Sunday, July 14, 2013

Black Leadership: A Tale of Utter Failure

By Heru Ammen

Many of you who have read my infrequent postings know where I stand regarding black leadership. It has utterly failed the communities it claims it serves. It’s been almost fifty years since the original Civil-Rights movement led by Dr. King gave us a modicum of the rights every American by law and the Constitution should have. However after all of the myriad of books, seminars, speeches, marches, pundit-fests and sermons regarding the abhorrent conditions and the lack of employment, educational and economic opportunities in our communities since that time forward, we find ourselves in a worse condition as a people than has ever been since the time from our enslavement through the Jim Crow era. 

The murder of Treyvon Martin and the subsequent acquittal of the man that took his life for the crime of WWBWAHO (Walking While Black with a Hoody On) is a clear indication that our so called black leadership and we as a people have failed to make a case in this country for our own damn humanity. For if it was not for the successful portrayal by the mainstream media of the wrongly perceived preponderance in our communities of the Black Male Predator, Treyvon may have never been perceived as a threat in the first place.

Mr. Zimmerman perception of Treyvon and black males in general was most likely shaped by his own lack of humanity, self-esteem issues, his drug usage and the overall climate of accepted and practiced racism that permeates (mostly, but not exclusively) the southeastern region of America. The media driven Black Male Predator syndrome is another symptom that probably contributed to his issues with African Americans and was most likely the trigger that caused him to act upon his perception with violence against Treyvon.

Where black leadership has fell down (and continues to lay down) is in its failure to mitigate the perception of the Black Male Predator. If we owned media that competed with FOX, MSNBC, and CNN for the eyes and ears of our people (and mainstream America), we would be in a position to show the positive contributions of African Americans and give balance to the negative images and storylines that are shown daily on the aforementioned cable news stations. 

Black leadership also complains about the negative images, words and the misogyny prevalent in our music, yet we do not own but one movie studio (thanks Tyler Perry), zero major record labels and zero major music distribution companies. Since we don’t own these things then we won’t/don’t have any influence in what gets put on the TV, in the theaters and on our radios and consequently into the vehicles, homes, and schools within our communities. Making matters worse, black leadership has the unmitigated gall to chastise rappers about the images they portray, which is the result of the overt neglect engaged in by black leadership during the 70’s and 80’s in regards to the plight of urban communities.

In conclusion, I say to the NAACP, Urban League, PUSH, and all other black community organizations, its directors, executives and its members; the blood of Treyvon Martin is on your hands! The sorry state of every urban community in America is a direct result of your failure to lead. You failed to provide relieve and to compete for the hearts, spirit and minds of the people you were commissioned to serve. You failed in everything except becoming wealthy from your seminars, speeches, pontifications, marches, books and television appearances. 

George Zimmerman murdered Treyvon. Everyone except bigots and the six woman jury that freed Zimmerman can admit that truth. However the failure of black leadership allowed the perception of the black male predator to become fixated in the minds of the George Zimmermans of the world. Zimmerman owned the gun that killed Treyvon. But black leadership’s failure to counter the black male predator image provided Zimmerman with the mental ammunition to pull the trigger.