“I just don’t believe that when people are being unjustly oppressed that they should let someone else set rules for them by which they can come out from under that oppression”-- Malcolm X
I feel like I’m on a hamster wheel. I’ve seen this story before. I’ve read the book. I’ve reread the book. I’ve seen the rerun.
Different day, same stuff.
They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing the same way and expecting a different result. Do we really expect this model to change if we continue down the current path?
Are we insane?
It seems to me as if we’re still asking for a seat at the table. It seems to me as if we’re asking for recognition from someone with no vested interest in doing so. What do they have to gain? History has proven that the story will be relegated to the back pages until another black life is taken.
I don’t want table scraps.
I wish I had all the answers but I don’t even come close. What I do know is this model isn’t working. I believe we need to rethink our objectives and priorities. I don’t want a seat at the table. I want to OWN the table. It seems to me the only thing that garners attention is economic impact. Do we realize the buying power we have as a people? Can you imagine what would happen if we started spending less of our income in their backyard and more in our own? It worked in Montgomery in 1955/1956, why can’t it work now?
Years ago I wrote an article entitled “What are you willing to die for?”
“I find it striking that common, everyday people, with singleness of purpose, rose to the occasion to fight for what they believed in. These pioneers who we now call freedom fighters put their lives on the line to bring attention to social injustice. They were true trailblazers. Some of their lives ended too early, they were not able to see the fruits of their labor and conviction. Some of them continue to fight the good fight to this day.”
So my question now is “What are we willing to sacrifice?”
“Nobody can give you freedom. Nobody can give you equality or justice or anything. If you’re a man, you take it.” -- Malcolm X
Ernest R. Heyward is the Founder and President of the Marketplace for Social Awareness and Social Responsibility Inc.