Black Development

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Rejecting blatant racism does not make you an “ally” to black people seeking power to determine their own fate in America. The true test of an ally is whether they believe our quest for self-determination is legitimate and truly support it. WalMart does not pass the test. A recent article on Breitbart complained that WalMart no longer sold items displaying the Confederate Flag, yet featured shirts with messaging supportive of the Black Lives Matter movement on the company’s website. WalMart caved and in doing so, legitimized a twisted logic that views the struggle for black self determination and freedom as equally offensive as the southern rebels’ treasonous devotion to slavery. This system of thought delegitimizes the pursuit of black power and WalMart catered to it. In the era of Walter Scott and Michael Brown, black people must carefully consider whether we can allow these small seeds of hostility to harvest into blood.

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Kanye West is so gifted that he is insane. He has said that he wants to run for president and he just might be a black Donald Trump in the making: narcissistic, occasionally clever, obviously gifted but ultimately self destructive. Kanye said he did not vote in the last election but had he done so, Trump would have been his candidate. At a concert this past Saturday he compared himself to Trump and went on to give post-election analysis on why Hillary Clinton lost. His analysis validated the hurt feelings of the “white working-class,” who were privileged enough to endorse a blatant racist for president.

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Hillary Clinton visited a Black church in Charlotte Sunday, a city still wrestling with the shooting of Keith Lamont Scott at the hands of police. In her address Clinton said, “I am a grandmother and like every grandmother, I worry about the safety and security of my grandchildren. But my worries are not the same as black grandmothers, who have different and deeper fears about the world that their grandchildren face.” Hillary Clinton only had to say that Blacks are more likely to be shot in the streets by the police–whom our tax dollars fund–in order to differentiate herself from the other guy.

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After the shootings of Philando Castille and Alton Sterling many black folks decided they’d had enough. Overnight, black banks received a surge of new deposits. In a five day period in July, Citizen’s Trust Bank in Atlanta opened 8,000 new accounts! Industrial Bank in Washington opened over 1,500 new accounts with deposit balances of approximately $2.7 million in the last month, according to their Facebook page. So what now? Moving our money is necessary and a radical act of protest for sure but movements change the world, not momentary protests.

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Georgetown University is a microcosm of America: built on slavery, unwilling to repay that debt and still maintaining our admiration and support. Georgetown University has an endowment of $1.5 billion. In its early days the school relied on Jesuit slave plantations to finance its operations. In 1838, however, the school was close to financial ruin. Georgetown survived thanks to the

NEW ORLEANS - JANUARY 24:  (FILE PHOTO) Will Smith #91 of the New Orleans Saints reacts after a fumble in the fourth quarter against the Minnesota Vikings looks on during the NFC Championship Game at the Louisiana Superdome on January 24, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Smith and the Saints will take on the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLIV on February 7, 2010 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 95653900 GTY ID: 94657

Will Smith was a freakishly fast athlete, but he couldn’t outrun New Orleans. The details of his murder are still hazy, but one thing is for sure: that city killed him. By all accounts, Smith was an upstanding family man who loved the city and contributed a great deal to it; but it wasn’t enough. At 6’3 and weighing 280, he still wasn’t large enough to rise above the realities of New Orleans and neither are we. Regardless of how personally responsible he or any of us are, we’re still vulnerable to the worst elements of our cities. Unless we commit ourselves not only to personal achievement but also participation in radical social transformation, we all remain at risk.

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This piece is explicitly for black America. We have remained on the bottom of just about every social indicator since we were brought to America, for many reasons. I’ve given up on America giving us our just due, but even so, we can solve many of the issues that ail us in the next thirty years. Seriously. With the emergence of “Black Lives Matter” many of us are becoming more conscious or ‘woke’ but just maybe we haven’t been fully informed on what it will take to eradicate black oppression or the level of sacrifice it will require. To be truly ‘woke’ requires more than tweeting.

UNITED STATES - October 5: The American flag flies at half staff in honor of the school shooting at Umpqua Community College last week in Roseburg, Ore., in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, on Monday, October 5, 2015. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

The movie “Lean on Me” has a powerful, yet underrated scene in which Principal Joe Clark is reprimanded by his superior to which he responds, “We are being crucified by a process that is turning black into a permanent underclass!” That’s heavy stuff. Joe Clark’s sobering prediction is not well remembered in the film and not considered seriously enough, especially when we discuss political priorities. That’s precisely what I thought about when someone complained to me that President Obama hadn’t nominated a black person for the Supreme Court.

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Tamir Rice and LaQuan McDonald were both unarmed and killed by police. The top prosecutors in Cleveland and Chicago were both voted out of office, largely due to the way they handled those two cases. Many are calling this a victory for the Black Lives Matter movement but in reality, I’m not sure the movement can ultimately win. The system is just way too complicated, by design.

Charleston Mayor Joseph Riley bows to applause after speaking during a memorial service at Morris Brown AME Church for the people killed Wednesday during a prayer meeting inside a historic black church in Charleston, S.C., Thursday, June 18, 2015. Police arrested 21-year-old suspect Dylann Storm Roof Thursday in Shelby, N.C. without resistance. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Paula White is a thin, white, barbie-like preacher who became popular by learning to preach like and appeal to black churchgoers. She’s been married three times (full disclosure: I’m divorced myself). She divorced her first husband soon after becoming a Christian. Along with her second husband, she started what grew to be a megachurch, largely attended by black folks. Paula’s lifestyle grew to include million dollar condos, private jets and so much swag that even Congress felt the need to investigate her. Paula now pastors another majority black megachurch and still makes her living from black dollars. She also became the latest high profile endorser of Donald Trump. So why are those negroes in her church still?