Let me be clear, but as stated in my previous article, the Black community is at a serious crossroads in our history. If we want to change the negative trajectory – we will have to do something that we have not been able to do for some time – come together.
Yes, there is absolutely no way we can tackle the issues we face without talking about the issues first. Like an orchestra, multiple people that are working to produce one sound before an actual performance, we must tune up. So what should our tune up look like? It should be like having a number of conversations that attempt to get us on the same page. We must not only understand the key issues facing our community, but we must understand why those issues are not getting fixed. We must be relevant.
Many of our people are overwhelmed, sometimes even delusional in believing that we can achieve real solutions without having significant discussions and conversations. I, like anyone else, harbor the burning desire of wanting to see our people unified, but it will never happen if we’re not talking to each other.
This type of unity is so abstract, like love; it’s so subjective that it has stymied our ability to make any progress.
How do you quantify it? How do you measure it? As a people, we are diverse in our thinking and our solutions, which require a hefty dose of dialogue. Unfortunately, we have wasted so much time trying to obtain unity that has got us nowhere. We must change our thought process and focus on achieving a goal that is more measurable and more achievable – cooperation versus unity. Cooperation is basically when we are united around a common agenda, a common cause.
Our cause must be about every member of our community, be about the reduction of the massive disparities in critical areas of jobs, housing, education, and poverty. We must all be able to cooperate around a sound plan of action regarding these issues, no matter where one is in the socio-economic spectrum of life?
Can the Black religious community get behind this? Can the Black political community (for whatever it is, and is worth) get behind this? Can Black educators, businesses and civic organizations get behind this? I believe (rather than hope) so, especially if we stop calling for unity and instead call for cooperation; unity will come. Coordination (Strategy)!
Because of the unbelievable challenges that we face, our solutions must be balanced, sober, and as much as possible without emotion, rhetoric and theatrics for which we are so well known and versed.
Concomitantly, cooperation must be near perfect for us to mount any sustained campaign. As a people, we must grow up and do the hard work, we must get pass the fantasy of unity and face the reality of cooperation. In order to use the electrical power, we need the electrical socket: infrastructure and coordination. Together, we must be that socket. Don’t get it twisted; the issues our community currently face did not appear overnight, they were years in the making. I know some don’t believe this; you do not have to.
How is it that we believe we can just arch and march our way out of this mess? We can holler and scream all day long and nothing will get done. Yes, absolutely nothing will get done until we do the work of building the infrastructure (socket) to consolidate the unbelievable talent and resources that exist in our community and use them like a laser to eradicate our existing problems.
We have so many issues that require us to prioritize which ones are the most important and we have the capacity to address. The Black community has so much work to do and no one will give us anything on a platter, it must be earned. That requires us to take one step at a time and at no point will we be able to skip through the process.
We must move to a state of “functional” unity, which is defined by what’s best for Black people now and in the future.
Unfortunately, we suffer from a massive level of hopelessness that has paralyzed us; this hopelessness manifests itself in a number of ways with one goal in mind: to keep us from even trying to come together. Ask yourself in advance how many excuses will you come up with when the call is made. Remember, excuses are tools of the incompetent used to build bridges to nowhere and monuments of nothingness. To achieve success we must cooperate to operate, unity will then appear for all to see, not just a mere fantasy.
Aleuta—The struggle continues.