Societal The Word 3 minute read

Same Goal; Different Approaches


Just letting you know I’m blocking anyone that posts any love for any NFL team unless you can prove to me you are on the payroll in some form or fashion of said team. My blocking you is unimportant in the grand scheme of things as I do not pay any of your bills. This has to do with my conscience not yours.

One of my favs (favorite people) posted this statement on his Facebook page.  Unsurprisingly, there was a strong reaction from his followers.  Some applauded his stand and said they were going to post similar messages on their pages; some wished him farewell (some with a wave and some with a middle finger); some admonished him for either his strong action or for his position.

I love my brother for his passion and I agree with his stance. I, too, am boycotting the NFL this season; but I wonder if it’s this type of statement that keeps us, Black people, from making significant progress in making changes within our community and for our people. If we share similar goals; do we have to separate ourselves because we advocate different methods on how to achieve them?

Of course, the relationship or lack thereof between Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. comes to mind when considering this question.  These were two men who wanted to better conditions for their people; but disagreed about the best approach.  History has tried to teach us that the two men were mortal enemies, but that wasn’t truly the case. In fact, they only met one time.  Malcolm did speak passionately against Martin Luther King, Jr’s approach, but they weren’t truly enemies.  In fact, when Malcolm met Coretta Scott King, he stated, “I want Dr. King to know that I didn’t come to Selma to make his job difficult.  I really did come thinking that I could make it easier.  If the white people realize what the alternative is [to Martin’s nonviolent approach], perhaps they will be more willing to hear Dr. King.”

Malcolm and Martin unwillingly (maybe), helped each other; and they both certainly helped improve things for the civil rights movement. And there lies the lesson.  We can employ different methods to get us out of this madness.

I once received a nasty-gram from a potential subscriber.  She was clear that she was sick of all the talking and writing about issues; and wanted to see action.  She said that she wouldn’t be supporting Beatnik24. I could feel her frustration; however, I also feel as if she is wrong.  We need people to start conversations and incite thinking—just as we need those who are willing to march, fight, run for office,  or hire Black candidates.  Some of us will not attend NFL games; some will; but we cannot be divided.  The person who is attending an NFL game on Sunday may be the same person who does the majority of his shopping at Black-owned businesses, has mentored multiple Black children, gives liberally to the NAACP, or has marched in several protests.  I can’t choose everyone’s weapon, as long as we are all fighting for the same good.  Our ability to unite is the sum of our ability to change America’s racist equation.

My intention is for Black people to love themselves and each other. It sounds somewhat silly, I guess; but oftentimes my people are overwhelmed with negative images, bad news, and stereotyped characters about us. I’d like to flip that script. I’d like to remind us, as often as I can, how incredible we are. Read more


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