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May 24, 2004

Black Elitists and Community Service

I don't often rant, but I've got a bug up my ass about something said on Orkut. I'm spending way too much time over there.

First of all, I wonder if you are familiar with NSBE. Check out nsbe.org. And I say yes it is 'elitist' to study Analytical Geometry (second year calculus) when so many blackfolks struggle to get a 400 math on their SAT. But there are blackfolks who got it goin' on like that. But I would put my foot down on anybody who has beef with this organization. Do they go back to the community? All the time. They say do the math - no excuses. That's why we have black engineers today.

Now back in the 80s it was my job (and I was elected by black people to do this job, twice) to be in charge of getting money so this organization could survive and do its job. The program I designed and administered brought in over a quarter of a million dollars of corporate money per year. But I could do so only because I had good grades, a part time job and time and energy to do so. As it happens, a brother that pledges Alpha, holds down a 3.5GPA and has a corporate internship needs support too. So I had to look where? UP. So I did, and I found the support I needed. But that also means that there is a black community out there who isn't spending all their effort trying to get gangbangers out of jail or help teenage mothers get off drugs or complaining about Nelly videos.

That means there are some 'elitist' blacks out there helping other 'elitist' blacks get to the point where 'money aint a thing'. And if you truly believe in the kind of work that takes highschool students who are willing and able to become college students of engineering, or medicine or law, then you have to support that 'elitist' cause. Still, all that was at the level of black students getting money from white owned corporations. Where are the black corporations? Well they are coming, from people like me.

Now start talking community activism with Democrats and what do you hear? TONS of disrespect for 'elitists' like me and Dr. Cosby who donated $20 million to Spelman. When you talk to Republicans what do you hear? You hear what is it we need to do to help people build small businesses and corporations. That's what you hear. Local politics. So I'm going where I get support? UP.

When I hear blackfolks complain about Republicans, they have to go all the way to Haiti or Iraq or the White House to start their beef. But when it comes to local politics, they don't know shit and they don't do shit. I've been there and done that with community activism, and it wasn't that hard - I did it while I was still in college with the aid of thousands of dollars. So the bottom line question to people who expect to be effective is where are you going to get the money? Are you going to get it from white liberal charity, or from black owned businesses and corporations? You think on that question a while and tell me who's selling out.

Posted by mbowen at May 24, 2004 11:03 AM

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Some interesting points Bro. But I am not sure they justify becoming a Republican. I have never accussed any Black Person of being a sell-out over their choice of Party, but I still do not see a sincere effort on the part of the right to be more inclussive. Who has spearheaded fights against MLK holidays, Republicans, which party is more likely to compartmentalize Blacks into tired cliches and stereotypes? Republicans.... You yourself admit in the article above that JC left politics becasue of the Intolerance of DeLay... The same DeLay who blamed minorities for his not going to Vietnam. I believe in the right of Brothers and Sisters to enter Republican Politics without being ostracized by the Black Community, likewise I believe that those of us who dont chose to be "pioneers," in that effort (PUN intended), should not be all lumped into the category of Democratic lapdogs. It is a complex issue, but as long as Republicans are denying blacks their right to vote (FL 2000), and hobnobbing with White Supremist groups in the South, they will never be taken seriously by yours truly.



Posted by: David Scott Anderson at May 24, 2004 08:28 PM

These are hardly a comprehensive list of reasons to 'be' a Republican. My primary interest is bipartisanship and black influence on both sides of the aisle. I have every reason to believe that the Republican Party is subject to the same forces as Harvard University, and that once a critical mass of African Americans make their presence known, that the party will bend to their will, just as black integration has done in EVERY sphere of American life. Everything about American History tells me that this is inevitable.

A couple years ago when I was thinking about this for the first time, I was fairly confident that Colin Powell could do it singlehandedly. And of course, he still could.

Still, I'm not going to get all bent out of shape about Tom DeLay. He will be gone just like Newt Gingrich, Pete Wilson and all of the most offensive of them. I don't understand why blackfolks trip about it so hard, but there's a lot I don't understand.

What I do know is that I'm perfectly comfortable with the Republican Party, warts and all, and I find it a great deal more reformable than the Democratic party. This split between DeLay and Armey is a perfect example, just as the split between Schwartzenegger and McClintock was in California. As far as I'm concerned, a moderated Republican Party is a walk in the park for the Old School, if they can get over their fears. I'm here to tip the balance.

When it comes to race, I am a firm believer that there is nothing either party does to alleviate the showstoppers used as excuses to bar Republicans from consideration. But to the extent that the Republican party is racist and can be reformed, I know that ONLY blacks with power IN the GOP will do that.

Everything you say about MLK holidays, and stereotypes, denying blacks the right to vote and hobnobbing with the Klan could just as easily be pinned at the feet of suburban whites with college educations. In fact it is only categorically true of racists. The question is, are you going to let the fear of racists keep you out of the suburbs or college? Then why should that fear keep you out of the Republican Party? It seems to me that there is only one kind of black person I should listen to with regards to what the Republican party is all about, and those are the blacks who are in there with first hand experience. What I'm hearing is that people need to get real and understand that politics is about money and votes. He who delivers, gets. I'm attracted to that kind of hardball.

Posted by: Cobb at May 24, 2004 09:54 PM

I'm not sure what you are talking about here. I'm a liberal and I do community service. What exactly is this argument on Orkut that you allude to but never expose? This post was the most rant-y and incoherent I've seen from you.

Posted by: TLL at May 25, 2004 12:16 PM

Cobb, I am with you my Brother on a lot of what you have said. And respect your opinion big time, that is why I keep coming back. I probably share more in common with you that I do with most Black Democrats. In fact, I dont even consider myself a Democrat anymore.
I do believe that what you say about Change from within is accurate, but I dont believe necessarily that it will happen in yours and my time. The Republicans seem to be circling the wagons, even to the point of denying Gay Republicans a seat at the table. This I find interesting, becuase of Gay men of affluence, power and money are not welcome at the table, what makes you think Blacks will be. I have seen no indication that they will. Powell has been marginalized by his acceptance of a post in the Administration, and Rice has been or is being discredited by her involvement in the war on terrorism. One of these days I need to visit LA and sit down with you for a beer, becuase I feel we have much in common and would be great friends despite our dissagreement over politics.

Posted by: David Anderson at May 25, 2004 01:27 PM

Politics is one half of a third of me; there's always time for friendship.

Posted by: Cobb at May 25, 2004 02:29 PM

Good Bro, I would consider it an honor to call a man of your caliber and constitution friend. And I think any political discussion we would have would require several beers! So how about you buy me a Johnnies Pastrami first? LOL! Coat the stomach a bit before the beers.

Posted by: David Scott Anderson at May 25, 2004 04:30 PM