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Lets Get Serious

Bob Law | 12/26/2013, 10:58 a.m.
Activist Bob Law tells the Brooklyn community to redirect the money they spend at fast food restaurants to Black schools and businesses.

it was in 1961 that Frantz Fanon first pointed out that “The people should know that the party and the government are at their service. A deserving people, in other words, a people conscious of its dignity, is a people that never forgets these facts.” To engage in frivolous and symbolic politics is to allow an assault on the very dignity of the African American community.

There is indeed a need for visionary leadership. A leadership that goes well beyond the type that currently seeks public office for personal recognition. However, as Hacker and Pierson, the authors of Winner Take All Politics, have advised, those who take on the entrenched defenders of the status quo will need more than bravado, and derring-do. They will need more than wise and charismatic leadership. They will need organization.

We have perfected the art of protest. Now, we must move to a new level of organizing, one that sets out to acquire political and economic power, so that so many protests will no longer be necessary.

But above all else, there will have to be the courage to address the still unresolved critical issues that continue to confront the Black community. We have often made the point that the only way to close gaps in racial disparities is to intentionally address the root causes of those disparities.

We must reclaim a movement that is unafraid to reaffirm the rightfulness of the Black community’s political aspirations. Let’s be clear: the leadership does not have to come from professional politicians. Perhaps it is time to encourage and support those among us who have demonstrated with their lifeʼs work their commitment to the liberation of Black people.