The Essence of Politics

Thursday, September 03, 2009

What’s Holding Blacks Back?

For weeks and months, I have heard many blacks speak to what is holding we as black people back. In fact even as our nation has elected its first quote unquote African American President, many people in the black community continue to ask the question what is holding blacks back. One thing that is clear in the black community is that we as blacks have become indoctrinated with the Democratic Party in order to deal with many of the social issues plaguing us as a people. Martin Luther King never subordinated the civil right movement to the Democrats or Republicans. By building the civil rights movement independently of the Democrats and Republicans, he forced Presidents Kennedy and Johnson to push through historic civil rights legislation. That is why if we as blacks are to get ahead we must organize like Dr. King and dare the politicians to oppose our fight for justice, equality, and economic prosperity for all blacks when it comes to any issue plaguing us as a people.

We has black people must learn that by being attached to one political party or putting our total faith in one political party to do what is right for us a people will not get us any further. In fact we as black must learn the lessons of the civil rights movement and build our agenda for economic prosperity, financial literacy and 21st century world class education begins with us as a community working to instill that in our youth. If we as black people want our children to know the hardships that we as a people had to endure than we have to indoctrinate them in black culture as a community and not depend on government or a political party to create that indoctrination mechanism for us.

We as black people must have our youth read Roots cover to cover and expose them to documentaries that show old newsreels of black civil rights protesters being hosed, beaten, and dragged off to prison. We have to make sure they read accounts of black America before the civil rights movement and we have to help them learn of black lawyers working as office clerks, black classical musicians stuck orchestrating cheap stage revues, brilliant black professors trapped in threadbare segregated colleges; but most of all we must have them read about the Scottsboro Boys, Emmett Till, the Black Panther Party, and the assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King and Malcolm X.

If our youth learn this than this should fill them with horror—but then with relief, even triumph. After all, wasn’t the point of All in the Family that Archie Bunker was powerless in the face of his daughter and son-in-law’s racially progressive positions? Didn’t his black neighbors have the moral upper hand—and wasn’t it they, not Archie, who got to move to the Upper East Side, i.e. the Jeffersons (George and Weezie)? Teaching our youth this should make them grateful and excited to live in times of bracing progress for my race.

Even during decades of the 90s I came to realize that this feeling made me an odd man out among most young Black Americans. In every race-related debate—whether over Rodney King, O. J. Simpson, the Million Man March, Ebonics, affirmative action or the election of black leaders particularly President Barack Obama—almost every black person I knew, many with backgrounds as comfortable as my own, started from the fierce conviction that, decades after the Civil Rights Act, whitey’s foot remains pressed upon all black Americans’ necks. For most black Americans, the rapid increase of the black middle class, of interracial relationships and marriages, and of blacks in prestigious positions has no bearing on the real state of black America. Further, they believe, whites’ inability to grasp the unmistakable reality of oppression is itself proof of racism, while blacks who question that reality are self-deluded.

Doubtless some black leaders mouth the ideology of victimhood for political advantage: “Confrontation works,” as Al Sharpton has calculatingly observed. But most rank-and-file exponents of the “racism forever” worldview really mean it. Their conviction rests on seven articles of faith, carefully passed from person to person at all levels of the black community. These beliefs, rather than what remains of racism itself, are the biggest obstacle to further black progress in today’s America. And all are either outright myths or severe distortions of truth.

One: Most black people are poor (and middle-class blacks are statistical noise). Almost half of the blacks surveyed in a Gallup poll supposed that three out of four black people live in inner cities. Yet in 2007 before the economic recession most black people are neither poor nor even close to it: by any estimation, middle-class blacks outnumber poor ones. And at last count, only one in five blacks lived in the inner city.

Two: Black people earn 61 percent of what whites do. Though accurate as a nationwide median in 2005, this figure is dragged down by the disproportionate number of single black welfare mothers. Black two-parent families earned 87 percent of what white two-parent families earned in 2005. Also distorting the median is the disproportionate number of blacks who live in the South, where wages are lower overall. If you look only at specific areas rather than at the nation as a whole, black household earnings in 2004 exceeded whites’ in 130 cities and counties across the nation.

Three: An epidemic of racist church burnings has swept across the South. There was never any such thing: about 80 black churches were burned from 1990 to 1996—but then over seven times that many white churches burned as well.

Four: The CIA created the inner cities by pumping drugs into them. This one pops up in pamphlet after pamphlet at leftist marches and gatherings; it is taught to many black college students. But the San Jose Mercury’s charges on this score proved false. Yes, some CIA agents aiding the Nicaraguan contras decided to look the other way and allow them to profit from some drug sales to California, but that’s hardly a plot to addict blacks in all of America’s inner cities.

Five: Because black men are disproportionately incarcerated, racism reigns eternal. This belief assumes that blacks do not commit crimes any more frequently than whites. But if black men make up almost 50 percent of the prison population, they committed roughly 42 percent of violent crimes in the 1990s and nearly 58% of the violent crimes in 2007 according to the FBI, and many studies have shown that, when severity of crime and past record are taken into account, there is no bias against blacks in the criminal justice system. At its inception, the War on Drugs, often interpreted as a “War on Blacks,” had the strong support of the Congressional Black Caucus, whose members aimed to stem inner-city violence. If these black officials, who at the time exhorted Congress to “save our communities,” were racists, then the definition of this term is beyond my comprehension.

Six: Racial profiling is racism. It can be—but just as often isn’t. In some parts of the country, black men are so overrepresented in criminal activities that police officers, white and black, would be shirking their duty not to concentrate on them. Sure, sometimes profiling ends up detaining more blacks than their rate of conviction for the targeted crime justifies, as with drivers recently stopped and searched for drugs in New Jersey. But even here, officers generally have acted less out of race hatred than out of a pragmatic assessment that they can fill their quotas faster by focusing on a group that commits a disproportionate share of crime. Inappropriate, yes—and widely condemned as such: indication Number 674 that racism is on the wane. Some have always suspected that today’s profiling-must-stop contingent secretly believes that whites deserve black crime as retribution for oppression. But to halt all profiling would increase the number of blacks murdered, mostly by other blacks. And black leaders would cite this rise as further evidence of racism, as happened in New York in the 1980s, when cops turned a blind eye to a wave of black crime. Many of those crying racism about today’s New York City policing were sounding the same call about the Dinkins administration’s lax policing. Nonetheless racial profiling exists and profiling by race should be condemned but most of all, police should just do their job regardless of race no if’s, in’s, or but’s about it.

Seven: Excessive police brutality against blacks shows that racism reigns eternal. Certainly blacks have suffered greater police brutality than whites. But this constitutes not the prevalence of overt racism, but its last holdout; as Orlando Patterson argues, you’d expect racism to persist longest precisely among undereducated keepers of order working under conditions likely to spark impulsiveness. And most important, the police brutality situation is improving rapidly. For example, though I think Officer Justin Volpe would not have brutalized a white suspect as he brutalized Haitian Abner Louima, his expectation that the “blue wall of silence” would protect him proved false. In the Diallo and Dorismond killings, the undertraining of police officers to deal with chaotic, tense situations was much more at fault than white racism—and, of course, black officers have been involved in similar cases across the country, though such cases don’t get headlines in the liberal media.

These articles of faith add up to a deeply felt cult of victimology that grips the entire black community. Some subscribe to it fiercely; most accept it as a valid point of view, at least. The “serious brother” who launches into a tirade about the War on Blacks at a party sets heads nodding all over the room. You’d think that a group committed to advancement would avoid such an obsessive focus on the negative, especially when the negative steadily fades from year to year. But blacks, inevitably, suffer from a classic post-colonial inferiority complex. Like insecure people everywhere, they are driven by a private sense of personal inadequacy to seeing imaginary obstacles to their success supposedly planted by others. Once the 1968 Kerner Commission report fueled that tendency by positing that American racism was an institutional, systemic matter rather than a merely personal one, black leaders and thinkers, haunted by the oppressor’s lie that blacks were inferior, worked obsessively to find evidence, often fantastical, of “the system’s” evil.

In the grip of this seductive ideology, blacks have made the immobilizing assumption that individual initiative can lead only to failure, with only a few exceptionally gifted or lucky exceptions. Yet many groups have triumphed over similar (or worse) obstacles—including millions of Caribbean and African immigrants in America, from Colin Powell to the thousands of Caribbean children succeeding in precisely the crumbling schools where black American kids fail. Indeed, thinkers such as Thomas Sowell and Stephan and Abigail Thernstrom argue that American blacks could have advanced—and were advancing—even without the civil rights legislation of the sixties and the racial preferences of the seventies, since black unemployment was at an all-time low in the mid-sixties, and the black middle class was already growing fast. But these facts can’t outweigh the almost narcotic pleasure that underdoggism provides a race plagued by self-doubt.

Blacks aren’t the only people who’ve sabotaged themselves through victimology. Take the eerily similar case of the Boston Irish, the target of contempt and discrimination in nineteenth-century America. By the 1920s, when anti-Irish bigotry had receded greatly, historical memory allowed Mayor James Michael Curley to maintain power by stoking Irish resentment very like today’s black resentment. Curley found “anti-Irish” sentiment everywhere: merit hiring systems were “anti-Irish”; “Anglo-Saxon” culture was fatally diseased. Even today, the remnant of this mentality still traps members of South Boston’s Irish community in crummy housing projects full of idle adults who have high rates of substance abuse and even speak a local dialect it takes a little while to wrap one’s ears around. In South Boston, as in South Central, a fatalistic skepticism that you can rise above your community and a deeply embedded wariness of mainstream culture thwart ambition even where opportunity is available.

The victimology cult has in turn engendered a cult of black separatism. Inspired by the Black Power movement of the 1960s, which violently rejected whites as terminally evil, today’s separatism, in the same vein, flirts disastrously with the idea that, because white racism ineluctably drives black people outside the bounds of civic virtue, blacks shouldn’t be seriously punished or morally condemned for criminal behavior. Black transgressiveness is understandable, even “cool.” A typical consequence of this view was the feting of the four black youths who maimed several people in Los Angeles after the Rodney King verdict, with the Nation of Islam setting up a defense fund for the “L.A. Four.” The most recent manifestation of the idea was Jesse Jackson’s intervention when a Decatur, Illinois, high school suspended for two years seven black teenagers who injured bystanders during a gang fight at a school football game. Jackson painted this response to thuggery as a racist attempt to deny “our children” an education.

The worst result of the sense that black America is a fundamentally separate realm is a widespread cult of anti-intellectualism. Consider the data: even in middle-class suburbs, increasing numbers of middle-class black students tend to cluster at the bottom of their schools in grades and test scores. Black students whose parents earn $70,000 a year or more make median SAT scores lower than impoverished white students whose parents make $6,000 a year or less, while black students whose parents both have graduate degrees make mean SAT scores lower than white students whose parents only completed high school. Why? All through modern black American culture, even throughout black academia, the belief prevails that learning for learning’s sake is a white affair and therefore inherently disloyal to a proper black identity. Studying black-related issues is okay, because learning about oneself is authentic. But this impulse also implicitly classifies science as irrelevant, which is the direct cause of the underrepresentation of minorities in the hard sciences. The sense that the properly “black” person only delves into topics related to himself is also why you can count on one hand the number of books by black Americans that are not on racial topics.

The belief that blacks and school don’t go together has its roots in slavery’s refusal to let blacks be educated. But it gained strength in the mid-1960s, when black separatism rejected traits associated with whites as alien, and black students, in this spirit, began teasing their fellows who strove to excel in school as “acting white,” a much harsher taunt than merely dismissing them as nerds. When I was four—and this is my very first memory—a group of black kids in the neighborhood stopped me and asked me to spell a word. When I did, one of them directed his little sister to hit me repeatedly. I later watched a friend of mine treated similarly for answering such questions as, “How far is it from New Jersey to Florida,” and I’ll never forget being asked by one of his tormentors, “Are you smart?” in the menacing tone you’d use to ask, “Did you steal my money?”

The “acting white” charge—which implies that you think yourself different from, and better than, your peers—is the prime reason that blacks do poorly in school. The gifted black student quickly faces a choice between peer group acceptance and intellectual achievement. Most, out of an utterly human impulse, choose the former. Even if they open themselves to schooling in college or later, their performance all too often permanently suffers from the message they long ago internalized that “the school thing” is an add-on, not a mix-in.

The prevailing orthodoxy lays the blame on other factors, of course, but none of them withstands scrutiny. The fact that the children of working poor immigrants, including black Caribbean and African immigrants, often do well in school, disproves the claim that their working-class roots deny today’s newly middle-class blacks the “cultural capital” to teach their children to excel in school. The success of Southeast Asian immigrants’ children in the same terrible inner-city schools in which black students fail disproves the Jonathan Kozol gospel that it is the “savage inequality” of school funding that makes black kids fail. Though Kozol’s followers counter that immigrants are an inappropriate comparison because they are a “self-selected” population, rich in initiative, Latinos are also self-selected immigrants and yet lag behind in school almost as much as blacks—which shows that culture plays a major role among immigrants. Finally, educators often assert that white teachers are biased against black children, dousing their initiative early on and then tracking them away from advanced placement classes. However, studies repeatedly suggest that teachers track based on demonstrated ability—and, again, black Caribbean and African children do fine, despite presumably suffering the same treatment as native-born blacks.

Finally, what of Claude Steele’s influential argument that middle-class black students underachieve in school because fear of confirming the stereotype of black mental inferiority makes them choke up on tests? I know from my own experience that there’s a grain of truth in this argument. But a tiny grain: after all, college assignments are not composed to test racial abilities. And all these conventional arguments neglect the elephant sitting in the middle of the room: if black students who try to achieve in school get sharply teased for it and threatened with ostracism, why would we not expect this to be the main cause of their academic underachievement?

One well-studied case decisively confutes all the conventional arguments. In tony suburban Shaker Heights, Ohio, funding is generous, support programs aimed at black students (about half of the student population, not an alienated minority) abound, there is no ability tracking (students track themselves), and such racism as can be found is too intermittent to destroy the academic curiosity of a human being of normal resilience. Yet blacks there cluster at the very bottom of the school, and black students report that they come up against the “acting white” charge whenever they try to excel. One girl interviewed there knuckled under to this teasing and saw her grades plummet, while white students interviewed talked about how, in many of their cliques, doing well in school was “cool.” Districts all over the country, including Evanston, Illinois, Prince George’s County, Maryland, and Nyack, New York, report similar results.

Victimology, separatism, and anti-intellectualism underlie the general black community’s response to all race-related issues. The response to affirmative action is a case in point. Blacks see it as a policy that appropriately bends the rules for a people denied the opportunity to compete on a level playing field—a notion that in 2006, when middle-class blacks are a massive and thriving group in American society, can only seem plausible through the lens of victimology. The defense of affirmative action on the grounds of “diversity” is an expression of separatism. After all, since there are not enough black students to be admitted to selective schools on the same merits as the other students, beyond a certain cut-off point blacks are being valued as much for their distinct and separate cultural traits as for their academic accomplishment. This is a state of affairs, moreover, that requires a strong dose of anti-intellectualism to accept without discomfort. And the same anti-intellectualism rests content with the flimsy reasoning behind all defenses of affirmative action: that because black students are overrepresented in underfunded public schools, for example, it is immoral for colleges to require a top-quality dossier from the black child of a doctor and a corporate manager, or that, as William Bowen and Derek Bok argue in the sickeningly overpraised The Shape of the River, affirmative action ought be continued indefinitely because its first generations of beneficiaries didn’t mind it and are happy with their lives.

Today, these three thought patterns impede black advancement much more than racism; and dysfunctional inner cities, corporate glass ceilings, and black educational underachievement will persist until such thinking disappears. In my experience, trying to show many African-Americans how mistaken and counterproductive these ideas are is like trying to convince a religious person that God does not exist: the sentiments are beyond the reach of rational, civil discourse.

Even author John H. McWhorter confirms this when he wrote: “After I gave a talk at a black bookstore outlining why the conventional explanations for black students’ underperformance don’t hold water, a matriarchal figure simply dismissed my argument by pronouncing that America is “set against” black students, period—to the applause of the entire room. Time magazine’s Jack E. White wrote a disparaging review of my new book, Losing the Race (“Come on, Professor”), which simply repeated the traditional explanations of what holds black students back, as if he hadn’t been able to take in my chapters arguing against just these points. During another talk I gave on the book, one black schoolteacher kept interrupting to insist, fantastically, that when black students accuse others of “acting white,” they are criticizing these students for not teaching their peers how to excel in school as well.”

Now there was a time when fighting and decrying institutional racism was the main task at hand, and blacks of my generation owe a debt of gratitude to those who did it; our comfortable lives would be impossible without their efforts. Today, though, these people are well-intentioned relics of another era, an era they in their moment helped us to get past. Our main concern must be with new generations, who can fulfill their potential only in an America where victimology, separatism, and anti-intellectualism don’t flourish among black Americans. There are two main paths to this goal according to John H. McWhorter.

First, it’s time for well-intentioned whites to stop pardoning as “understandable” the worst of human nature whenever black people exhibit it. The person one pities is a person one may like but does not truly respect. Certainly whites must keep extirpating vestiges of racism, even within their own souls. But for David Howard to concur with his firing by Washington mayor Anthony Williams for using the word “niggardly” is condescension, not compassion; for Nathan Glazer to reverse his longstanding opposition to affirmative action because whites “owe” black people is to cast blacks as characters in a morality play, not to usher living human beings out of a historically conditioned wariness of school.

Second, it’s time for our selective educational institutions to eliminate affirmative action in admissions. This policy may have been useful in the 1960s in creating a black middle class. Today, however, the children of Bowen and Bok’s happy campers are hobbled from top academic performance not by poverty and residual bigotry, as their parents often were, but by a sense of spiritual separation from the whole endeavor of learning, an estrangement that set-aside policies and lowered standards cannot help. To achieve in any endeavor, people need incentives. As long as top colleges exempt black students of all classes from serious competition, their admissions officers shouldn’t wonder why so few black students submit top-class dossiers. Only without such a policy will parents, teachers, and school boards, genuinely alarmed at drop-offs in “diversity” in institutions of higher learning, start to help black children become truly competitive for selective schools. What happened after California ended legalized racial preferences in 1995 is a case in point. Programs exploded throughout the state to prepare minorities to be competitive and to eliminate their financial barriers to college.

Eliminating affirmative action will also help dispel black college students’ resentment-tinged anxiety that their white classmates dismiss them as affirmative action picks. It will promote richer interracial contact among students poised to become the nation’s leaders. The tacit understanding is that white students somehow ought not suspect that blacks got in under the door—but this is a hopelessly unrealistic fiction, given that in 28 selective schools in 1989 less than one in four white students with SAT scores in the 1250-99 bracket was admitted, while three out of four black ones with the same scores got in, as The Shape of the River reports. The black student who can confidently claim to be on campus for the exact same reasons that white and Asian students are there is less likely to embrace the myth, which many black college students cherish, that whites are all covert racists.

McWhorter believes that the time is ripe for such changes. People often ask him how black people have received Losing the Race, expecting him to describe a fearsome litany of invective and condemnation. Sure, he’s gotten some of that—one letter or e-mail a week, perhaps, along with the predictable tirades on black radio call—in shows. Doubtless plenty of blacks who don’t call in or write him also find the book repulsive. But almost all the letters and messages he’s received from African-Americans from all walks of life all over the country have been positive. At last count he heard from over 2,000 blacks, most telling him that his book says things they have long despaired of hearing from our so-called civil rights leaders. Black college students wrote him, telling him that his book helped them understand the internal, cultural factors working against achievement. Older blacks write, agreeing with him that there was a crucial and damaging change in black ideology in the mid-1960s. McWhorter even received three laudatory letters from black prisoners, all recounting how they subscribed to the party-faithful line in their youth but have rejected it since. McWhorter has also taken relatively little abuse on the radio shows: as one black man said to him calling into one of them, “Man, black people aren’t yelling at you because they think you’re wrong; they’re just mad that you’re saying it where white people can hear you.” So McWhorter’s views are really not so out of step.

Perhaps 20 years from now mainstream black thought will join McWhorter and other black leaders in stressing individual initiative and integration. And perhaps the national media will get on the bandwagon too. Today, when McWhorter is interviewed on TV or in the paper, a disparaging comment from some black leftist inevitably is part of the story, though when a Derrick Bell or a June Jordan is interviewed, never do reporters feel the need to bring in Shelby Steele or Walter Williams for their “alternative viewpoint.” Let’s hope that in 2029, the networks won’t feel that any talk of black personal responsibility needs to be balanced by victimology from some fading anachronism like Ishmael Reed, Roland Martins, Michael Eric Dyson’s or Maxine Waters of the world. That’s when we will know that we are past the coded fraud that passes for interracial discourse today and have made the kind of progress that yesterday’s civil rights’ leaders would recognize and applaud.

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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