Saturday, July 31, 2010

A Message to the Tea Party and NAACP..Stop Fighting and GROW UP

By Akindele Akinyemi

I am getting requests both personal and in public about my official stance on the whole NAACP and tea party movement as it pertains to racism. I have sat by and listened to people debate these issues, people have called me up on the phone on both sides and gave their two cents and the likes. I am always open to learning and open to discourse as it pertains to the direction of our great nation.

I would like to say on record that I do not personally participate in tea parties and I am NOT a member of the NAACP. That does not mean I think both are ineffective. My personal focus is NOT on tea parties or the NAACP issues. My issues are rooted in educational quality, international business, and public policies in a silver rights context. We have to be solution oriented to create a better community.

However, I strongly feel that any tea party dealing with economics must discuss financial literacy from a silver rights framework. That means instead of rallies hold educational seminars on how to manage your credit, your stock portfolio or your 401(k). I am more interested in teaching our children how to tap into the FOREX market than hold a sign talking about “don’t tax me out of my piggy bank.” If you actually teach a child about HOW the tax system works to begin with we would not be dragging them to protest. Instead they would have a portfolio themselves.

I am NOT a member of the NAACP because I do not view the world in Black and White. Sadly, the organization as a whole has not been on anyone’s radar in years and anyone who is still fighting for civil rights in a 1960s context is out of touch with reality. The reason why we need a new silver rights movement in America.

As far as racism is concerned there are racists in both groups. That does not mean the ENTIRE group or network reflects a few simple weak minded people. Yes, I have seen the signs in the tea party where they call President Obama Hitler, Marxist and Socialist as well as other juvenile name calling. Hopefully for those who do not participate in the name calling you are putting those in check who are bringing the movement down with their elementary tactics.You do have some serious Americans who participate in these tea parties who are concerned about being taxed enough already. Are they racist because they have a right to protest? You cannot lump an entire group into a racial category. That is dishonest. However, it’s also dishonest to compare the tea party of 1776 to the tea party of 2010. No comparison. And if you want to really take back the country then please start with quality education because without it we are simply going on emotions, conspiracy theories and fear.

The same goes for the NAACP. This organization was founded in 1909. After 100 years and civil rights Black people in this country are still working to break the color barrier. While the NAACP has programs such as ACT-SO I have become concerned over the years about how slow the organization is moving into the 21st century. Even with the leadership of Roslyn M. Brock and Ben Jealous they are still being controlled by the 64 member Board of Directors who most of them think from a early 20th century approach to race relations.

But what I am finding out fast about both groups is that neither group has sat down and DISCUSSED with each other how to move America forward. It is more name calling and silly resolutions being passed as opposed to sitting down at the table to hash out the differences and promote a resolution TOGETHER that we do not end up with another race crisis in our community.

To make matters worse BOTH pundits on both sides are in a firefight with each other. Black liberals fighting Black tea party participants and what is the end result? Nothing. Our community is still broke, our urban infrastructure is non-existent, and our schools are failing another generation of children that could be the very key to help reinvent our urban communities. And thanks to the media they have fanned the flames even higher in hopes to get people into a race riot come August 28, 2010 in Washington D.C. when the Civil Rights establishment and the Glenn Beck establishment come together to dance. No one can see that this is being played out by the media and their so-called commentators.

Both the tea party and the NAACP must be in the business of empowerment not complaining. Pointing fingers at each other like children is disingenuous and counterproductive. Meanwhile, we have children who are functionally illiterate participating in tea party rallies with misspelled words on their signs. This is a poor reflection of the parents. And I am not stopping there. What has the NAACP done to address the adult illiteracy chaos in our own community that has trickled down into public police issues and voter illiteracy? It’s easy to condemn the racism in a mostly White group but we cannot condemn the victimization, the brutality, the domestic violence, the criminal element, the prison and tattoo culture, the light skinned vs dark skinned, good hair vs bad hair, blue collar vs white collar and the systematic failure of the Black church in our OWN community. And why did I mention the Black church in this context? Because the majority of the NAACP membership are comprised of the membership of the Black church. The NAACP, just like the tea patriots, will NOT get a free pass on this one.

Therefore, we have the BLACK CHURCH generating $11 billion annually in our OWN community and we have cities like Detroit with an 30% unemployment rate and when you add the underemployment statistics that number goes up to 50% and we do not hold our faith based and non-profit communities ACCOUNTABLE we have a problem. You cannot blame the private industry for NOT coming into Detroit because people are being taxed to death. Not to mention that the Detroit Branch of the NAACP are on board with Mayoral takeover of the Detroit Public Schools. Now why is that when they were the same ones back in 2004 opposing Proposal E to allow then Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick to take control of the schools? What changed? Everyone knows that Mayoral control of schools and keeping the elected school board are NOT the answer to school governance in Detroit.

We can continue to have sit down dinners at Cobo Hall in Downtown Detroit but at the end of the day we still have to solve problems one community at a time.

And bringing the tea party rally to a urban city like Detroit would NOT be the answer either. If you are going to rally then let’s rally on closing failing schools, stopping the HIV/AIDS epidemic, stopping breast cancer, fight poverty, promote free enterprise, and stop dealing with bumper sticker slogans and roll up our sleeves and get our hands muddy in transforming our community. Polices not POLITICS is going to be our ultimate goal. A tea party with a small number of Black conservatives in the urban community talking about what the Democratic party has done to our community in a city full of Democrats where you are clearly the minority is not the answer either.

We have a responsibility to help convert check cashing individuals into banking individuals, renters into home owners, doing business out of your basement into OWNING businesses on the block and moving people from the poverty rolls into the payrolls. No offense but a broke individual cannot teach me to be wealthy if we are both living from paycheck to paycheck. Someone in the tea party cannot teach me anything about taxes or economics if they have not paid their own income taxes or getting garnished by the IRS. And no one in the NAACP can teach me about failing public schools, redlining or foreclosure if you went to a private academy all your life, you are using your mother’s name for lower insurance outside Detroit or do not own property for anything to be foreclosed. And please do not talk to me about racism or what White people are doing when you are selling your OWN people up the river for a few pieces of silver.

Here is my advice to both movements. Please keep in mind that while you are fighting with each other calling each other racists and the likes that the economic game is global. The real stakeholders on the sidelines are watching you fight while they come into our community, buy up the houses, the land, the businesses, and eventually are pushing public policies that will benefit them. These would be your Asians, Arabs, Jews, Africans and Indians. They do not care about American politics, tea parties or the NAACP. What they care about is their 30-year generational vision for their children. I am NOT talking about the whole “our grandchildren are going to be broke ” like what I have heard in the tea party movement. I am talking about setting up corporations and international businesses for their OWN children. To me that is silver rights at work NOT civil rights.

I am pretty sure that MOST of us can agree that we need better smart policies to help us compete in a 21st century global environment. Please do not let distractions like this get in the way of progress. If the tea party is for you then participate. If the NAACP is for you then participate. Make the best out of both groups and do not let fringe elements ruin the movement for the both of you. Our vision for both groups is to help the poor and the overtaxed see each themselves differently. We can do this by exposing, educating, and inspire them to become great.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Akindele Akinyemi is an independent Republican who is the author of “Academic Revolution”, a series of essays dealing with the neeed for more specialized charter schools in urban communities. He has a B.S in African American Studies from Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Michigan and a M.A. in Education with an emphasis in Curriculum and Instruction.

1 comment:

Francois-Marie Arouet said...

Since the "tea party" is not an actual national organization like the NAACP with membership rolls, elected officers and a board of directors, it's a bit unfair of you to criticize those who attend rallies for not instead holding "educational seminars on how to manage your credit, your stock portfolio or your 401(k)." Tea parties are a local and regional expression of frustration with higher taxes and politicians passing laws that undermine God-given rights. Each tea party is organized by an autonomous local group inspired by the activities of other autonomous local groups. They are not part of a national organization and each tea party only exists for those few hours when people come out to a local park or gathering place, often with their children, to pledge allegiance to the flag, sing the national anthem and listen to inspirational speakers. That is the sole purpose of the tea party movement, to join together for a few hours with other like-minded people and celebrate being Americans. I'm baffled that you seem to think they should stop doing that and do something else instead.
As far as your statements about the children of tea party participants holding up misspelled signs that make them "functionally illiterate", I have attended five large tea parties in several states and never saw any evidence of such a thing. I'd be interested in seeing your proof of this. At four of the tea parties I attended, I saw children not holding signs, but rather participating in fun activities outside of the speaker areas such as learning how to write with a goose quill pen and sign a replica of the Declaration of Independence and coloring pictures of colonial-era patriots with crayons. It's hard to keep kids focused on speeches and holding up signs, and these fun activities teach them interesting things about American history. If they misspell something they write, hey they're kids!
It is time to stop thinking in terms of Black and White, in terms of the differences between Americans, and to realize that these differences are being manipulated by the ruling class to distract us from what they are doing and how they are raising taxes to pay for programs that have proven ineffective for more than a hundred years and ignoring both our God-given rights and our Constitution. It's time to realize that Race is a myth invented by tyrants to control the population. It's time to stop "celebrating diversity". If diversity is so terrific, why aren't the Balkans, the most racially and ethnically diverse area in the world, a Paradise?
Stop hyphenating your identity as African-American, Irish-American, Latino-American, etc and just be American. That will the source of real change!