As my colleague Professor ‘Jim’ Clingman and I ‘stump’ the country in our quest to recruit One Million Conscious Black Voters and Contributors (OMCBV&C) to save our people from whatever ‘final solution’ the racists and white supremacists in American have in store for us, we encounter substantially less optimism than pessimism. It appears that the oppressor has succeeded in infusing doubt and apprehension deep into the psyche of black people, so much so that they cannot bring themselves to believe that it might be possible for our Race to pull itself out of the quagmire we have been plunged into. There is nothing we are urging black folks to do that has not already been and is being done by other groups of non-black people, so there is no question that what we propose is humanly possible. As the Great Marcus Mosiah Garvey taught us: “There is nothing common to man that man cannot do.” In other words, the only proof necessary that human beings can do a thing, is that some human beings somewhere and at some time have already done it! Black people take it for granted that almost any group of non-black people — but especially white people — can accomplish anything they want to, yet even the most mundane things they accept as being beyond our own capability. Rank-and-file blacks even doubt the accomplishments of the Africans who built the great Nile Valley civilizations and sustained them for millennia. They cannot bring themselves to believe that a people whom God Himself had (allegedly) cursed, could possibly have been responsible for any such achievements!
Our people are surrounded by evidence of white people’s ability to envision and build stupendous structures and accomplish seemingly impossible tasks, such as putting men on the moon and operating stations in outer space; they know that Japanese make even better cars and technological equipment than Americans, and Arabs have trillions of dollars worth of crude oil. They are all too aware that China has emerged as America’s greatest challenger to the claim of being “the world’s only remaining superpower!” They are quick to point out that in sharp contrast to the foregoing, Africa lags far behind all other continents, and its inhabitants behind all other Races, ethnic groups, and nationalities! To them all this proves that the African Race is inferior to all others, and they resent having been born into such an accursed group. This is in large part why it has become so easy for blacks to accept the despicable label “nigger” as applicable for black people, and why so many of us seek ever more creative ways to “escape” our blackness.
So how then do Jim Clingman and I, along with our die-hard circle of “true-believers,” get our people to shake themselves loose from self-negation? How might we get them to believe what they do not readily see? What reason is there for them to believe in “possibility-thinking?” I have decided to try approaching this dilemma by asking a series of “what if” questions as a means of encouraging our people to dwell on positives rather than the more familiar negatives; to focus on possibilities rather than impossibilities.
WHAT IF: We succeed is recruiting One Million or more black people to the OMCBV&C? What possibilities would this open up for us?
WHAT IF: The One Million we recruit are the ‘best and brightest,” most gifted and talented our Race has produced? We have seldom had this element applying their skills and abilities to the uplift and advancement of our own Race.
WHAT IF: Our One Million resolve to fulfill W.E.B. DuBois’ wishes as to the leadership role his “Talented Tenth” would have provided for the remaining 90%? Consider the contributions our best, brightest, and most able have made to the growth of America into “the richest, most powerful nation in the history of the world!” From our smartest “merit scholars,” to our top “blue-chip” athletes, the best people we have produced have put white America literally on top of the world!!
WHAT IF: Each of our One Million purchased just one (1) of our promotional t-shirts at $20.00 per? That would generate $20 million in revenue to underwrite costs of organizing and conducting our campaign, guaranteeing its success! What could be the likely promotional effect of one million black folks across the country wearing our attention-grabbing “I AM ONE OF THE MILLION” t-shirts? Ours would be the first fully-self-sustaining non-religious black organization since Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League (UNIA-ACL) in the 1920s!
WHAT IF: Our One Million all registered to vote as “No Party Affiliation,” then proceeded to vote as a solid block, and on-cue, for the political party and its candidate who agrees to meet our conditions? If our demands are not met, we would have the options of 1) sitting out the election; 2) casting our block of votes against a party and its candidate; or 3) elevating a minor part to prominence by casting our block of votes for its candidate. Blacks have never before exercised or even threatened this type of political “muscle.”
WHAT IF: Each of our One Million were to agree that in addition to our block of votes, each of us would contribute $5.00 to the chosen candidate’s campaign, for a total of $5 million? What if we “upped-the-ante” to $10 each, for a total of $10 million, and so on as we saw fit? Would that give parties and candidates reason to take us seriously? Remember that “money is the mothers’ milk of politics,” and “money talks, while (that other stuff) walks!”
WHAT IF: Each of our One Million was asked to contribute $5.00 to establish a “Legal Offensives Fund” (we are not on the defensive!), which would be used to hire competent attorneys to prosecute those of our proposed platform planks intended to reign-in out-of-control police who murder American citizens? WHAT IF our attorneys pursued a class-action lawsuit against every state which has passed laws that make it legal for police to murder American citizens in the street without suffering any consequences? WHAT IF our attorneys drafted and pursued legislation in every state requiring policemen to purchase the equivalent of “malpractice insurance” which police would have to pay for themselves, or their unions could pay a portion for them, but at the bottom line, tax-paying citizens would not pay for in the form of a ‘fringe-benefit?’ WHAT IF this fund was used to help finance the effort by ONUS, Inc. in cooperation with Black Communities United for Progress to pass “groundbreaking legislation to help stop police killings.” Might the fund be able to help put that effort over-the-top? Yet, the cost of that fund to each contributor would be negligible, even if the amount we requested from each was $10.00 rather than $5.00. Again, we would be playing to the strength in our numbers.
WHAT IF: Every quarter (three months) our One Million OMCBV&C agreed to purchase an item from one of our members, i.e.; a book from an author, an item imported from Africa, etc.; we could literally produce a multi-millionaire each quarter, and the cost to each of the million would be negligible! Success in that endeavor would enable more of our members to become employers of our people, thus contributing to the appreciation the rank-and-file could develop for our initiative and those involved with it.
WHAT IF: Our One Million were to select a major project of value to the black collective, to be financed by the OMCBV&C? By way of example: Before his transition recently, Dr. Edward Robinson, the iconic “Elder” of Philadelphia’s Race-conscious community, wanted to produce a feature-length epic movie titled: “Whispers of the Medallion,” projected to cost $40 million; if Dr. Robinson were still with us, our One Million could have financed his production at a nominal cost of only $40 per person! That is an example of the potential we will have to “play to our strength” — namely, our numbers.
The foregoing list of ‘what ifs’ is by no means exhaustive. One could readily see the virtually unlimited potential inherent in the concept. There is hardly an area of human activity where it cannot be applied — with major impact, and at minimal cost to each individual.
What if we are successful? Why, we will lead our people to that place where our esteemed Ancestor Marcus Mosiah Garvey said we were destined to ascend: To “Our rightful place among the constellation of nations and peoples on this Earth!” Then the racists and white supremacists would have to settle for some other racial, ethnic, or nationality group to abuse and misuse, for we will have removed ourselves from being the weakest link in the chain, or weakest patch in the quilt-like fabric, of this society.
Let’s DO this, y’all!