Black America, we are in a critical baseball-like position. We are in the last inning, the bottom of the 9th, the game is tied. The bases are loaded with two outs, and the last batter is up to bat. The umpire has called three balls and two strikes. As the pitcher winds up to throw the ball, the crowd is yelling, “Let him walk you!” The batter’s instinct is telling him to hit a home run. What voice will he hear and listen to? This is called a fork-in-the-road position.
The question is what voice will Black America hear? Dr. Claud Anderson has sounded the alarm for some forty-plus years. He has frequently appeared on national radio talk shows, lectured at colleges, universities, and for various organizations. He has written several books to bring awareness and enlightenment to the plight of Black America. He has shown us how we got into the economic ditch and has provided us a blueprint and road map on how to climb out of the economic deprivation and deplorable situations where we find ourselves today.
Anderson, in his books Black Labor White Wealth, and PowerNomics: The Plan to Empower Black America, illuminates the problems and provides simple workable solutions that will change the present conditions for Blacks and the future destination for the next generation. Anderson garnished support from people around the country to invest in a business development in Detroit, Michigan. No other time in history had Blacks from other cities agreed to invest/move their business to another city to show support for Blacks anywhere. This action reflects the voice of the great Fannie Lou Hamer, who stated, “Nobody’s free until everybody’s free.” Anderson is likened unto the biblical character John The Baptist crying in the wilderness.
Well, we obviously did not hear those who have gone on before us. We have been told and we have been warned about what would become of us if we did not heed their voices. Who are we waiting for? Let me resurrect the words of some of our past leaders who tried to tell us. I will lay out some of their quotes that we neither heard nor abided by.
Booker T. Washington said to us, “Now is the time, not in some far-off future, but now is the time for us as a race to prove to the world that we have the ability and the inclination to do our part in owning, developing, manufacturing, and trading in the natural resources of our country. And if we let these golden opportunities slip from us in this generation, I fear they will
never come to us in like degree again. Let us act … before it’s too late, before others come from foreign lands and rob us of our birthright.”
Blacks must not place their hopes for survival in the hands of our politicians as Dr. Anderson has warned us. Our climbing out of the ditch will not come as a result of voting, because it did not change our conditions, when we had greater numbers than any other race other than whites. So if it did not happen then, what are our chances now when we are outnumbered 8–9 times? Our Black votes have become null and void. Wake up and smell the coffee! Let’s see what Mr. Booker T. Washington had to say about politics, shall we? “We did not seek to give the people the idea that political rights were not valuable or necessary, but rather to impress upon them that economic efficiency was the foundation for every success.”
We must fight to gain our rightful position in our society. If we had the strength to build this great nation with our tired hands, sweat, and blood, then we must gather up our strength to be respected and to share in its resources. Let the words of Malcolm X ring out in your mind: “By any means necessary.” Let’s not retreat. Our forefathers did not retreat. We must not be afraid; we must not fear. Harriet Tubman once said, “I can’t die but once.” We are in a war, and in every war there will be casualties. Sister Rosa Park said, “I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear, knowing what must be done does away with fear.”
We must unite to win this war against poverty and degradation. Frederick Douglass said, “Without a struggle, there can be no progress.” So stop talking about being tired of fighting the system, and ask God for more strength to fight harder. Frederick Douglass stated, “If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and deprecated agitation are men who want crops without plowing up the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning.”
W.E.B. DuBois said, “To be a poor man is hard, but to be a poor race in a land of dollars is the very bottom of hardship.”
We must not fear getting angry. Folk try to make you think that there’s something wrong with getting angry— but it’s not. Mainstream America wants you to believe it was the peaceful move by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that got us where we are. He did good, not just for us, but for them also. He softened the blows that were headed for those who took advantage of us. It was the Stokey Carmichaels, the Black Panthers, and others who brought about the greatest changes
that benefitted Black folks—they did us good. America wants peace, but she does not want justice. Peace and justice go hand in hand, and where there is no justice, there should not be peace.
How can Blacks not be angry when every group has received reparation but Blacks? The Black Indians and the Black Freedmen are having to sue to try to get their economic benefits from the 1865 Treaty, while other are enjoying the benefits of free education, owning casinos, etc. Black farmers continue to fight for what’s owed to them. Blacks are told to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps while others are thrown a rope, a lifejacket, and ladder. Malcolm X said, “Usually when people are sad, they don’t do anything. They just cry over their condition, but when they get angry, they bring about a change.”
Every fight for a Black cause must be every Black person’s fight. It will not happen with small groups working individually. The over class is now feeling the pain. Many of them finally realized they are Black. Black politicians are running scared.
Well, we were told but we failed to believe those who told us. Who will we hear!?