out of the Jewish and LGBTQ books, learn the material and execute it within our own community.

    There was a time in this country, believe it or not, that the Jews were considered a lower class race as well, where they did not have equal rights or equal access. As an example, there was a time when Jewish lawyers would graduate from Law School at or near the top of their class, but when they would seek admission to “White Shoe” law firms[2] they would be denied admission. In answer to this, instead of marching and protesting, the Jews got together and formed their own law firms. Practicing an obscure and frowned upon area of the law at that time known as “Mergers & Acquisitions” (M&A), they became the subject matter experts in that space because they were the only ones practicing in it. As times changed and business expanded or imploded due to recessions and access to global capital markets, other law firms began to see the importance of this area of law, but by than it was too late, the Jewish firms had already proven themselves competent practitioners in the space and because of this were able to grow their firms into some of the mega firms of today.

    To ensure their economic stability and viability, the Jewish community pooled their resources and bought up real estate around the country both commercial and residential and became active participants in the political process. They give millions of dollars both directly and indirectly to political campaigns at the National, State and Local levels. Because of that forward thinking, they are able to influence legislation in a way that benefits their community. When they don’t like the academic curriculum of a school system, they again, pool their resources together and build their own schools or they influence the legislation of the local government to refine the curriculum in a way that better suit the academic and religious needs of their children.

    Until roughly 15 year ago, if you were openly gay, you were harassed, assaulted or systematically fired from your job. You were a social pariah in your neighborhood and often times amongst your family, any discussion in the classrooms about this topic was met with a zero tolerance policy by school boards. It is true that the LGBTQ community marched and protested, but they went a step further, they took a page out of the Jewish book and they pooled their resources and strategically placed it in the political and media arenas to influence legislation and public opinion in a way that benefited their community. Today, there has been a complete shift and public policy and sentiment toward the LGBTQ community. If you say anything inappropriate about a member of this community, YOU will be the social pariah, YOU will be terminated from your job and YOU can (and often times will) be sued for harassment. Same sex marriage has been legalized and their community is discussed as an important part of the gentrification process in Urban Development and Planning courses at every major university in this country.

    The solution, from example than, is clear:  protesting and marching is no longer sufficient to effectuate change. We must pool our resources and fight for change with our capital, by placing it strategically in the political process and by taking control of our communities through the acquisition or real estate both commercial and residential and by developing viable, sustainable businesses that are developed to become growing concerns. We must support those businesses and each other, we must unify strategically and financially if we expect to succeed and cease being on the losing end of the economic spectrum. Instead of a million men taking off of work, losing a day of pay, spending money to come to our nation’s capitol, staying in hotels and eating food in the nation’s capitol (which enriches the capitol), all of which takes money of their mouths and the mouths of their families; how about a million man continue to do what they do to provide for themselves and their families, stay where they are and simply donate one dollar. A million dollars placed properly can effectuate a much more powerful and lasting change for our community and that is what our community really needs!

    Here is some food for thought: When the Europeans who migrated to this country (most of which, by the way, were criminals in their home countries) formed this country, they didn’t march or protest for equal access, equal rights or land… They simply took it through war, through the murder, rape and pillaging of Indian and Mexican settlements, through engaging in some of the most atrocious acts of terrorism ever committed in history. Once they settled, they built a thriving, industrialized nation on the back of African slavery and than on immigrant labor. The short of it is… They took what they wanted and than, they were strategic and calculating in how they have kept it. Times have changed, so while physical war is obsolete and the methods and means used by the founding fathers of this country to create it are now criminal at best… Economic warfare is alive and well and we must arm ourselves with the knowledge, skills and execution abilities necessary to permanently remove our community from the casualty list.

    Authored by: Fredrick D. Scott

    ——————–

    Footnotes:

    [1] United Nations Security Council: “The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations,[1] charged with the maintenance of international peace and security[2] as well as accepting new members to the United Nations[3] and approving any changes to its United Nations Charter.[4] Its powers include the establishment of peacekeeping operations, the establishment of international sanctions, and the authorization of military action through Security Council resolutions; it is the only UN body with the authority to issue binding resolutions to member states. The Security Council held its first session on 17 January 1946.

    Like the UN as a whole, the Security Council was created following World War II to address the failings of a previous international organization, the League of Nations, in maintaining world peace. In its early decades, the Security Council was largely paralyzed by the Cold War division between the US and USSR and their respective allies, though it authorized interventions in the Korean War and the Congo Crisis and peacekeeping missions in the Suez Crisis, Cyprus, and West New Guinea. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, UN peacekeeping efforts increased dramatically in scale, and the Security Council authorized major military and peacekeeping missions in Kuwait, Namibia, Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

    The Security Council consists of fifteen members.[5] The great powers that were the victors of World War II—the Soviet Union (now represented by the Russian Federation), the United Kingdom, France, the Republic of China (now represented by the People’s Republic of China), and the United States—serve as the body’s five permanent members. These permanent members can veto any substantive Security Council resolution, including those on the admission of new member states or candidates for Secretary-General. The Security Council also has 10 non-permanent members, elected on a regional basis to serve two-year terms. The body’s presidencyrotates monthly among its members.

    Security Council resolutions are typically enforced by UN peacekeepers, military forces voluntarily provided by member states and funded independently of the main UN budget. As of 2016, 103,510 peacekeepers and 16,471 civilians were deployed on sixteen peacekeeping operations and one special political mission.” -wikipedia-

    [2] White-Shoe Law Firm: “The term originated in the Ivy League colleges and originally reflected a stereotype of old-line firms populated by WASPs. The term historically had antisemitic connotations, as many of the New York firms known as “white shoe” were considered off-limits to Jewish lawyers until the 1960s.[3][4] The phrase has since lost some of this connotation, but is still defined by Princeton University‘s WordNet as “denoting a company or law firm owned and run by members of the WASP elite who are generally conservative,” which shows that the original connotation has not changed entirely.[5] A 2010 column in The Economist described the term as synonymous with “big, old, east-coast and fairly traditional.”[6] In the 21st century, the term is sometimes used in a general sense to refer to firms that are perceived as prestigious or high-quality; it is also sometimes used in a derogatory manner to denote stodginess, elitism, or a lack of diversity.” -wikipedia-