Monday, October 24, 2005


More on the Millions More

posted by Rob at 10:41 AM

Winston-Salem Journal columnist Nat Irvin had the same thoughts as I with regard to the Millions More Movement. He wanted a different message as well (emphasis mine):
Why didn't we hear Mike's story during the Millions More March? Instead we heard from Malik Zulu Shabazz, the leader of the New Black Panther Party, who used his time to spread gossip about the plight of the black man and the racism of the white man. While not all speakers sounded as nutty as Shabazz, the folks who had the loudest voices at the gathering seemed to know little about how to create wealth. Many of the speakers sounded like socialists - not like capitalists. That's fine, but the socialist model for economic growth is not creating wealth anywhere on the planet.
He also offers another example, the story of Eleanor, who told him "how she dealt with white preferential treatment in the workplace":
She had applied for a position at a law firm. A Rhodes Scholar, a graduate of Yale Law School and with an MBA from Harvard, she was well-qualifed for the position. But during her interview, the law partner asked her questions about how she came to be who she was - a black woman born in Jamaica who went to Yale, etc. He never talked about the job itself. She was baffled by the questions, and she did not get the job. After that, she decided she would not put herself in that position again. She created her own private equity firm, where she does the hiring.

Eleanor's and Mike's stories show a gap within black America - a difference not so much in seeing what the problems are, but in seeing how to solve them. One group is looking outside. The other is looking inside.
Preach on, Nat. Too bad the choir has no interest. MMM II was not about actually improving the economic or moralistic lives of black people. For many it was all about politics:
"The need to mobilize and the need to organize is here, like it was 10 years ago," said the Rev. Al Sharpton, as he walked to the stage with the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson. ... "The success of this march will be that we take charge of our communities and make a difference in the 0-6 elections." ...

A constant of the day was criticism of the Bush administration -- from leaders and from crowd members who held signs that said, "Bush Lied, People Died" and charged that the government is insensitive to the needs of black people. ...

Earlier in the day, Malik Zulu Shabazz, chairman of the New Black Panther Party, accused President Bush of "drowning the people of New Orleans and sabotaging the levees" and said that "the real gangsters operate out of CIA headquarters." His comments drew rousing applause.
What a sad, sad waste.

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