*A dirty little secret that no one wants to tell is that many of the same organizations that were founded to “help” Black people have now become serious problems for Black people.
Those problems are alphabetical—all of the acronymic organizations from the NAACP to the NUL (National Urban League) and even the Black Greek alphabet soup, which will horrify many because this includes my own beloved fraternity.
The essential problem with the alphabet organizations is that they operate on the perpetuation of the “Talented Tenth,” a label established by whites in the late nineteenth century and later popularized by W.E.B. Du Bois, referring to the percentage of the Black population that could become leaders of the race by pursuing social change.
According to the Talented Tenth doctrine, only one out of ten men could be developed to become leaders of the race. Accordingly, much of the community’s resources were directed to pushing that ten percent upward with the obligation to return to the community and make it better.
Du Bois later realized that leaders of the race could come from any level, but Black people were already stuck on stupid, focusing on the brightest as the best to be uplifted and prepared for leadership, even as that percentage began to ignore any obligation and act as if it had made its own accomplishments with no assistance at all.
It was the so-called Talented Tenth that led the mass exodus of talent and resources from the Black community in pursuit of integration which benefitted individuals while harming our race. Our best and brightest pushed themselves up and out on the shoulders of the ninety percent and looked down their noses at those left behind because they were left behind.
The “Talented Tenth” mentality has caused a serious breakdown, because while we have been focusing on giving an additional hand to those students who perform well, we have been virtually ignoring the students who are barely passing, who need assistance most of all, leaving those students to struggle on their own, which in many cases, means certain failure.
It has also caused a breakdown because many of the so-called “Talented Tenth” accept scholarships and other benefits and promptly ignore any obligation to effect social change or assume any intrinsic leadership role in the Black community.
Those chicken dinners designed to host the puffery of elitist jackasses who give scholarships to students who are already on their way to college at the top of their game are a huge part of our problem.
Shouldn’t the “C” students get the scholarships since they are the ones who will struggle with college funding and rely mostly on student loans? Don’t they need the boost? The answer is “yes,” but the alphabet organizations continue to focus on the brightest to make them the best, even though the benefit sometimes is negligible.
Another portion of the alphabet soup problem includes the church organizations, from the A.M.E. to the C.O.G.I.C. Where the Black church was once the bastion of social change and social movements for Blacks, it has now become a wasteland of social activism, instead focusing on wealth ministries in the building of mega-churches that stand as tall eyesores in communities that are barely functioning.
The mega-church sucks up community resources, but by focusing on a wealth ministry, the institution shirks its obligations to improve the people and to serve as a community resource.
Examine any given mega-church to see the security maintained to prevent the homeless from entering, instead of being open to those in direct need. Instead of food lines, there are lines to enter the services—but only for the best dressed with resources. The mega-church often focuses on taking a percentage of incomes, without taking care of a percentage of the community.
And we were shown no clearer example of the twisted mission of many Black churches than when President Bush recruited Black churches across the land to deliver his twisted message to Black people under the guise of Christianity.
Another alphabetical problem for Blacks is the C.A.A.P. (Coalition of African American Pastors), an organization of filthy knee-grow minions in the clergy working with Republican Party to misinform and misrepresent Blacks.
William Owens, the president of the organization for conservative Black pastors, has called for Blacks to oppose President Obama because of his support of same-sex marriage.
It is one thing to oppose gay marriage, but these disingenuous handkerchief head knee grows virtually tie gay marriage to child rape by talking about homosexuals as though they are all child molesters, then stating: “For the president to condone this type of thing knowing the full facts is just irresponsible.”
No—what is irresponsible is for a group of ignorant, lying pastors to misrepresent the truth and to do so in the name of God.
But the dirty secret is that these assheads, like many pastors, are all out for personal gain and NOT for the uplift of the Black community.
They do the race a disservice.
Next Week: The Dirtiest Secret
Darryl James is an award-winning author of the powerful new anthology “Notes From The Edge.” James’ stage play, “Love In A Day,” opened in Los Angeles in 2011 and will become a feature film in 2012. View previous installments of this column at www.bridgecolumn.proboards36.com. Reach James at [email protected].