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Stop Begging, Stop Complaining And Accept Responsibility To Build Our Community

Wednesday, November 05, 2014Mustafaa Abdul Muhammad

Family is the basis of community development

Begging: "1. To ask for as a gift, as charity, or as a favor. 2. to ask (someone) to give or do something."

Complaining: "1. To express dissatisfaction, pain, uneasiness, censure, resentment, or grief; find fault. 2. to tell of one's pains, ailments."

Responsibility: "A particular burden of obligation upon one who is responsible."

It is not the politician's responsibility, it is not the president's responsibility, it is not the governor or mayor's responsibility, it is not the police chief or sheriff's responsibility... it is OUR responsibility  to create the change we desire in our community.

Just recently(2013) we commemorated the 50th anniversary of the march on Washington, whose theme then and now was "jobs and justice". We have taken some steps forward, however in many instances we have taken several steps backwards. The Bible teaches: What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul? We have gained much in terms of power, positions, wealth, but have we lost the soul of ourselves as black people? Back in the 50's, 60's, 70's we were told to keep our eyes on the prize. We had a very definite goal in front of us which gave us the energy to overcome obstacles.

In modern times, some have mistaken "individual success" as a sign that black people are doing okay. As along as we drive a nice car, live in a nice home, wear nice clothes, eat the best of foods, are the first black person to be in a position and socialize with whites some of us feel that there is nothing wrong with our race until such ones get a rude awakening in the form of a racial reminder. Some of these high achieving blacks have even arrogantly looked down on others from our community who haven't arrived. The reality is the collective of black people are living an American nightmare while a few of us live well.

It is nice to have a Black President. It is nice to have Black Mayors. It is nice to have a Black Governor. It is nice to have Black political leaders. It is nice to have Black millionaires and a few billionaires. All of these things are nice, however they in and of themselves do not change the horrible reality too many have to live under.

In the 60's we had a 70% nuclear family consisting of both mother and father. We had a community consciousness understanding it takes a whole village to raise a child and we lift each other up when any of us rise. Today over 70% of homes are single parent, female headed. With fathers absent we have seen the detrimental results in our streets. Segregation forced us to spend money among ourselves and thus we created economic enterprises like Black Wall Street in Tulsa, OK and even the historic Bellmont and Devillers[Pensacola, Fl] were a sign of what we could do by pooling our resources. However, once integration came along, allowing us to spend money with whites, we lost much ground economically as we took money from our community to theirs.

Therefore, we are 50 years later looking for others outside our community to produce and provide jobs for us. Collectively as a race our spending power reflects right around a trillion dollars. We ARE NOT poor, but we have not used our enormous financial resources to better benefit self and kind.

The Hon. Louis Farrakhan brought up this point during his annual Saviours' Day address in 2013. He pointed out that a study of "The Buying Power Of Black America" was conducted by Target Market News and they concluded: We spend 3.3 billion per year on Tobacco, we spend 3 billion per year on whiskey, wine and beer, we spend 2.8 billion per year on non alcoholic beverages, we spend 3.1 billion per year on leisure pursuits, we spend 3.5 billion per year on toys, games and pets, we spend 19 billion per year on telephone services[smart phones], we spend 10 billion per year buying gifts for others, we spend more than 17 billion per year in charitable contributions, we spend 13 billion per year gambling, we spend 29.3 billion per year on clothing, we spend 65.2 billion on food, we spend 23.6 billion per year on health care costs. After spending all these billions we only spend $321 millions per year on books.

The Hon. Louis Farrakhan has presented a Economic Blueprint that every black man and woman interested in our community development should take a look at and support. Economic Blueprint 

We have the power in our own hands to turn around the terrible conditions under which we live. If we would make better use of our financial resources we could better finance our struggling historically black colleges or create our own independent schools. If we would make better use of our financial resources we could open our own businesses in the communities where we live instead of letting Whites, Asians, Arabs and others provide all the businesses. If we would make better use of our financial resources we could have our own farmland and provide food for ourselves, fairly priced and healthier. If we would make better use of our resources we could employ some of our black men to patrol our streets to ensure safety of our women, elderly and children. If we would make better use of our financial resources we could function like a free, proud and independent people.

The Black Church could play a great role in our community development if, in addition to spiritual values, each church would commit to economic development as well. We could then offer something meaningful to our young men who may want to leave street life, but there are no available opportunities. We could have AME grocery store, we could have Baptist real estate, another church could own and operate an auto dealership, another church could own farmland and provide food, another church could own gas stations, another church could own a hospital, another church could own a bank. While it is true in the words of Jesus "man cannot live by bread alone, but every word from the mouth of God" it is also true that we can't get so spiritually high that we are no earthly good.

Fifty years ago and still today we have marched for jobs and justice, but now we must march to the idea of ACCEPTING RESPONSIBILITY TO BUILD OUR OWN COMMUNITIES.

Thank you for reading these few words... I welcome your feedback 


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