Sunday, August 14, 2022

Yes, The Mis-Education of Black People.

November 20, 2013 by  
Filed under News, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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( To borrow from the title of Carter G. Woodson’s famous book, it is shameful and quite sad to hear and read some of the things, in reference to Black people, that are purported to be facts. In many cases we are our own worst enemies because we promulgate much of the nonsense that takes hold in our neighborhoods, and we suffer tremendously for doing so. As the saying goes, we are entitled to our own opinions but not to our own facts, and our penchant for being “experts” in everything not only makes us look silly and ill-informed, in many cases it causes us to play right into the negative self-fulfilling prophecy of subordination and subjugation. That’s a sad state of affairs, especially in light of the “fact” that Dr. Woodson did his best to warn us about the dangers of being mis-educated.

Take economic empowerment, for instance; we hear so much information about what we need to do to achievement it, what we need to have to obtain it, and how we can overcome our third-class economic position in this nation. Admittedly, there are quite a few Black people in this country that have achieved very high levels of individual economic empowerment, and theynegro should be commended. However, our collective economic position is in great jeopardy, one of the main reasons for which is mis-information and mis-education.

I encourage folks who read my column, watch my television show, and hear me on radio programs, to always check out what I say. Do your own research and study to determine if what I assert to be “facts” is true. That’s really the only way we can be truly informed; additionally, checking for ourselves many times leads to a stronger collective position and a more acceptable economic strategy—long term and short term.

Take a look at political empowerment and ask yourself why we lack real power in the halls of Congress, on the Supreme Court, and yes, in the White House. Much of our condition in that arena can be attributed to the messages and sound-bites we get every day from political pundits many of whom have no real interest in educating Black people; they simply adopt an agenda that someone has given them and regurgitate it to us, thus, further mis-educating and mis-leading our people. And by the way, they get paid very handsomely to play that role.

Every election cycle Black people are bombarded with all the clichés about why we should vote, how our vote is very powerful, and how others died for the right to vote. All of that is well and good, but how can a people that rallies, registers, and makes such a big deal about voting be so ill-informed? How can we always be at the end of line when the perks are handed out, if we are the ones who put the most energy in the political process? Are we that naïve? Or, are we just mis-educated and uniformed?

Quite frankly, I don’t have all the solutions to our dilemma (I wish I did), but I do know a couple of things: We must change our behavior toward ourselves and others; and we must select our “leaders” very carefully. Otherwise, we will surely continue to find ourselves at the bottom of the economic and political ladders.

In his response to the “Negro question,” Frederick Douglass said, “Everybody has asked the question, ‘What shall we do with the Negro?’ I have had but one answer from the beginning. Do nothing with us! Your doing with us has already played the mischief with us. Do nothing with us!…Give (the Negro) a chance to make his own way. He will work as readily for himself as (for) the white man.”

Obviously, Douglass had great confidence in his people, but then again he was a true leader of our people, not some temporary puppet who took his orders from folks who wanted to keep us in our place. He promoted independence and self-reliance and encouraged us, through his newspaper, the North Star, to stand up and take care of ourselves. He and many others did not settle for rumors, gossip, and innuendo; they relied on facts, work, and sacrifice.

If we, Black people, would muster the same level of interest and energy in economic empowerment as we have for politics, we would be successful. We would not fall prey to the charlatans and the talking heads. And we would be able to fulfill what Douglass said. Unfortunately, today, if we were left alone and the establishment did “nothing with us,” many of us would be completely lost.

Written By James E. Clingman

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4 Responses to “Yes, The Mis-Education of Black People.”
  1. toomanygrandkids says:

    Beautifully written. Couldn’t’ve said it better myself.

    It’s been long past overdue for black people to do for ourselves. We really can’t depend on the gov’t or our leaders to look out for our best interests. Hell, they’re shady and underhanded and only looking out for themselves. Legal thugs who have more rights to do what they do best: LIE AND CHEAT!

    How can black people achieve anything if we listen and follow them?

  2. Satchel says:

    Leaders do not conceive ways to help anybody, but when the people conceive a plan and began to help themselves, our leaders/Politicians will get out in front of that effort and lead and claim credit. Sometimes the ends justifies the means. By an;y means necessary.

  3. ewill says:

    The biggest lie or misinformation it that blacks can actually lead.
    Hope and change! LOL

  4. You said it Sir, it’s time for new leadership. Where has our leadership led us in the past 50-60 years, but to asking the government to help us, when we have it in our power to help ourselves. The biggest lie or misinformation is that we need the government to solve our problems.

    Black Unity means financial independence and happiness

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