The power of change begins within the individual. Personal change is completely a participatory self-engagement activity. The initial requirements are to conduct a self inventory of one’s personal resources, the acknowledgement of one’s strengths and weaknesses and the self understanding of what one believes in i.e. faith, God the future and the power of change. Through awareness of one’s self, creativity and expression we can reshape and redesign a better environment for ourselves, our children and families, our communities and the Human family.
One person can change the world. Through thought and action as well as feelings and emotions conveyed via power of personal awareness and self-expression a person can influence another. This power manifests in many different ways; through speech, writing, art, athleticism, and teaching, just to name very few. Through positive influence, we encourage, motivate and advance each other. Utilizing the idea of like minded thinking and pooling our personal resources, we can accomplish great things.
When global powers such as the United States go into war, weapons of mass destruction are utilized. Big guns and heavy machinery is deployed and bombs are dropped. In times of war, a country makes several efforts to insure only militarized targets are bombed or destroyed. The powers that be, attempt to avoid hurting or killing civilians, innocent people, women and children. However and unfortunately, in war hospitals and schools are sometimes hit and innocent people are murdered. They call this collateral damage.
Crack cocaine hit Black communities like a bomb. Crime and violence experienced by some of the residents of Black neighborhoods is collateral damage.
Black Americans are at war, we need to begin setting off some bombs. However not bombs of mass destruction more so bombs of mass creation. We need to set up and set off behavior and businesses that explode within Black communities and shell out additional creativity and opportunities. These explosive devices need to be engineered by us for us. We know what happens when a bomb that was not engineered by Black people is set off in Black communities. The bomb is usually something like “Crack” or some other illegal enterprise that is contained and controlled by people who are not residents of those communities.
Again, Black Americans need to engineer and build the type of social and economic explosive devices and products that we have complete control over. And when we set off these explosive mechanisms, the areas affected should look like a bomb went off. Meaning, the areas should be very noticeably different.
To be certain this point is understood in the correct way, picture a neighbor hood that is ridden with crime. A neighborhood that is host to an open drug market where the streets are dirty with drug paraphernalia, the sidewalks are filthy with garbage and trash left by the drug dealers and drug addicts and where seemingly, nobody cares how this looks and feels. In these types of environments we as Black Americans need to set off a bomb.
A bomb meaning explosive action that when activated changes the negative structure of the environment. In this scenario, that explosive action can be one individual who decides to begin cleaning the sidewalks, sweeping the streets and disposing of the trash and garbage left behind by the drug dealers as well as their customers. As community leaders, one of the first initiatives we undertook was cleaning up the neighborhood and keeping the sidewalks and streets clean.
Implementing Albert Bandura’s Social Learning Theory and understanding that people learn and develop behavior patterns from watching other people as well as being exposed to certain visual stimuli, we decided to create new modeling constructs for Black American communities. This translated into cleaning the sidewalks and keeping the streets clean.
This action proved to be explosive. We didn’t see immediate effects. Life is not a reality T.V. show, real progress takes time. However, after about two months, other residents, young people and even some of the drug dealers began to emulate and imitate the more positive behavior of cleaning the sidewalks and keeping the streets free of trash and garbage.
As Black Americans we must establish a philosophy of Black Nationalism. Black Nationalism will change the mentality of Black people in the United States. Once you change your mentality your attitude will be different. This will change your behavior. After your behavior has been altered, your actions will reflect your mentality.
So we’re trapped, double-trapped, triple-rapped. Anywhere we go we find that we’re trapped. And every kind of solution that someone comes up with is just another trap. (Malcolm X)
In November of 2015 we published a short essay titled, “Local Neighborhood Drug Dealers, You Are Not My Enemy” (http://po.st/Eagte4). Someone questioned, why wouldn’t you consider drug dealers your enemies? He presented the case that street level drug dealers corrupt and damage neighborhoods and communities by dealing death and promoting crime. While I didn’t and I do not disagree that the illegal drug industry is detrimental to inner city neighborhoods, if we are going to properly analyze these “unlicensed pharmaceutical distributors” we should truly understand the role that these individuals play.
Let’s begin by examining what local drug dealers market and sell. At an earlier point in life, I would have said heroine, nope big red X, Family Feud style, cocaine, nope wrong again, weed not even close, percs, morphine, molly. No.
Street level drug dealers market and sell “a high”, a good time, relaxation and for some an escape. Really, the illegal drug business in inner city neighborhoods should be categorized as a service industry. The sale of illegal drugs is customer driven. If a drug dealer doesn’t have customers who want to get high, then that drug dealer doesn’t have a business. It’s that simple. While the actual drugs can be measured and counted as a tangible product, the service industry of illegal drug dealing involves application of skills and expertise towards an identified desire. These skills and expertise are attributed to the illegal drug dealer.
Drug dealing is immoral …it’s illegal, it’s immoral, it’s unethical it’s not cool. OK. But if you are a drug dealer and a successful one, a bit of a oxymoron, a successful drug dealer, one thing you are not is dumb. In fact you’re probably brilliant. Basically a drug dealer in our neighborhood is an illegal entrepreneur. They understand import, export, finance, marketing, wholesale, retail, customer service, security, territory and logistics. You’re not talking about a dumb cat. You’re talking about a brilliant cat. A brilliant young man or young woman ….who had a bad role model, bad environment, bad soil, bad business plan. It’s bad capitalism but they’re not dumb. So you have basically an illegal entrepreneur. Who if they had the right soil, the right environment they could have become the next Steve Jobs. (John Hope Bryant)
Residing in as well as operating businesses within inner cities communities have awarded me the opportunity to observe and analyze street level drug dealers and the illegal drug industry from a different perspective. While many variables in the illegal drug industry often change, some elements are quite consistent.
The street level drug dealer is involved in a dangerous game of chess. They of course enter into the game as pawns. For many who do enter into the game, the ultimate goal is making it across the board to become a more powerful piece. Of course the probability of a pawn becoming a king or queen is low. However, most street level drug dealers are not concerned with performing statistical analysis to predict their chances of success or even survival in the streets. In fact, many street level drug dealers are mostly concerned with getting through the next day, not becoming a drug king or queen.
Unfortunately, many of these entry level dealers do not “make it”. That’s basically a euphemism for saying the dealer will most likely be killed or imprisoned. The street level drug dealers are variables in the illegal drug industry. These variables constantly change. That’s part of the nature of the game. Street level drug dealers are frequently murdered due to business disputes, territorial issues and bad drug deals gone worse.
Living in East Baltimore (Ground Zero), I’ve experienced several groups of dealers who established themselves as crews only to be eventually wiped off the board. These crews that basically move as pawns do not seem to grasp the ideas of positioning and protection.
Positioning should be rooted in power. The goal of positioning is to establish yourself in a place where you have decisive power over issues and situations that affect your life.
Where should the commander be in the battlefield? The answer, where he can exercise the greatest influence and be close to the point of decision. The place where personal presence can make the difference between success and failure. (Collin Powell)
Most street level drug dealers are not positioned at the point of decision making. Rather, they have been positioned and locked into a square where they do not have freedom of movement. I understand that feeling. We are all connected and locked into this reality of living until we exit human existence. While some Black Americans looked at President elect Trump as the boogieman, others felt as if Mr. Trump is simply another president in a line of politicians that push policies for making a more appealing and comfortable “Trap”.
Some Black people in the United States feel that the only true exodus out of a “Americanized trap” is self awareness, self assertiveness and Black Nationalism and action.
Many Black Americans identify with Africa in different ways. Some Black Americans consider themselves African. Not African American, African. This thinking and logic is based in history as well as in the present-day reality of the African diaspora. Such a connection with Africa historically gives way to identifying with traditional or ancient African customs and lifestyles. However more recently, younger Black American generations are noticing and studying current African countries and their leaders.
· Idriss Deby, President of Chad
· Ali-Ben Bongo Ondimba, President of Gabon
· Robert Mugabe, President of Zimbabwe
Many Black Americans were aware of Muammar Gaddafi’s remarkable achievements to make Libya a great nation. Mr. Gaddafi had also initiated several endeavors to make countries in Africa strong and independent in order to form a true African union without the need of American or European involvement. In fact, the trajectory of Libya’s movements toward becoming a global power were beginning to be quite noticeable and potentially threatening to those who are comfortable with the present state of this world.
In some social circles of Black Americans, Muammar Gaddafi was considered a brother. When Mr. Gaddafi was murdered, many Black Americans were affected in several ways. Many of us mourned our brother all the way to the ballot box on November 8, 2016.
In January of 2016 the clear picture that Donald trump was an American hero became obvious. While Donald Trump is not my hero, he represents the strong emotions, feelings and thoughts of many frustrated people.
President-elect Trump has a personality that is extreme. His over the top bravado combined with a routine rancor for political correctness has certainly resonated with many Americans. Specifically White Americans and more specifically working class White men. The exit polls indicate working class White men voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump.
- Whites made up 70 percent of voters
- 63 percent of White men voted Trump
Donald Trump provided a voice for a angry and scared republican base. He first spoke directly to the fears of republicans and conservatives. Next, Mr. Trump converted the fears of his party’s base into anger. The Trump campaign channeled that anger and used it as momentum to win the 2016 presidential election.
While many people considered Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy a joke and his campaign ridiculous, early in 2016 a few camps from within the Black conscious community predicted that Donald Trump would become the 45th president of the United States.
Again, Donald Trump is an American hero to and for those Americans who feel that they do not have a voice. For them Trump represents, someone who stands up for them and what they believe in, someone who says what the uncomfortable to thing to say, someone who is in a position; financially, economically and socially to voice an opinion and not give a damn who may be offended.
The Trump campaign tapped into the fear and anger of many frustrated people. Donald Trump became their hero and champion. Trump targeted this group and demographic. As presidential candidate Donald Trump campaigned on the platform of demonizing Mexico and deporting immigrants, he was galvanizing and mobilizing white voters.
Mr. Trump’s brash and unfiltered remarks helped to establish President-elect Donald Trump as a hero to many Americans. While he is not my here, just as President Barack Obama inspired a nation of people with his charisma, intelligence and leadership, Donald Trump inspired his supporters with his bravado and rash delivery of expression.
For those of us who were analyzing the presidential contest, a large turnout of Trump supporters to the polls was expected and Trump winning the presidential election was not a surprise.
Dr. Boyce Watkins
Dr. Watkins is a warrior, a businessman, a scholar, a true leader and much more. Through his entrepreneurship and great success, the professor continually demonstrates his abilities to build businesses and create new entrepreneurs along the way.
A client, Damon Bell, introduced me to Dr. Watkins about 4 years ago. I’ve been rocking with the professor ever since. The good doctor has even helped me to make a few dollars with his investment advice.
My number one reason for “Rocking with Dr. Boyce Watkins”:
Life is Hard
Dr. Watkins pulls no punches when explaining to his audiences some of life’s challenges. Particularly for those of us who have decided to be truly free and happy via building wealth and helping to establish an economy for Black people in the United States. Dr Watkins is teaching us how to summon the spirit of Harriet Tubman in order and in chaos to help people escape the corporate plantation.
Many people tell me that my philosophy of “Life is war” is a bit extreme. I can understand how they do not understand. Especially when so many so called reality shows and media products push the notion that human accomplishment and great businesses just happen through a finger snap or magic perhaps.
However, Dr. Watkins consistently teaches his listeners that action is required to bring what we seek into this reality. Success and wealth isn’t going to just happen.
Not only is Dr. Watkins getting through to his listeners that life isn’t a simple cake walk, he is also providing people with the tools and proper education to navigate through life and build wealth.
I live in Baltimore. The social-economic feeling of B-more reminds me of the “Field negro , House negro” scenario as it was explained by Malcolm X. With that said, at times Baltimore’s environment is similar to being raised in “The House” and then being cast out to realize the reality of your situation. For a person such as myself who was psychologically locked into the Black American condition, this realization can be a mind blowing and life altering experience.
I’m so grateful to Dr. Watkins for providing his expertise, sharing his experiences and helping us grow.
We’re beginning a new series for WilliamDanney.com. This segment is titled “Who we’re rocking with”.
The purpose of the series is to introduce my audience to teachers, elders, brothers and sisters from all walks of life who help me grow and expand my perspectives of life, reality and existence.
As I introduce you to these folks, I’ll be focusing on at least 1 key point of their various philosophies, teachings, etc. that have helped form my opinion of these selected persons and their work.
I was raised in the inner cities of Baltimore. So I know for many different reasons, everybody don’t rock with everybody, everybody don’t bang with everybody. There will always be different cliques, crews, groups and social circles. However, many of our social circles overlap and I believe that’s a good thing. With that said, some of the people showcased in this series, you will know, some you may have never heard of, some folks you will like and some people you may not like.
So, however you may feel about those who we’re rocking with, I’m saying as I have said over 5 years, I challenge you to think.
Also, I encourage you to check out some of other platforms:
“Let’s talk about some people”
More than race, Black American refers to the condition of those who survived .the United States of America’s slave industry and subsequently their decedents. While most if not all minority groups in the U.S. have to deal with some sort of “Double consciousness”, the way in which those of us in the Black American condition experience Dr. Debois’s diagnosis is extremely unique. This document will hence forth refer to those of us in the Black American condition as Black Americans.
We can examine major immigration movements to the United States from colonial days, the mid-19th century, the start of the 20th century, and post 1965
These immigration movements span many different countries, “religions”, nationalities and ethnicities from Jews, Italians, eastern Europeans, Muslim (if you will), Asians, etc. While the histories and lineage of immigrants from any of these immigration periods and movements may be vastly different due to any number of circumstances or worldly events, a commonality exists between all members among any of these groups, they are immigrants.
So I have friends who are White who can trace their family history across the United States and overseas back to Europe and in some cases Africa. Unfortunately, for many Black Americans this is not an option.
Black Americans are not immigrants. Black Americans did not migrate to the United States and were not naturalized into citizenship. Black Americans are the descendants of those of our ancestors that survived the United States slave trade. Black Americans by definition are the descendants of Africans who were “shipped” to the United States of America to be enslaved and owned as property. Laws and policies were written and created, implemented and enforced to create, continue and grow the United States slave industry which helped fuel the country’s economy for more than 200 years.
Survivors of the United States slave industry were emancipated in 1865. During the reconstruction period Black Americans were initially integrated into politics of the United States. However during what some have called the “redemption” period Black Americans were disenfranchised. In the years following, Black Americans were segregated and set aside from what was supposed to be our country. Laws and policies were firmly established to cement this ideology and organized force was used to even more firmly implement and enforce these laws. Black Americans were then integrated into the United States via the civil rights movement and new laws and policies were created to implement and enforce these new laws.
Along this process there has been several movements to establish a Black American identity. As Black Americans did not migrate into the country with a language to help keep and bind us together as well as form, build and protect a would be community, we have yet to establish a cohesive group or power base that can be adequately positioned alongside our immigrant sisters and brothers.
Due to the lack of a cohesive group combined with the process of being “integrated” into our own country, many Black American movements to establish Black American identity “happen” over “open air waves” i.e. out in public on a national and in many cases a global scale. Social media platforms such as Facebook are wonderful however the type of strategic planning required to organize a people can be properly performed over an open Internet. As a technologist, I understand when considering social media platforms, we Black people in the United States are not the consumers we are the product.
A true and real revolution will not be televised or broadcasted over an open Internet.
@spencer_3000 Thank you for your thoughts and perspectives. I found you your comments very interesting. I live in Baltimore. The scene, environment and feel of B-more of course is different than New York. I’m not sure if you’re familiar with the “Field negro , House negro” scenario as it was most notably explained by Malcolm X (thank you @officialspikelee). With that said, at times Baltimore’s environment is similar to being raised in “The House” and then realizing and awakening to, if you will the reality of your situation. For a person who is in the Black American condition such as myself, this can be a mind blowing and life altering experience. What is needed and is being called into existence in the United States is proper education. That’s a broad statement and is well side the scope of a Instagram comment. To suffice, while no one is handing out a million bucks for free, the United States government has a history of handing out millions of acres of land to European immigrants. Not only that, but the U.S. historically has helped immigrants to established businesses and thereby develop “real” communities in this country. While the Black American condition was created in 1865, those who survived the United States slave industry were positioned to “make due” without so much as “40 acres and a mule”. In regard to every color, size and shape as well as ethnicity and race, yes it is important that we respect and appreciate each other’s culture however in the context of Black Americans we are dealing with a condition and how a people identify themselves. So again, I greatly appreciate your comments and your partial critique of Do the Right Thing. In the opinion of many who are realizing and awakening from the Black American condition, Black people in the United States have to begin establishing true and real power in the United States. Perhaps Mookie or better yet Buggin’ Out should stop their patronage of Sal’s and instead worked to established their own restaurant. Perhaps a Bugin’ Out restaurant would have featured photos of Nat Turner, Toussaint Louverture, Robert Mugabe and Muammar Gaddaf on the walls. (@officialspikelee, Do the Right Thing 2, perhaps?) Love and peace does make for a better world however before there can be love and peace in world as it presently exists there must be proper education and understanding of why things are the way they are. I challenge us all to think. Thank you, @williamdanney@dlc40458 @bp201@henzelcurry @jay1twenty @simply_ahbash http://williamdanney.com/go/george-washingtons-white-horse/