Ok, so now everybody’s back from the inauguration, mentally and physically.
The euphoria lingers like a hint of exquisite perfume, but, alas, soon – very soon – it will be gone. And in its wake comes the terrible reality of our time: that failure to act on President Barack Obama’s call for togetherness and selfless sacrifice could destroy America. There is absolutely nothing complex about it.
Some conservatives, doubters and other malcontents would rather seize this moment in American and world history to sow the seeds of discontent and discord because change uproots comfort, unearned advantage and ideology: Loud and clear for all to hear is the un-American wail for President Barack H. Obama to fail.
Just imagine for a moment what manner of outcry and retribution would have been served up for Rev. Al Sharpton or Minister Louis Farrakhan had one of them uttered such an un-American statement about President Bush during his tenure.
The Patriot Act would have been used, passport seized, an arrest made and charges leveled through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Outcries would have come from the floor of both the U. S. Senate and the House of Representatives. And you know the national press would have been brutal.
A lot of bad stuff will always be out there to guard against, to challenge resolve. But as poet Carl Sandburg says in his book The People, Yes, “. . . a tough will counts. So does desire. So does a soft, rich wanting. Without rich wanting, nothing arrives.”
What is the limitation of the human spirit? It is that which is not known.
Remember President Obama’s inaugural address in which he said, “For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies.”
That’s our cue. So, hey, don’t just sit there. Do something! Together we can change inner-city neighborhoods; we can change America, too.
To our black middle-class, the so-called “black bourgeoisie,” understand that nobody thinks ill of your moving to a clean, safe and upscale environment with better schools, etc. It is your behavior as a “black Anglo-Saxon” that has to change.
The tool box of skills and expertise that you have developed are sorely needed in your former neighborhoods. Be a resource for change in the inner city – a change agent.
And if, initially, just a few inner-city residents would come forward, understanding that they, too, possess a tool box of skills and expertise that are invaluable for comprehensive social change, and take the lead in knocking on church doors that proliferate inner-city communities, that could mark a beginning; a coming together of preachers, inner-city residents and the black middle class.
Now you’re in phase two of pre-planning, “organizing from the bottom up,” while in the first phase of strategizing a comprehensive development plan. Bringing more people and resources in is an ongoing aspect of the bottom-up organizing tact. Through sharing, everybody, irrespective of educational, cultural/religious and economic status, must be on the same page.
Leadership will come, to quote from the prologue of Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, “like an Easter chick breaking from its shell.” Politicos, “poverticians’’ and pimps can easily be transformed by the bottom-up organizing model to play important positive roles in community development.
And now it is time to create a critical path analysis to develop and chart tasks, as well as the activities necessary to fulfill each task, time frames, personnel or people needed, and other necessary resources. Various entities can be created through the overall development plan, grants and other outside resources garnered, and the social atmosphere irrevocably changed through selfless sacrifice and working together.
In his inaugural address, President Obama said, “What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility.” Obama also said, “. . . there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.”