Part II: Are we Intellectualizing + Rationalizing Ourselves into Oblivion?
By Ryan Elcock
In Part 1, I, illustratively, asserted that we are, indeed, intellectualizing and rationalizing ourselves into an abyss from whence we might never recover. In this Part II, I not only continue to stand my ground but also show how intellectualizing and rationalizing have led to devastating consequences primarily among blacks around the world and especially in Africa and amongst the Diaspora. The main focus of this piece will be on the twofold effect on Blacks in North America [in essence, the U.S].
Even at a time when a black man, Barack Obama, is president of the U.S., no one can deny the dire situation of blacks in that country. The historical significance of the former’s election in 2008 gives a portent of things to come: Much disrespect and insult has come to this president even when he, himself, tries to portray himself as a man for all people. In fact, many black academics expect Obama to be the savior making policies and laws that give blacks a leg up and help them in this dire situation.
But yet they fail to realize that in doing so, they are simply painting blacks, themselves included, as helpless victims incapable of moving forward without government intervention. Ironically, what is often missed is the fact that blacks in America had made giant strides throughout America’s turbulent and bloody history around and after slavery. Then, they made up their collective minds to work amongst themselves when no one else gave them a chance. When blacks were ‘segretationally’ denied a chance at education in white schools, they developed their own institutions: Lewis Adams, a former slave and George W. Campbell, a slaveholder founded the prestigious Tuskegee University and held the view that blacks should be educated.
Furthermore, blacks in America’s Deep South developed their own businesses and hospitals to help one another when they were not permitted into white business establishments. Rather than government intervention, it was their own economic empowerment that enabled blacks to become a force to reckon with during the 1950’s and 1960’s and, in effect, set the foundations for the Civil Rights Movement. This series of legislation – between 1964 and 1968 – shook the foundations of America and started the process of giving people of color the rights they had always deserved.
However, today it seems that the victory of the Civil Rights was a pyrrhic one as we see that African Americans, although politically empowered, have become economic eunuchs. What makes this more glaring is that even though their collective purchasing power stands at one trillion dollars, they are not really recognized as a valued contributor to American Society but as a sucker – one who is taken advantage of like the predatory lending done by banks targeting minorities, primary blacks and Hispanics. Like the emperor the Emperor’s New Clothes fairytale, many African Americans have become the target of many swindlers, from the so-called banks peddling the illusion of the American dream. Blacks and other people of color purchased expensive homes with unfavorable lending terms. Academics from all walks of life keep telling blacks that they must keep depending on failed government policies to help them move up in the world.
Yet isn’t it ironic that even though the plight of African Americans is so glaring, they still show that they can thrive? The Oppressive South is still the region where many black businesses are doing well and that is where a lot of black professionals still find their success. Thus it may be time to take a look at the mentality and good sense of successful African Americans. This ought to be adapted to what past successful African Americans have done, rather than create new theories and policies demanding government intervention to give people of color a leg up to fail in the future.
To Be Continued …
In Part 3, we examine the Caribbean and Africa and explain how their own governments and academics have been duped by organizations like the IMF and World Bank all for the sake of chasing that elusive “Big Job” and the trappings of power, which are just that: a trap.