If you’re wondering why we always seem to be neglected, disrespected, rejected and objected to, don’t blame it on the alcohol. Blame it on the children. No, I’m not talking about infants and toddlers. You can blame our social status, our economic exploitation and our social degradation on our “grown” children.
Civil disturbances, social protests, boycotts, sit-ins, riots, melees and government confrontations in America and around the world, for the most part, have been instigated and carried out by young people.
From the first day the ancestors of African Americans were kidnapped, packed like sardines on slave ships and brought to American shores, it was the young African men and women who stood up, spoke out and attempted to fight the evils of slavery and the mistreatment of humans by other humans because of the color of their skin.
The Nat Turners and Denmark Veseys and Harriet Tubmans of colonial America were not old, worn-out senior citizens. They were young people who fought for their God-given rights.
On the continent of Africa, it was students who turned the tide in the fight against apartheid and African colonialism. When they decided to rebel, Nelson Mandela, Steve Biko and Patrice Lumumba and others were all African youths.
In the early days of the civil rights struggles, most of the marchers, most of the protesters and most of the black community activists were young people.
Most of the Freedom Riders weren’t community elders. Most of the people who sat in at lunch counters were not old nursing home residents and the more militant Students for a Democratic Society, the Weathermen, the Black Panthers and other groups were not members of the senior citizens center but they did work with the AARP – not the old folks group; the All African Revolutionary Party.
Sometimes the older preachers would mobilize the black community and then leave town while the younger activists stayed to organize black folk.
Martin Luther King Jr. was not old when he did what he did. Malcolm X was not old. Angela Davis was not old when she was active in the movement. Huey Newton, Rap Brown and others were not aged when they protested black exploitation and degradation.
Even Jesus Christ was young when he was throwing the biblical bankers out of the temples.
So, where are the young black brothers and sisters in 2013?
Well, they are at the mall, they are at the video arcade, they are at the strip club, they are at the dance hall, they are at the car show, they are at the hair show. Instead of going after equal rights and justice, they are going around chasing the cat and the snake, if you know what I mean.
Today, there are too many students who do not care and keep other students from getting their share. They sit and hope for the best, play cards, talk crap and flunk all their tests.
If today’s young people step up to the plate and continue the African-American economic, social and political struggles, the OGs – the older generation of black activists – will jump into the fray and help them.
Young people should be writing hard-hitting editorial columns, not old geezers like I’m about to be.
Young people should be taking over and running black community organizations like the SCLC, the NAACP, the Rainbow Coalition and the National Action Network and the old, tired Uncle Toms who did well in the past but are now merely puppets of the modern-day slave masters should step down or get totally out of the way.
We need younger, but smarter, black elected officials who will vote to support our causes, instead of rubber-stamping everything a campaign contributor or political party wants them to.
We need young black men and women to love their race, love their culture, love their community, love their institutions, love their ancestors and love themselves
Now is the time for young black people to be brave, bold and smart. It’s not alcohol’s fault that black progress is not what it should be.
Blame it on the children and their Uncle Tom, handkerchief-headed, boot-licking parents who tell them not to stand up and speak out.
Lucius Gantt, a political consultant based in Tallahassee, is author of the book Beast Too: Dead Man Writing which is available at Amazon.com. You can like The Gantt Report page on Facebook and contact Gantt at allworldconsultants.net