Sunday, October 16, 2005

The MMM Merry Go Round

The MMM Merry Go Round

“The use of the lecture model which is a major problem within the African Centered Movement- until now has not been challenged and exposed as an obsolete method of adult education and community development. The exception is the challenge issued by the late visionary Chancellor Williams who understood decades ago that the lecture Model was the vice of African people. Whatever value this method had it is now incapable of meeting the needs of the African community. Until this fact is recognized, the race will fail to make any real progress, and as a result there will continue to be an increasing lecturers who have no serious plan or program but who join this dead-end Lecture Model effort with objectives of making money and establishing a speaking career in the ongoing struggle of the community.” Manu Ampim Towards Black Community Development Moving beyond The Limitations of the Lecture Model p 209

Ten years ago when I attended the Million Man March and Day of Atonement I was leery of the outcome. I knew we could get at least a million men on the Mall that day given the turn out of our conventions like the Elks, Masons, Greek Lettered organizations and sporting events like the Circle City Classic or the CIAA basketball tournament. My concerns then were the level of right wing racist propaganda being spewed over the airwaves in Washington D.C. by the likes of G. Gordon Liddy and others. Knowing this government’s legacy of human rights abuses and terrorism I though some psychopathic individuals or even the government would do something to harm the participants. I thought such an event would pose an excellent opportunity for them to spray the air with toxic biochemical materials or collect data pictures for future use in the New World Order. Nevertheless, I went with a busload of my fraternity brothers. I was greatly impressed by the anticipation of something great coming out of the Million Man March, by the spirit of the men in attendance, the level of consciousness, camaraderie and commitment of the brothers who were there that day. I saw brothers return home like myself and get involved in a myriad of activities from being even more attentive to their families to volunteering in the community to grass roots activism and institution building. In many ways the MMM was a ground breaking phenomenon, it proved a massive demonstration and rally could be a catalyst for major social change. The Million Man March spawned numerous offshoots. There were the Million Youth, Million Women and Million Family Marches, all of whom (in my opinion) lacked the power and programmatic thrust of the original. So when I heard Minister Farrakhan was calling for a Millions More Movement I knew another larger march and rally were feasible but I was skeptical about the relevance, productivity and meaning of such an event. I was not sure I would attend even although I was somewhat curious about what it would entail. As a journalist part of me wanted to cover the event to report on it for the Internet radio stations, E-groups, newspapers and blog I am affiliated with. In fact I was so ambivalent about going, I didn’t make any early arrangements to attend. Hurricane Katrina and the government and corporate media’s responses to the disaster changed my mind. I saw an urgency, a real need for African people to come together not for speeches, posturing, pontificating or pimping but for a real call to action and programs beyond business as usual. An opportunity to attend the rally opened and I went.
For me the atmosphere at yesterday’s rally was far different from the one I experienced ten years ago, and since the original MMM was so historic that may be natural. The people were still friendly, cordial and polite but something was missing. I did not feel the power of brotherhood I felt in 1995. Moreover I did not feel the sense of urgency I had hoped would be evident given what our people saw last month during Hurricane Katrina! I spoke to m any conscious brothers and sistahs but for many it was like a picnic a day in the park. We needed more. In the interim since I attended the MMM, the Million Women March and the Million Family March I read Manu Ampim’s bool entitled Towards Black Community Development Moving beyond the Limitations of The lecture Model. I strongly urge all of you to read this book. We have to move beyond the speech, sermon and lecture paradigm and embrace a more action oriented approach to problem solving, community organization and development. Our community places too much emphasis or oration, speechifying and too little energy or attention is invested in actual organizing and developing programmatic skills and acumen! Yesterday we heard a lot of speeches, where is the programmatic blueprint? Where is the road map that shows us where we go from here? I know there will be follow up sessions and some folks will get busy working to improve our situation, but time is of the essence. We don’t have time for foolishness and posturing.
The white race dominates the world because they have a consciousness for war and domination. They use violence, terrorism, psychological warfare and menticide to discourage resistence to their oppressive agenda. I find it interesting the ruling elites don’t broadcast their strategy sessions. The Bilderberger and Trilateral Commission meetings are closed to the press. The DIA, Naval Intelligence, CIA, FBI and NSA do not televise their joint intelligence briefings. So why are all our so called leadership summits open to the public, including our enemies? Yes we must have transparency and accountability but we mus also be wise. If listening to speeches, sermons and lectures were the solution, black folks’s problems would be few. The Chinese say, “talk cooks no rice.” The time for mere talk is over. It’s time to roll up our sleeves and get to work. It’s time as the ol’ folks used to say for us to, “lead, follow or get out of the way.”. Whether you attended yesterday’s Millions More Movement or not, whether you agree with the speakers or not, whether you think the government deliberately allowed our people in New Orleans to suffer and die or not is not the issue. The issue is, is our situation any better than it was ten years ago? If your answer is no, then what are we, and the operative words here is we, going to do about it besides talk?

-30-

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