Part I – Is The African American Community The Victim Of Failed Leadership?

I can see it now, the Reverends Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton are outraged that someone has the nerve to call them inept. Ezine Articles might not even publish this article because they might be concerned about backlash from various publics, civil rights advocates and the far left liberal wing of the Democratic Party. If we can criticize our Presidents and our national leaders, surely we can examine the track record of those individuals that have been identified by media sources and our political parties as leaders in various communities without being fearful of reprisals or being labeled a racist.

Before we can begin to understand how African-American leaders have failed their people, it will be necessary to define what is meant by lead, to which people I am referring and to what goal or goals they should have been led toward. Lead means to show the way, by going along with or in front of or to guide. From this definition, we can deduce that a leader is someone, who has taken the responsibility to show people the way or guide.

Whether this person has been selected, elected by a democratic process or has simply stepped forward is not the purpose of this article. The purpose of this article is to examine the track record of those individuals who are always claiming to be African-American leaders. The people to which I am referring are the descendents of African peoples and their progeny currently living in the United States of America.

Before we can begin to understand the tragic results of this inept leadership, we must understand what is a leader’s purpose and function. Once these attributes are clearly defined, we must then ask ourselves what do we want to be led away from or toward? Leadership by it’s very nature must be in some direction or toward the accomplishment of some thing or purpose.

That some thing followers are being led toward must be clearly defined and simply stated because this becomes the goal to be reached, the objective to be accomplished or the destination to arrive at. Once the goal has been defined and stated, the leader must then decide on a plan of action or set a course or direction that will reach the goal, accomplish the desired objective or get his/her followers to their destination.

Now that we understand the nature of leadership, we can ask ourselves some questions: Where has the African-American present group of leaders taken them? What have they really accomplished?…and if they have not accomplished anything, we need to know why? What has been the result of this leadership? What standard/s can we measure them by? And…how can more effective leaders be selected if the ones currently at the helm have failed? For the sake of this discussion we will limit our examination of the record from the 1960s up to now.

Since the “Civil Rights Movement” of the 1960s, the socio-economic condition of the African-American community has gone in reverse. What little gains their “so called” leaders keep referring to are relatively insignificant in nature when compared to the whole. As an ethnic group, African-Americans are steadily losing ground. Yet, their leaders keep telling them, they need more government programs, “do nothing” politicians and to return to the church to resume their quest for heavenly deification instead of earthly realization.

The message seems to be pray, instead of plan, be sanctified instead of satisfied, be thankful for programs instead of profits and accept pacification for self actualization. With this kind of intellectual guidance, it is no wonder…so many African-Americans end up in America’s prison system rather than the educational system. It is no wonder that so many are fearful of going into and making their mark in the sciences and would rather pursue careers in professional entertainment and the liberal arts.

Where Has This Current Group of Leaders Taken Their People?

It is evident from the results of this short sighted and ill-conceived leadership strategy, if you can call it that, has caused the entire social, economic and psychological fabric of the African-American community to be strained almost beyond repair. By far, leadership in the African-American community is composed of ministers and people from educational institutions. For the most part, these people seem isolated, desensitized and programmed for inefficiency.

Not since Napoleon’s France, Pol Pot’s Cambodia, Hitler’s Germany, Stalin’s Soviet Union, Mussolini’s Italy, Hussein’s Iraq, Kim Jong-il’s North Korea, Mao Zedong’s China, Idi Amin Dada’s Uganda and Papa Doc’s Haiti has a people been so thoroughly deceived, misinformed and misled. Such closed mindedness, apathy and ignorance by any rational group of people in America is unprecedented. Perhaps it would be better to let the facts speak for themselves. Since Civil Rights….

1. The African-American divorce rate has increased at an alarming rate. More educated African-Americans are single, separated or divorced than ever before in their history. The destruction of the family unit is the only logical result of this course of action. Ghettorized, uneducated and miseducated African-Americans are no better off than their educated counterparts. African-American men..for the most part are still blaming the “White Man”, instead of themselves for their own lack of creative vision.

2. The unemployment rate has nearly tripled and still climbing. How do African-American leaders address this problem?…by calling for more ineffective government programs instead of developing workable plans.

3. More African-American teenagers are misfits, drug addicts and alienated than ever before and the outlook for the future is even worse.

4. More African-American families live in poverty, than ever before.

5. The African-American middle class is rapidly decreasing in size and may become economically extinct after current members die out. A large poorly educated lower class is being formed; from which…few new leaders will emerge. It is ironic that this is the group that fought the hardest for Civil Rights, rather than their Constitutional Rights.

6. Once thriving African-American colleges and universities might collapse if they do not receive massive infusions of state and federal aid.

7. The “Median Net Worth” of the average African-American family is at an all time low compared to “Whites” and other major ethnic groups.

8. The congregations of 99% of African-American churches are sinking deeper into religious mysticism, economic ignorance, social deterioration and increasing poverty. Yet, most of the ministers and preachers that lead these congregations live quite well.

9. The African-American intelligentsia seems more concerned with symbolic wealth, materialism and social status rather than the social and economic development of their neighborhoods and communities. They…for the most part…administer the government programs to their own people and have the unabashed audacity to call themselves the African-American middle class.

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