It's the community economy stupid!

Bill Curtis | 1/31/2014, 6 a.m.
In his commentary entitled, ‘If I Dated Black Girls”, Mr. George E. Curry, NNPA columnist, examines the comment a young ...

In his commentary entitled, ‘If I Dated Black Girls”, Mr. George E. Curry, NNPA columnist, examines the comment a young white male made of his niece, Rachel: “If I dated Black girls– I tell Rachel this all the time– she would be on the top of my list.” Mr. Curry’s point, rightly so, is that the young man assumed that a black girl would want to date him, but his larger point is that in about 30 years the nation will have no “majority” race and that “all racial and ethnic groups will need to learn to step outside their comfort zone to interact as equals with those who don’t’ look like them.”

Mr. Curry quotes Dr. Martin Luther King’s much quoted 1963 “I Have a Dream” line: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will no longer be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” Five years later, Dr. King was shot dead in 1968. The five year evolution of Dr. King’s thought in 1963 to 1968 is about as dynamic as the fledgling understanding of a 13-year-old compared to the just beginning to connect-the-dots-understanding of an 18-year-old.

Imagine Dr. King back today. Would he be concerned about a young white boy dating his daughter? Give speeches about it? Write newspaper columns about it? I do not think so. I think he would look around at the condition of his people much the way Jesus, in days of lore, looked at the ATMs in the temple. Dr. King would see that in the U.S. a type of social integration had evolved, laws had been passed and the historic barbaric behavior of the western world had been beaten back to a civilized cordiality. I think he would conclude, rightly so, that social integration without a community in control of its economic resources is economic slavery. Dr. King would say, ‘It’s the community economy, stupid! It’s about organizing the expertise, education and billions of dollars in the black community to fund and finance solutions to the problems crippling our people trapped in the basement of America’s social ills.’ I think that Dr. King would aggressively take on the sticky psychological vestiges of slavery in our current day behavior.

Dr. King would moan in anguish that black communities in urban centers had lost control of its small business infrastructure, its internal compass of dignity and self-respect and its sacred use of music to convey messages that uplift the human spirit to exalted action to bring good to the world. The wholesale surrender to the value systems and illogical morals of the former overt oppressive society would cause Dr. King to weep.

A young white boy dating a young black girl is not the issue. The issue is black “leadership” getting on the same page, or at least in the same chapter of the same book of solutions, to do something to improve the lot of black people trapped in bad health, warped values and weak skills to compete in the western world. The issue is can black “leadership” construct economic systems to deliver opportunity, training and modern day skills so that our youth can articulate their ideas in a complete sentence, master the western world and put the prison system out of business. I do not think that Dr. King would spend time on what one white boy “thinks” about his daughter. However, he might notice that local black political power has stumbled or given up on figuring out how to create policies to help improve the training and skills and elevate the values of black people to take their rightful place in the human family.