Happy New Years, I hope this is the one we have all been working or (depending on your motivation) waiting for; God knows I am going about my business like it is. So far in my environmentalist comments, I have introduce my intentions, and given you a little background of where I am coming form. To begin my effort, I want to share with you what I have used as my way of welcoming people to my website. It is as follow:
I don't know how you found us, but I am really glad you did. You are about to enter the world of Environmental Literacy from a person of color's perspective. We like to consider ourselves pioneers in world wide environmental movement, with a mandate to learn first, return to our roots and evaluate how what we have learned fits, and then return to the environmental community itself, to share the kind of adjustments we have discovered needs to be made to their perceived perspectives, so what we are now teaching as a collaborative group, can finally have a real chance to truly become a benefit. This process as far as we are concerned is cutting edge community organizing; using environmental literacy as a means to finally complete the integration process in America.
I guess this is as good a place as any to begin. I do not feel the integration process in America has been completed, regardless of perceived progress (i.e. this blog) we seemed to have made.
To back that up and give what I am saying some kind of foundation, a recent charge was made against the ever present Occupy Wall Street groups, and their lack of a black or people of color agenda. The term used to clarify what they were charging was “White Democracy”. While there are many sides to this issue, for my purpose I will address the problem solving decision-making part of this equation (democracy).
Since the end of slavery, decisions regarding recently freed slaves, were based on what the white majority felt was appropriate. During the “Civil Rights” movement, when policies were being discussed, it was the opinions of white America that ruled. So many of our programs, and/or solutions for integration have been based on what white people (liberal white people) felt would work. Granted, all along we have had some black input, but the input was regarding a pre-determined white solution; which is what is being called “White Democracy”.
After years of working in this kind of system, where our opinions were regulated by our pre-determined job descriptions, I decided to take what I had learned, and use it to create my own hypotheses, and take that hypotheses and establish my own economic development vehicle for hard to place black inner city residents.
In doing so, I was able to develop the system I have been using which was described above when I said, “We like to consider ourselves pioneers in world wide environmental movement, with a mandate to learn first, return to our roots and evaluate how what we have learned fits, and then return to the environmental community itself, to share the kind of adjustments we have discovered needs to be made to their perceived perspectives, so what we are now teaching as a collaborative group, can finally have a real chance to truly become a benefit.
I learned from the white social engineers and businessmen during the Civil Rights community organizing attempted during the sixties and early seventies, return to my root the black community and evaluated how what I learned would fit, but because of 9/11 my effort to prepare what I had accomplished, so I could present it to the social engineering community, was cut short when my vehicle for change was eliminated.
I had contracts with car dealership for their janitorial service, and one day I went to work about a year after 9/11, and because of the disruption to the car industry (which has yet to really recover), I no longer had any contracts. I was told, it is not personal; it's business. The boys washing car, which we are not selling, can pull my trash, and sweep & mop my floors. That way they can earn the money I am paying them for not washing any cars.
It was while regrouping I discovered the virtues of the environmental movement, and found a place to use what I do best; learn first, return to our roots and evaluate how what we have learned fits, and then (in this particular case) return to the environmental community itself, to share the kind of adjustments I had discovered needed to be made to (once again) their perceived perspectives, so what we needed to teach as a collaborative team, could possibly have a real chance to truly become a benefit.
The next Blog will be the beginning to explore the results of that experiment.
I am going to say this now, so I don’t have to eat my words later. I too was educated in the “White Democracy” that taught us to speak a lot using I, was a problem. Hear me when I say, what I have done, I have done by myself. That was not because I can’t get along with people or because I have some kind of unbelievable ego. My reason for using I, is because it is a report of what I have done out of my own pocket to evaluate this aspect of life. If you need to qualify me, just use Google search!
So no ego problem, I have been motivated by what the minister Louis Farrakhan said we had lost or done, took our eye off the prize. Turning the black community into a winner has always been my objective in life, and will continue to be my objective until I die.