We appear to confuse and misrepresent the true power of education or any entry to sites of power in the United States. Far too many naive or devoutly bourgeois Black parents view the education of their children as a source of personal prestige or “self-empowerment” rather than as a nation-building opportunity to gather information, tools, skills and networks to protect and liberate their people.
Black youth for example, are sold on the idea of college or vocational education as a means to craft a career, sustain their families and purchase property. They knowingly or implicitly keep the “illusion of inclusion” alive in generation after generation of their family line. What we fail to admit, is that the more Black politicians, professionals, college graduates and wealthy Black folk we accumulate, the more the majority of us are simultaneously displaced, exploited, impoverished and victimized in a myriad of ways.
A small minority excluded, the majority of privileged and “successful” Black folks understand the real power move: To INFILTRATE sites of power, NOT INTEGRATE into them. Race men and women of the 19th and early 20th Centuries understood this; Subsequent generations have been duped by the mirages of acceptance, inclusion, diversity and “equality.”
The dominant historical impulse of our people, at the gut level has not been to vote, acquire formal education, be “accomplished” or wealthy, but to be FREE. In our freedom/Liberation efforts, some have unfortunately confused the VEHICLE for the DESTINATION.
This confusion of method with objective (which leads to the retardation of our liberation movement) is coupled with a belief among some of us that we are actually citizens of the United States in spirit, culture and letter of law (another debate for another time). It would seem that at this late date, we would organize around two options: Either building the infrastructure to function as a “nation within a nation,” or to create a sovereign nation of our own.
Whatever you think of my perspective – its merit or plausibility- there is at least one thing we can do: Teach our children and adults to INFILTRATE sites of power and bring those skills, networks and information back to the masses to protect and advance them rather than creating new generations of powerless and disconnected individuals who work to directly or indirectly “Make America great again.”