“Self-esteem comes from achievements. Not from lax standards and false praise.”
— Condoleezza Rice
I’m tired and need to move on. The Black community in the Twin Cities has seen its share of poverty pimping, hustling, and clergy who have as much God as the devil. It is clear we all have a destiny, and in those destinies we might not believe in the same direction.
Since May 1, 2015 I have watched closely the events surrounding the NAACP of Minneapolis. I watch a 77-year-old community elder have the police called on him at an NAACP meeting, and now the attempt to silence his First Amendment rights under the Constitution.
Criticism comes from all directions in life — your colleagues, your community and those who hold firmly to the mantle of leadership. For those of you complaining about the critique of the Minneapolis NAACP, remember this quote from Winston Churchill: “Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.”
It is the better person who puts to rest generations of hate, contempt and unfounded malfeasance to seek a better path. To say Black lives matter while marginalizing members in the Black community, means nothing matters except your plan, your agenda and the minions who keep whispering in your ear.
Remember, the same people that pick up the phone and call you are the same people that pick up the phone and call me. There will always be two sides in every story, one of them are the side right. The side I might be on now might not be the liked side.
As the leader of the Minneapolis NAACP, you must realize constructing knowledge and value is a process of incorporating the moral and social aspects of life into a system or practice that can be used. These are important aspects of history and life. We place special security around what we deem valuable.
If you deem an inconsequential videotape valuable and not Minnesota’s failing education system for Black children, we have failed our mission. If Black unemployment, business and training have become passé, then it’s time to rethink what we are fighting for.
This is all classic kabuki theater, where the protagonist and antagonists are really on the same side. The protests are a spectator sport. Mass legal demonstrations are dismissed because they get less media attention than traffic blockades. No serious demands are being raised. If headlines in the news are more important than serving an organizational mission, we have both failed — me in advising you and you in ignoring vision.
When things are meaningful to the community, they reach the core of our being. These things drive us to stay motivated and keep up faithfully.
At some point, the Minneapolis NAACP, its leadership and collaborators must get to a meaningful and productive mission. It’s easy. Many things that have meaning and value have a truth component attached to them. We would rather value something that is truthful in scope. Today, there is less truth and more fluff.
Don Allen welcomes reader responses to firstname.lastname@example.org.