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  • kennardhwright

Get Off Your Duff

Originally published on Blogger 1/24/13

I was chatting with a friend right before Martin Luther King Day and they asked if I was going to march. I told them that I had marched in the past but I couldn't march because I hurt my ankle the day before. We talked a little more about the march and what it stood for in the black community.


I went on to say that it was great people marched on that day, but that it was a shame so few of them were willing to show up to do the things needed to empower our community. Now my friend immediately pointed out that I was generalizing, which I was, but yet and still I believed I was right. To me far too many people in our community will show up on MLK Day, Mardi Gras, Juneteenth, etc and this should is laudable.


But when it comes time to build the institutions that service our communities, hold organizations accountable to keep our interests in mind, or even just showing up for the parent-teacher conference at our kids’ schools we fail miserably. Now I am not saying that we don't care but we currently lack the effort needed to empower our communities. Like most Americans we get complacent and think we can't make a difference, that we don't have time, that someone else will do it, and some of us really don't care about anyone we aren't related to and therefore stand by idly because of that.


There was a time in our history, not long ago, when we realized that each of us needed to do something for their block (community). This helped us maintain a cohesive community, instill values and work ethic in our kids, and in time fight for civil rights. We understood that someone needed to be down at the school board meeting, that we all needed to do something to engender a sense of empowerment in our youth and instill hope in the hearts of the community.


Oftentimes we wind up on the short end of the stick politically and economically because we are not proactive. We lack long term planning as it pertains to political and economic empowerment and are left at the mercy of outside forces because of our lacking of planning. If our kids are mistreated in school then we need to be down at the school board meeting, if our needs our not met down at city hall we need to gather together a few thousand votes and vote the bums out. This is how the so many groups and powerful individuals did things: they planned and executed those plans. We need not hesitate to plan and then slowly but surely carry out the plan. Its like the adage that goes, "When you fail to plan you plan to fail."


There is too much at stack to continue to be lasidasical and plum lazy. We must plan and act with decisiveness if we are to leave a lasting legacy to our kids. Maybe everyone can't commit to being active but if we rely on the same few people to plan and carry out the work then we are doomed to a community that never rises up to the innate greatness we have as a people. Please people....act, because our future is at stake here. Rise up and push forward or we will not only fall back but be left by the wayside while others decided the fate or our children.

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