Greetings and Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Today is a day that we hear about all the wonderful things MLK did. We read the I Have a Dream speech, we post quotes and pictures. All of the things that other cultures have approved to be circulated. Have you ever wondered why we hear so much about MLK and less about Garvey and Booker T Washington and other leaders who encouraged us to do for self? I have.
Well, its not in my nature to hope that other people tell the story that will uplift my people. It is in my nature to be the change. So here we go.
I believe that it is our job to pick up the baton where MLK left off instead of just rehashing the work that he did. Around the time of MLKs death was when he started pushing for economic liberty as opposed to merely symbolic or social liberty. In fact, MLK basically said that the civil rights act and the voting rights act did almost nothing to further the economic advancement of African Americans. He was right.
So, this is why the push for more social justice boggles my mind. It doesn’t make sense to me. Its like people want to keep doing the same thing that was done just because they saw it done. This takes very little critical thinking and I think that is why its so popular. You don’t have think to protest, you simply have to go outside with other people. In order to strategically advance you must think, plan, coordinate, work and sacrifice. The thing is though that those things are all the most lucrative.
When things go wrong (shootings, political statements, movie awards) the first thing people do is complain and demonstrate. What used to require going outside now just requires a hashtag. The problem is that we have been hashtagging for years. Not much has changed.
I challenge us to stop the demonstrating. Stop doing what has already done and do MLK a favor and pick up the baton where he left off. When MLK was assassinated he was pushing toward economic advancement and that is what we need to be pushing for. We don’t need to run the same race, we are supposed to do more than what he did, we are supposed to go further than where he went. This means we will have to figure some things out as we go and maybe we wont get it right the first time. Its scary launching out into the unknown because doing what we haven’t seen is harder than just protesting and pushing for legislation which is what we have seen ‘work’.
Easy is overrated though guys. Your kids can’t inherit easy. Easy doesn’t pay well. Easy looks like begging the powers that be for help and what you get from powers is the scraps they don’t want anymore. You get the neighborhoods they have left, the books they no longer want to read and the schools their kids fled from. That’s now power and that is nothing to push for.
If you want more than scraps, if you want the lions share you have to be a lion. You can’t continue to beg at the feet of power and expect to be treated as equal. Rise up you mighty race! Lets use all the current events, all the power of social media, all the fire in our bellies and create an economy that we can be proud of. One that feeds, clothes, houses and employs our own. A group economy is the only economy we need. Bouncing the dollar creates infinite power. If we can focus on economics and building up what we have other people will be coming to us for jobs and assistance and not the other way around.
So the point here is that we can’t just rehash history and we can’t celebrate victories that didn’t avail much. We have to take the next steps. We have to launch into the unknown and we have to do the work that MLK didn’t get a chance to do.
Be great, invest well,