Saturday, December 9, 2023

Observations from a Working Class Black man.

July 26, 2019 by  
Filed under Business, News, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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( It was a very proud moment for me, when I learned a new trade, took certification test (and passed them with flying colors), then began working as a building engineer. That moment, was nearly destroyed when the Senior Engineer called me and a colleague “Good for NOTHING N-words” before vacating his position. For months we excelled at every task and elevated the satisfaction rate among all clients.

We also supported our Chief with a relentless work ethic. Accolades were given that never before were issued, but…after all the “thank you for everything you guys do” etc., these were the last words of a disgruntled boss whom everyone heard, except for us. A few hours later, I could almost think clearly, and this is what occurred to me.

It is almost painfully obvious that we are still in the struggle for civil and human rights. Many of us go off to work at jobs that pay minimal wages, and have to fight respectfully to be treated as equal to, and among their counterparts. Even those who hold degrees (and may be earning decent wages) silently comply with the passive acceptance of rude comments, leering looks, or simply being overlooked as common company practice.

Martin Luther King Jr.’s and Marcus Garvey’s of the present and would be future, dressed themselves in dignity this morning (at home), only to be greeted with the overcoat of racism, classicism, etc.,…fastened with the immoral buttons of shame. Why does it have to be like that? No offense to rappers, but we need more contractors, importer/exporters, and other entrepreneurs who are civilized and dignified Black men to provide these so-called “permanent lower-class” people (whom I am labeled among) with jobs one can be proud to have. Also, no offense to preachers, but we need more teachers, preparing more Black and brown faces to become leaders in Industry, commerce, and technology fields. We must interpret the times, not for what we hope them to be, but with a truthful, and unflattering look.

We must rise above the current cultural influence within the work place and interject our best human qualities in practice. This is in order to hopefully facilitate the renovation of archaic racist ideas, converse, etc., whether it is presented overtly or in a completely covert manner. Unfortunately, this may only amount to philosophical babel without a focused and united human effort against injustice for the quiet sufferer who can’t afford to speak up.

Now that we have discussed the rooted problem, what are the approaches to possible solutions? Interestingly enough, the first thought that entered my mind was networking. Well, I too cringe when I hear the term as a viable solution for a people whom have been ostracized and blackballed across various disciplines, but I suggest that every opportunity is an asset. Let us focus on the positives. Let us not worry about the doors that won’t open, rather contributing focused attention to knock on EVERY door, catalog our progress and connections as we continue to reconstruct our America.

Yes, our America (why not take what may or may not belong to us) in the best interest of ourselves and carve out a piece of this “manifest destiny” to build a land, a new culture, economic and social ecosystem that’s soul purpose is to do the support and uplifting of ourselves. Currently, I am attempting this very thing (on what may be the lowest level, nevertheless) by purchasing goods that I already consume from vendors, entrepreneurs who exist within my friend/family structure. Sure, this may not seem like the most revolutionary move in the early stages, but this type of empowerment requires the long term committed.

Second approach, If we can not change the world…Put up a few huts and protect the village within it. Sub-cultures have always had their place within the American fabric. We see this evidenced in Hong Kong Markets, Shriners credit unions, and recently in the incorporation of street gangs (Crips LLC). Honestly, it’s simple, we must embrace and love ourselves. Individuality will not get global goals accomplished, we must embrace and nurture every craft, every budding enterprise until the collective representation of our being has raised the infinitesimal idea into a mature concept, but continue until we have cornered a market, launched a new product, service, or even championed an industry.

Finally, we just have to accept that we may be the only ones willing to encourage and validate ourselves. Comparing our progress to anything that exist is irrelevant to the point that we must pave the way and save ourselves (and our children). There is also no victory or solution in being concerned with what we do not have. Ingenuity must be employed to make a space specifically for us when the world at large refuses to treat us human. The effort may be long and arduous, but Black history is still being recorded.

Staff Writer; J. Zacharite Davis-Brent

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