going above and beyond
A Message To African-American Leaders
By Ra Un Nefer Amen
Shekhem Ur Shekhem of the Ausar Auset Society
I dare believe that most leaders in the African American community are aware that not only has there been a failure in the African American community to make as much progress as needed, but in many ways, we have lost a substantial amount of effort in the past decade to remedy the situation. Such efforts have faltered, perhaps for lack of a clear articulation of our needs, and means to their attainment.
I will hereby give a brief proposal to this end:
It is my belief that the major causes of the failure of the African American leadership to fully achieve the desired goals are due, on the political side, to the emphasis on protest activity, and over dependence on governmental assistance, and on the private side, on the limitation of efforts to "cultural presentations," and scholarly discussions.
African Americans together earn over 300+ billion* dollars each year. The number one item on the agenda of African American politicians should be the creation of the National African American Fund into which all Blacks would contribute 1-3% of their income each year. At a ridiculously affordable $10-$30 for every $1000 earned, we would raise at least 3 billion dollars a year which can then be used for skills training, health care, investing with and aiding Africa and the Caribbean, etc. In short, it would go a long way to solving our problems. The money to set up such a fund could easily come from the otherwise spent funds of Black presidential campaigns, money collected through the Black churches, etc. At present, we spend 6-10 billion on tobacco each year, to our detriment. Not to even mention alcohol, and other abominations.
On the private self-help level, the sponsoring of scholarly discussions of historical antecedents, and the analytical expose of our problems, necessary as they are, must be subordinate to the following programs that must be implemented in the general Africa American community.
Those of us with academic skills must come together - research, live, and teach the best nutritional and health principals now available. The raising of health of our people will decrease the present excessively high level of morbidity, anti-social acts, health impairment, and increase the overall level of spirituality, competitiveness, work capacity, creativity, and resistance to stress. Health is our number one means of rising above the handicaps that racism has imposed upon us. In fact, without it all of our educational, and activists efforts will fall very, very short of the mark.
We must also implement Spiritual and Self-betterment workshops based on the Spiritual technologies of Black civilizations, past and present (Kamit [Ancient Egypt], Sumer, Black India, Ancient Southern China, Ethiopia, Canaan, Yoruba, Bantu, etc.). Since we were stolen from Africa, and stripped of our culture, we have not had the opportunity to come together and rationally define our cultural identity. The vacuum, thus created, has been filled by one or another set of equally damaging western ideologies which as is quite evident have not helped the western world itself. All western nations, whether they are capitalists, socialists, or communists have accrued debts that they can never pay off, and are on an irreversible path of social decay due to drugs, environmental pollution, self inflicted illness, crime, false ideologies, etc. Since these are the logical conclusion of the cultural infrastructure of the western world, they feel that they are locked into forecasted doom. On the contrary, we have an entirely different cultural heritage that we can, and must fall back on. Not just to save ourselves, but through our example, to lead others to the way out. The 40th Hexagram of the I Ching states that if a man is serious about his own deliverance others will be influenced.
In the teaching of our history our purpose must be divorced from the western model of merely identifying the who, when, what, etc. Yes, it is important to know that the great founders of civilization "The Kamitian (Ancient Egyptians), Sumerians, Pre-Aryan India (Harappa, Mohenjo Daro), Ethiopians, Canaanites, Phoenicians, etc. were Black people. But such knowledge is of little value if we do not retrieve the actual spiritual techniques, and values that shaped the accomplishments of these societies, that we may implement them in our lives. Not that we built pyramids, but what meditation techniques led us to 'invent' engineering, architecture, geometry, etc. is the important issue. What spiritual skills kept the Kamitic people together as a nation for over 4000 years that they could achieve so stupendously? Once we know this, then we can come together and do something about the 300+ billion dollars a year we earn as a group; then we can come together with our brothers and sisters in Africa and share the skills and capital that we have with their skills and wealth of natural resources. And believe me, they are waiting for us with open arms and hearts.
Last, but not least, we must learn to fully recognize the true meaning of the often quoted maxim that "together we stand, apart we fall." No people who failed to identify a clear common goal, and pool their resources to its accomplishments got anywhere. Sadly to say, this is the image of the African American people. For the most part, we come together to protest, to exchange information, to "keep our culture alive" via cultural presentations, do some business networking, worship, but for the most part, our survival and flourishment is primarily a matter of individual concern, and effort. Most African Americans believe that their security lies in their earning ability, and therefore expended most of their time, and energy, individualistically, to this end. Few of us, the best educated included, realize that the chief means of wealth creation in the western world rests in the accessibility to the money that Federal banks create via the printing press, and commercial banks create "out of thin air". Since we will never have anything close to a meaningful accessibility to these funds, we must realize the great teachings of Jomo Kenyatta, "I am because we are." Our wealth is in each other. We must organize ourselves into communities! A people can only progress with the truths that its members have discovered. Otherwise, all the precious principals, brilliant ideas of economic possibilities, and family building, etc. will be no more than leaves scattered in the wind.
This is but a brief proposal as befits the present space, and occasion. It is served merely as an appetitive, in the hope that it will stimulate the appetite for our coming together to engage in the type of serious dialogue that rapidly progresses to commitment to action.
Peace and Blessings
Ra Un Nefer Amen