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Black Leadership Analysis

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Why You Can’t Compare Blacks to other Races.

Often when people speak of problems in the black community or the inability for black people to create a stable community, many blacks and whites bring up how other oppressed communities have overcome discrimination. Often people bring up how Asians or Jews have built stable communities that in some ways are better than mainstream white communities. Commending these groups for their accomplishments is important. However, it is essential to ask if what these communities accomplished can be replicated in the black community. Are blacks attempted to do the same thing that Asians and Jews have done?

Recently I read Gandhi: Racist or Revolutionary. The book talks about how Gandhi did not fight for a more egalitarian society. Instead, he wanted to improve the condition of Indians in South Africa and members of the upper caste in India. To support this stance the author details how Gandhi fought to have Indians included in the war against the Zulu’s in South Africa. He also wanted to separate black Africans and Indians, with Indians being held as superior.

In India, Gandhi supported the caste system. He believed the caste system was fundamental to Hinduism and that the system was scientific. In Ambedkar’s famous 1955 BBC interview, Ambedkar explains how Gandhi would advocate for the abolition of caste in English language newspapers, but support the caste system in publications in the native languages of India. Gandhi also agreed that whites were superior, yet upper caste Indians were above most other dark-skinned races. He often would tell Ambedkar his activism was motivated out of bitterness, and untouchability was a spiritual path.

So if a person considers Gandhi the embodiment of the Indian social justice struggle, then they have to admit that the ability of Indians to build stable communities is based on the exploitation or acceptance of exploitation of other groups of people. The Indian people did not fight white supremacy head on. They collectively accepted the position they were given and then worked as well as they could.

Knowing this information, individuals must analyze how much of the success of formerly oppressed classes has been on the backs of blacks and other groups lower in the white supremacy hierarchy. How many communities have businesses in the black community selling low-quality goods at a high price? How many communities have been stabilized by check cashing businesses in low-income areas? How many towns are stable because of the majority of the population work as police or corrections officers in a brutal justice system?

This blog post is not to disparage the accomplishments of other communities or to say there is nothing black people could learn from other communities. Individual success is open to anyone under Capitalism. However, we need to be honest about all the various ways people make money on black oppression. Once a person understands how others benefit from the collective oppression of black people, they can then assess if that can be copied by the oppressed people.

So black people being on the bottom of the white supremacy totem pole have no group to exploit. Black people have to fight white supremacy to have group uplift.

Since we are the only group wholly vested in the fight, people cannot claim black communities are supposed to be more stable. People also can’t lament on why blacks are not like other communities. Our struggle is entirely different

Ole Miss Shows How To Remove Confederate Symbolism

The University of Mississippi colloquially referred to as “Ole Miss” has a complicated history around race relations. The school nickname is the “Rebels, ” and the old school mascot was a slender southern gentleman that resemble a plantation owner. Ole Miss made national news in the 1960’s when a riot broke out after James Meredith was accepted. Most recently a noose and Confederate flag were placed around the neck of his statue.

At the same time, Ole Miss has stopped the flying of Confederate flags, playing of “Dixie,” and replaced the southern gentleman mascot with a black bear. Ole Miss is showing how to make forward racial progress in a very sensitive racial environment. The process is slow, and many in Mississippi are fighting for their Confederate symbols, but the university presses on. Their method is moving the ball forward without causing a violent backlash.

History of Ole Miss Rebel Mascot and Race

The University of Mississippi was founded in 1848. In the school’s charter, the purpose of the school was to educate the white race. The school’s nickname is Ole Miss, which is also what slaves called the master’s wife. The Civil War broke out in 1861, and the student body did not want the citizens of Mississippi to fight without them. The entire class of 150 men formed Company A of the 11th Mississippi regiment. This troop fought with the army of Northern Virginia and was in some of the most famous battles in the eastern theater. The most famous battle was their last. Pickett’s Charge at Gettysburg resulted in the annihilation of the troop. This advance was the furthest the Confederacy got into Union territory. The troop was forever known as the University Greys .

The Ole Miss sports teams had no official name and had been known by many names including the Oxfords, the Mighty Mississippians, and the Southerners. A poll of Mississippi sports writers picked the name “Rebels” in 1936. The mascot “Colonel Reb’ was made after that. Colonel Reb is also an award given to the most distinguished man of campus every year. The female equivalent is “Miss Ole Miss. These traditions started in 1940.

Some say the inspiration for the Ole Miss mascot was a blind peanut vendor named James Ivy. Ivy, known around Ole Miss as “Blind Jim.” He was a fixture at football games for sixty years. An on-the-job accident blinded Jim as a teenager. He found work at Ole Miss selling peanuts after the incident. He was known to scream the loudest at the games and is quoted as saying “He never saw Ole Miss lose a game.” The university honored him with a tombstone and the marching band spelling Jim during a halftime in 1964. [7] The university has never officially connected Blind Jim to the old Mascot. Also, the mascot is white and Jim Ivy was black.

The band first started playing the song “Dixie” in 1948 for the centennial anniversary of the school.[1] The same year the Dixiecrat political party was established. The party was created in response to the executive order to end segregation in the military. The Dixiecrats were officially Democrats, but did not support integration. They were mainly from the South and fought to stop civil rights leaders. They also encouraged the use of Confederate symbols and flew the Confederate battle flag at their national conventions.

In 1962, James Meredith applied and was accepted to the University of Mississippi. However, when the registrar found out about his race, his acceptance was revoked. Meredith was able to sue citing the recent Brown vs. Board case, and a federal order reinstated his admission. When he got to the registrar to sign up for classes the Governor blocked his entrance. A second court order found the Governor in contempt. US Marshals escorted Meredith in the building to register for class.

Once word got out that Meredith had completed registration a violent mob formed on campus. A riot broke out that took 30,000 Federal troops to squelch. The riot left two people dead and three hundred injured. Today there are bullet holes in the student union building from this riot. One of the events that led to the riot were fiery speeches about southern heritage and pride.

The 1970’s were a fascinating time at Ole Miss. In 1975 the first “Colonel Reb” award was given to a black man, Ben Williams. Williams would go on to the NFL after being Ole Miss’s first black football player. The first depiction of Colonel Reb on field or court was in 1979. The mascot would not only perform at Ole Miss games but NBA games as well.

The Colonel Reb mascot has always hurt recruiting at the University of Mississippi. The first attempt to remove the icon happened in 1997. A group of students formed to support Colonel Rebel. The effort led to Ole Miss keeping the mascot. Ole Miss has not won a SEC Championship in football since 1963. Ole Miss has also never won a men’s basketball regular season title.

In 2003, the Associated Student Body Judicial Council decided to retire the Colonel Reb logo. There was a contest to pick a new mascot and a poll for students and faculty to choose a new mascot. The contest and poll got little participation. The school received 2,400 responses from 40,000 eligible to vote. [15] The school was without an official mascot for seven years.

The same year the “Colonel Reb Foundation” (CRF) was formed. In the About Us section of the website, they claim the removal of the mascot was a unilateral decision by the chancellor and athletic director. The student body and faculty did not get a say in the change. Now many Colonel Reb supporters wear a “Colonel Reb is my mascot” sticker on game-days. CRF also propagated the story of Blind Jim to explain the mascot is not racist. However, having to change Blind Jim’s skin color to white and the school not confirming the story is in itself racist.

In 2010, the students, alumni, fans, and faculty chose the Black Bear as the official mascot. It alludes to Ole Miss’s greatest Alumni William Faulkner. Faulkner comprised a short story named “The Bear.” Also, Mississippi has an endangered Black Bear population. The new mascot will raise awareness on the issues of rebuilding the endangered population. Children that go to the game love the bear according to most reports.

Ole Miss Bear

After the reelection of Barack Obama in 2012, a group of 400 students assembled in front of the student union in protest. The crowd lit signs on fire, yelled racial slurs, and two people were arrested. Many have referred to this incident as the “Ole Miss Riot,” however the school has denied it was a riot.

In 2014, Graeme Harris defaced the statue of James Meredith. He placed a noose and the old Georgia state flag that depicted the Confederate flag on the statue. The incident got national attention, and Eric Holder denounced the action. In 2015 Graeme Harris was charged later that year by federal authorities. Harris was a former Ole Miss student.

Plaques were placed on building built by slaves in 2017. The school recognizes its racist history and is making concrete steps to acknowledge it. They also removed the name of a white supremacist governor from a building on campus.

On September 18, 2018, the student body president announced there will be an upcoming vote for a new mascot of a Landshark. The Chancellor of the school Dr. Vitter says the Landshark does not threaten the “Rebels” nickname. The Landsharks originates from defensive football players putting the hand on the forehead after a big play. The Landshark gesture was turned into a mascot that lost to the Bear in the 2003 vote. The Chancellor says the Ole Miss teams will always be referred to as the “Rebels”. The new mascot was announced on October 6, 2017 and will first appear in 2018. The design of the mascot is currently underdevelopment.

How is Ole Miss an example

Ole Miss is working to make concrete steps for racial reconciliation in spite of a complicated history on race. There is racial backlash on campus. However, they never stop working toward making a more inclusive campus. Many other schools and municipalities will go through a similar struggle.

One of the best aspects of this reconciliation is the Col Reb Foundation (CRF). The CRF is providing a constructive, non-violent outlet for people to voice their opinion on the changing of the mascot. Some people will have a deep emotional connection to the old mascot. Transitioning for these people will be difficult and having a support group will prevent these people from acting out.

Ole Miss will never be able to stop individual students from doing despicable things. However, they do support the investigations and convictions are made. There is work on campus to move people past the events. Also, forward racial progress is not stopped by isolated racial incidents.

Sources

  1. ”For Ole Miss Sports “Dixie” is dead by A. Ganucheau http://www.mississippitoday.org
  2. ”Controversy Over Mascots at Ole Miss” by R. Brown http://www.nytimes.com
  3. Did University of MS students really riot over election results by. J. Kim http://www.newsfeed.time.com
  4. Former Ole Miss Student Charged with Placing Noose on. J Meredith Statue by M. Muskal http://www.latimes.com
  5. Meet Blind Jim Ivy by E. Smith http://www.newsolemiss.edu
  6. Ole Miss Post Signs to Acknowledge Building Built by Slave Labor by Z. Blay http://www.huffingtonpost.com
  7. Oxford Olden Days: Blind Jim Ivy, Honorary Dean of Freshman by J. Mayfield http://www.hottytoddy.com
  8. The University Greys http://www.hottytoddy.com
  9. Integrating Ole Miss: A transformative Deadly Riot by D. Elliot http://www.npr.org
  10. Riots of the Desegregation of Ole Miss http://www.history.com
  11. Ole Miss will be recognizing the campus was built by slaves http://www.college.usatoday.com
  12. Ole Miss should acknowledge its use of slave labor by A. Coon http://www.thedmonline.com
  13. Our Shared Racist Tradition by T. Abram http://www.thedmoonline.com
  14. Rebel Black Bear Selected as the New On-Field Mascot for Ole Miss Rebels http://www.mascot.olemiss.edu
  15. Ole Miss without a mascot http://www.msnewsnow.com
  16. “About Us” http://www.colonelreb.org
  17. Ole Miss to vote on Landshark as new Mascot http://www.usatoday.com
  18. The Ole Miss Rebels are changing their mascot again, this time from the Black Bear to a Landshark by J. Kirk http://www.sbnation.com
  19. Ole Miss names new mascot: Landsharks by D. Royer http://www.wreg.com

Background of UNLV Rebels

Many of the people in this blog work in academia in the United States. Many of these schools have Confederate mascots or Confederate statues. Here are a few examples of schools with Confederate mascots and how they handled them. I will also include my personal opinion on how they handled the situation.

University of Las Vegas Rebels

““New-Unlv-Logo-L.E.-Baskow_1_t1000””
The current mascot of the UNLV Rebels is “Hey Reb” pictured above. The UNLV’s official stance is the mascot is not connected to the Old South and has not been since the 1970’s after students protested. The UNLV website has the following quote on the name “Rebel”:

”In the 1960’s especially, it [Rebels] symbolized those who rejected convention, tradition, racism…Most of all, in southern Nevada it stood for those who had opposed northern domination in the state legislature and unwanted dependency upon Reno”

““beauregard-D65010_9_12A””

The original mascot of the UNLV was the wolf Beauregard clad in a Confederate uniform. Originally, UNLV was called Nevada Southern. The reason the school chose a Confederate mascot was Nevada Southern started as a branch the University of Nevada Reno. Nevada Southern had to declare independence from UNR. They saw themselves as modern day rebels and chose a Confederate motif for their school. To contrast the UNR Wolf Pack, Nevada chose the cartoon wolf in Confederate uniform winking and smirking. The UNLV official website contends that the mascot was not meant to offend, but be a playful jab at the larger school.

The Confederate motif did not stop at sports. The Nevada Southern student government called itself “The Confederate Students of Nevada Southern.” The largest school social event was the “Confederate Cotillion, ” and the school paper was called “Rebel Yell.”

Students began to protest the Confederate motif in the 1970’s. Student athletes that refused to wear the wolf logo led the protests. The students were allowed to vote on the wolf logo and the name “Rebel”in 1971. The students chose to get rid of the wolf but keep the name rebel. The wolf was officially dropped in 1975. In the 1970’s, the school transitioned between the UNLV Sun logo and a colonial soldier logo both pictured below.

In 1983 UNLV, transitioned to its modern day trailblazer. The original logo is below. After a few years, the mascot was named “Hey Reb!”. Over the years the logo has changed, but it always had a gray hat and long mustache.

Many people have been protested recently against “Hey Reb!”. In 2015 two hundred students protested the name. The Charleston killings sparked the protest. Senator Harry Reid also encouraged UNLV to change the name. There was even an internet campaign to replace “Hey Reb!” with Admiral Ackbar from Star Wars Rebel Alliance.

To UNLV’s credit, it is one of the most diverse campuses. A 2015 LA Times article claims it has around 50% minority enrollment. According to the same article all but one member of the undergraduate Black Student Organization supported the mascot. Most of the minorities polled in a recent survey admitted the mascot looked like a Confederate Soldier.

Historically the UNLV was not segregated, and a 1962 Rebel Yell article condemned the University of Mississippi for not integrating. Bill Casey, a black man, played quarterback for the UNLV rebel in 1968. The 1968 team also had the Confederate battle flag on the helmet. Casey said he did not experience any racism on that team.

Nevada’s Civil War and Civil Rights History

Nevada entered the Union in 1864. Of course, it supported the North which was the only way it could gain entry. Lincoln waved the population requirement to ensure there would be enough congressional votes to pass the thirteenth amendment.

Many of Nevada’s original settlers were from the South. There was always fear that Southern sympathizers would try to overthrow Union installation. The Knights of the Golden Circle, a later faction of the KKK, were very active in the area. However, a strong Union troop presence squelched any serious resistance. The part of Nevada that holds Las Vegas was part of Arizona at the time. The Arizona Territory sided with the Confederacy in the Civil War.

Las Vegas has a fraught racial history, and Nevada earned the name “Mississippi of the West.” A 1954 Ebony magazine article claimed the segregation there was as bad as any place in the Deep South. All black people had to stay in the slum of West Las Vegas. There is even a story of a black woman being sent to jail simply because there was nowhere else for her to stay. There were reform efforts but those that supported gambling fought against black people. However, blacks continued to fight and desegregated Casinos in the Moulin Rouge Agreement in 1960.

Justification of the name “Rebels”

Another justification is that the basketball team is known colloquially as the “Runnin’ Rebels.” In the 1980’s the team was dominant in their division, and they were known nationwide as “Runnin’ Rebels.” To change the name would break the basketball history. Also, another name would not have the alliteration and ring.

Personal opinion on if the Mascot should change

The UNLV mascot should be changed to something that can’t be mistaken for Confederate. Even though the official school statement says the mascot is a pathfinder, depictions of his head with only a gray hat would lead a person to believe the mascot is a Confederate soldier. A change as simple as changing the hat to the other school color of crimson and the name to HeyJeb! would be enough to stop any confusion.

Nevada has no official Confederate history. Nevada was part of the Union in the war. The Southern sympathizers in the state were jailed or executed. There is no one from the state they are honoring with the name Rebels.

Given the stereotype or perception that Las Vegas is a racist place, the University must work diligently to fight this misconception. Ultimately, qualified candidates from all minority backgrounds will be turned off by the mascot. It would also make more sense and be more historically accurate to honor the Union troops that fought in the Civil War or some other aspect of Nevada history everyone could celebrate. Ultimately, UNLV and the state of Nevada is bigger than a mascot.

By claiming the mascot is not a Confederate, with the name HeyReb and a gray hat, they are doing the minorities at the school the worst disservice. Some of the most severe psychological trauma happens a person is told what he sees, thinks, and feels is not real. To say that the people that created that mascot did not have it planned the entire time to portray him as a Confederate is silly. The creators of the mascot knew full well that if the mascot only had the hat, he could be seen as a Confederate. It doesn’t matter if the depiction of the entire mascot has him in a red, western-style coat. Most depictions have the mascot in a gray hat with the word Rebel underneath. The insult to black people’s intelligence is doubled when supporters act like the mascot and symbols could not easily be changed.

If the mascot does not change, school officials should expect black and minority students to not support the team unless they are playing and not buy merchandise. I have heard many times in my life that black students have less school pride or patriotism. Situations like the UNLV Rebels, makes black people feel disenfranchised. Once a person feels disenfranchised, they will act out or isolate themselves.

Return to Series

Sources
UNLV Rebels

  • Why are the UNLV sports teams represented by a Confederate rebel https://lasvegassun.com
  • Hey Reb! And “Rebels Nickname https://www.unlv.edu
  • At UNLV, A North-South divide over Rebel Mascot by N.Duara http://www.latimes.com
  • A brief history of our mascot http://www.unlvfreepress.com
  • The Curious Case of UNLV’s Not Racist Mascot http://www.deadspin.com
  • “Justice is Slow but Sure” by Q. Taylor Nevada Law Journal
  • Has UNLV distanced itself enough from Confederate past? http://www.lasvegassun.com
  • UNLV President says Rebel nickname and mascot should stay by I. Whitaker http://www.lasvegassun.com
  • Why are the UNLV Sports Teams represented by a Confederate mascot http://www.lasvegassun.com
  • What’s in a name: UNLV report on Rebel nickname yields interesting tidbits by I. Whitaker http://www.lasvegassun.com
  • UNLV Rebel Mascot Report Nov 2015 by Rainer Spencer Ph.D.
  • Nevada http://www.nps.gov
  • How the Confederacy claimed Southern Nevada during the Civil War http://www.reviewjournal.com
  • ”Mississippi of the West” in 1954 Magazine’s scathing article turned heads in Las Vegas http://www.lasvegassun.com
  • Civil Rights Act http://www.knpr.com
  • An Integralist’s Defense of “Buying Black” (Ujamaa)

    I am writing this in response to feedback from various Integralist on the need for a black website that focuses on Ego Development. My website https://blackleaderanalysis.com uses Ego Development Theory chiefly Spiral Dynamics (Graves, Beck, Cowan) to analysis the leadership skills of leaders with African ancestry. In this work, I will evaluate 200 black leaders and develop and Integral Theory of Black Empowerment.

    I have promoted the site using Social Media. I frequently post in groups of black nationalist, black conservatives, and Integralist. All the sites have given me more positive feedback than negative feedback. I want to chiefly focus on the negative feedback that I have received from the Integralist Community.

    This post will recount my experiences with “buying black.” For the rest of the article, we will refer to “buying black” as Ujamaa. Ujamaa is a Swahili word that means Cooperative Economics. For more on Ujamaa and a more detailed definition reference the work of Dr. Maulana Karenga.

    I would also like to warn the reader that in this post I could say things that offend you. Understand that whatever I write is out of a deep love for the Integralist community. Being less than one hundred percent honest will be a disservice to both of us. These conversations will be difficult. However, we have to have them to lead the rest of the world to an Integral future.

    The reader should understand my personal feelings on race. I do believe all people are equal. All whites are not out to get blacks. Many white people have been fundamental in blacks securing civil rights. Many white people have well thought out views on race and are inclusive. I also understand there is no scientific defense for the concept of race.

    I also understand that the majority of Americans have racism deeply implanted in their psyche. Even I have been scared walking through a black neighborhood. These stereotypes and prejudices affect every aspect of life. We all must create specialized defenses to combat racism and specialized therapies to remove racism from our psyche. I do not believe anyone entirely divorces themselves from the concept of race. We can only hope to understand our racism more deeply, recognize racism quickly, and work to redress or prevent damage caused by racism.

    In summary, race is not real, but racism is very real

    I will provide the following definition of Ujamaa because it is important that blacks and Integralist practice Ujamaa. Ujamaa is taking special effort to spend the largest amount of your income with black businesses preferably businesses owned by the Descendants of American Slaves (DOAS). The goal of Ujamaa is two-fold.

    1- Keep as much capital in the Black Community as possible.
    2- Create an Economy controlled by blacks to counter racism in the economy at large
    3- Develop the skills of the Black Community to make blacks more competitive in the market at large.

    What is an Integral Perspective?

    Next, I will detail my understanding of the goal of Integral Theory. Integral Theory is not a method to remove all labels from everyone and say everyone as an independent. Clare Graves’ work on developing a metatheory for psychology was intended to be used to allow a therapist to make specialized treatment for every individual. If someone was moving from Blue to Orange, use Freud. If someone was at an adolescent level of cognitive development, use Skinner. The point of the work was to know HOW to treat people differently. Same with Beck. Beck developed and analyzed various management theories to understand what works best in each situation. Proper management at a restaurant is not the appropriate management in a hospital and vice versa.

    Here are some quotes from Clare Grave’s book The Never Ending Quest on the A’-N’ State (Integral Consciousness)

    A’N’ Theme: Express self for what self desires, but never at the expense of others and in a manner that all life, not just my life, will profit. (p. 365)

    The A’N’ system is triggered by the second set of human survival problems – the A’ problems of existence. These are the problems of the threat to organismic life and rape of the world produced by third, fourth, fifth, and sixth existential ways. (p. 366)

    The A’N’ accepts and lives with the fact of differences, and that one is relating to people who are different and thus shows readiness to live with differences. (p.370)

    His ethics are based on the best possible evidence as to what will benefit all- the majority, the needy, or the desiring is not enough. (p. 370)

    An Integralist will evaluate all factors in every purchase and racism is a factor in a Capitalist economy. An integralist also believes that all people are equal and there is no scientific justification for the concept of race. Therefore, the wealth disparity between whites and blacks is the result of oppression. The lack of money reduces political power and leaves black people vulnerable to attack by racist whites. The lack of wealth and jobs in the black community leads to increased crime. The offense results in loss of life at the hands of police or other black people and job disenfranchisement due to a criminal record. So an integralist would be willing to spend more money or time to find businesses owned by Descendants of American Slaves to actively redress wrongs committed by D-Q and E-R periods of our history.

    Integralist, especially Integral Capitalist, know how difficult it is to start a business. If a black man owns a business within a racist system, he must have an extreme amount of skill and ingenuity. At the very least he is confident and ambitious. These are qualities that could lead to getting superior service or goods. A black man can provide services on par or better than everyone else if given the opportunity over time. Black people must develop their skill and to accomplish that a customer needs to factor what the man has gone through into their purchasing.

    An Integralist is not spending money to get the most for his dollar. Orange Meme individuals look solely at getting the most for the smallest investment. An Integralist wants to make a better world. Part of having a better world will involve giving blacks a fair chance to compete and contribute in society. Ujamaa is a method to affect the lives of blacks tangibly.

    How I have benefited from the practice of Ujamaa.

    I have practiced Ujamaa for all of my adult life. Ujamaa is a concept instilled in me by my parents that also practice it. I will chiefly show how Ujamaa has benefited me in the area of medical care.

    I have been in therapy on and off for ten years. I have had white and black therapists. I have noticed that white therapist totally fold up if you start talking about how race or how racism affects your life. They get extremely uncomfortable. They are scared to be called racist, or they want to defend their ideas that America is not racist. The therapist’s discomfort prevented me from fully disclosing my feelings. A black therapist was able to give me the treatment I needed and improve my mental health.

    I began to have back problems when living in Lusby, MD. The town has a small population, and there were no black chiropractors that I could find. So I went to a white chiropractor. My insurance only paid for twenty chiropractic visits a year. After twenty I would have to pay half the cost. My chiropractor said that I must come every week. I took the advice and began to pay out of pocket at the twenty-first visit. After two years I moved to Washington, DC.

    When I arrived in DC, I was able to find a black chiropractor. I told her that I was getting an appointment every week. She said that was crazy. My back was not that bad, and I should conserve my visits. She suggested I come bi-weekly for two months then come as needed. I went to this chiropractor and eventually my back no longer hurt. She could have had me go every week and collect money from insurance, but she genuinely wanted me to feel better.

    Ujamaa is not always easy. I am a somewhat persnickety person. I like to come into a doctor’s office and see the new furniture, beautiful pictures, and decor. The “vibe” and feeling of an office is important to me. I heard about a black dentist that set up his business to cater to inner city children. Tennessee, my home state, started an initiative to improve the dental health of school children. He won a grant to render dental services to these inner city kids. He used the grant to start his business.

    When I heard this story from my sister, a dental assistant, I jumped at the opportunity to use this clinic. The clinic is in the inner city close to the schools that he is there to serve. I drove down. The clinic’s exterior was not desirable, to say the least. The sign had a few letters that would not light up. The building was old. I walk in, and all the furniture looked used. The building was once a fast food restaurant. They left the fast food tables and benches in the waiting room. The dental exam room was created in the area that previously was the kitchen. I sign in and wait. Then it happens. A bus load of inner city kids was dropped off to get their teeth cleaned. The kids were loud and unruly, probably no more so than I was at that age, but I was not very happy.

    I am called to the back, and the dentist greets me with a smile. He asked me how my day was and I said I was fine. I could tell he is interested. He completed the routine cleaning, and we talked a little about my life. He saw from my teeth I grind my jaw at night and he wanted to know if I was stressed out. I started to talk about my job, which I hated at the time. He then fitted me for a mouth guard. The mouth guard fitting takes an extra twenty minutes. Most dentist would want me to come back on another day. He was able to truly accommodate my needs both in the dental and emotional aspects.

    It has been my experience that black medical professionals are more likely to listen to their patients. They are also careful to explain things in a way that is easily understandable. I think this is because black medical professionals are more likely to interact with people without degrees in their personal life. The interaction with people from various educational backgrounds allows the professional to practice explaining difficult concepts in understandable language. Many blacks stereotype black professional as stuck up. The preconception that black professionals see themselves as superior causes black professionals to learn how to present information in a non-threatening and understandable manner. I think that all people can benefit from a doctor that can explain things in layman’s terms. The ability to speak in plain English could be a huge benefit if you are diagnosed with a serious or complicated medical issue.

    How to practice Ujamaa.

    A person must first fully understand Ujamaa. Ujamaa is not charity! You are not buying from black people because you feel sorry for them. You buy because you are investing in an economy that will provide a unique value to society. You will benefit from the goods and services provided by the business now, and society will take advantage of this business later. You realize black people have a unique understanding of the world that will allow the to develop unique skills. You are investing in these skills and getting immediate services or goods.

    The first thing a person must do is find black businesses in their area. In America use the site http://www.blackpages.com. It is the largest directory of black-owned businesses. Locally contact your Black Business Bureau or read advertisements in the local black-owned newspaper. An Integralist should read black publications because he needs all perspectives.

    If a black owned business can not be found, shop around town for a business to provide the service you want. Go into the office and look around. See if you see any black people working there. Also, notice the jobs the black people hold in the company. Are they upfront in an office or are they doing manual labor? Factor that into your purchasing decision. If you are living in a large city, almost every business should have a few black people working there. If no black people are working there, more than likely the owner is racist. If you live in a city that is 30% to 50% black, you can find someone black to provide any services.

    The last point many people will say is racist. They will think you are attempting to punish a company for hiring practices. These same people will also tell you to boycott a company or store for environmental transgressions. If you heard Walmart was violating EPA regulations, every Integralist would push for a boycott. However, if you suspect a company has racist hiring practices, you don’t think anything should be done. If you are willing to use your dollar to punish environmental transgressions and not racial transgressions, you care more about animals than people.

    The last thing is to use the influence you have on your job to get contracts and subcontracts to black businesses. If you get to make a decision on procuring janitorial services use a black janitorial service. If the windows need to be washed, find a black company to provide the service. You could get some flack from people above you, and there may be an issue here and there because black-owned businesses are not large. However, this is an investment in the future of America.

    Conclusion

    Ujamaa is a practical way to address racial injustices. An Integralist doesn’t just say he wants to end racism. He doesn’t simply repost an article by Ta-Nehisi Cotes once a month. He is using his power, influence, and money to make the lives of Descendants of American Slaves better in the here and now. Ujamaa is an Integral practice that has real world results. Sitting and talking about racial redress is not enough. Let’s take action.

    For more information on Ujamaa refer to the Dr. Karenga’s website

    http://www.maulanakarenga.org

    He also has tons of lectures and articles available for free online. `

    Why Black People should not listen to Tai Lopez

    Tai Lopez is a financial wizard that currently sells business advice and self-help books on improving a person’s career. His most famous book is 67 Steps. One of Tai Lopez’s central tenets is finding mentors. Networking is at the forefront of his philosophy. Lopez sells numerous books and internet programs on how to make good first impressions.
     
    Lopez is not the only self-help guru for success in business that puts a premium on networking. Wade Alters sells a program to inform students on how to determine which people offer the highest benefit and how to get in front of these high-value people. How to win friends and influence people originally published in 1936 first detailed the importance of building a support group. The book describes how to handle various interpersonal issues and common pitfalls to avoid.
     
    This type of advice is useless for black people. A black person’s ability to interact with co-workers depends far more on their co-worker’s mental programming on racial issues than any personality flaw or lack of social skill. The racial complications of interpersonal relationships do not mean a black person should not attempt to interact and get along with coworkers and superiors. It is to say that blacks have very little control over how these people ultimately view them. There needs to be specific career help for blacks that addresses the specific issues common to our race.
     
    I have been working in the field of Engineering for twelve years. I have always held non-supervisory positions. Here are a few pieces of advice I would give to a new engineer of business professional on how to interact with coworkers.
     
    1. Focus on the mechanics of the job first
     
    The most important thing on a job is doing it well. It is important to explicitly say this because of the idea that relationships matter more than performance is the basis for most “success-in-business” advice. It assumes that there is no difference in the performance of employees.
     
    As a black person, your performance will always be hyper-analyzed. That is why your performance always has to be excellent. Take time to fully understand what is being measured in each task requirement. Find out where information is stored and how to find out how problems have been solved in the past. Remember most of the people will not help someone that is black and if they do they will see your need for help as a burden.
     
    2. Do not compare yourself with others
     
    Remember the struggle of black people is unique. We are entitled to make mistakes and have a difficult time. If co-workers or friends of other races begin to berate you or your performance, analyze what was said and evaluate if it is applicable. Make the correction where needed and if needed. However, understand that success in Corporate America is a challenging endeavor for a black person. You are going to make mistakes, and the consequences will be higher than you white counterparts. Never let the difficulty affect your core self-esteem.
     
    3. Human Resources is not your friend
     
    Inevitably, you will have a serious problem or disagreement with a co-worker. Sometimes the issue will be racial, sometimes it will be a personality conflict, and other times it is a personality conflict with a racial aspect. Avoid taking this to human resources. I have seen many people get angry and march someone into the human resources office. Human Resources is not there to handle personal disputes between co-workers, HR is there to protect the company. HR will document the incident and make sure to free the company from liability; HR will shift the blame to the individual employee in a court case. If a worker frequently goes to HR, the company will perceive them as a liability and work to get rid of the person before he or someone around him files a lawsuit.
     
    It is important for blacks to understand the psychology of conflict and how to de-escalate an argument. Don Beck’s work on value meme’s and business psychology is an excellent resource to understand conflict. Transactional Analysis psychology is another resource that will allow a person to recognize, address, and avoid conflict. The last resource I will mention in Non-Violent Communication in regards to business. Keep conflicts with people at work to yourself. Most people view blacks as belligerent and argumentative and will use information on your conflict to reinforce their perception.
     
    4. Other black people at work are not in a position to help you
     
    Most black people are intensely afraid of losing their job. Their experience in Corporate America has shown that they have a small margin of error before serious consequences arise. Even black people in supervisory or human resources positions are diligent in demonstrating that they do not show favoritism to blacks. The power structure of most companies is completely white. If one or two black people make it into a supervisory position, they know everyone is watching them and that if they make a mistake, they will be easily demoted. Therefore, most black people will not give inside information on jobs to apply for or give pointers on how to improve. Most black people are working diligently to keep their position.
     
    Unfortunately, there is still an unwritten rule that only allows one or two black people into a supervisory position per company. All the black people know they are in competition for a few coveted positions. No one is going to roll out a carpet and let another person pass them.
     
    Black people will be a moral support. When building a network of black professionals, that is what you will get from the situation. A black professional network will not result in insider information. Many black professionals are kept “out-of-the-loop” and don’t even have this information even when they are in a position to know.
     
    5. Build a network of friends outside of work
     
    Corporate America is unfulfilling by its very nature. Most jobs, especially entry level jobs, are monotonous and unrewarding. Having a vibrant social and family life will facilitate the positive reinforcement that is lacking on the job.
     
    I recommend artistic communities for building a social network. If there is a local theater, poetry, or dance community attempt to join. Art can be a great outlet for venting frustration. Black people have historically been instrumental in the development of art and individuals involved in art generally, have respect black people. Differences are not always looked at in a negative light.
     

    Corporate America is completely different for white and black people. Even non-black minorities have an easier time. Keeping your job in perspective is the best advice for blacks. Your job facilitates your life. Your core self-worth is not your job. Keeping the proper perspective will allow a person to see things as they are.

    Why Wilber’s views on the Incas and Mayans are offensive

    This post was written after reading Boomeritis. In this book, Wilber expounds on many issues in academia that detract from furthering intellectual pursuits. He sees this issues collectively as an unhealthy manifestation of the green meme. This unhealthy manifestation is termed “Boomeritis.” My analysis of the book concludes that Wilber is just a neo-conservative that is sick of women and brown people complaining about things that happened before they were born.

    In the book, Wilber concludes that liberal boomers artificially exalt pre-colonial cultures. The reason this is done,  according to Wilber, is to find non-violent or socialist utopias in the past. In the book, he details issues human sacrifice done by both these cultures. The descriptions are unnecessarily brutal to combat the reader’s idealist views of this culture. The result is a very superficial understanding and explanation of why understanding and finding the positive aspects of pre-colonial culture is so important for some people.

    I think it is important that he does not reference any Black or Hispanic authors in this section. He is only evaluating the possible motives of White anthropologist. The larger thesis in this section of the book is that all fields of study are a covert attempt to make children liberal. The boomers failed to enact an actual political revolution. Therefore they settled for brainwashing our young people into being left-wing.

    While his conclusion on the motives of some white anthropologists may be true, he is not seeing the larger picture of why people have studied and exalted ancient and pre-colonial cultures. He also does not put these views within a historical context.

    Before that Civil Rights movement, history as taught the inhabitants of Africa and America were simply savages that existed at a level of consciousness barely above animals. The colonist came in and civilized the savages and gave them Christianity. The colonist did use force in this effort, and many natives died. However, the result was the integration of black and brown people our new capitalist system.

    Starting in the 1920’s with people like Zora Neale Hurston the truth about pre-colonial Africa was revealed. It turns out that people in pre-colonial Africa and America had a high level of civilization. As more research poured in people of all races became fascinated. Black and Brown people were able to take pride in the ancestors and stop thinking that they are indebted to oppressors. Many white people, such as Sigmund Freud, studied societies untouched by Western influence to determine how people would act without social conditioning. These studies and the ideas unearthed by the research became a huge boon for intellectual thought.

    My main problem with this part of the book was he did not warn the audience not to regress into the racist view of all Non-European societies were only brutal and savage (pre-conventional). The audience is given the information on the brutal human sacrifices without knowledge of the true depth of these indigenous religions. The audience needs a full picture of what was happening in the pre-colonial societies.

    At the risk of speculating, I will assume his motivation is that he does not want his ancestors seen as people that solely raped, pillaged, and plundered the pre-colonial societies. It is true that a cross-cultural exchanged happened through the colonial wars and all people involved benefited. It is also true cross-cultural exchange can take place through commerce and non-violent communication. It is also true that Non-European cultures spread ideology through war, but what is now of paramount concern is healing the wounds of colonialism in all people.

    To bring this discussion back to the integral method, the preconventional, conventional, and postconventional view need to be defined. This is my proposal:

    Preconventional: Precolonial societies in America and Africa were savage and brutal. The colonist came used force to advance the societies to what they are today.

    Conventional: Precolonial societies were utopias. The colonist came in destroyed everything and ruined the lives of black and brown people.

    Postconventional: Precolonial societies had positive and negative elements. The colonist did use unnecessary force and did irreparable harm to the people that lived at that time and to the descendants. However, the cross-cultural exchange has benefited both sides. Our goal now is to heal past wounds to the best of our ability and move toward a more inclusive society.

    Wilber needs to understand that many people are trying to heal emotional wounds and rebuild their egos from the damage done by white supremacy. If that means he has to sit and feel uncomfortable while minorities expose their feelings, then that is what needs to happen.

    I will say Wilber has expanded my awareness on how a white person can feel in a conversation about race. One line in the book that stuck with me was him saying “ It is like only a native American can understand a native American. It needs to be acknowledged that some suffering is universal and can be understood by everyone.” I will agree with that and keep that in mind in when I am discussing race.

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