Thursday, August 14, 2014

Published 9:30 AM by with 0 comment

Whose Got Next: What do we do after Michael Brown's death?

Who's Got Next: What do we do after Michael Brown's death? |  Yes, We Rise
CBS St. Louis

So...we are 3-4 days into the after-math of the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Missouri. In summary, an unarmed black male, Michael Brown, was killed by a white police officer and the entire city is in unrest.

I'm grieved for Michael and his family and my people. Everything that is dark and ugly about us as a community is once again being exposed by the bright lights of the media and the opportunistic grand-standing of "the appointed and anointed leaders of the black community".

As is the custom with every crisis in our community, we've arrived at the obligatory conversation about


I had the opportunity to share my perspective on the subject as part of a panel discussion on TVOne's NEWS ONE NOW with ROLAND MARTIN [Listen to podcast: How can we hold law enforcement accountable for police brutality/violence]. Neatly tucked between a GOP Strategist and a professional media person, I sat...trying to find the silver bullet answer to the question, "what do we do now?"

With everything in my being, I wanted to invoke an answer that would strike a unifying chord of agreement and have us all high-fiving each other across the desk for having found the keys to kingdom of answers and solutions. But alas, I couldn't help but think

"NOTHING..that's not what we do. We will talk about it and hypothesize and demand...and then we will all go back to our corners."

WHO WAS SURPRISED that Rev. Al and The All Preachers Band of Do Goods...had made their way to Ferguson? 

I would've been surprised if he hadn't....because, that's our Modus Operandi (our M.O.)...we look, make sure "somebody is there to attend to the issue" and then we turn around and get right back to work securing our own futures, fortifying our positions and really caring less about something going on half-way across the country...after all, we worked too hard and too long to get this far to let a little communal distraction interrupt our flow.

Who's Got Next: What do we do after Michael Brown's death? |  Yes, We Rise
Rev. Al, he's our guy...there was Martin...and Malcolm...and Jesse, but really, that's it...there's nobody really stepping up and claiming the crown. Begs the question, do we need a BLACK LEADER? I mean we do our part...we will march or sign a petition and if its "really close to home" we might even stroke a check...but that's it.

Yikes...Seems, as a community, we might have dropped a very big ball and missed out on the proverbial, progressive activism gene. Instead of kicking up dust and letting our voices be heard, we are more than perfectly content to LET SOMEONE ELSE DO IT...UNTIL it's our neighborhood...our cousin...our child.

The African-American community has a real problem...and it's not crime or's APATHY! 

Not enough people care enough about whats going on across the street, city or country to do anything. We allow the same few to OWN THE ISSUE and consider it handled and done. Rev. Al Sharpton et. al., no disrespect, don't have all the answers.

When are we going to get to the point where we begin to leverage our other assets? We have more black lawyers, analysts, policy-makers, PhD's, strategists, well as, cooks, janitors, bus-drivers, and mechanics. We cover every business or industry from the boiler room to the boardroom, but we have yet to find a way to move the needle on healing and reconciling our community and our issues. Bottom-line...while we are appreciative of the efforts of the faithful's time for some new folks to step up and some older others to release the purse strings, the power and the access.

Ask me, our best kept secret is the BLACK AGENDA! We have more organizations and issues, led by more great leaders of the past...and we are good with that. SERIOUSLY?? Why can't we pool our collective expertise, merge our assets, identify OUR priorities and begin to effect change on our own behalf for a new agenda? How many Eric's, Michael's, Trayvon's, Renisha's and Relisha's have to occur...before enough is enough?

There's a story about two men visiting with each other on a porch. As they converse, the visitor notices that the owners dog is whimpering and whining. He brings it to his friends attention and the dogs owner says "I know" and continues the conversation. Perplexed, the visitor inspects the situation further, sees the dog is sitting on a nail and tells his friend..."hey, your dog is sitting on a nail." Again, the dog's owner says "I know!" As they continue, the dog whines all the longer and louder. Finally, the friend just asks, "aren't you going to do anything, your dog is in pain?" The owner, shakes his head and says "no...when it hurts enough, he'll get up!"

What are the rest of us going to do? Does it hurt enough yet?

Who is ready to do something to change the paradigm and begin to really do the work of educating... empowering... mentoring... mobilizing and organizing us to help us? Rev. Al and The All Preachers Band of Do Goods, have a job and a role...but, there's more that can be done.

My thoughts... the answer to "where do we go from here, what's next?" is:
  • Call-out/Call-on individuals and organizations that are not delivering on the promises they built their organizations on in the name of the black community
  • Establish a fund to assist communities in crisis to reclaim calm and address hot-button issues
  • Identify next generation individuals with the capacity to learn how to lead and organize their peers and partners
  • Establish a NEXT AGENDA that leverages all of the above for the bettering of the black community

#NEXTAGENDA, Who's with me?

Peace, Joy and Love,
Michelle H.


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