Black Men Don’t Point Fingers, Black Men Lead
We have become experts in spewing rhetoric. We can speak intelligently on a number of topics that are plaguing the black community, but as for black men, there is a truth that we cannot avoid no matter how much we attempt to rationalize or circumvent its reality — our absence has created chaos in black homes and in black neighborhoods. And, while there is no shortage of black men who have no problem pointing the finger, pointing the finger will not solve our current dilemma.
Yes, there is enough blame to go around; however, the role of leadership demands accountability and responsibility. The role of leadership insists that the leader takes ownership of the mess that lies at his feet. The black man cannot insist on others recognizing his role as the leader of his people if he insists on placing blame instead of taking action.
Black Men Lead
When one takes the time to anatomize the complex dynamic behind the current state of the black collective, it is easy to see that we are failing in almost every area, including marriage, education, economics, unity and more. It can be easy to look at someone else and their failures within this complex enigma to blame them, and the truth is that the one placing the blame would be accurate in their assessment. Parents have failed to see the immense importance of maintaining a balance in the home, seeking selfish endeavors over assuming the responsibility of effectively rearing our progeny. We have failed.
Black women have failed in their responsibility as the first educators of our children. They have allowed the secular paradigms of this westernized culture to convince them that they could raise children, create a home and sustain a community, without the leadership and contributions of the black man. The public education system in America is not designed with the success of black youth in mind. In fact, it is a system of subjugation for all who navigate its labyrinthine corridors; however, it is actually hostile towards black youth, especially young black males.
The education system in this country is being used as a staging area for the school-to-prison pipeline that supplies the Private Prison Industrial Complex with more than its share of black men. The system diagnoses a disproportionate number of black males with a number of learning disabilities and mental disorders, including ADHD, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Mild Mental Retardation, Learning Disabled and more — subsequently leading to the prescribing of psychotropic drugs, such as Ritalin, Vyvanse, Concerta, and more — as early as age five. We have failed
Blacks who are financially mobile, and others who have experienced a certain level of success, have completely abandoned the responsibility that we have in the black community, or what is left of it. The truth is that the black community no longer exists. We have plenty of black neighborhoods, but black communities have become extinct. Where the successful blacks, the talented tenth, should have been invested in ensuring that the community not only remained intact, but prospered, the vast majority allowed the force of integration to convince them to buy into the process of assimilating into a system that is inherently hostile toward blacks as a whole. We have failed.
Again, there is no shortage of directions in which we can point the finger of blame; however, if the black man insists on demanding that he be recognized as a king, then he must be willing to own the mess that his absence has created. True kings (leaders) don’t point the finger, they fix the problem. In other words, black men lead. Our neighborhoods are not safe because our men are absent. Oh yes, there is plenty of blame for the role that the black woman has played in the disintegration of the black family nucleus, which has led to the destruction of the black community, but the black woman is not the progenitor, leader and protector of the black race, the black man is. Black men lead.
While the black man can point to all the ways in which the black woman has attacked him, emasculated him, degraded him and vilified him, he is still the leader, and it is his responsibility to stand up and take ownership of the enigmatic conundrum that his disengagement has created. Black men lead.
A true leader is the first one on the battlefield and the last one off. When he sees where someone under his command has failed, he does not point the finger, but instead, he asks himself “how did I fail them?” Black men lead.
A true leader does not allow himself to become bogged down by the impediments of his people, as they often times work in a manner that is diametrically opposed to the plan of progression. He presses inexorably towards the ultimate goal of elevation and empowerment by setting the example of what he expects from his people. To point the finger of blame or to whine and complain is antithetical to the definition of authentic leadership. A true leader develops a solution instead of whining about the problem. Black men lead.
As a race of people, we must face the raw truth that we have failed ourselves. This is not to ignore the pernicious influence of racism, but it is a clear conviction of our failure to effectively respond to racism. We have remained compliant to the machinations of racism. We have acquiesced to its demands that we surrender and fall in line. We have succumbed to the subliminal suggestions of our inferiority and incompetence. It has become easier for us to whine and beg than to take action. It has become an acceptable course of action for us to point the finger of blame than it is to stand up and take appropriate action to rectify our current situation.
Now, here is another raw truth: Black men are going to have to have the courage and the commitment to go into our neighborhoods and confront the madness that our absence has created. Black MEN do not point fingers, Black MEN lead! ~ Dr. Rick Wallace, Ph.D.
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