You are in for trouble! You take over house after house and field after field, until there is no room left for anyone else in all the land. (Isaiah 5:8 CEV)
By Bobby R. Henry, Sr.
The advent of the Obama Administration brought with it a whole new political landscape. It changed the way we elect our own people and the standards we apply. Those standards are pretty high now, and that’s a good thing, but it also means there’s no free pass for Black politicians.
I’ve seen the change occur in recent elections. While Black people were likely to elect one of their own over someone white or other, we are now, since our own have “changed” more sophisticated political consumers who do a lot of comparison shopping just like everyone else to choose those who have our best interests at heart. And guess what? Comparing any candidate to Barack Obama is no easy task for anyone seeking office.
Maybe this is where Carter G. Woodson’s book ‘The Mis- Education of a Negro comes in where he explains how mis-education critiques the educational system, and clarifies the nasty cycle that produces outcomes from mis-educated personalities that go on, to instill and mis-educate the masses. The consequences of the mis-education action spills over into every aspect of Black life.
Black mayors, city and county commissioners and judges running against white candidates were either defeated or had hair raising close calls because they took their community for granted or presumed Blacks would automatically vote for them. In many instances, the white candidates dug deep into the base vote pulling 20 – 40 percent of the Black vote which was unheard of just a few years ago and they realize more than we do just how important we truly are.
This is not just about holding our own accountable. But it’s also about taking a good look at the records of the candidates and deciding whether you want to vote for someone purely based on race. Yet another phenomenon is evolving and that’s white candidates campaigning successfully in our community without our help. We are a powerful force in the world of political outcomes, and this power will affect many generations for either right or wrong.
Maybe this is where Carter G. Woodson’s ‘The Mis- Education of a Negro’ comes in again.
This responsibility of hiring people who can improve or destroy our lives takes on a whole new meaning when you think about what these decisions can do. Another problem however is the fact that many of us are totally disinterested in voting this August and November because Obama’s not on the ballot. That’s another column for another time. Meanwhile the message to Black elected officials and wannabes everywhere; the days of getting elected just because you’re Black are over. There’s no free pass.
Maybe this is where Carter G. Woodson’s The Mis-Education of a Negro comes in again, and by now you really do understand what he was writing about.
We all need help (in correct education) and that’s the way God planned it.
“But Moses’ hands were heavy. Then they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it; and Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side and one on the other. Thus his hands were steady until the sun set.” Exodus 17:12 (NASB)
“The problem of holding the Negro down, therefore, is easily solved. When you control a man’s thinking you do not have to worry about his actions. You do not have to tell him not to stand here or go yonder. He will find his “proper place” and will stay in it. You do not need to send him to the back door. He will go without being told. In fact, if there is no back door, he will cut one for his special benefit. His education makes it necessary.”
Carter G. Woodson, The Mis-Education of the Negro