I am having sort of a brainstorm here so bare with me but I am about to make a statement that may offend some and others may agree, and yet still others will sit and wonder what the heck am I talking about?
Here it goes.
I believe that Black people can become the new moral compass for America. Meaning, in contrast, back in the day (50's & 60's, and earlier) it was considered that the "white" or "Eurocentric" culture was the dominant culture in America. Sort of a trickle down theory, whites established our societal norms if you will of what was moral and accepted and what wasn't. Then maybe midway through the Civil Rights movement there was a paradigm shift and you had the minority (i.e., Blacks) having a stronger influence on the over-arching American culture, especially in the areas of mainstream popular culture, i.e. Motown, Athletics, and even in the arts and literature, but especially in Music and Sports. America went from the Beattles to the Jackson 5, Ludacris and Kanye West, from Babe Ruth to Bo Jackson and Michael Jordan, all of a sudden the mainstream began to look more and more Black. Many of our heroes are not white any more, no more is it just the Lone Ranger or John Wayne, now it's all about the Rock, Will Smith, or P-Diddy! Yet, with this shift there is a down turn, especially with the infiltration of the negative aspects of the hip-hop culture, and gangs coupled with the growth of multi-culturalism, and moral relativism, into the white middle class, there is a decline in the strength of the family unit in both Black and White communities. There are many other factors for this to consider as well from the feminist movement, legalizing abortion and the introduction of the welfare state, to sexual promiscuity becoming more widely accepted, I could go on and on. Yet, this decline in the family structure in both Black and White communities, seems to have been spawned from first a top-bottom influence, i.e. radical feminism and multiculturalism first infiltrating middle class/upper class whites as specified before, and as a result, morality being defined downward, a relaxing of social norms takes place. It would then seem as if much of the negative aspects of "Black" or "urban" culture became more and more accepted as a result of this defining deviance down, infiltrated middle class and uppper middle class America. So, with the breakdown of the more afluent elements of society we have a natural breakdown of the less afluent, in inner-city, urban areas. Sort of the sh*t rolls down hill theory if you will.
Right now in this country I believe to a large extent the next shift needs to come from the Black community again and what has to happen is a shift back to the foundations that made Blacks strong, stable and even prosperous in spite of turbulent times. Times where the very laws of the land were designed to keep us subjugated under the feet of a ruling class. Now, here we are at a time where the very laws of the land are stacked, heavily (affirmative action anyone?) in favor of Blacks and yet Blacks have a deplorable record of performance within it's urban areas and even among the more afluent! 60 to 70% out of wedlock births, high divorce rates, within the church at that, high incarceration rate among Black men, and the most tragic of all, killing our own black babies at an alarming rate! What happened in New Orleans should have demonstrated several very important points to Black people; that racism is not the issue for Black folks anymore, poverty is not perpetuated by external forces, most Black leaders(you know who they are) are not looking out for the best interest of the Black community, and most importantly, relying on government aid to survive is detrimental to individuals and the greater community because it strips us of dignity and God-given freedoms.
Racism is not an issue, it never really was. The events that took place in New Orleans had nothing to do with race or class, it had to do with moral character. The leaders failed, from the white house, the governor, to the mayor, and down to the citizens trapped on roof tops or in the Superdome, all failed due to a lack of moral character which generates basic common sense(which is not so common anymore). The inability to plan for something ahead of time when you know it is coming. The inability to respond to crisis with organized thought and fortitude, the lack of patience, grace, and emotional strength in a time of great adversity, all demonstrate this point. Our own moral character is what's at stake here. Our ability to sustain our own families and as a result our communities based on the rudimentary understandings of right and wrong. This is all our fore-fathers had and yet they managed to prosper, achieving amazing successes in their lifetimes, from Garrett Morgan and Madam C.J. Walker to George Washington Carver and Booker T. Washington, Blacks were able to achieve amazing things during probably the worst time in American history. Today, we still witness great success among Blacks but at the same time great despair and tragedy, why? What is different now versus then? I believe the answer lies in adversity and moral character. My personal philosophy is that Blacks of moral standing tend to strive and excel in the mist of adversity and strife. When someone says you can't, a Black man stands up and says "yes I can!" Plain old, stubborn, will to not only overcome but resist being controlled, put down and kept down is what seems to be innate to the Black person of moral fortitude. Maybe this just isn't happening enough today, where our youth are not being challenged to strive, exceed, and excel. We keep reminding them of the "struggle" but they go out and see that there is no struggle, at least not overtly, watching rap videos about 'hos and bling' bling'. You see, the struggle, to me, was never against the "white man" but against evil, the evil within ourselves. I think Blacks back in the day some how understood that basic principle, "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places" Ephesians 6:12(KJV)
They understood that racism wasn't a product of the white man but the product of the devil as a means of keeping Black men and women from experiencing the blessings of God. There was an intellectual assent to God's will as well as a spiritual, but where is that same volition today? I speak not of the emotionalism many witness in so many churches, this only serves to weaken people even more so. Allowing them to be controlled and manipulated by corrupt preachers.
Do Black preachers and other leaders carry the same qualities that their forefathers had?
I think there needs to be a shift back to the basic foundations of good and evil, right and wrong, God vs. Satan. Blacks on a whole and individually need to get back to the foundations of God's word, stop questioning the scripture rather than embracing it, understanding it, loving the truth. I truly believe that if Blacks get back to these basic precepts of faith, holiness, love, and truth coupled with down-home common sense, which is not so common anymore, there would be a dramatic change in the dominant culture in America. Getting back to the basics and abandoning the liberalism that got Blacks into such a mess to begin with would begin to not only change popular culture but ultimately profoundly affect governmental policies as well.
The Black community is an untapped power that is being exploited by race hustlers, political pimps, and media whores ( You know who they are). Blacks are being used and abused with no gain whatsoever. This has been happening for many years now and has gotten Blacks no where fast. This must stop, but it won't until they stand up on their own, stop the group think and begin getting back to basics. The very foundations that their forefathers stood on to get them through slavery and Jim Crow, are the very same foundations the founding fathers stood on in birthing this great nation.
Only then will Blacks become a key for change.