The Essence of Politics

Thursday, September 03, 2009

My Perspective: Why Blacks Are Holding other Blacks back from Prosperity?

In today’s times, I have seen some many arguments emerge and the word racism or racist used more times than I can ever remember in my time. It’s been a strange couple of weeks and months particularly year and the year isn’t even over with yet. I’ll say that much has changed and perhaps for the best as well as the worse.

A Black president has been attacked vigorously, and nary a soul can legitimately hint racism is involved. The same can be said of the plights of athletic stars Allen Iverson and Michael Vick, both saddled with enough baggage to provoke extreme levels of skepticism. In fact, the one incident that ended up being racially tinged involved a renowned scholar, honored by former President Clinton, befriended by President Obama and Oprah, and celebrated throughout the African-American community as an iconic figure. An individual deemed above the pettiness and belligerence considered normal whenever Blacks and Police Officers are mentioned in the same sentence.

Yet, Professor Louis Gates proved not to be above such insidious occurrences, after all. In fact, for all we know, he may have been a provocateur. Ditto for the rest of us so eager to jump to his defense, before hearing all of the facts. So what does our eagerness to draw uninformed conclusions about racial matters say about how far we’ve come as a people? About our nation, and where we are heading? In politics? In sports? In life? One must wonder.

Forgive me, but I found myself thinking out loud to a few folks close to me, at least vaguely connecting Obama and Gates with Iverson and Vick. Perhaps because all are black males and mentioned, some would say, with some tint of racial profiling these past weeks and months. Time and again, our cynicism as a society has proved to be so intense, we instantly look beneath the surface to discover the motivation behind actions. But lost in our search, at times, is the intent behind it. Sitting right on the surface, themselves. There must be maliciousness somewhere. Haven’t you heard?

In Obama’s case, where you have registered independents/conservative Democrats, per se, jumping ship, questioning whether the man knows what he’s doing, I’ve continuously encountered Blacks – including many loved ones, I must admit — too eager to swear: “They just don’t want to give that Black man a chance.” Rarely has any of my friends acknowledged that maybe, just maybe, our executive-in-chief should slow down, take a deep breath and recognize we’re all rooting for his success. Just don’t spend us into oblivion. Obama keeps reminding us that he inherited a $1.3 trillion deficit, but rarely illuminates the trillion-plus he’s already spent, his $3.6 trillion proposed budget, or the $1-to-$2-trillion his new healthcare reform is projected to cost.

While those same friends have applauded his desire to tax the affluent, few of them have taken a moment to assess the collateral damage higher taxes would have, along with the trickle-down effect destined to squeeze a Black community already saddled with 14.7 percent unemployment nationwide – predictably, the highest in America. (Translation: When it’s time for employers to absorb a pinch, do you really think they’ll pass on pinching You before pinching themselves?)

Those same friends, who shove aside Obama’s imminent, potentially catastrophic, maneuvers for the economy, choosing to focus on his intent and his vision, are the same friends who swore Gates, a Harvard professor, was racially profiled after he was arrested by a Cambridge (Mass.) police officer for disorderly conduct in his own home. They are the same friends who think Vick is experiencing his own version of racial profiling since some are not eager to let him back in the NFL following 23 months in federal prison. And they are the same ones who’ve said Iverson hasn’t found a team yet because he’s being unfairly stigmatized.

There’s no doubt that validity is attached to all the suspicions emanating from the Black community. But at some point, it just comes down to doing what’s right. Basically, we have no other choice that benefits us. When will Obama learn that you can’t walk into the presidency gung-ho on redistributing wealth, while unemployment continues to escalate, and expect your approval ratings to elevate? Or even stand pat?

Regardless of what may or may not have happened, why wasn’t Professor Gates composed enough to de-escalate a situation with the police, knowing that if he was just a black man, as opposed to a renowned scholar with influential friends, he could have easily been just another statistic lost in the news clutter? When will we learn that while Vick most certainly has suffered enough and deserves a second chance, that a segment of the Black populace won’t help his cause when coupling race with statements like: “They were just dogs. Damn! We know plenty of people who’ve done much worse and are not in jail. Let alone denied the right to earn a living?”

Or that as much as a lot of us may love and root for Iverson – myself included – his maverick ways no longer ingratiate him to coaches and executives more concerned with keeping their jobs than doing their jobs? A new day may have arrived, but it is foolish to assume new rules are en vogue when most Blacks still lament how two Americas still exists, even with a Black president.

If we’re being real, it’s undeniable that some within the Black community believe Gates suffered from the same selective amnesia our president should have suffered from before accusing someone the president admits was “an outstanding Police Officer” of acting “stupidly” in front of a nationally televised audience. And we’ve stopped counting how often Black athletes suffer from bloated egos, too often forgetting their ethnicity usually usurps their status whenever trouble arrives.

Racism and prejudice have always existed, and when we fight to fend it off, we’re obligated to pick our spots carefully. To make sure it really counts when we elect to do it. The truth is, we’ve fallen short on that mandate on far too many alarming occasions. And some would argue it has actually set us back. Most of America has developed a deaf ear to the issue of racism. It’s not just White America, anymore.

The fact that an incident involving racial profiling is being debated is a defeat in the fight against racism and prejudice. Whether it comes from the mouth of our President, the cantankerous behavior of one of our scholars or the purported exile of our talented athletes, the arguing of these claims weakens the issue of race in America by saturation, alone. That saturation gives Whites and others the argument that everything is about race. It allows other ethnic groups the license to be dismissive. It stymies progress, camouflages reality and builds resentment towards Blacks from all corners of our society.

It hurts to say that. Obviously it is not pleasant, but it is necessary. Especially coming from the mouth of someone within the Black Community. Speaking about and doing what’s right is one thing. But what about doing what actually works? When does that matter?

The Rev. Jesse Jackson is fond of saying, “when the rules are public, visible for all to see, Black folks usually find a way to excel in spite of the obstacles.” The Reverend is absolutely right about that. So long as we’re willing to accept the reality of the world we live in and go from there – and not continue to lament how the world should be without progressively stepping forward first, then looking in the mirror. Or quite simply, just asking ourselves: Where is this going to get us? Moving forward should be easier from there.

However still there are some in the black community who can’t get beyond America’s racial past and would love us as blacks to continue to play the race card in order to get ahead but playing the race card will not solve our social issues or the conditions that we as many black experience. While I agree with Jesse Jackson’s above statements, he has been a part of an old guard of black leadership in the black community that claims to speak for us as blacks but for his rhetoric, Al Sharpton’s rhetoric and many others, what have we as blacks gained since the civil rights movement in terms of prosperity and equity.

Still there are those who believe that race baiting will equate to equality and better living. A Que brother of mine recently wrote me saying:

“You blame Jesse and Al because they speak for you and your well as your children and yet Beck has the right to say whatever he wants. We realize that all Black Folk can not speak afor all Black Folk. Who are you speaking for....looks like youspeakonly for you because I am sure those young brothers in the neighborhood you grew up in the Motor that do not have a highschool education or a job or healthcare would love the race baiting to go on so they could at least get a fair shot at life.”

Now this same brother is in his 50’s and clearly from his statement you can see that he believes that the reason why many young man don’t get a high school education is because of the color of their skin and that race baiting or playing the race card is the only way that we as blacks can prosper. I can understand how others might think like my Que brother but the truth of the matter is that we are in the midst of the 4th generation since the civil rights movement and many of the issues that festered during the civil rights movement still exist today but not just in the black community but in all communities. While it would be easy for us as black to point the finger at other races for our lack of not obtaining an education, a job and a host of other things. I do not believe that we as blacks have truly been honest with ourselves in the blame game because for many of us we still don’t blame ourselves for the conditions that we see today.

If the white man or others are to blame for our conditions as some would want us as blacks to continue to blame than what blame if any do we as blacks have when it comes to our own socio-economic conditions of our fellow blacks. What does it all mean that we are still defeating equality in education 50 plus years after Brown vs. Board? What does it mean when the American Dream is further away for blacks and brown than other racists? Is it the fault of whites for the plight of the black community or is it the fault of the black elite and those who continue to stay in the black community that haven’t stepped up to improve the conditions of poverty, decay and rioting that is plaguing low income black societies in America.

Then there is the idea that when it comes to name calling that we as blacks are the victims. In fact, people like my Que brother are quick to say that “we did not start this name see we called them master and they called us boy nigga, colored and every other degrading name that you would assign to an animal.” However what many don’t understand is that today, many of us as blacks use these names to describe our own people. We call our woman derogatory and degrading names, we call our fellow black man nigga when we greet them, and are quick to get upset when other races do the same to describe our people but we are okay with us as a people using these names. It is easy for us to get mad at other people for using names that don’t respect us but at the same time, we need to get upset with ourselves and our own people to get them to stop disrespecting us as a people.

The reality is that we as black people can’t grow as long as we continue to play the blame game. In fact we are quick to blame others for our own faults instead of accepting responsibility for our own shortcomings and short falls. We as blacks can’t continue to live in the past and act as if what took place to our people 50 years is the reason why we are suffering today. While some of our shortcomings as a society and as a people are the fault of the past, it is also the fault of us as black people as well. As much blame as we want to rest on the shoulders of whites, we can rest that same amount of blame on ourselves.

My Que brother went on to say, “You see during the late 60's and early 70's we had many folks that spoke for us... not only the Malcoms and Martins but we had the Stokelys and the Hueys and obviously you have never studied what they did for us. They made us prideful about being Black and not a negro or colored. James Brown cut a song tht became the national anthem for young black folk and Martin and Malcom gave their lives for us. As for standing up to our government, all the black folk that spoke for us did not, but there was a common purpose-making sure YOU and I got a fair shot at being equal in America.” Now what my frat brother doesn’t understand is that this is 2009 and where is the pride from our people today. As black people, we saw a resemblance of that pride during the Presidential candidacy of Jesse Jackson in 80s before his own words derailed him and today we saw pride as President Obama ran and won the presidency last year. However all Americans were pride and while we as blacks probably rejoiced the most, we are right now looking back on that triumph and are still reverting back to race baiting rather than accepting responsibility for our own faults in society.

Just as back during the 60s and 70s where all black people did not speak for blacks, today it seems as if most blacks who speak only speak with race baiting in mind and those who avoid to mention race as a the victim of our demise as people are ridiculed. Remember Bill Cosby spoke of parental responsibility and us as blacks taking responsibility for raising our own kids in 2001 in Detroit but he was quickly criticized by the likes of Michael Eric Dyson who wrote a book entitled, “Was Bill Cosby Right?” in order to make a profit off of his disdain for what Cosby said. However Dr. Cosby simply said the same thing that candidate Obama said on Father’s Day 2008 and throughout his run for the Presidency but Dyson never criticized Obama and in fact was one of Obama’s biggest supporters. This is the problem with us as black people, we are quick to dismiss or demonize those in our society we don’t agree with or we don’t like but for those we like we defend no matter how flawless their argument or statements might be.

For far too long, we as black people have been trapped in this age old debate of Booker T. vs. W.E.B. when in reality, both are right just like both Malcolm and Martin was right. We need the black nationalist as well as the black intellectual who has the utopia perspective that blacks and other races can work together to achieve equality and justice for all. However for far too long we have been entrenched in putting blacks vs. blacks or putting down blacks in order to keep blacks black which is thought in the “Mis-Education of the Negro” written by Dr. Carter G. Woodson. This is exactly what Michael Eric Dyson did when he attacked Dr. Bill Cosby for simply saying what many blacks have avoided saying for years.

We as blacks are holding ourselves back from achieving financial, economic and educational prosperity. For far too long and even today, we as blacks are quick to place the blame of us as blacks not achieving on whites and other races but we refuse to place the blame on ourselves. Look around black people and realize that this isn’t slavery although some of us still have shackles on our brains that we allow to stay there and this isn’t the 60’s & 70’s where dogs and water hoses were brought out to attack our children and women. This is 2009 and what is attacking us isn’t the Ku Klux Klan or police but us as blacks killing each other over senseless things. We are killing each other over materialistic things or the pursuit of money. Still we don’t want to speak up and say anything about that.

Many in the black community like to say they care about their people and that what’s important to them is a chance for blacks to finish high school and go to college. However how many of these same people have talked to our youth about putting down the guns, how many of them have talked to the parents about stepping up and being better parents and how many of them have even take the time as well as the effort to get involved in their communities yet alone their blocks by starting a neighborhood block club. We as blacks are quick to dismiss or speak badly about those we don’t agree with or we like to say that those that don’t think about race or speak of race in the black community are foolish or out of touch.

Black people wake up and realize that what we are facing today is not merely the ramifications of slavery and Jim Crow but it is also a part of us as black people losing our communal way. Look around our black communities and our black cities and the common trend that I guarantee that we will all see is that the talented tenth of our black race no longer reside in the impoverished black communities and have created new black communities within urban areas that weren’t black areas before or they have moved to the suburbs. While it is nothing wrong with that but what is wrong is, what does that mean for the blacks that they left behind? What does moving out of urban black cities mean for the development of black communities and most of all what does it mean for dealing with the disparities that we as black people face?

We as black people claim that we have had enough with the racial, economic and health issue comments and how we intend to solve the problems of Americans as my Que brother said to me but we continue to be the ones to speak of everything in terms of race no matter what the issue is. While we didn’t start the name calling as black people, we are sure quick to say that everything that happens between people of color and whites racist. Black people wake up and realize that if we continue to go down this path of claiming that our pitfalls are racists or someone else’s fault rather than part of it being our own fault than what message are we sending to future generations of blacks.

Are we telling our black youth that the reason they are not getting an adequate or decent education is the white man’s fault and the reason why they can’t get healthcare is the white man’s fault? What signal are we really telling our youth? Are we telling our youth that the reason why they are poor is because of the white man and the reason why their mother or father or even their grandparents doesn’t have a high school diploma or a college diploma is because the white man prevented that? While in some cases that might be true but in all cases it being true is just not right. Black people we are holding each other back from prosperity. We are our own worst nightmare and no matter how much we try to blame others for the shortfalls of us as a people, we just need to look in the mirror and blame our selves.

While we should teach our youth to be sensitive to the issue of race and their own blackness but not to use it as an excuse or a crutch for why they can’t get ahead but in order to gain pride in who they are and to understand that there might be some people even within the black community who use race to divide us as people rather than unite us. We can’t continue to sit up here as black people and attack each other’s beliefs and values without understand that all black people are not the same just like all people are not the same. We can’t assume because one is black that they experienced all the hardships as other blacks or used to dealing with black people because nothing can be farther from the truth. We as black people have to respect each other but most of all we must understand that if we are to get ahead as a society than we have to uplift each other, guide each other and most of all be there for each other through the good and the bad.

Black people we can’t continue to degrade each other and label each other names simply because one black person doesn’t think you or me. If we are to get ahead as a black community than we must understand that not all blacks believe in abortions, not all blacks believe in affirmative action and not all blacks believe in government programs. This is understandable because some blacks believe in blacks helping blacks to succeed which is what Black Nationalism was about. Some blacks believe that we as blacks need to accept responsibility for our own actions and our own lives by pulling ourselves up by the bootstraps through obtaining the best education possible, by reading often and by never accepting no for an answer but most of all never settling even when you achieve one goal. Blacks come from all walks of life and believe in different things but as much as our race brings us together, we need to look beyond race when judging our fellow black men and women.

We as blacks have to accept responsibility for our own actions and our own attitudes. No longer can we continue to blame others for our shortfalls when we have more black millionaires and billionaires than ever before. We have more black politicians than ever before and more blacks with Ph.D.’s, J.D.’s, M.D.’s and Master degrees than ever before. We can’t continue to blame others for our shortcomings as black people when we have more black CEOs than ever and we have more blacks as teachers, professors and other administrative positions in educational facilities both pre-secondary and post-secondary. We have more black clergy and more black mega churches than any other time in our history. So black people we have come far as a people but we still have farther to go. We can’t continue to blame others for our own misfortunes when we have more black single families than any other time in our history, we have more black man in prison than on college campuses and we have more blacks unemployed since the Great Depression. Come on black people, we have more blacks with HIV/AIDS, more black abortions than ever before and more black teen pregnancies than any other race. Black people wake up and understand that black on black crime in urban communities are at its highest since the 1980s and black on black youth violence in areas like Chicago are the worst it has ever be and perhaps even worse than the wars of Iraq and Afghanistan in terms of people being shot.

These are some of the issues that we face as black people all the while we have gained in other areas. For we can’t continue to blame others for children growing up in fatherless homes and when we as a community have not worked to deal with this issue and create a community for our children to succeed despite the lack of a male precise inside the home. Black people we are holding each other back from prosperity. We are the ones who think that if we race bait and play the color card that perhaps we will get ahead in life but if we look at President Barack Obama and use him as our example for our children to follow as well as ourselves than we will understand that understanding your race is okay but using it as an excuse to not succeed or want more is not okay. We as black people must understand that our race is not reason for us to accept an inferior education or inadequate city or governmental services from those who are elected to provide us with certain living conditions that many affluent people receive. We as black people must not accept poverty as a way of life but instead we need to understand that what we are today doesn’t always have to be what we are tomorrow.

These are the lessons that we need to teach to our youth and future generations of blacks if we are to get ahead as black people. No longer can we play the race card or use race baiting to achieve our goals as a society. No longer can we accept black leaders who use race as an opportunity to obtain wealth and no longer can we condone those organizations use racial issues as an opportunity to gain television time or newspaper clippings. Black people we have to stand up now and take back our communities and teach our youth that they are more than what they think they are. We must teach our youth and future generations that just because the generations before them didn’t achieve all they could, they worked for them to obtain a free and adequate education so that they can continue the fight for justice and equality for all. Black people we have to wake up and realize that if we are to succeed as a group rather than as individuals, it will take all of us working together to help one another, to encourage one another and most of all to understand one another to come to a common ground on what we all can work together on to achieve.

No longer can we ignore the fact that we as black people have been holding each other back and no longer can we continue to blame others for us a people for not achieving success when some of our own people love to hold us back. Blacks, it is time to stop playing victim and it is time to work toward achieving our goals rather than passing blame for it. If not now than when.

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Jay-Z - History

(Jay-Z - History)Jay-Z - History with Lyrics

LYRICS : [Chorus: Cee-lo]
Now that all the smoke is gone
And the battle's finally won
(Gimme a lighter)
Victory (Lighters up) is finally ours
(Lighters up)
History, so long, so long
So long, so long

[Verse 1: Jay-Z]
In search of victory, she keeps eluding me
If only we could be together momentarily
We can make love and make history
Why won't you visit me? until she visit me
I'll be stuck with her sister, her name is defeat
She gives me agony, so much agony
She brings me so much pain, so much misery
Like missing your last shot and falling to your knees
As the crowd screams for the other team
I practice so hard for this moment, victory don't leave
I know what this means, I'm stuck in this routine
Whole new different day, same old thing
All I got is dreams, nobody else can see
Nobody else believes, nobody else but me
Where are you victory? I need you desperately
Not just for the moment, to make history

[Chorus: Cee-lo]
Now that all the smoke is gone
And the battle's finally won
Victory is finally ours
History (yeah), so long, so long
So long, so long

[Verse 2: Jay-Z]
So now I'm flirting with death, hustling like a G
While victory wasn't watching took chances repeatedly
As a teenage boy before acne, before I got proactiv I couldn't face she
I just threw on my hoodie and headed to the street
That's where I met success, we'd live together shortly
Now success is like lust, she's good to the touch
She's good for the moment but she's never enough
Everybody's had her, she's nothing like V
But success is all I got unfortunately
But I'm burning down the block hoppin' in and out of V
But something tells me that there's much more to see
Before I get killed because I can't get robbed
So before me success and death ménage
I gotta get lost, I gotta find V
We gotta be together to make history

[Chorus: Cee-lo]
Now that all the smoke is gone
(Lighters. Up.)
And the battle's finally won
(Lighter. Up.)
Victory is finally ours
(Lighters. Up.)
History, so long, so long
So long, so long

[Verse 3: Jay-Z]
Now victory is mine, it tastes so sweet
She's my trophy wife, you're coming with me
We'll have a baby who stutters repeatedly
We'll name him history, he'll repeat after me
He's my legacy, son of my hard work
Future of my past, he'll explain who I be
Rank me amongst the greats, either 1, 2, or 3
If I ain't number one then I failed you victory
Ain't in it for the fame that dies within weeks
Ain't in it for the money, can't take it when you leave
I wanna be remembered long after you grieve
Long after I'm gone, long after I breathe
I leave all I am in the hands of history
That's my last will and testimony
This is much more than a song, it's a baby shower
I've been waiting for this hour, history you ours

[Chorus: Cee-lo (2x)]
Now that all the smoke is gone
And the battle's finally won
Victory is finally ours
History, so long, so long
So long, so long

Man in the Mirror--By Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson - Man in the mirror

I'm gonna make a change,
for once im my life
It's gonna feel real good,
gonna make a diference
Gonna make it right...

As I, turn up the collar on
my favorite winter coat
This wind is blowing my mind
I see the kids in the streets,
with not enought to eat
Who am I to be blind?
Pretending not to see their needs

A summer disregard,a broken bottle top
And a one man soul
They follow each other on the wind ya' know
'Cause they got nowhere to go
That's why I want you to know

I'm starting with the man in the mirror
I'm asking him to change his ways
And no message could have been any clearer
If you wanna make the world a better place
(If you wanna make the world a better place)
Take a look at yourself, and then make a change
(Take a look at yourself, and then make a change)
(Na na na, na na na, na na, na nah)

I've been a victim of a selfish kind of love
It's time that I realize
That there are some with no home, not a nickel to loan
Could it be really me, pretending that they're not alone?

A willow deeply scarred, somebody's broken heart
And a washed-out dream
(Washed-out dream)
They follow the pattern of the wind ya' see
'Cause they got no place to be
That's why I'm starting with me
(Starting with me!)

I'm starting with the man in the mirror
I'm asking him to change his ways
And no message could have been any clearer
If you wanna make the world a better place
(If you wanna make the world a better place)
Take a look at yourself, and then make a change
(Take a look at yourself, and then make a change)

I'm starting with the man in the mirror
I'm asking him to change his ways
(Change his ways - ooh!)
And no message could have been any clearer
If you wanna make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself and then make that..
(Take a look at yourself and then make that..)

I'm starting with the man in the mirror
(Man in the mirror - Oh yeah!)
I'm asking him to change his ways
(Better change!)
No message could have been any clearer
(If you wanna make the world a better place)

Michael Jackson - Man in the mirror

A Change is Gonna Come by Sam Cook

It's been a long time coming but a change is surely going to come in America and the World! I am the Future of America and the World and that is the message that each of us must carry with us each and every day that we wake up on Earth! I am the Future! You are the Future! We are the Future of America and the World! That is way every election is important--primaries, special elections and general! So vote every year and hold our politicians accountable. Hold our political officials accountable by writing them, calling them and making sure they attend meetings that we the people have. "The Time for Change is not Now but Right Now!"

"EmPOWERment By Any Means Necessary" should be our anthem and should be our creed as we make the positive differences in America and the world that so many people beg for and hungry for year after year! A Change is Gonna Come, A Change is Gonna Come, that's what we must say as we say "God grants us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, Courge to change the things we can, and the wisdom to know the difference" each morning before we go about the task of making a positive change in America and the world a reality.

Born In The U.S.A. - Bruce Springsteen

“When will people realize that we are Americans first and foremost, not Democrats or Liberals, not Republicans or Conservatives, not Independents or moderates. We are Americans. Stop putting a political party above America and stop putting any politican above America. America succeeds because of us the people holding our government responsible no matter the political party because the main two political parties are to blame for the condition America is in."—Hodari P.T. Brown

America with its flaws and all is a country I am proud to have been born in. America is not perfect but my love for it is perfect. That’s why all Americans must realize that we are all Americans. In fact we are Americans first and foremost. We are not Democrats or Republicans. We are Americans.

We are not Muslims, Christians or Jews. We are Americans. Too many times we recognize our differences with others rather than appreciating our similarities which are, we are Americans. We are Americans first and foremost, no matter if we were born here or moved here legally. We are all Americans, here in this country to make not only our lives better but the lives of other Americans better so future Americans can enjoy the rights and freedoms that make us all Americans.

We are all Americans. We are one party united under God. We are Americans and this is the only political party that matters. We are Americans and this is our country so let’s make sure that we make America better than how we found it so future Americans can live prosperous and joyous lives. We are Americans and must not ever forget that.

America will prosper as long we make sure we are doing our part to make it prosper and that means we can’t put any political party or politician above America. Long live America forever and long live America’s service to the world. Together, America and the world will prosper for future generations to enjoy America and the world we live in.

Lift Every Voice and Sing

This video of the ' Negro National Anthem' was originally screened at the historic African-American Church Inaugural Ball in Washington, DC on January 18th, 2009. Many of the esteemed individuals featured in this video in attendance and we presented with the ' Keepers of the Flame' award for the monumental contributions to social justice.

This version of the song was performed by the Grace Baptist Church Cathedral Choir, conducted by Derrick James. The video was produced and donated by Ascender Communications, LLC ( at the request of The Balm In Gilead, Inc.

If I Was President--Wyclef Jean

If I was President that is the people's anthem. We all have ideas of what we can do as President and through this website, we will fulfill our deam as a people!

Somethings Gotta Give--Big Boi ft Mary J Blige

Somethings Gotta Give people and it begins today for all us to make sure that something is us. We the people are sick and tired of suffering. Where is our piece of the Dream that so many people dead for so that we all could see today. This is our time people to change America and the world so that the Next Generation has a better future than the past we inherited.

This is our call to service. This isn't about one political candidate or one political figure. This is about us as people coming together to finally leave up to our potential and achieving the great feats that those before us have achieved. This is our moment to lead our nation and our world to greater heights.

Somethings gotta give people and it starts with us the people making it happen. We have to improve our education system in America. We have to rid the world of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. We have to go to the streets and lift a hand to another in order to decrease poverty in this world. We have to take a stand today and make sure that the future of America and the world is brighter than it has ever been.

Somethings Gotta Give and that is why we must "Remember Each One, Reach One and Teach One so America's future and the World's future continues to prosper."

John Legend - "If You're Out There"

If you're out there than you need to get started in helping to change America and the world. The world and America won't change until you get involved in making the changes you want to see in this world. If you're out there, than you must know that tomorrow started now and today started yesterday so you are behind in helping to the change. If you are tired of hatred, racism, poverty, war, and violence than the time to change it is now. If you want universal health care, world peace, democracy for every nation, equal rights, and happiness for all than you must get involved now to help the save world.

You must believe in the change that you want to see and you must act on making that change a reality. If you're out there than say it aloud and show the rest of America and the world that you're out here to make a real positive change in the communities we stay in. If you're out there than get involved now. I'm calling every women and men to join me as we take back our country right here, right now. If you're out there than the future started yersterday and we are already late so we have lots of work to do but I know we can do it together as one.


Yes We Can accomplish anything that we set out to do! We don't need charismatic or inspirational leaders to believe in ourselves and to take responsiblity for our own faith, we just need each other. Yes We Can build a new America and a new world if each of us would take action now to make the changes that we want to see in the world. Yes We Can control government by holding our political officials accountable for their actions by calling them out when they don't pass legislation that supports the common good of all man and by voting in every election to ensure that we have people representing the people locally, state wide, nationally and in the world.

Yes We Can be great! Yes We Can be what we want to be! Yes We Can be glorious in not only America but the world! Yes We can put action behind our worlds and change the world starting right here, right now! Yes We Can as Republicans, Democrats and Independents become one as we freely think about our fellow men and women and make decisions that will be in the best interest of all people and not one single group.

Yes We Can be the change that we want to see in the world! Yes We Can show the world that the youth are ready to lead! Yes We Can put our egos, our social economic statuses, our religions, our educational statuses and our skin color to the side for the better good of the world! Yes We Can be Greater than we have ever been and help others be Greater than they have ever be!

YES WE CAN and YES WE WILL BE VICTORIOUS IN ALL THAT WE DO! YES WE CAN, no matter what others may say, we will be glorious! YES WE WILL and YES WE CAN! YES WE CAN!

YES WE CAN! YES WE CAN! YES WE CAN is what will be sung from every mountaintop, every riverbank, every household, every school yard, every factory, every sporting event, every college campus and even every place you can imagine in the world is where YES WE CAN, will be said and heard!


Keep On Pushing - Curtis Mayfield & the Impressions

Wake Up People! No matter who is elected to any public office, we have to “Keep On Pushing” as a people to make sure they don’t leave us in a worst state than what they inherited. We as a people have to “Keep On Pushing” to make a difference in the lives of others. We have to have an “EmPOWERment By Any Means Necessary” attitude as we continue to push our agenda that we the people deserve and want better. We have to “Keep On Pushing” to bring about change in a positive way that will benefit all Americans no matter their age, their religion or skin color. We have to “Keep On Pushing” to bring about change that will improve our education system, improve our military, improve our national security, improve our healthcare system and improve our economy. We have to “Keep On Pushing” to bring about change that will leave America’s future in a better than how we found it and that will leave the world’s future in a better state than we imagined we could live it. We have to “Keep On Pushing” to make life better for our neighborhoods, our families and even our quote on quote enemies. We have to “Keep On Pushing” to inspire, to uplift and to guide those who need help spiritually, physically and mentally. We have to “Keep On Pushing ” so that our lives, our future generation’s lives and the lives of those who came before us does not die in vein.

“Keep on Pushing”

A War For Your Soul

A War For Your Soul-regular version from Erisai Films on Vimeo.

The moment has come for us as a nation of people to finally wake up and realize that our destiny and fate in society has rests on our shoulders. We cannot allow the forces of evil and darkness to drain us out. We have to continue to overcome all odds in order to make the future of our nation better and the future of future generations of Americans better. We have to continue to pray to our Lord and we have to continue to uplift each other in prayer as well as take action against those things that are trying to destroy us. We have to stand up once and for all and be the future that we want to be. Now is our time and we shall do together by any means necessary.

This video was created to inspire young African-Americans not to fall prey to some of the problems they face in society. The use of the voice "Master of Darkness" represents evil, which is where the blame of all problems should be placed, and not on any one group of people. This video should not to be used to divide people (Black & White), there are images of heroes that are white in this video, and there are images of Black & White coming together with the words of Dr. King in the background. Some of the images from the past can be unsettling, but they are used to show all Americans how far we have come, and how far we still have to go. This film is being strategically placed in school systems, churches and youth orgs around the country, in hope of helping a lost generation of kids that we as Americans have forgotten. As fellow Americans we must continue to love each other, and take that love and spread it to the rest of the world. **THIS VIDEO IS NOT FOR SALE & I AM NOT ACCEPTING DONATIONS FOR THE FILM, I ONLY WANT THE MESSAGE TO REACH AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE WITHOUT ANY HIDDEN POLITICAL OR FINANCIAL AGENDA.
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Sitting On the Dock of the Bay by Otis Redding

"The time for sitting is over! The time for action is now! The time for hope without action is hopeless! The time for change without a positive attitude is a change that we can't believe in! We need change that is positive of helping all people! Our time for action is now, our time for hope is now, our time for change is now and our time to believe that we can do whatever we set our minds to is not now but right now!"


The Star-Spangled Banner by Francis Scott Key

O say, can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming;
And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;
O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave?

On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, now conceals, now discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines on the stream;
'Tis the star-spangled banner; O long may it wave
O'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave,
From the terror of flight and the gloom of the grave;
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave!

O! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n-rescued land,
Praise the power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, for our cause it is just.
And this be our motto— "In God is our trust; "
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave.

Black President

Our Time is not now but Right Now! Our Time has finally come to change the world not now but Right Now! If you don't believe that we can change the world than watch as we do it by changing your mind into believing in us and what we can do! This is OUR TIME RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW!


We got to FIGHT THE POWER! We can no longer sit on the sidelines and watch injustices take place. We can no longer sit by and allow our right to vote to become unexercised. We must FIGHT THE POWER for our past, present and future! We can no longer allow our rights to be oppressed and our voice to become drained by the powers at be. We must FIGHT THE POWER and show that we have a lot to say that needs to be heard by the mainstream media. We must FIGHT THE POWER and live up to our potential as dynamic, unbelievable and phenomenal people.

We must not believe the hype but we must become the hype. We are not Harriett Tubman, Marcus Garvey, MLK, Malcolm X, Booker T. Washington, Carter G. Woodson, W.E.B. DuBois, the Black Panther Party, SNCC, or any other activists but we are the fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, uncles, aunties, and relatives of those who came before us to pave the way for us to FIGHT THE POWER! We are not next Generation of leaders who will not be honored and praised until they die but that’s the fight we accept. We are not fighting the power for glory or fame but we are fighting the power for just causes that most men and women will not understand until years or decades later.

We are fighting for our sisters and brothers in Darfur, Georgia, Iraq, Iran, China and Mexico. We are speaking for those who are poor and have no food or water. We are fighting for those who are sick and dying. We are fighting for universal healthcare across the world and human rights for all people. We are fighting for rich and poor! We must FIGHT THE POWER no matter how hard and tough the road may be. We must FIGHT THE POWER for a better today and an even greater tomorrow!



“People Get Ready” our time is coming! We have come too far to turn back now. Our train is coming and it is coming in waves. “People Get Ready”, we don’t need a ticket but we need faith and the Lord will help guide us as we take back America and the world. “People Get Ready” our moment is now and we are ready to see the change we want in America and the world. All we got to do is have faith, hope and prosperity. “People Get Ready” to face your fears. “People Get Ready” to face your demons and the challenges of yesterday because today and tomorrow we will conquer & be victorious. “People Get Ready” a change is coming and our actions will make sure that change is a real positive change that lasts forever.

“People Get Ready” because we have had enough of just talking but now is our time to show action. “People Get Ready” to take back America and the world. “People Get Ready” to take back our communities and to make our streets safer and schools better. “People Get Ready” to make all our dreams come true. “People Get Ready” to see a better present for everyone and a better future for future generations. “People Get Ready” to live up to your potential and to help others live up to their own potential. “People Get Ready” to move past hatred, bigotry, racism and sexism. “People Get Ready” to fulfill the dreams of those who came before us and those who will come after us.

“People Get Ready” as we make our actions speak louder than our words. “People Get Ready” to make words mean something again as we put action to back up our rhetoric. “People Get Ready” as we embark on a new journey that will re-write America’s history as well as the world’s history. “People Get Ready” as we make the lives of others better and the lives of future generations better. “People Get Ready” because all we need is faith, hope and action to make this world a better place. “People Get Ready” to make a difference. “People Get Ready” to fulfill the American dream. “People Get Ready" to live out the American Dream as our founding fathers wanted us to live it. “People Get Ready” because our time is now, our moment is now and our moment in time to change America & the world is not now but right now. “People Get Ready” because a change is coming!

(Let me tell you now)
People get ready, there's a train comin'
You don't need no baggage, you just get on board
All you need is faith to hear the diesels hummin'
You don't need no ticket, you just thank the lord

People get ready, for a train to Jordan
Picking up passengers coast to coast
Faith is the key, open the doors and board them
There's hope for all among those loved the most

There ain't no room for the hopeless sinner
Who would hurt all man kind just to save his own (believe me now)
Have pity on those whose chances grow thinner
For there's no hiding place against the kingdoms throne

[Alicia & Lyfe]
So people get ready there's a train coming
You don't need no baggage, you just get on board
All you need is faith to hear the diesels humming,
You don't need no ticket, you just thank the lord


God Bless the U.S.A. by Lee Greenwood

Lee Greenwood-god bless the U.S.A