A. Peter Bailey: Solutions-oriented guidelines from Brother Malcolm and Brother Martin

by A. Peter Bailey

(TriceEdneyWire.com)—For over 50 years millions of Black people in this country have held commemoration events on the days Brother Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. were assassinated and celebratory events on their birthdays. Doing so is very important. However, equally important is the need for us to learn from and act on the profound, productive, inspiring guidelines the Brothers left us on how to promote and protect our health, economic, political, educational, technological and communications interests in a country where overt White supremacy has once again become openly hostile.

One 1967 guideline from Brother Martin stated that “A second important step that the negro must take is to work passionately for group identity….group unity necessarily involves group trust and reconciliation. One of the most serious effects of the negro’s damage ego has been his frequent loss of respect for himself and other negroes. He ends up with ambivalence towards his own kind…. This plea for unity is not a call for uniformity. There must always be healthy debate. There will be inevitable differences of opinion. The dilemma that the negro confronts is so complex and monumental that its solution will of necessity involve a diversified approach. But negroes can differ and still unite around common goals. There are already structured forces in the negro community that can serve as the basis for building a powerful united front—the negro church, the negro press, the negro fraternities and sororities and negro professional associations. We must admit that these forces have never given their full resources to the call of negro liberation….But the failure of the past must not be an excuse for the inaction of the future. These groups must be mobilized and motivated….This form of group unity can do infinitely more to liberate the negro than any action of individuals. ~Please note Brother Martin italicized individuals. ~  We have been oppressed as a group and we must overcome that oppression as a group.”

Brother Malcolm was just as direct and solutions-oriented when he stated that “U.S. politics is ruled by special interest blocs and lobbyists. What group has more urgent special interests? What group needs a bloc, a lobby more than the Black man? Labor owns one of Washington’s largest non-government buildings—situated where they can literally watch the White House—and no political move is made that doesn’t include how Labor feels about it. A lobby gets Big Oil its depletion allowance….Twenty-million Black people should tomorrow give $1 apiece to build a skyscraper in Washington, DC. Every morning every legislator should receive communications about what every Black man and woman in America expects and wants and needs. The demanding voice of the Black lobby should be in the ear of every legislator who votes on any issues.”

We Black people in this country would not be such easy targets in 2023 if we had utilized the solutions-oriented guidelines provided by Brother Martin, Brother Malcolm and other serious leaders, including Brother Harold Cruse, Brother Lerone Bennett Jr., sister Frances Cress Welsing, Sister C. Delores Tucker and Brother Hoyt Fuller. Fortunately for us it is better to be late than never. We still have time to follow the guidelines presented by some of our great master teachers.



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