home arrow OPINIONS arrow Black people want positive action now

AP Political Videos

Login Form

Lost Password?
No account yet? Register
Black people want positive action now PDF Print E-mail
Written by Al Calloway   
Saturday, 08 December 2012

al calloway.jpgIt is important that serious attention be focused on what those who ostensibly speak for us are doing. Without a finely honed accountability factor, political development of the people and control by the people is not possible.

We must be ever mindful of what the great Martinique-born black psychiatrist and revolutionary Frantz Fanon wrote: “Some of the oppressed don’t want to destroy their enemies, they want to be them.” Fanon wrote passionately on the psychopathology of colonization most famously in his renowned book The Wretched of the Earth. Fanon is known worldwide as “the leading anti-colonial thinker of the 20th century.”

A few years ago, David Bositis of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, a black think tank in Washington, D.C., published a report that said there are some 10,000 black elected officials in the U.S. Today we can say that those elected officials range from school board members to a governor but does not include a member of the U. S. Senate.

Real power

I pound away consistently at the anomaly of that vast power’s uselessness because, like the proliferation of black churches, particularly within our inner cities, political and religious leaders have developed no holistic game plan, no synergy by and through which real power of the people can be realized.


Unfortunately, so many have gotten in positions of relative power and developed on it by coalescing with the very interests that are anathema to black people. As Fanon says, even though they are themselves oppressed, too many black leaders do not align with their constituents in the struggle to be liberated but, instead, covertly and overtly imitate the oppressor.

During President Barack Obama’s long and arduous re-election campaign, the relative silence of our nation’s black leadership was often astonishing. Only when down to the wire, in crisis mode, did significant numbers of leaders jump in front “to lead” a people’s response to voter-suppression laws.

This tendency to be single-issue-orientated and crisis-motivated does not bode well for community development. It does, however, provide impetus for grandstanding and other forms of individual political promotion. For once the crisis is over, now that voter-suppression laws did not significantly depress the black and Latino vote, high-profile black leaders are jockeying to meet with President Obama on their assessment of “the black agenda.”

But have you heard tell of any black leader or group of black leaders ever meeting with constituents about an agenda? Do you know what the Congressional Black Caucus does? Do you think it is a good idea for all the civil rights organizations to meet in one big convention and map out a national political and economic community development strategy?

Oops! No, civil rights groups can’t convene together because their individual annual conventions are primarily fundraising events. A large part of their annual budgets come from corporate and foundation interests whose primary agenda with black people is the politics of containment.    

So the question is: How are black people going to get positive action from black leaders? The people will have to flip the dynamics to do so. Persons in positions where they negotiate on behalf of a constituency must become trained to understand that they serve, not lead. Accountability is to the people and the people are the leaders.

How does that happen? One of the smartest persons in the history of politics, President Barack H. Obama, told us how.


When your block is organized and the blocks of your neighborhood are organized, then your neighborhood has the power to induce positive social change. Replication throughout a city and so forth increases people power. It is not complex but it does take work.

The needed talent is within the people and their development potential has no ceiling.

The people can open church doors and call for ecumenical gatherings for strengthening individuals and communities.  Do not be misled. We the people are the leaders!

Al Calloway is a longtime journalist who began his career with the Atlanta Inquirer during the early 1960s civil rights struggle. He may be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it




Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
This content has been locked. You can no longer post any comments.

Last Updated ( Saturday, 08 December 2012 )
< Prev   Next >
Microsoft reveals Siri-like Windows Phone featureMicrosoft reveals Siri-like Windows Phone feature
NEW YORK — Microsoft unveiled a new virtual assistant for Windows Phone devices last Wednesday as it seeks to gain tra...
Google Glass, good for cooking, needs InternetGoogle Glass, good for cooking, needs Internet
NEW YORK — Google Glass is like a fickle friend. Surprises await, such as the time it took a photo of my ceiling while...
FTC says operators of jerk.com deceived consumersFTC says operators of jerk.com deceived consumers
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Trade Commission says the operators of a website called Jerk.com are the ones behaving badl...
‘Rio 2’ dazzling but overloaded ‘Rio 2’ dazzling but overloaded
A vivid and delightful animated spectacle, Rio 2 is chock-full of colorful 3-D wonder and jubilant musical numbers set ...

News Article Comments

NRA-backed ‘warning-shot’ law on Scott’s desk
The proposed law changes deal with threatening to use deadly force, warning shots are the use of deadly force. The changes will actually water down the SYG law a bit like suggested by Taryvon Martin ...
Miami Gardens chief from North Miami
Congratulations and welcome to the City of Miami Gardens!
Doctors say prepare kids for summer camp
As a camp Director of Swift Nature Camp , I understand and see all the benefits of camp each and every summer. However, it is important to pick the right camp, especially in Fla. At this time they a...
Minority Groups defend Florida's Gay marriage ban
The kettle once called the pan black, the ignorance and arrogance of this group is mind blowing
National Civil Rights Museum reopens at site of King shooting
So happy to see this important museum reopen. Let's hope the politics stay out of the way of success.
Minority Groups defend Florida's Gay marriage ban
Can these groups not see the foolishness of their stance? Ignorance is not always bliss when you're so concerned with what other humans lives. Don't like gay marriage? Don't get gay married. DuH!
Workers to mark MLK assassination anniversary with rally
We cannot forget this important anniversary. Dr. King was murdered partly because of this strike.
Washington Park in need of improvement: OIC offering assistance
thanks for sharing this buon gi bay gio | may tinh de ban | tri ho |
Broward mayor’s success a tribute to late father
What a Great story! I stopped reading the article to say, "This is news that is Current, Local, about Living Legends and their descendants contributing to the African Diaspora. Keep Telling The Stor...
Minority Groups defend Florida's Gay marriage ban
Oh the shear hypocrisy of Blacks and Hispanics not supporting equal rights for all. We should be ashamed for using the same techniques used on us to deny rights to others which are guaranteed by the c...
Mall project a big break for 2 women
Congratulations are in Order! You BOTH Work Hard and Smart, and know how to have Fun while doing it. Your Intelligence and Hearts of Gold Will Pay off....GOD'S ABUNDANT BLESSINGS
Mall project a big break for 2 women
Your enthusiasm, drive and insight is truly inspiring. I wish you bot! many years of great achievements! Keep up the great work!
Mall project a big break for 2 women
What an awesome job ladies! This is the type is professionalism and success that motivates me and my business venture. I'm truly proud of you both. Keep up the fantastic work!
Broward mayor’s success a tribute to late father
Good story, anyone should be applauded for turning around their situation. But sometimes people don't act like they know where they came from and have not done anything for their community except to a...
Mall project a big break for 2 women
Congrats Ladies! Job well done!
Mall project a big break for 2 women
Congratulations Ann Marie!!! I'm so proud of you!!! Way to go! Keep your passion, and God will do the rest! Love you!
Mall project a big break for 2 women
I am so proud of both of you ladies! What a great example and a great job! I am most proud of Ann for defying the stereotypes and proving awesome things do come from the muck! Much continued success!
Miami Gardens: Don’t cut us out
If I were Ross I would move the team and dump the stadium. It is obvious Miami Gardens no longer appreciates what the Dolphins bring to the area but rather collect that guaranteed check. Great example...
Clinton says she's still considering future plans
Mushtaq Dean In this interview session, a woman showed her desire that Hillary should try to win the highest position and represent female population. She was single in her physical appearance but was...
The young are trapped by obsession with wealth
This is a well-conceived and well-written article and does, indeed, express my observations as well as my sentiments. In July, I will be on a panel at The Futurist Conference in Orlando discussing the...

The most influential African American weekly newspaper in South Florida

Beatty Media LLC