Between the lines.

By: Anthony Asadullah Samad

The more the African American community tries to analyze how to pull itself up from the grips of despair, the more it opens itself up to greater criticism. It�s is more difficult to have a public conversation without those who either exploit black crisis or enjoy commenting on the state of the black crisis, as some form of catharsis for why such problem continue to persist. The racists come out every time public intellectuals assert that the historical social construct has contributed to the problem. America stopped talking about race because it could never win a conversation about race and the nation�s complicit involvement in the creation of a race caste system. The emergence of classism and the persistence of poverty has crossed color lines and makes it difficult to assert race as a primary source of the problem. And that�s a problem. American society created the problem, but wants no responsibility in correcting the problem. Economic suppression is so great in poor communities that it is nearly impossible to escape from the social ills created by economics alone. Complicate this by poor education, poor health, poor family structures and poor values (choices), and you have a situation that black people can�t escape from.

It�s a situation that, while not hopeless, leaves many feeling helpless. And where can the African American expect to get help from? America cut Black America loose twenty years ago. By the end of the Reagan Revolution, the separation, economic/social/political, was complete. We�ve spent the last twenty years looking for something that just isn�t there. But unlike other races and cultures who turned inward to cultural values and community support systems, black communities have turned on each other and there are few support systems to be found. That�s a problem. Many in our community continue to be exploited by consumerism, gangsterism, and popular culturalism that undermine intelligence, morals and discernment. This creates level of sophistication (or unsophistication) that makes it difficult for African Americans to relate to each other. Other cultures have generation gaps. The black community has millennium gaps.



BC columnist Anthony Asadullah Samad is a national columnist, managing director of the Urban Issues Forum and author of the upcoming book, Saving The Race: Empowerment Through Wisdom. His Website is


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