In Honor of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King.

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a blog about anything. However, I’ve chosen this special day to write a blog because of a man who is more important to this country than any president that we have ever had in the history of this country, to me. Not even the founding fathers of this country had the foresight, compassion, selfless attitude and character of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

One of the reasons why I’m writing this blog today is to ask, how far have we come as a society? Politics aside, can we really evaluate the progress that we have made, or have been allowed to make by white society? It’s only fair to put aside the fact that we have an African-American president in the White House because I feel his election has been part of the cleansing of white folks’ conscience, but not their true compassion towards our ability to lead. Mr. Obama has had to fight an uphill battle even with his own party since he moved into the White House.

As far as the eyes can see, we can all agree that great progress has been made by black people in American society, right? However, how near or far-sighted are we? First we must look at the industries that we dominate simply because of our genetic abilities and talents. Genetically, black people are athletically gifted, so it shouldn’t be any surprise that we have more black players in the NFL and the NBA. These two sports are highly pushed in our community because of the greater benefits to those who can exploit our talented athletes.  There were more African-American baseball players in MLB 30 years ago than there are today, why? Because there was a shift in exploitation to the Dominican Republic, Panama and other Latin countries. White folks no longer wanted to invest in baseball in our community because the money Latin players demand is significantly less than what they should be paid. Sports is a business and too many people don’t understand the profit sharing aspect of it, so they always blame the players for their demands. However, very few of these players are functioning physically well enough after retirement. We may have a lot more players playing basketball and football, but there’s only one majority black owner in the NBA, none in the NFL and Major League Baseball. Though we have seen changes in the increased hiring of minority coaches in the NFL and the NBA, the numbers remain dismal in Major League Baseball, the richest sport in America. 

Black people for no apparent reason have always had to fight for their position in American society. We have always had to prove that we’re capable and worthy in the eyes of white people. Has anything changed since the Civil Rights Movement? I really don’t think so. The phenomenon that Tebow has become in the NFL lately has only confirmed white people’s willingness to give a subpar quarterback many chances to prove himself in the once thought position that African Americans couldn’t play. It takes a special lens to be able to look at the bigger picture to understand the roots of certain prejudices and hatred in our society. Our president has been disrespected way too many times by nincompoops who shouldn’t even have a voice in the media. The dumbest president in the history of our country, George Bush the second, was never humiliated by the media even though his deficiencies were always at the forefront.

We can also look at entertainment and see the state that our music is in. Have we made any progress? Hell no. The regression of our arts is due to the capitalist push to denigrate our race and our subconscience to believe that what they dictate we are is what we will become in order to “make it.” How many times must our women be referred to as bitches and hoes before a music exec decides enough is enough? Why should they? They no longer have to call us names because we’re doing it for them. The most endearing term in black music, literature and our community has become the N word to way too many people, and it rolls off our tongues without a second thought. Referring to women as bitches and hoes is not limited to music either, just pick up any of the hottest books written by some of your favorite authors and you will find those books are laced with these words as well. Is that progress?

We can look at education. Black women have surpassed black men in high school and college. The dropout rate for black men in high school is higher than it’s ever been. Where are we going to find our next leaders if we can’t even convince them that an education is part of the process? Fewer black men are attending college, forcing black women to take on the burden of leadership, head of household, single motherhood, and caretaker. Are black women going to be the next leaders of our community? Is that fair? Is it progress? Who’s going to help raise our boys to men?

We can also talk about community and the regression is far worse. Drug use and prostitution are more rampant than before in our community. One of the primary reasons for the high rate of drug use is unemployment. The unemployment rate for Black men is almost double the national rate. Is it because the system is making it harder for black men to get jobs? Do black men lack the training and education to get hired in the job market? Even during the Civil Rights Movement black men held more jobs than they do today. We have not come a long way yet! Young black girls are forced to sell themselves into prostitution because of the enigma called materialism and drug use. The absentee fathers in the home also contribute greatly to the lack of self-esteem of these young girls. Now ask yourself, have we come a long way because we have a black president?

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