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Message to the Community We Must Move Past Our Paralyzed Emotional State to a State of Intellectual Action


Message to the Community

We Must Move Past Our Paralyzed Emotional State to a State of Intellectual Action

I write almost every week and my message is basically the same – it’s on us. Very rarely do I write based on what is topical or what is in the news. Most, if not all, of our issues are historical anyway and it does not matter what time it is – the Black community suffers from the same things we have suffered from since emancipation (economic disparity and identity crisis). Although I am very tempted to write about the presidential race and how neither political party has been a help to our community, we must choose between the “lesser of two evils” which means that we collectively must do all we can to ensure that Donald Trump never enters into the White House except as a visitor.

My writing is primarily a communication with the “so-called” Black leaders. I say “so-called” because our Black leadership is extremely weak and although we might have some individual leaders, our collective leadership is almost non-existent (this is the most important). True leadership is when we are looking at our issues with the highest level of intellect and not with our heart and emotions. Real leadership requires that we do not accept today’s reality without doing what is needed to change the conditions fortomorrow (you are always moving). We might not be able to correct all of the wrongs today and at this moment but we should, at least, be trying to make things better for tomorrow. This is leadership and this is the kind of leadership that we require.

If you are honest, you have to conclude that we lack true leadership and that things are seriously wrong within our community that having real leadership could repair. When nothing is being done, our children and many of those less fortunate begin to believe the misrepresentation that Blacks are inherently inferior, which is preposterous but is getting significant traction in both the white and Black communities. I contend that “it’s not what they’re doing to us; it’s what we’re not doing and what we’re doing is wallowing in a physical and emotional state and not growing to an intellectual state of action. There will be real consequences for inaction that will tax our community going forward.

We do have Black professionals whom I describe as those that are in the fight for liberty, freedom, justice, equality, and independence for the Black family in America. Regardless of what area you work in, you are using your position and influence to fight those things that are crippling our community. I am communicating to you as well because you are essential to our movement. I have come to the conclusion that no one is going to save our community but us. The question for us is who in our community will save us? When most of our community is struggling socially and economically, they lack the capacity (financial and intellectual) to mount this fight. Our Black professionals have the best opportunity to make this happen if we can get a critical mass of them unified – Black Unity. Unfortunately, our concept of unity has been extremely skewed. Too many of us are challenged with an emotional understanding of what Black unity looks like. We have been sold a bill of goods that describes unity as “monolithic” and “robotic” thinking that all Black people will be united. This is unrealistic. The Black community, like all other groups, is diversified and there is no methodology that can attract a diverse majority except that we focus “race” first. I call our Black professionals as our new leaders and MY MESSAGE IS TO YOU BECAUSE YOU REPRESENT THE HOPE FOR OUR COMMUNITY IF YOU CAN UNITE.

If you have been following my articles, you know that I take a different approached than many other Black leaders regarding the solutions that we need to adopt if we are going to liberate our community. Many of them are delusional to believe that they can save our community by themselves; therein lies a big portion of our problems and why our growth has been stymied. The approach that I have been promoting requires: 1) We must connect the dots and come to understand that today’s challenges are rooted in a historical context (where you start absolutely matters); 2) the psychological and current “structural” damage of the last 400 years of trauma is cemented within American institutions and culture and must be acknowledged and/or addressed; 3) there is no “One Way” or “One Group” that can save us. It is going to require a “collective” and no matter what the conditions or how bad they are, the bottom line is that the responsibility for making progress in America resides on the shoulders of the Black community (Do for Self) and until we figure that out, our issues will only worsen. I know (I can feel it) that there are some that wish I would just shut up and go away. It ain’t gonna happen. Talking about Black unity is a nuisance to many. Why? Because it requires that we do something, it requires that we make sacrifices; it requires that we take action and do something that we are unaccustomed to doing; it requires that we stop making excuses for not working together (no excuse is good enough). I am here until my physical end (DEATH) because I want to pay down on the debt that is owed to our ancestors for the inhumane suffering that they endured and for the millions of future Black children that will be sentenced to second- and third-class citizenship because our generation failed them (we just couldn’t get it together). I am also here to the end because I know that if we can get past the emotional paralysis of stagnation, hopelessness, and despair and with the proper guidance, we can get to the action of disciplined intellect. This is what I mean by “Wake Up.”

If you can follow my logic, what I am offering is a strategy that is different from what most Black leaders are saying or doing, although it is not new. It is called Black Unity and it is something that many have called for in the past. The difference today versus yesterday is that no one knew how to achieve it. In many respects, those who called for it held a methodology that it was almost impossible to unite our people or we romanticized about Black Unity taking it to an unachievable level; therefore, nothing was done. Our fight today is more lethal than the Jim Crow racist is because the racism is so deeply entrenched within American institutions and culture, which requires a different fight. We have to attack this mentally.

Given the downward spiraling out of control of every demographic facing the Black community, it is obvious that our community seems unwilling or unable to mount a collective offense. The kneejerk response is just an emotional one and will never penetrate the well-structured, well-resourced, and well-organized opposition. Prayer, hope, marches, vigils, wishes, heated outbursts, screaming, physical fighting will never work without connection to a strategic and intellectual power center. The needle is not moving. In fact, with more freedom now than ever before, our issues are getting worse. This is proof that our fight is invisible. Our fight is an intellectual one not an emotional one. We will have to think our way out of this situation in which we find ourselves.

We need Black Unity more now than ever, but it is not the unachievable unity that requires that we all do one thing at the same time. What we need is functional unity where a critical mass of Black leaders break through the brainwashing and programming of self-hate and start working with each other. This is why we have called our association “The Community of Leaders.”

Rahim Islam



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