By the end of the twentieth century, racial separation in America was still a fact, and in some areas, there was even more separation, especially in the North, than there had been twenty, thirty, or even forty years earlier. The rules had changed somewhat, primarily because legal Roadblocks had been totally removed; however, the climate had not changed.
Integration had failed, young blacks argued, and it had failed because white America had assumed that in admitting blacks to the mainstream of American life, they had bestowed upon them an undeserved gift.
Increasingly, more and more thoughtful and more aggressive blacks began to rediscover and embrace a philosophy of black consciousness. That discovery was a powerful stimulus of which black power was only a small part; even as the attempt was being made to link economic and political organizations.
What black consciousness meant, they reasoned, was a rejection of those values which could be defined as white; and the adoption of human values, as interpreted through the “black experience.”
Through black consciousness, it was argued, black people could affirm their own worthiness in the only way any people ever can; through pride in their own history, belief in their own humanity, and respect for their own values.
In effect, black consciousness was a concept through which black people could reassess history from their own perspective; define beauty in terms which used black as a standard; define culture in relation to the livingexperience of black people; and interpret the accomplishments of theAmerican society in light of the society’s approach to the problems of the black minority.
The black mood, which had made the cities explosive in the mid-1960’s, could be analyzed in light of the stumbling shift from the goal of integration, toward that of black consciousness. What that meant was, prior to black consciousness, many blacks attempted to smother their black characteristics with white attributes; as one might expect, it did not work (some blacks are still attempting that gambit).
What happened was, in the reach toward integration, many blacks had sought to minimize their natural racial characteristics and had strained toward sameness with whites. The white man made fun of the black man’s nappy hair; so he developed a process of straightening it to eliminate the hair hang-up.
The white man made fun of the black man’s thick lips, so the black man grew a mustache to eliminate the source of what he viewed as an embarrassment.
The black man did everything he could to assimilate into the white world around him. He tried to develop white attitudes, to think white and look white, so he would be acceptable to white America as an equal.94
When they found the change to be someone other than who they really are did not work, many black Americans then tried to be African, or like Africans (some blacks are still attempting that one too).
The problem is, those tactics are in conflict with “Mother nature,” and as we all know, “it doesn’t pay to fool with ‘Mother Nature.'” Therefore the gambit had been unrealistic and had proven unworkable, as does virtually all unnatural occurrences.
What the new mood represented was a renunciation of white attitudes. On the one hand, many blacks were of the impression that if blacks did it in the past, or if Africans did it, then to show that they were truly black they should do the same things in the present.
Many black spokesmen claimed that what the black mood represented, in effect, was a final loss of faith in, and patience with, the pretensions of white America. In other words, white America could forget about blacks believing they were sincere about them wanting to give blacks their just due.
However, many of us maintain, that is part of the problem: in the main, white America doesn’t have any pretensions about what is due us blacks. Not only that, generally, white America does indeed think blacks are more violent (as Malcolm X commented, “We have learned their lessons well.”), and many of them, maybe unconsciously believe they are superior to blacks; however, most white Americans do not believe they are superior to blacks, which is what would necessarily have to be the case if they were in a position to give blacks their “just due.”
Yet many blacks continue the verbiage. “Whites (The Man) won’t give it up,” they say, “Whites don’t play that…” “Whites won’t do this…” and “Whites won’t do that.” In effect, should we take that thinking to its logical conclusion, a vast number of blacks believe we are inferior to whites.
That’s right, it was true then and it is true now: a vast majority of blacks in America, especially those who reside among the middle to lower economic strata, think whites are superior to them: they believe if whites don’t give it up, blacks can’t get any. This belief is due to their limited and narrow view of their own community and environment, plus the endorsement of that belief by their power-hungry self-proclaimed spokesmen.
And where are our so-called “black leaders?” They are pushing the whites-won’t-give-it-up-so-we-can’t-get-any routine to the limit.
It is true that whites own the majority of stock in this country, yet they do not own the source of power and prestige represented by that stock. Simply stated, it is production, achievement, excellence, positive attitude, courage, respect….
I certainly don’t wish to be redundant, nor do I wish to be condescending to you, the reader; however, I’m going to say it again: “a vast majority of blacks in the middle to lower economic strata believe that whites are superior to them,” and everything they do, and everything they say is predicated on that belief. Those of us who know better, yet keep our mouths shut, are guilty of aiding and abetting the maintenance of that belief, as well as the evils it manifests.
I’ve said it before, and because I think there are a great many of us who need to hear it over and over again, I’ll say it again: “There is no superior or inferior race, there are simply differences!”
The white man can’t give blacks freedom or liberty, because it is not his to give; yet, it is ours to capture.
The white man can’t give blacks the will to succeed, or character, or integrity, or honesty, or any of the assets necessary to attain our rightful place among our fellow man. These things are not his to give; yet they are ours to capture. None of the intangibles are owned by anyone, yet they are there for everyone, all we need do is embrace them.
Meanwhile, many black leaders are using the inferiority concept to usurp power for themselves; however, regardless of the intent, the bottom line is that belief is keeping many, many black Americans submerged in mental and physical poverty. And where do they place the cause of this poverty stricken problem? Everywhere except where it belongs, at the feet of the so-called victim.
Those leaders scream for the need for “black power;” at the same time, they scream for “freebies” for “their people.” They proclaim that such things as welfare, unemployment compensation, social security, and other “freebies” is the answer to our problems. The fact is, “freebies” exacerbate the problems. And don’t for a minute think they are merely the black man’s problems; on the contrary, the problems touch each and every one of us, black and non-black alike.
Malcolm X believed the above, 95that’s why he supported the idea of black Americans doing as other ethnic groups continue to do; that is, to do whatever it takes to build up their ability to do for themselves and become independent, not dependent on the government or anyone/anything else.
Meanwhile, the generosity of Americans, and the very nature of our credo are causing much of the confusion in America today. We Americans are the most generous and caring people on earth, and many of us ask, “What’s wrong with welfare, after all, some people need a helping hand sometimes? And what’s wrong with unemployment compensation, social security, and things like that?”
Those are good and legitimate questions. The answer is really quite simple: there is nothing wrong with it … if it is voluntary, and beyond the tentacles of the government. The answer to that question would be beyond argument were it not for the conflicting view of the nature of government. As we pointed out, the difference is simply an answer to the question, “Is it the role of the government to provide the general welfare or promote it?”
In a welfare state, a communist society, or a state where socialism is the product of the government, there is no question that the answer is “provide.” Personally, the author finds no problem with that. However, we supposedly are not one of the above, with that in mind our answer to the question should be more toward promotion than provision. In fact, if we really intend to be the “land of the free,” with “liberty and justice for all,” our government would provide practically nothing while protecting and promoting opportunity for each citizen to pursue the happiness we are all seeking.
We need to keep in mind that in any society, the only wealth the government possesses is the wealth provided by the people. If the government provides some people with their welfare, then they must expropriate it from some other people — with or without their consent. To the extent that this occurs, one set of people might seem freer than another — in reality, they are both in bondage. Under such conditions it doesn’t take an intellectual marvel to determine who gets the short end of the stick, and it has nothing to do with income, intelligence, culture, race, or any of that. It is the producer that gets stuck.
It’s that man or woman that invents a product or service that helps make our lives easier and more enjoyable, on down to the laborer that simply works hard and wants to go home and be a “couch potato.”
So, what should we do? How can we attack the problem? That is another good and legitimate question and one well worth pursuing. The answer is to first simplify it to its most elemental level. To do that we must first and foremost take our feelings out of the picture because feelings always tend to muddy our focus.
A major part of the solution to these problems is buried in the past. It might help if all America would understand that there are just a very few basic problems and they never go away. However, the past is good for two things: to savor precious feelings, and to provide a place from which to learn, so we can do better next time we face those same problems. Incidentally, those problems often have a different face; however, basically the same problems continue to re-cycle.
With the above in mind, we can logically recommend the next step: that we examine the past and identify similar problems. The problem is, you can bet your bottom dollar, the problem was not solved; however, one can also bet solutions were attempted. What that means is, each failure brings us closer to a concrete solution. The next step is to try a different path in detailing a solution.
Meanwhile, the master demagogues are attempting to disarm each of us so that their power base can be maintained with ease of manipulation. Many Americans, maybe even most, have already been disarmed ideologically, and they are so disoriented that they are taking the lead in the process of their own destruction, especially those Americans who will probably never read this book nor receive the message contained within the covers herein.
We said it before and we will say it again: we need to identify and attack the enemy. And who is he? He is the demagogue who is leading us down the river to ruin. He will lie, he will cheat, he will steal; he will do whatever it takes to acquire and/or maintain his power base. He or she, in and of themselves, is the enemy – I call him, the supervisor of Roadblocks to Progress.
What we do not need are demagogues. What we do need are real leaders: leaders who have a true sense of direction: leaders whose purpose and motives are honorable: leaders who have learned from the past and have a clear vision of the future. Leaders such as this can help all America understand exactly what our Declaration of Independence means when our Founding Fathers crafted the means of providing, “liberty and justice for all.”
Leadership such as this would not be too difficult for people whose purpose is honorable, who have no hidden motives, and who clearly demonstrate that there is nothing tricky about anything they are attempting to do. Such leaders would always be able to think and act in consistent terms.
If this were done, we would all know what America’s objectives are. We have already identified where that information can be obtained; I repeat, the six objectives are adequately stated in the preamble to the U.S. Constitution. We need to continually hammer this home to all Americans: we cannot afford to allow the use and misuse of words to bamboozle our neighbors or ourselves.
Just as a craftsman takes pride in his skill in producing superior work, it is certain that every person would think more favorably of our country and would be more interested in every detail of American life, were it pictured to him as part of sound and honorable objectives.
Every community in America has a number of official leaders and the people select them in local and national elections. A major part of their job is to keep those whom they represent informed, and to educate them on the principles of freedom and justice for all; apparently, those leaders don’t understand that fact. They obviously believe that their primary task is to get re-elected and maintain their power.
Today, the one outstanding thing our leaders in the U.S. Congress and parallel committees on the local level do not seem to understand, is that constitutional amendments and new laws do not guarantee individual freedoms; they only make various actions of people legal or illegal.
On second thought, maybe they do understand that fact, but maybe to remain in office and give the impression that they are performing for “their people” they think their primary task is to propose and vote on new laws. One creative thinker suggests that the U.S. Congress and all such legislative bodies should be temporarily prohibited from proposing new laws. The prohibition should last, he says, until all the present laws have been reviewed and categorized under the heading of one of the six objectives of the Constitution. In addition, he added, each law should be scrapped unless it can be detailed on one page.
That’s an interesting idea, but somewhat extreme. Or maybe not, in fact, one of our local crime fighters suggested that for every new law congress passes, we should demand that they eliminate two old laws – he calls it one of Chuck Klein’s laws. I like it! Like I said, it might be extreme; however, the idea just might be worth pursuing; however, let us not get sidetracked here.
The major problem is that our leaders, our politicians, the folks that are supposed to represent the views of their constituents, do not get re-elected by appealing to reason or facts. They get re-elected by appealing to emotions.
Meanwhile, without a consistent and firm ideological program, and leaders to direct and tender implementation of it, most Americans will continue to ask, “What’s wrong with this country today?”
The answer is the same now as it was during the founding of this great nation. It is not lack of racial harmony, it is not over-taxation, and it is not a matter of sexual orientation or preference. Each of the above listed problems, and many others, are consequences of a government (in our case, the people and those who represent us in our legislative assemblies) gone awry. The answer to the problems in our society today is resident in understanding the nature of government and its role in the lives of a free people.
As for the black problem, only when the great masses of black people; who, it is true, have been traditionally ostracized and degraded, have been regenerated through a consciousness that says, “I came, I saw, and I conquered,” will true equality and liberty be possible in America. In other words, at this stage of our existence, the black problem is primarily one of attitude. Who can change that, or help it? All of us can help it, but only the individual can change it. Nevertheless, it is truly an all-American problem. The solution is for all Americans, black and non-black alike, to cultivate our attitude toward each other as well as ourselves.
The first thing we need to do is eliminate self-imposed Roadblocks: the Roadblocks imposed by others don’t count unless we allow them to affect us.
The second key is that each of us needs to understand that our future depends on the person on the other side of the mirror. However, we must also understand, “we cannot be successful entirely through our own efforts. All of us, if we are to accomplish anything worthwhile, will do it largely through the help and cooperation of the people” around us.96
With this second key in mind, one need not travel far to understand that a measure of one’s success will be the degree to which we build up those around us. By seeking to build up others, one will automatically build up one’s self. Another caveat stemming from that method is one’s image and self-image will also improve… It’s guaranteed.
The third key is to cultivate the attitude of our mentor, who says, “I came, I saw, I conquered, and I will not be denied.” We must remember though: generally, we cannot be a big person until we have shown competence as a small one; in other words, we can’t expect to handle big responsibilities unless we have successfully handled small ones.
Though some observers may disagree, there is little doubt that legal Roadblocks of blacks, women, and the disabled, have been eliminated. However, perception Roadblocks and foundation Roadblocks remain a stumbling block for all America. That is an area that such things as often misapplied “diversity training” attempts to address.
The manner in which we Americans perceive ourselves is critical. If we are to exorcise the negative images of ourselves, and replace them with positive strength-laden images (these must be perceived deep down inside), then we need to start anew. We need to recognize that (I continue to repeat this so often because it is that important) Roadblocks exist only if we allow them to capture our insides. If we avoid that problem, we can transform the cognitive process of winning, and subsequent success, into the performance of a winner.
Many of us continue to ask, “…but what about changing conditions, sometimes things happen and people just cannot help themselves… you know?”
There is no doubt, things happen; however, we said it before and we will say it again, the same things happen to all of us. One thing we might keep in mind: it is not what happens, it is what we do about what happens that makes the difference. Also keep in mind, there are two kinds of people: those who make things happen for themselves and those who allow thing to happen to them. There are two kinds of people: those who have and those who have not. There are two kinds of people: those who are positive and those who are negative.
The difference between the winner and loser in each of the people above is attitude: the mental process that determines one’s behavior.
The point is, determined people make conditions, they do not allow themselves to become victims of them. Enough said about that.
Many black Americans believe they must be the catalyst in determining the manner in which others perceive us (count me in on that one; however, of greater importance is the core of how we perceive ourselves). We also believe the importance of family togetherness as a means of gaining strength and security from within (both mentally and physically) needs to be emphasized and perpetuated.
In addition, for the sake of a morally, emotionally, and physically healthy nation, we need to get out of the business of demanding that others do things for us, and insist on demanding that we perform with the strength and assertiveness that is ours to command. Then we wouldn’t have to demand that the government get out of the business of subsidizing irresponsibility because that monkey would not be a factor in our existence.
Nearly everyone agrees that something needs to be done to highlight the importance of “liberty and justice for all”; however, most of us have no concrete ideas of what needs to be done. All of us should be aware of the fact that financial concerns will usually enter the picture at some juncture; yet, it has been proven over and over again, that dollars alone is not the answer.
A great many people will disagree, not only about what has to be done, but also about what has to be remedied; nevertheless, it is obvious that what we have been doing is not working; therefore common sense would dictate that we need to try something different. Many of us believe that Frederick Douglass had the answer when he addressed the question of what was to be done with the freed slaves after the Civil war.
Poor people in general all fit the class where the object of the question appears to be “What is to be done with (them)” (For more comments on this subject see chapter seven titled, “A New Beginning”).
Frederick Douglass, if you will recall, was a black man. That doesn’t make him right or wrong, but it is interesting to note his complexion when we listen to the words he used. We repeat them here because the concept of “liberty and justice for all” is an integral part of his ideas:
“Do nothing with them,” he said, “but leave them like you have left other men, to do with and for themselves. We ask nothing at the hands of the American people but simple justice and an equal chance to live; and if we cannot live and flourish on such terms, our case should be referred to the Author of our existence…”
So, justice is the first part. He structured the second part when he added, “Now in the name of common humanity, and according to the laws of the Living God, we simply ask the right to bear the responsibility for our own existence. Let us alone. Do nothing with us, for us, or by us as a particular class. We now simply ask to be allowed to do for ourselves.”
Those were powerful words. That was over one hundred years ago, and the answer is still the same. What is to be done with “them” (black as well as non-black America) has just two ingredients: justice and responsibility.
We can make it happen but it is not easy: it requires understanding of our people that freedom is not free; we must all pay a price. What is the price? The price is production, the price is service, the price is respect, responsibility and accountability. Once we accept the adage that there is no free lunch, then the power mongers will be practically impotent.
One observer commented, “…that’s the problem: love of power.” Another chimed in with the comment that “It’s not power that is the problem, it is the abuse of power.”
Still another observer commented, “abuse of power is only part of the problem, but it is not critical; it is money that is the problem, ‘love of money is the root of all evil.'”
Actually, power is neither good nor evil, and money is neither good nor evil; in addition, love attached to anything can only be good. It is the distortion of love, that is destructive of goodness: distortion leans toward evil.
But now I am wavering from our primary point; however, let me complete this thought: it is not power, and it is not money that is the root of evil. It is the desire to gain something to further one’s existence (to make life more enjoyable), without paying the price necessary to obtain the product of that desire. Many of us call it the “something-for-nothing syndrome.” That, my friend, is the root of all evil. Think about it…
Frederick Douglass was absolutely right, and just as Roadblocks are destructive of progress, justice is one of the building blocks of progress. Justice is uncompromising. What it says is, if one produces nothing, he gets nothing. In a free society, there is one exception: voluntary charity.
On the other side of the coin lies responsibility. Given the opportunity, a person must be charged with the responsibility of producing positive results. Positive results simply means the progression toward an agreed upon objective.
One of the objectives of our government, as stated in the U.S. Constitution, is to “promote the general welfare.” Contrary to general consensus, programs such as “welfare,” “unemployment compensation,” “social security,” and the like, do not promote the general welfare. Such programs are in conflict with the general welfare because what they promote is irresponsibility.
One of the obvious examples of such irresponsibility is the alarming number of teen pregnancies and out-of-wedlock births. Many concerned “leaders” are offering such absurd solutions as providing condoms to schools for distribution to our children. “But they are going to do it anyhow, at least we can prevent disease,” say many proponents of the misapplied condom theory. In effect they are supporting irresponsibility.
Many of us believe that just as injustice is in conflict with progress, so is irresponsibility. And unearned compensation is in conflict with progress because it also breeds irresponsibility. In addition, unearned compensation undermines the will to succeed, and if continued unchecked, that inborn positive asset (the will to succeed) will tend to atrophy.
Many of you might say the above is cold and heartless, and contend that those types of comments are not indicative of the American way. On the contrary, the foundation of men and women is such that we respond to challenge, we respond to need, we also respond to accountability, but most of all we respond to action. And all responses of any kind begin with mental activity. That mental activity is formatted by how we perceive the world around us.
There are few things that cannot be taken away from us, and all of them are intangible; that is, they are not necessarily acknowledged by the five senses.
What are some of those things? Knowledge, belief, faith, perception, attitude: certainly there are others; however, all of them involve mental activity. And to keep the mental process alive, or make it grow and increase in value, requires positive thought processes.
One thing we can be sure of is, “Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”97 Everything mankind has ever developed was first a thought in a person’s mind: the clearer the picture in his or her mind, the closer to transforming that image into material reality.
There is no doubt that the human body coupled with a positive mental attitude and persistent determination, is a wonderful instrument for transforming mental images into reality. However, mental images, positive attitudes, and all those other wonderful mind-things, are just so much rhetoric if not accompanied by positive action.
Achievers are positive people, be they black or non-black. That is one reason George Washington was effective: that’s the reason Abraham Lincoln was effective: that’s the reason Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., and Malcolm X were effective. None of them waited for anyone to hand them anything, they produced positive results because they thought in positive terms, and they produced positive action.
We have had a field day talking about what the experts, observers, and analysts think: their opinion, their analysis, and their observations. We have talked a great deal about the need for creative thinkers.
What excites many of us is that answers to the black problem, or the poverty problem can provide a rejuvenated nation, as well as a rejuvenated race of people. However, the answers must come from within each of us because we are becoming and will become what we think about most of the time; that is, if our actions are consistent with our thoughts.
One of the weaknesses, in our quest for answers to progress through racial harmony, is the perception that this is a black problem. It is a black problem to be sure, yet, it is also a national problem and it affects every American. Many of us believe the solution to the problem effects blacks to a greater degree because of our attitude about ourselves in general, and our attitude as related to others within this society. I agree with that assessment.
Someone once said, “Whenever someone gets something for nothing, someone else pays for it.” That statement leaves little room for argument; however, we need to take it a step further: whenever someone gets something for nothing; to maintain it, keep it, or to make it grow in value requires positive action.
One of the stumbling blocks in our pursuit of substantive progress is that it is not a quick fix, especially when it involves racial harmony, nor will it be painless. The other problem, and here is the major problem, is that our present demagogues will have to be replaced… now that can be a quick fix.
However, the demagogues acquired the power they presently possess because, for the most part, they cater to the interests of the masses by addressing the something-for-nothing syndrome.
In effect, they extol the virtue of the government leading the people to the “promised land,” and they add, “…no need to walk or take anything for sustenance or protection, we will drive you there and provide everything you need or desire once you arrive.” And how do the masses respond? They say, “Goody, goody, that’s heaven: that’s what we have been looking for.”
That’s not heaven, that’s garbage. There is no free ride, and there is no free lunch. That point must be driven home to all of us immediately.
One of the essential elements of a free society is that individuals are free to succeed to the extent of their effort and effectiveness. Another essential item, equally important is, in a free society individuals are also free to fail to the extent of their effort or lack thereof.
Also essential in a free society is the assurance that the government, a proper government, does only that which such a government is designed to do. That is, it protects its citizens’ rights from being infringed upon (by force). Now, here is the ruse: “Rights” must be properly defined and understood by all of us. Rights are very limited: we defined them earlier, and we repeat them here for ease of reference for the reader:
Rights are those actions, active or passive, which can be
performed independent of the will or action of anyone else.
Rights are independent and unconditional.
Here it is in other words:
A “Right” is not a right if it depends on someone else’s
action to make it happen.
Rights are not dependent or conditional, and they apply to individuals
only — lower animals do not acknowledge and have no concept of
rights; therefore they have rights only to the degree that we allow.
To illustrate the proper use of Rights, here are various examples:
“The Right to a job…”
There is no such thing, because someone else must provide the job.
“The Right to decent housing…”
There is no such thing because someone else must provide the
“The Right to a decent wage…”
There is no such thing because someone else must provide the job
and the wage.
“The Right to one’s life…”
No problem. That is something of which no one can be deprived.
Others can do things that might cause life to be threatened, but no one
can take another person’s life.
“The Right to happiness…”
There is no such thing. The basis of happiness differs among
individuals as much as individuals differ among each other. If it is
money, if it is love, of it is achievement, if it is anything that must be
provided by someone else, then there is no such thing when it comes
to having a Right to it.
“The Right to the pursuit of happiness…”
However, when we demand a job or decent housing: when we demand a decent wage or happiness, as a Right, we are asking for Roadblocks to be erected in the path of someone else. The paradox is, at one time or another every one of us will be that “someone else.” We need to keep in mind that all the goodies we seek will come to us automatically under the assault of positive attitudes reinforced by positive actions.
Negatives breed negatives. And one of the monstrous negatives is the give-away programs by the government. The so-called entitlement programs actually are a redistribution of wealth, of which production is the standard. The result is a Roadblock to progress because they send the message to the recipient that, “you are not as capable as the rest of us; therefore, we will give you a hand-out” (“As ye think, so shall ye become”).
The result is truly a slap in the face and a foot at the throat of both the giver and the receiver. As long as Americans accept the thinking that we must give, give, give (without a corresponding earn, earn, earn), to help those who are less fortunate than we; the masses of the recipients of the giving (whether actually less fortunate, or “less fortunate” by design) will increase.
In other words, governmental give-away programs (not to be confused with voluntary individual charity) are just as much Roadblocks to progress as is slavery, segregation, and immoral laws.
What makes our crusade, yours and mine, so difficult sometimes is that while we strive to defeat the “victim” and “handout” mentality, there truly are some folks among us who are NOT as capable as the rest of us, and DO need someone to do for them … maybe not a large number, but certainly some. We need to be forthright, and acknowledge that we are not opposed to handouts as long as they are voluntary and beyond the tentacles of the government — when it comes to government, there are no entitlements, except the opportunity to succeed or fail, plus protection of individual rights.
“Black is beautiful” was a phrase that emanated from the mouths of many wonderful people a few years ago and it is true, but so is white, and yellow and red, and all the other colors of the rainbow. However, the beauty lies within the person, be he black or non-black, male or female, short or tall, fat or thin. The outward manifestation of that beauty is also wonderful, but only if accompanied by the positive mental attitude inherent in the continuity of beauty.
More beautiful than an empty, though euphonious, phrase is individual production, and elimination of Roadblocks to progress.
That being said, the fact remains: we need to change our thinking from that of black consciousness and/or white consciousness, to that of American consciousness.
I repeat, Thomas Paine said it best when he said: 98
“We have no other national sovereignty than as United States…
Individuals, or individual states, may call themselves what they
please: but the world, and especially the world of enemies,
is not to be held in awe by the whistling of a name…
“Our union, well and wisely regulated and cemented, is the
cheapest way of being great; the easiest way of being powerful,
and the happiest invention in government which the
circumstances of America can admit of.
“(Our union of the United States) is the most sacred thing in the
constitution of America, and that which every man should be most
proud and tender of. Our citizenship in any particular State (group)
is only our local distinction. By the latter we are known at home
but the former to the world. Our great title is American.”
There is little doubt that in the future, interplanetary travel shall have been a normal occurrence (if we make it that far). When that time comes we will be able to say the same thing about ourselves; only then we will probably change the word “American” to “Earthling.”
Throughout this book, the Roadblocks to which we have referred are obviously not in our best interest. As we said before, they are truly ugly, they are rigid, they are regressive in nature, and more than that, they lead to frustration and either submission and/or violence: both are counter-productive.
One last thing about Roadblocks: the one’s to which we are referring are not always racial in nature. They are simply acts, deeds, philosophies, and concepts that impede progress.
In speaking of Roadblocks, we did not reference two people who affect our lives. First is the one who many of us believe might be the most dangerous person alive. He is the one who doesn’t really give a rip who or what is right or wrong, his primary goal is to maintain his lifestyle: “don’t make waves,” is his motto.
Why is he one of the most dangerous persons alive? Because there are so many of him. There are very few people that perform evil deeds: there are very few real bigots, there are very few real racists, there are very few criminals. There would be even fewer if those of us who observe evil deeds would stand up and be counted.
What do I mean when I say, “stand up and be counted?” I mean there is no neutral ground, all of us are either part of the problem or part of the solution. When we “straddle the fence” we are part of the problem. When we take a stand, even if we support the evil deed, we are part of the solution.
Who is this most dangerous person alive? He is the amoral person, the person that attempts to straddle the fence. He’s the one who says, “I know who did it, but I don’t want to get involved.” He’s the one who says, “I know what they did was wrong, but that’s their problem, not mine: don’t make waves and everything will be all right.”
Some might say, “He’s not really a bad person, he just doesn’t want to get involved, that way he won’t get hurt.” Does that make him bad? You’re damn right that makes him bad! He is positively not part of the solution, and he most definitely is part of the problem.
The other person is the amoral leader who uses the concept of Roadblocks by assumption (we referred to him when we talked about show business). He’s the one who says, “Our customers would never accept a black salesman; maybe next year!!” That’s called Roadblock to progress.
“Sure she has proven time and again that she is the best of them all, but the men would never accept her as their boss!!” That’s called Roadblock to progress.
“I thought you said he was a good prospect; you didn’t tell me he’s disabled. Be real!!” That’s called Roadblock to progress.
“I know we would be taking a chance, but we don’t have to worry too much, if you get pregnant you can go on welfare.” That’s called irresponsibility and a Roadblock to progress.
“So what if I get fired for lack of production or for not following directions. I’ll just collect unemployment compensation.” That’s called irresponsibility and a Roadblock to progress.
“Why should I save or invest for my future: Social Security will take care of me in my old age.” That’s called irresponsibility and a Roadblock to progress.
“I know she’s not qualified, but she is (a woman, a black, a disabled worker) and our numbers are not that good. Let’s go on and promote her.” That is counter-productive and a Roadblock to progress.
When we talk about Roadblocks we are not just talking about the black race, women, or the disabled. And we are not just talking about the young, the irresponsible, or the aged. We are talking about Roadblocks to progress of the human race. It is time we put an end to them.
And how do we do it? We need to change our attitude, that’s how. And it all starts in the mind. Consider the following verse: if you think it has merit, you might want to jot it down — maybe even commit it to memory:
“If you think you are beaten, you are,
If you think you dare not, you don’t.
“If you like to win, but think you can’t,
It is almost certain you won’t.
“If you think you’ll lose, you’re lost,
For out in the world we find,
Success begins with a person’s will —
It’s all in the state of mind.
“If you think you are outclassed, you are,
You’ve got to think high to rise,
You’ve got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win a prize.
“Life’s battles don’t always go
To the stronger or faster man,
But sooner or later the person who wins
Is the person who thinks he can!” 99
Delete the negatives, initiate the positives, and follow up with persistence. Once we do that, we will understand the Self-evident Truths uttered by our Founding Fathers: we will be well on the road to winning the Race To Excellence: and Roadblocks will come to