Monday, December 23, 2013

Hip Hop

Hip Hop isn't dead is it? It is a platform for healing and empowering our community. It was not meant to hurt the people, but wake them up so to speak. It was effective in a dynamic way. Everything and everyone used it for their own. Some abused it for selfish gain and we know who they are. If not they are the same ones who wanted to colonize the world. They even had representatives from the community say Hip Hop was wrong and should be stopped. These people actually sounded just like they may have been the descendants of those people that said, "Just do as you are told , don't rock the boat, stay in your place!" Fear is a mother fucker, but afraid of your own. It was quite remarkable how women came out talking about how the women were exploited by Hip-Hop, but did not want to talk about what brought on this entire phenomenon in the first place! Should I say it, Slavery, perpetual and never ending just like the music we create to reflect it

Monday, November 25, 2013

Oscar Wilde's "Life imitates art.."

Before TV, movies and things to watch, visual stimulation, perception, patterning or... I'm not sure what to call it,there was reading. I personally, I NEED TO READ, I FEEL EMPTY OTHERWISE. There is a difference between reading and watching. The two are two different things! Should we be choosing between reading and watching? Will one be the sure death of the other? Are we limiting ourselves by not doing one or the other? Some say it is easier to watch, less demanding on the person? Some say they hate reading, hate reading? HERE'S SOMETHING I FOUND TO READ FROM THE WONDERFUL MR. WILDE

Saturday, November 16, 2013

My Thanksgiving GIVE

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Harmonious and

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


Politics are not popular anymore. Politicians are no longer interested in being part of this country's make-up. Political savvy meant being a possible president one day, being one like those who wrote and signed the original constitution, The Declaration of Independence, The Bill of Rights, one of the designers, a leader a father figure to the country, going down in history, your name indelibly  written in stone.

Politics are no more a representation of the U.S. and it's beloved democracy or it's inhabitants. Politicians are not shaping and molding what can and cannot be done to maintain freedom and justice for all. Politicians are just puppets, they are just mannequins, puppets with the hand of the man with the money controlling their every waking moment. 

Money rules this land now and forever more. The people no longer believe a representative that they vote for is doing anything about their interests. The interest is to keep the money growing from millions to billions to zillions and so on. Politics are embarrassing.  

People don't like it anymore. We see through to the truth and the only way to improve is to bring the truth to the light and remind everyone what we are all about people.   

Monday, September 9, 2013

A Case of the Wrong Person in the Wrong Job

Guess what... at work, I won the perfect attendance award for the quarter and brought home a 42" LCD for the prize. Yeah! Congrats and all that.

The company I work for,well, no need to mention names, but would you believe I called my manager over to ask a question one day and the scent of marijuana nearly knocked me over. I was so overwhelmed by the smell that before I could asked the question I wanted him to answer  I said to him, "Where have you been!" he replied, "I just went out for while."

I work hard and I appreciate integrity, I don't appreciate my manager. He is not the right type to manage. I've heard him make some really foul comments about the character traits of specific races and I don't understand why he feels secure enough to smoke marijuana while on shift at the job. Now, I have my ideas about a person of his nature and ignorant is one idea that comes to mind. 

Unfortunately, I lost quite a bit of regard for him. I've not called him over to ask a question since. How dare he! That also led me to have less respect for the company overall.  

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Stop Spending Your Money!!!!

Our children are still being murdered and the murders still go free!!!
Stop, feeding the flame with the money you earn. Save your money.
Don't buy it!  You have clothes, wear them, you have shoes wear them.

Change your thinking, understand that what you do right now, in the present,
prepares your future. Break the cycle of consumerism, start to think producer-ism.

How does the old saying go: "Money is at the root of all evil" 
Stop spending your money to feed and fuel an evil, unjust system that allows a  grown man to kill a child and not be held accountable for it .  

Save your money to produce a better outcome!

As a wise one once said, "If you are not part of the solution then you are part of the problem."

Friday, May 17, 2013


Has there been established a predetermined life-cycle for the American who has been without, it is true that a specific percent of the population is detained to be a part of this life-cycle generation after generation, specifically those who have no money, I believe so. It seems that if an American tries but cannot pull himself out of the muck of nothingness in this country he and his children are destined to be a permanent part of this nothingness life cycle.

Money does make the world go round and some of the population of that world have to be the ones who are pushing it, thank God for electricity, gas, water and the rest of the energy used  to spin things around, but it wouldn’t be nothing, nothing, without a human.  

Some percent of us must remain behind the wheel, while the rest of us are under it, squashed into a permanent state of nothingness lest the driver will have to share the overabundance of security he enjoys.

The Deserving and Undeserving

I hear politicians use the phrase, “The deserving and undeserving homeowners”,
Why is there a division of deserving and undeserving? 
Doesn’t the buyer determine if they deserve to buy a home for themselves? People buying homes do it because they can, because they choose to. Or does someone actually decide if they deserve it or not? 

Are you saying these people who bought homes did not deserve them because due to the immoral behavior and money making schemes on Wall Street with their derivatives market, they now need help keeping their homes?

If they are deserving to own a home and can pay for it they are good, meaning, if they avoided being touched by these vultures and can pay for these homes they deserve them and those who have a home and can no longer pay for it are not deserving.

Perhaps the undeserving are those that lost the income they had before this greedy action blew a hole in the pot and drained every drop of juice they had when they bought it, they do not have the money they had and the ones who would be deserving are the ones who still have their incomes and can still pay their mortgage.

Should these deserving ones be allowed to refinance for a lower rate?

Why do some people always want to take advantage of what they don’t deserve.  They had the jobs, they bought the homes, they got bank loans for businesses and homes before anyone else, they were already ahead of the game, they got whatever they felt they deserved while others have never or rarely gotten what they deserved. 

When others were able to own homes it was a first for a large number of our population and if able to pull it off, are now being put off their jobs, out of business and pushed back to the end of the line. They should be given what’s deserved, like what would be equivalent to forty acres and two mules. 

Some people always want to get in where they don’t belong, they are all time selfish and all time greedy and all time undeserving, while staying ahead due to a united effort to keep it that way.

Why can’t they be more like others, whom, if it is not needed, don’t go running out to get it anyway?

Many of us would rather starve then take handouts, we would rather not have if we have to cheat, steal or lie to get it and keep it. We don’t jump ahead in line in front of nobody and we let people with less than us go ahead of us, why can’t they be more like us. 

They stand up and scream, "we want the same thing others are getting", they are not remembering the tragedies of the past that others have endured and are still enduring, like taxation without representation, like not getting to vote and getting killed if you even thought about it, like when slavery was outlawed by the government but continued anyway for another 40+ years and nearly no one was punished for it.

What happened with the housing market was just another case of these same people’s descendants taking advantage of others and ignoring, bending and twisting the law and not being punished for it. 

They want to buy property at lower rates like everyone else, so they can buy more than everyone else and sell it for profit and keep everything for themselves just as their ancestors did in this country. Enough already, they don’t deserve it. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Drought

“Once a seed is planted, it needs water to grow.”

The Store-"How do it look?"

One day I went to clean up the fitting rooms and I found piles of men,s clothes in the women’s fitting room, piles. My co worker who had said well it’s a lot of them, lesbians, women that come through here and try on men's clothes, I said but how did they get all these men clothes past the fitting room person and take them into the women’s fitting room, they didn’t look at the clothes and see that they were men's clothes. They don’t look at the clothes, they just ask the customer, “how many” and give them the number they say they have and let them go in.

And then we got this man that comes in dressed in women’s clothes and comes to the fitting room with a bunch of women’s clothes he wants to try on in the men’s fitting room, women’s purses and shoes and stuff, I just say, “you have to go into the men's fitting room” and he says, “Oh yeah, I know, I come here all the time.”

He goes in the men’s fitting room with a pink skirt suit on and high heels and a purse, he is a man dressed as a woman and it’s obvious, so he got to go in the men’s fitting room, dressed like a woman.

I said, “Oh, I can’t take it; people do all kinds of weird stuff right in your face right in public being selfish, not caring how it may make it difficult for someone else”. He came in, in a maid costume one day talking about, “How you like it, it’s my Halloween costume.”
I asked him, “don’t you worry about scaring people when you are on the streets like that, people are wild they will do anything, people will just get upset looking at you and you scare their kids and stuff, don’t you worry about somebody getting mad and jumping on you because that’s what can happen with you walking around here looking like that”.

“Well I never thought about it that way, it’s my Halloween costume and I came in here to find a feather duster and I wanted to wear the costume to see how it was gonna look with it”. I was like, it ain’t even Halloween yet.

My mom said, “I should have said, wow look at you, don’t you look beautiful!”
I said, “Oh no, I wasn’t gone lie to him, I cannot tell a lie.”
“Well, I would have”, she said.
 “Well, I told him he looked scary”.

She said, “You can’t argue with the customers, you can’t be telling them what they really look like, you can’t tell the truth. You got too many opinions.”

Saturday, May 4, 2013

The Store-Panties

The last time I worked a daytime shift with her, she told a lady she could try on panties.  I asked her, “since when did we start letting people try on panties Miss JoAnn?”
She said, “We don’t, we don’t but let her go ahead and try em’ on”.
I was through.

The woman stepped up to the fitting room with seven pairs of panties, and hung them on the fitting room podium we use to count the items and I proceeded to tell her I could hold them for her whiles he took her other items into the fitting room and she said she wanted to try them on.

I told her it wasn’t allowed, and she went off, “I don’t see that written anywhere, where does it say that”? I kind of said, “Well, that’s general, proper, protocol, panties are not fitted in the store.”
“Where is the manager, she yelled”, so I called JoAnn and explained a customer is here in the fitting room wanting to talk to a manager about trying on panties.

She came back their looking at me like, I did something wrong, like, what is it you couldn’t handle? When she asked the woman how could she help her the woman started talking about, how it wasn’t posted anywhere that she couldn’t try on panties, and she went to Emory and she had all these degrees ad she insisted on trying on this underwear and JoAnn gave in to her, and I just stood there and shook my head, and JoAnn said, “let her go in with them”.

When the woman came out stomping right past me, didn’t stop, look at me, smile, frown or nothing, just jetted right past me. I could see what she had or didn’t have with her. JoAnn called the fitting room, just after that and asked me did she buy any of them? I said I don’t know she jetted past me with something in her hands, she probably threw them panties, the ones she didn’t put on for keeps,  back up on the shelf somewhere, you better go see.

I said, “if I was you, I would wait up at the registers to see what she did buy and if she put the others back where they belong, cause if it was me, I wouldn’t have never even let her try them on, and if she come out that fitting room with them panties saying she don’t want them, you hang them back up out there on the floor, I’m not touching them”.

She said, “Um hum, she ain’t gone get em, she ain’t gone get em”. I said, “well if she don’t get em I’m not touching em and she said, “call me when she come out”, and walked on up front then called back to the fitting room after the woman jetted past me, aksing about the woman and the panties. 

You gone put some panties back on the floor somebody done pulled over they twat and butt in the fitting room, you can’t do that.

I couldn’t believe how she let this lady intimidate her, and just to go against me, just to go against me, she rather let a woman try on panties then let me bring my son in with me for four hours.

I had told the lady no, and not in a mean way, she asked for the manager I did not offer to get a manager for her. I thought she would go with me against the lady in this case, but no, I guess that’s what I get for thinking.

I had said to the lady, none of the stores I had ever been in let you try on underwear, not Saks, not Bloomingdales, not any of them. “Well, where is that written”, she said, I said, “it’s an unwritten fact that they don’t bother to put in print”. “Where is the manager, I want to see the manager!” So I called for her to come to the fitting room.

When she came the lady started saying, I have a PhD from Emory University and I yada yada yada…yada yada yada…and I said well here she is, she can tell why it’s not written anywhere and then she tells the lady go ahead and try on the panties. Then says to me, you can’ talk  to people any old kind of way, she said you were rude and yada yada yada

I said JoAnn, who you gone believe me or the lady, she wanted to try on panties!, Now, you know I’m not back here tripping on these customers you know it’s usually the other way around. “I said when she come back out that fitting room with them panties and she don’t want them, you gone hang them back up out there I’m not touching them.”

When the lady came out she flew past me, with them panties in her hand all balled up, probably had some of them on, I don’t know but she flew past me When she called back to the fitting room from the  front I said, “JoAnn she just left the fitting room saying, I’m gonna take them”.

She didn’t return nothing to me. She called back later asking me, did she buy them, I answered, did she? I don’t know you were up there.” Didn’t you see what she bought, I said she probably threw them panties in the store up on shelf somewhere. She probably just wanted a pair of fresh panties on. She probably just put on a fresh pair and wore them out the store people can be  trifling, I swear.

The Store-Greedy

“He ain’t call you yet”? “He know he suppose to call you”. “He know he told me he was going to call you, call him, hell”.
My cousin said she wanted to work their, I told her to put in the application online and call the manager. I told him my cousin wanted to work and he said he would call her, he never did.
I know he won’t hire nobody unless somebody gets fired or quits, he already think he got too many people on payroll. I heard him say it, “It’s too many people on payroll and that cuts into my bonus.”

The money the store makes is used for payroll and the rest is the manager’s bonus. He was trying to get rid of people, especially those making more than minimum wage. I was one of those.  

“I told you one lady told me, I know she didn’t tell you, you couldn’t bring your son in here and she had her daughter in here under her arm pit right at the register”.

I said, “Yes she did tell me that”!

“If them people walk up in here it’ll be on me, not on you.
I’m not upset with you, it’s not you its not you, but them people would get on me”.
I said, “What people, them people ain’t coming up in this store, if they are coming, we know ahead of time and sometimes we expect people and don’t nobody show up”.

With these Christmas hours, they have been open these last two days before Christmas eve till midnight, they greedy, staying open all late trying to make every penny they can, while I might get four hours straight, any hours I can get, the times change to fill their needs and I had to bring my son to work with me this one night.

One day last week, I had three days one day was seven hours, that was the longest day I ever had there and that was because somebody didn’t come in, called out and they asked me to stay past my shift, and the other two days there was four hours that’s it for that week, 15 hours was all I got, but it was better than I had been getting.

If I see 17 hours on my schedule I get a little excited. It has been like this lately, one week I got 15 and one week I got 20, and it seemed that she was being fair with everybody. I told her if somebody call out and didn’t come in, call me I’ll fill in so I could get more hours, but she calls her two friends that’s been there with her for the last five years, she call them first, I told her to call me, but why did I expect to get what I wanted over them, they always get first choice, and then they walk around there talking about how tired they are.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Store- I Ain't Studdin' You

We were talking and laughing one night and I teased a co-worker about a man we saw in the store earlier fine as they come, and I said he was in there looking for her, was that the man she was running from and she said I ain’t studdin' you . When was the last time you heard someone say I ain’t studdin' you, that sounds like something my grandmother’s mother generation says I ain’t studdin' you.

I believe it is a variation of the word studying, meaning paying any attention to what you are saying or doing to arouse interest, a familiar southern normal response by a black person being teased by another.

I said, “Do that mean you ain’t studying me?, right, that mean you ain’t paying me attention right, you ignoring me, right, not exactly, but along those lines, right?” It’s like acknowledging you, but it’s like ...let’s say, a more universal understanding might be, with a smile, saying, “Stop it”, “you crazy”, “you a trip”, “stop picking on me” and “I ain’t thinking about you.”

I like it; maybe I’ll bring it back, though it is from my grandmother’s era. I like it, it’s part of history, and it is an identifier of our group’s use of the English language we knew nothing of before coming to this land, in this country, “yeah…let’s bring it back”.

The Store-Christmas

There is this nice man and woman older black couple that cleans the store, they have been cleaning the store for twelve years, I said, “Do yall get a discount on purchases, like once a year on Christmas or anytime of year or anything?”
 “They were like, “No”.
I said, “That’s a dam shame, nothing at all”.
Then she said, “The only way I can get that is if I ask someone to let me use their card, if they ain’t scared, I guess they let me use it. I said you can use mine the next time you want to buy something, get with me”.

It was Christmas time, I walked her up to the register, I  said, “they should get 20% off their purchase at least once a year, here use my card.” Come to find out the store manager can give them a discount and use their own card to do it. 
“Ain’t that a dam shame, the store manager not once offered to do that for these people, just as black as her, the whole time they have worked cleaning this store”. The assistant manager told me the store says they can do that, and the manager said he didn’t know they could do that because the assistant manger didn’t tell him. “People don’t communicate worth a dam”.

The store manger was staring at me through his blue frames with rhinestones glasses. I said, “I like your glass frames, are those diamonds”?  He had some transparent, blue frames with fake diamond studs around the lenses, like some kind of Elton John, I said, “what…, look at him”.

We were closing and nearly finished and I asked, “Can I leave early it’s my birthday?” He said, “Everybody has one of those, that’s nothing special, everybody has one of those”. I said, “Oh just forget it”.

I swear sometimes they can be so ridiculous sometimes they make you laugh and sometimes they can make you cry with how ridiculous they can be these bosses, mangers or whatever, no tact or compassion about dealing with their own kind.     

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Store-Eat It

They order food during the day time like, lunch for everybody They have a holiday buffet, when we come in to work do we get anything, No, because they eat up all the wings, all the cake and everything, if they do leave something for us who want it eight hours later all stale and been sitting out in the nasty ass break room, six hours old.
“You don’t want none, all you gotta do is heat it up in the microwave,” we don want that mess a bunch of scraps. I said, “You heat up the salmonella in the microwave and eat it”.

 The way they should do that is spend half the money on the day shift and half the money on the night shift people.
We deserve fresh food just like you had earlier today. Yall take this job too seriously and you take whatever they give you along without abuse and neglect.

They want you to take whatever you are given and do your job fast without any suggestions and get out of here, Yall just crazy. I said, “how long have you been here Miss Donna?, she said, “three years”, I said, “that don’t mean anything, this store don’t care about you miss Donna, but you should care enough about me to go ahead and ring my stuff up, without my card, I would have to go to my car, get my card come back in and then come back and finish working, that’s silly. If you just ring my stuff up this time and next time I’ll know to bring my card in with me incase I make any purchases, next time. 

Last time I before I left, I checked everybody out, my register was left open and closed out last for any employee purchases, the closing manager said, “anybody buying all go to Lisa’s register, and everybody had something they wanted to buy that night, and if they didn’t have they card I said what’s your number, and they know it by heart and I punched it in, now the only thing you can get fired for is if you punched in your own number on a register you are signed into, or putting in the wrong number, they all running around, let me get this in another size, hold on, let me se if this is in the other color I like, we suppose to be getting out of here and you study shopping.

I told another manager, Rhoda what Miss Donna did to me, and she was like “really, she crazy.” Every time you tell her something her response is, they crazy. I said yall need to wake up.

When I worked for this same store in Maryland we didn’t have these kinds of issues. I actually liked working for the store then, but here, it how some of yall black folks be acting like Miss Donna, the man wasn’t even at work, how he gone know if didn’t use my card, “I ain’t gone lose my job, so worried about losing their job, I guess they are justified in that fear, but not so much elsewhere.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Working at the Store-Night Shift

I thought, yall just,ugh….and then you act like you so scared when somebody trying to talk to you, and joke around with you about the job, you act all confused, what?, “what did she say?” what” , I be like what you gone do about it, Nothing so just shut up.
“You don’t have to be so harsh,”
“No you don’t have to be so weak, now, toughen up that’s what you need to do”     
They get all defensive, “You don’t have to talk that way”
I say, “well, you need to be talked to that way, or I wouldn’t have to.”
They be getting mad at me, but they get over it real quick cause, they know it’s the truth and this is just a place we come and work at and if we work together we should be able to get through it.”

Oooo. This one lady wouldn’t check me out at the register one night, I bought some socks for Robert, let me tell you about Miss Donna. They put Miss in front of each others names hear in the south, still I suppose it’s a tradition in communicating with some modicum of respect for each other since boy and gal were used most frequently, no matter what age a person was, showing no respect at all. 

They finally get a new manager and he tells us that we must have our Discount cards ready to be scanned if we are going to buy something, no memorization of number, no punching in the number by hand it has to be scanned.

I suppose they don’t have enough data to justify ROI with the bar code system included in their systems they bought. The price tag scanner is used mainly for purchases, sales, but now they want to track what employees are buying what and for how much to try and say employees are the reason they are such bad employers, either we stealing them blind or we take before the outside customers get to pick and choose, which makes them look bad.  Scans, more scans are needed of employee sales for some purpose or another and in retail it probably has to do with loss prevention.

Somewhere along the way they have been convinced that if we scan each other cards to purchase, they system report will tell them some helpful information regarding employee purchases, which will probably be used against employees in the future calling it change or continuous upgrade improvement or whatever.

So one night, I was working close shift and ran across a pair of socks, my boy needed some bad, and I had just promised myself that every time I ran into a pair at work, I would buy them for him until he accumulated a bunch.  I ran into a pair that night, The cashiers had just be told that the employees must have their discount cards if they are going to buy something. I didn’t have it on me I usually left my purse locked in the car went I went in to work, I hadn’t been issued a locker and I felt it was safer there anyway.

The cashier that was on duty that night worked close whenever she was working, she had a day job too, and this was the first time the first day this new rule was to begin, the first thing she said was,  “do you have your card”?
I went to the register to make my purchase before we began the routine close activities and said, “Miss Donna, can you ring me up please” and she said to me, “do you have your card”?
I said, “no it’s in the car” and she said ,”well Mr. Willie just told us today employees must have their discount cards when they make a purchase”.
I said, “Miss Donna, it’s in the car.”
The store doors were already locked and I was thinking it‘s okay the new deal just started, but next time I’ll be prepared, the cashiers knew the new rule but others did not, like myself, working in the fitting room, on the floor that night, had not been informed. 
I said to her, “I know my number by hart Donna, ring up my socks!”
She said again, “you don’t have your card?”
I said, “No I don’t.”
“Well I’m not gone ring it up Lisa and lose my job!”
I said, “Who gone fire you, who gone know, who gone tell that you did that, I don’t have my card on me.”
“I can’t do it, I’m not gone do it, no, no, you not gone make me lose my job!”
I was like, “Donna, shame on you.”
I got on the loud speaker and said, “anybody got they discount card on them so I can buy something, cause Miss Donna won’t let me buy nothing cause I don’t have my card?” and this man I work with in the fitting room named Kevin came up there and, he said, “ you can use mine”.
I said, “Miss Donna you ought to be ashamed of yourself.”

She did it, she scanned his card for a purchase for me I paid for, defeating the whole purpose of the idea to scan employee purchases.
And then when I left for the night, she was still inside, up front so I got in the car and pulled up to the window and got out with my card in hand and knocked at the door and put my card up to the window, and I called out to Miss Dian I said, Miss Donna, miss Donna look!” I licked my tongue out at her and laughed and she said, I ain’t thinking about you, Lisa I’m not gone lose my job over no card” and I got back in the car and left.

I said to myself, that’s just being silly. The manger was not even there, the closing people at night work by a   different set of rules.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Store-Ambitionless

She got two friends in that store that like her, they spend time together outside of work, they been there with her for the longest. One of them don’t got no family here, and JoAnn was asking her what she was gonna do for Christmas and she said her sister lived somewhere and JoAnn told her, “Go to your sister house.” She said she didn’t want to go to her sister house and she said I guess I’ll just be by myself.

JoAnn said, “come to my house then”, she said, “I don’t want to come to your house either.” she said, “well you better go to your sister house then, don’t sit up by yourself”.

This woman works all the time, she is always there. I believe she get a full schedule of hours, at least 30 a week, and that’s a good thing and the Assistant store manager is her friend, inviting her to her house for Christmas. I don’t think she is all that bad, I try to like people even if they don’t like me, but she has never made me feel she didn’t like me. JoAnn is inviting her to her house for Christmas; she’s is not so bad.

This woman gone come to work, day, night, weekend, whenever, call in, fill in, whatever, cause she ain’t got nothing else to do. Her children are living in Ohio somewhere, they don’t come visit and she’s lived here alone and worked at the store for five years, I suppose in her situation, except for the loneliness, she is happy, but she didn’t never wanna do nothing. Just like her invite to visit for the holidays was rejected, she didn’t ever want to do nothing at the store to help JoAnn except work all the hours.

JoAnn has been there ten years, and before I got over there, they didn’t have no manager, she was assistant manager to the store, and I said JoAnn I know you going for manager, you could be the manager of the store, you been working there ten years, I know they will give it to you, uh, uh, No…I don’t want to be no manager, No uh, uh, I said JoAnn you should be the manager, you are the assistant manager and it would be the next step in line for you to move up and then drag everybody else along right behind you, to the next level.

Her other friend was listening, and she says no I’m fine, just put me on the floor, No I’m fine. No one wanted to move up, Not the assistant manager or her friends. She went on , I don’t’ wan to be on the register, I don’t wanna do this I don’t wanna do that, just put me on the floor.

Now, when I come up in there, talking about myself and what I wanna do up in there, here they all wanna do it.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Store

I left her store and went to Miss JoAnn, talking bout, “yeah you can come over here, um hum, I remember you, I‘ll make you back up, front end back up. All this mess she was talking and when I  got over there she didn’t have nothing for me, she was probably talking that in front of one of her problem people to make them feel threatened, cause that is how they were acting when I got there, threatened.

I announced when I got there, I’m gone run the show I’m gonna be running this , this, that, and they little confidence jumped up and all of a sudden everybody, all her little friends who been working there a while wanna move up and do something with they self.

I’d bet she had offered them something with more responsibility over the years and they all refused and was saying how they was fine just like they was and she needed them to get behind her and help her out, but they wouldn’t, but  the minute they heard and saw me coming back, talking shit about what I was bout to do, they flinched and thought twice about it and I hadn’t been with the company long as they had, but I was ready to move on up , and damd if she didn’t block it because they started to want to be somebody.

“What she say, she gone be coming in here and move up.”
If they wanted to they would get first dibs on it cause they had been working there longer than me, five years, ten years whatever and me three years, but all this time they didn’t’ t want to do nothing, so  the things I promised I could do she let them do it.  She let them get first try at it.

I was put on the fitting room, and I told her I didn’t like the fitting room at first, and I thought about it, I thought I’m finna play her and later on I told her, “ I love the fitting room this is the best job in the store!”

Now she got a couple more that’s saying “I guess it ain’t so bad, they wanna work in there too now. “Fine with me, yall just do whatever people say and think.

But first off, it’s so boring I don’t do nothing I like to be on the register I like to be up front, but I’m like fuck am I crazy I could just stand back here and chill out and count clothes and hang em up and give out a number please I’d rather do that, cause I said if yall been here longer than me then yall make more than me so you need to be working harder than me then. I don’t care, fine with me”

“You shouldn’t complain because that’s where the hours are, you say you want some hours, that’s where the hours at cause don’t nobody wanna do the fitting room.”
I said, “I’m not complaining, I’m, just saying be flexible, put people where they wanna work so they can be happy.”

You want them to come to work and work hard and be satisfied, put them in the department they like to work in, they gone work hard for you, they gone like you, they gone appreciate you. Cause, one day I came in and I said, Hey Miss JoAnn, did they tell you bout this and that, or whatever, and she snarled,” They don’t tell me nothin’ “.

They call her buffalo but behind her back, they, “can’t stand her!” they whisper her name, when you mention her name their noses turn up because she don’t be flexible with people’s needs. They all don’t like her.

Occupy, Resist, Produce

The film, The Take is a wonderful example of just what a nation can do!
I got it from my public library, I found it very enlightening

The Film               What people had to say about it

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The past isn’t dead. It isn’t even past-William Faulkner

The south of 1933 was not the south of 1897, in many respects it had improved in the relations between the races were better, never the less, the south is not a place where a man of Negro decent would voluntarily and without good reason choose to live.

Its civilization is decidedly lower than that of the North, its state and local governments are poor and full of incompetency, and graft and its whole policy is menaced by mass hysteria and mob law. Its’ police system is wretched and the low grade white policemen, full of crude race hate, is the ruler who comes closest and in most immediate contact with black folk of all classes.

There is a cast system based on color, fortified in law and even more deeply entrenched in custom, which meets and coerces the dark man at nearly every step, in trains, in streetcars, in elevators, in offices, in education and recreation, in religion and in the graveyards.

The economic organization is still in the nineteenth century with ruthless exploitation, low wages, child labor, debt peonage and profit in crime. The better classes, with gracious manners and liberal outlook, exist and slowly grow but with these I would have little contact and fear of the mob would restrain their meeting me or listening to me.

After all, the place to study a social problem is where it centers and not elsewhere. The Negro problem in the United States centers in the southern south, there in the place of its greatest concentration forces our working for a solution and the greatest of these institutions are Atlanta University.   


Negroes, can I say Negroes, it sounds more regal than black people, want to know why they got the problems that they still have today that they had back in the day. You hear them say it all the time, “Ain’t nothing changed.” Have you changed anything? You can’t keep doing the same thing and expect a change. See, our ancestors, they told us what to expect they already knew what that white man was, greed, they could see it clearly, it had already been years, centuries, that they had been stuck in the same scene, routine discrimination. The only work we had was as maids, the only professions we had were preachers or teachers.

But right there , right there, when we started to get an education , when we started to become educated, Oberlin graduates, Fisk, Harvard, that’s when we started to see and understand economics and business and policy and politics and other people in history and ancient times of the Romans and the Greeks the different countries and Germany and Europe and Africa.

When we became educated, when our minds were broadened, that’s when the ideas rushed and the answers to our questions. We said men like WEB DuBois and Malcom X were before their time and they were. We were sent somebody to tell us what we needed to know, didn’t nobody tell us nothing before them, and their so called time is now.

What they talked about we should do as black people, we should be doing now, actually, we should have already started. Right after Martin was killed we were sick enough, when he had us marching and boycotting, we were sick enough, but we thought that was it, that was only a precursor to prepare us for the ultimate actualization of ourselves.

We didn’t understand that, slavery messed up our understanding, just messed up our ideal thought; we didn’t have no such a thing. People had to call you in, “Hey, go get something to eat”, you’d go eat, lord knows you was hungry. Then they come around and tell you about this Christianity, what kind of God was they telling you about that was letting this happen to you, like it was all good. See, now you wanna know, and it’s 2011, there’s a black president and we still asking ourselves, what can we do about this, why is this happening to us , why this continuational cycle of poverty, joblessness, why, crime, drugs, why, cause we haven’t tried something different we doing the same old thing and we need to change it.

Stop running up looking for them people to call us in off the street to eat, we got to feed our dam selves, go hungry till you grown the food, soon as its ready eat it raw, lord Jesus knows we got to change what we’ve been doing, we’ve got to! We have got to try something our ancestors told us to do, I don’t have to spell it out for, it is all we got left.

We say we don’t know what to do well, our ancestors are helping us know what to do.

Read what WEB told us in Dusk of Dawn:

WEB DuBois
…A third task, which I have been advocating and formulating, can easily be mistaken for a program of complete racial segregation and even nationalism among Negroes, indeed it has been criticized as such this is a misapprehension.

First, ignoring the other racial separations, I have stressed the economic discrimination as fundamental and advised concentration of planning here. 

We need sufficient income for health and home to supplement our education and recreation, to fight our own crime problem and above all to finance a continued, planned and intelligent agitation for political, civil and social equality.

How can we Negroes in the United States gain such average income as to be able to attend to these pressing matters? The cost of this program must fall first and primarily on us ourselves, it is silly to expect any large number of whites to finance a program which the overwhelming majority of whites today fear and reject, setting up as a boogie man an assumed proposal for an absolute separate Negro economy in America. It has been easy for colored philosophers and whitest experts to dismiss the matter with a shrug and a laugh, but this is not so easily dismissed.

In the first place we have already got a partially segregated Negro economy in the United States, there can be no question about this. 

We not only build and finance Negro churches but we furnish a considerable part of the funds for segregated schools. 
We furnish most of our own professional services in medicine, pharmacy, dentistry and law. 
We furnish some part of our food and clothes, our home building and repairing, and many retail services. 
We furnish books and newspapers.
We furnish endless personal services like those of barbers, beauty shop keepers, hotels, restaurants.   
It may be said that this inner economy of the negro serves but a small portion of it’s total needs but it is growing and expanding in various ways and what I propose is to plan and guide it as to take advantage of certain obvious facts.

 It is of course impossible that a segregated economy for Negroes in the United States should be complete. 

It is quite possible that it could never cover more than the smaller part of the economic activities of Negroes, never the less, it is also possible that this smaller part could be so important and wiled so much power that it’s influence upon the total economy of Negroes and the total industrial organization of the United States would be decisive for the great ends toward which the Negro moves, who are of course obsessed with the vastness of the industrial machine in America.   

The way in which organized wealth dominates our whole government, our education, our intellectual life and our art, but besides this, the American economic class structure, that system of domination of industry and the state through income and monopoly is only breaking down, it’s breaking down not simply in America, but in the world. 

We’ve reached the end of an economic era which seemed but a few years ago omnipotent and eternal.

We have lived to see the collapse of capitalism it makes no difference what we may say or how we may boast in the United States of the failures and changed objectives of the new deal and the prospective rehabilitation of the rule of finance capital, that is but wishful thinking. 

In Europe and in the United States as well as in Russia the whole organization and direction of industry is changing. 

We are not called upon to be dogmatic as to just what the end of this change would be, and what form the new organization would take, what we are sure of is the present fundamental change.

There faces the American Negro therefore, an intricate and subtle problem of combining into one subject two difficult sets of facts: 

His present racial segregation, which despite anything he can do, will persist for many decades in his attempt by  carefully planned and intelligent action to fit himself into the new economic organization which the world faces. 

This plan of action would have for it’s ultimate object, full Negro rights and Negro equality in America and it would most certainly approve as one method of obtaining this continued agitation, protest and propaganda to that end. 

On the other hand, my plan would not decline, frankly, to face the possibility of eventual immigration from America of some considerable part of the Negro population in case they could find a chance for free and favorable development unmolested and unthreatened and in case the race prejudice in America persisted to such an extent that it would not permit the full development of the capacity and aspirations of the Negro race. 

With its eyes open to the necessity of agitation and to possible migration, this plan would start with a racial grouping, that day is inevitable, and proceed to use it as a method of progress, along which we have worked and are now working, instead of letting this segregation remain largely a matter of chance and unplanned development, allowing its objects and results to rest in the hands of the white majority or in accidents of the situation, it would make the segregation  a matter of careful thought and intelligent planning on the part of Negroes.

The object of that plan would be twofold: 
First, to make it possible for the Negro group to await it’s ultimate emancipation with reasoned patience, with equitable temper and with every possible effort to raise it’s social status and increase the efficiency of the group 

Secondly, and just as important, the ultimate object of the plan is to obtain admission of the colored group to cooperation and incorporation into the white group on the best possible terms. This planned and deliberate recognition of self segregation on the part of colored people involves many difficulties that have got to be faced. 

First of all, in what lines and objects of effort should segregation come?

This choice is not wide because so much segregation is compulsory. Most colored children, most colored youth are educated in Negro schools and by Negro teachers. 

There is more education than race today than there was in the latter part of the nineteenth century, partly because of increased racial consciousness and partly because more Negroes are applying for education and this would call for larger social contact than ever before if whites and Negroes went to the same schools. 

On the other hand, this educational segregation involves, as Negroes know all to well, poorer equipment in the schools and poorer teaching than colored children would have if they were admitted to white schools and treated with absolute fairness. 

It means that their contact with a better trained part of the nation, a contact which spells quicker acculturation, is lessened and shortened and that above all, less money is spent on their schools. 

It must submit to double taxation in order to have a minimum of decent equipment. The Rosenwald school houses involve such double taxation on the Negro.   

The Booker T. Washington High School at Atlanta raises thousands of dollars each year by taxation upon colored students and parents while city funds furnish only salaries, buildings, books and a minimum of equipment. This is the pattern throughout the south. 

On the other hand, with the present attitude of teachers and the public even if colored students were admitted to white schools, they would not in most cases receive decent treatment nor a real education. It is not then a theory but a fact that faces the Negro in education.

He has group education in large proportion and he must organize and plan these segregated schools so that they become efficient, well housed, well equipped with the best of teachers and with the best results on the children so that the literacy and bad manners and criminal tendencies of young Negroes can be quickly and effectively reduced.

My thoughts-Why do some of our best people work at white institutions, even Toni Morrison my favorite author.

Most Negroes prefer a good school with properly paid colored teachers for educating their children to forcing their children in the white schools which met them with injustice and humiliation and discouraged their efforts to progress.

So to in the church, the activities for ethical teaching, character building and organized charity and neighborliness, which are largely concentrated in religious organizations are segregated racially more completely than any other human activity, A curious and eloquent commentary upon modern Christianity. 

These are the facts, and the colored church must face them, it is facing them only in part today because a large portion of intelligent colored folk do not cooperate with the church and leave the ignorant to make the church a seed of senseless dogma and meaningless ceremonies together with a multitude of activities which have no social significance and lead to no social betterment. On the other hand, the Negro church does do immense amounts of needed works of charity and mercy among the poor but here again it lacks funds.

 There has been a larger movement on the part of the Negro   intelligencia toward racial grouping for the advancement of arts and literature. There has been a distinct plan for reviving ancient African art through an American Negro art movement and more especially a thought to use the extremely rich and cultural life of the Negro in America and elsewhere as a basis for painting, sculpture and literature. 

This has been partly nullified by the fact that if these new artists expect support for their art from the Negro group itself, that group must be deliberately trained and schooled in art appreciation and in willingness to accept new canons of art and in refusal to follow  the herd instinct of the nation. 

Instead of this artistic group following such lines it has largely tried to get support for the Negro art movement from the white public often with disastrous results. 

Most whites want Negroes to amuse them, they demand caricature, they demand jazz and torn between these  allegiances between the extraordinary ward for entertainers of the white world and needed encouragement to honest self expression.   

The artistic movement among American Negroes has accomplished something but it has never flourished and never will until it is deliberately planned. Perhaps its greatest single accomplishment is Carter Woodson’s Negro history week.

In the same way, there is demand for a distinct Negro health movement. We have few Negro doctors in proportion to our population and the best training of Negro doctors has become increasingly difficult because of their exclusion from the best medical schools of America

Hospitalization among Negroes is far below their reasonable health needs and the individual medical practitioner, depending upon fee, is the almost universal pattern in this group. 

What is needed is a carefully planned and widely distributed system of Negro hospitals and socialized medicine with an adequate number of doctors on salary with the object of social health and not individual income. 

Negro Health Week, originating in Tuskegee, is a step in this direction the whole planned political program of intelligent Negroes is deliberate segregation of their vote for Negro welfare. 

William L. Dawson, former alderman of Chicago recently said, “I am not playing party politics, but race politics.” He urged, irrespective of party, adherence to political groups interested in advancing the political and economic rights of the Negro.

The same need is evident in the attitude of Negroes toward Negro crime obsessed by the undoubted fact that crime has increased, but three black men are jailed to one white man. It is an undoubted fact that crime is increased and magnified by race prejudice. 

We ignore the other fact that we have crime and a great deal of it, and that we ourselves have got to do something about it.

 What we ought to do is to cover the negro group with the services of legal defense organizations in order to counteract the injustice of the police and of the magistrate courts, and then we need positive organized effort to reclaim young and incipient male factors, there is little organized effort of that sort today, save a few negro reformatories with meager voluntary support and grudging state aid.

From all the foregoing, it is evident that economic planning to ensure adequate income is the crying need of Negroes today. 

This does not involve plans that envisage a return to the old patterns of economic organization in America and the world; this is the American Negro’s present danger. 

Most of the well to do, with fair education do not realize the imminence of profound economic change in the modern world. They are thinking in terms of work, thrift, investment and profit. 

They hope, with the late Booker T. Washington, to secure better economic conditions for Negroes by wider chances of employment and higher wages, they believe in savings and investment in negro and in general business and in the gradual evolution of a negro capitalist class which will exploit both negro and white labor.

 The younger and more intelligent Negroes, realizing in different degrees and according  to their training and their apt acquaintance with the modern world, the profound economic change through which the world is passing and is destined to pass have taken three different attitudes:

First, they’ve been confronted with the communist solution of present social difficulties. The communist philosophy was a program for a majority not for a relatively small minority. 

It pre-supposed a class structure based on exploitation of the overwhelming majority by an exploiting minority. It advised the seizure of power by this majority and the future domination of the state by and for this majority through the dictation of a trust group who would hold power until the people were intelligent and experienced enough to rule themselves by democratic methods.

 This philosophy did not envisage a situation where instead of a horizontal division of classes there was a vertical fissure by race cutting square across the economic layers even if on one side of this color line the dark masses were overwhelmingly workers but with an embryonic capitalist class. 

Never the less, the split between white and black workers were greater than that between white workers and capitalist. 

This split, dependent not only on economic exploitation but on a racial folklore, grounded on centuries of instinct, habit and thought and implemented by the conditioned reflex of visible color. This flat and incontrovertible fact imported Russian communism ignored, would not discuss.

 American Negroes were asked to accept a complete dogma without questionable alteration. It was, first of all, emphasized that all racial thought and racial segregation must go and that Negroes must put themselves blindly under the dictatorship of the communist party.

American communist did thoroughly and completely obliterate the color bar within their own party ranks but by doing so absolutely blocked any chance they might have had to attract any considerable number of white workers to their ranks. 

The movement , consequently, did not get far, first because of the natural fear of radical action in the group made timid through the heredity of slavery, but also and mainly, because the attempt to abolish American race prejudice by a phrase is impossible,  even for the communist party. 

Once result of a communist agitation among Negroes was however far reaching, and that was to impress the younger intellectuals with the fact that American Negroes were overwhelmingly workers and that their first duty was to associate themselves with the white labor movement and thus seek to bridge the gap of color and eradicate the deep seated racial instinct.

 This formed a second line of action more in consonance with conservative Negro thought. In accordance with this thought and advice and the pressure of other economic motive, Negro membership in labor unions has increased and is still increasing. 

This is an excellent development  but it has difficulties and pitfalls. The American labor movement varies from closed, skilled labor groups who are either nascent, capitalist or stooges to masses of beaten, ignorant labor outcasts, quite as helpless as the Negroes.

Moreover, among the working white masses, the same racial impulsion persists as in the case of other cultural contexts, this is only natural. 

The white laborer has been trained to dislike and fear black labor, to regard the Negro as an usurp competitor able and willing to degrade the price of labor and  even if the Negro prove a good union man, his treatment as an equal would involve equal status with the white laborer through his long, cultural training bitterly resent as a degradation of his own status. 

Under these circumstances the American Negro faces in the current labor movement, especially in the AF of L and also even in the CIO the current racial patterns of America.

To counteract this,  a recent study of the Negro unionism suggest that like the Jews, with their United Hebrew trade, so the Jews with a United Negro trade should fight for equality and opportunity within the labor ranks. 

This illustrates exactly my plan to use the segregation technique for industrial emancipation. The Negro has but one clear path, to enter the white labor movement, wherever and whenever he can, but to enter fighting still within labor ranks for recognition and equal treatment. 

Certainly, unless the Negro by his organization and discipline is in position to bring to the movement something besides ignorance, poverty and ill heath, unionization in itself is no panacea.

 There has come the third solution, which is really a sophisticated attempt to dodge the whole problem of color and economic change. This proposal says that Negroes should join the labor movement and also so far as possible should also join themselves to capital and become capitalists and employers and in this way gradually the color line will dissolve into a class line between employers and employees. 

Of course this solution ignores the impending change in capitalist society and hopes whatever that change may be, Negroes will be benefited along with their economic class.

The difficultly here is three fold: Not only would there be the same difficulties of the color line in unions but additional difficulties in exclusions when Negroes as small capitalist seek larger power through the use of capital and credit. 

The color bar there is beyond present hope of scaling, but  In addition to that, this plan will have inserted into the ranks all the Negro race a new cause of division, a new attempt to subject the masses of the race to an exploiting capitalist class of their own people. Negroes labor would be estranged from its own intelligencia, which represents black labors own best blood.

Upper class Negroes and Negro Labor would find themselves cutting each others throats on opposite sides of a desperate economic battle which will be but replica of the old battle which the white world is seeking to outgrow. Instead of forging ahead to a new relation of capital and labor we would relapse into the old discredited pattern.

 It seems to me, that all three of these solutions are less hopeful than a fourth solution

And that is a racial attempt to use the power of the Negroes as a consumer not only for his economic uplift but in addition to that, for his economic education. 

What I propose is that into the interstices of this collapse of the industrial machine,   the Negro shall search intelligently, carefully and farsightedly plan for his entrance in the new economic world not as a continuing slave but as an intelligent free man with power in his hands. 

I see this chance for planning in the role which the Negro plays as a consumer in the future reorganization of industry, the consumer as against the producer, is going to become the key man. 

Industry is going to be guided according to his wants and needs and not exclusively with regard to the profit of the producers and transporters. 

Now, as a consumer, the Negro approaches economic equality much more nearly than he ever has as producer.

Organizing then and conserving, and using intelligently the power which twelve million people have through what they buy is possible for the American Negro to help in rebuilding of the economic state. 

The American Negro is primarily a consumer in the sense that his place in power in the industrial process is low and small. Never the less, he still has a remnant of his political power and that is growing, not only in the North but even in the South. 

He has in addition to that, his economic power as a consumer, as one who can buy goods with some discretion as to what goods he buys. It may truly be said that his discretion is not large but it does exist and it may be made the basis of a new instrument of democratic control over industry.

The cultural differentiations among American Negroes has considerably out stripped the economic differences which sets this group aside as unusual and at the same time opens possibilities  for institutional development and changes of great importance. 

Fundamental and such change would be the building up of new economic institutions suited to minority groups without wide economic differences and with distinct cultural possibilities. 

The fact that the number of Negro college graduates has increased from 215 between 1876-1880 to 10,000 between 1931-1935, shows that the ability is there if it can act, in addition to mental ability, there is demanded an extraordinary moral strength the strength to endure discrimination and not become discouraged, to face almost universal disparagement and keep one’s soul and to sacrifice for an ideal which the present generation will hardly see fulfilled. This is an unusual demand; no one can say off hand whether or not the present generation of American Negroes is equal to it. But, there is reason to believe that if the high emotional content of the Negro soul could once be guided into channels that promise success and the end might be accomplished.

WEB DuBois-Part Two

Despite a low general level of income, Negroes probably spend at least 150 million a month under ordinary circumstances and they live in an era when gradually economic evolution is substituting the consumer as the decisive voice in industry rather than the all powerful producer of the past.

 Already, the Negro group in which consumer interest is dominant, outside of agriculture, the Negro is a producer only so far as he is an employee and usually a subordinate employee of large interest dominated almost entirely by whites. 

His social institutions therefore, are almost entirely the institutions of consumers and it is precisely along the development of these institutions that he can move in general accordance with the economic development of his time and of the larger white group and also, in this way, evolve unified organization for his own economic salvation.

The fact is, as the census of 1930 shows: there is almost no need that a modern group has which Negro workers already trained and at work are able to satisfy.

Already, Negroes can raise their own food, build their own homes, fashion their own clothes, mend their own shoes, do much of their repair work and raise some raw materials like tobacco and cotton. 

A simple transfer of Negro workers, with only such additional skills as can easily be learned in a few months, would enable them to weave their own cloth, make their own shoes, slaughter their own meat, prepare furniture for their homes, install electrical appliances, make their own cigars and cigarettes.   

Appropriate direction and easily obtainable technique and capital would enable Negroes further to take over the world of their retail distribution,  to raise, cut, mine and manufacture a considerable proportion of the basic  raw material to man their own manufacturing plants, to process foods, to import necessary raw materials, to invest and build machines.

Processes and monopolized natural resources, they must continue to buy, but they could buy them on just as advantageous terms as their competitors if they bought in large quantities and paid cash, instead of enslaving themselves with white usury, credit. 

Large numbers of other Negroes working as miners, laborers in industry and transportation could without difficulty be transferred to productive industries designed to cater to Negro consumers. A matter of skill in such industries is not as important as in the past with industrial operations masked and standardized.  

Without doubt there are difficulties in the way of this program. The Negro population is scattered. The mouths which the Negro farmers might feed might be hundreds of thousands of miles away, and carpenters and mechanics would have to be concentrated and guaranteed a sufficiency of study employment, all this would call for careful planning, and particularly for such an organization of consumers as would eliminate unemployment, risk and profit.

Demand, organized and certain, must precede the production and transportation of goods. The waist of advertisement must be eliminated.
The difference between actual cost and selling price must disappear, doing away with exploitation of labor, which is the source of profit. 

All of this would be a realization of democracy in industry led by consumers, organizations and extending to planned production.

Is there any reason to believe that such democracy among American Negroes could evolve in necessary leadership and technique under necessary social institutions which would so guide and organize the masses, that a new economic foundation could be laid for a group, which is today threatened with poverty, and social subordination.

In this process, it would be possible to use consumer organizations already established among the whites.  There are such wholesale and manufacturing plants, they welcome patronage, but the Negro Cooperative Movement cannot rest here, if it does it will find it quite unconscientiously and without planning, Negroes would not be given the places of authority or perhaps even ordinary cooperation in these wider institutions and the reason will be that white cooperators will not conceive it probable that Negroes could share and guide this work. (same as today) 

This, the Negro must prove in his own wholesale and manufacturing establishments. Once he has done this and done it thoroughly, there will gradually disappear much of the discrimination in the wider cooperative movement, but that will take a long time. 

Meantime, this integration of the single consumers cooperative in the wholesales and factories will intensify the demand for selected leaders and intelligent democratic control over them for the discovery of ability to manage, of character, of absolute honesty of inspirational push, not toward power but toward efficiency, of expert knowledge in the technique of production and distribution and a scholarship in the past and present of economic development nor is this enough.

The eternal tendency of such leadership is, once it is established, to assume it’s own technocratic right to rule, to begin to despise the mass of people who do not know, who have no idea of difficulties of machinery and processes, who succumb to the blandishments of the glib talker and are willing to select people not because they are honest and sincere, because they wiled the glad hand.   Now, these people must not be despised, they must be taught, they must be taught in long and lingering conference, in careful marshaling of facts, in the willingness to come to decisions thoroughly and the determination not to tyrannize over minorities.

There will be minorities that do not understand, they must patiently be taught to understand. There will be minorities who are stubborn, selfish, self-opinionated their real character must be so brought out and exhibited until the overwhelming mass of people who own the cooperative and whose votes guide and  control it will be able to see just exactly the principles and persons for which they are voting.

The group can socialize most of its professional activities. Certain general and professional services they could change from a private profit to mutual basis. They could mutualize in reality and not in name in banking and insurance, law and medicine, health can be put upon the same compulsory basis that we have tried in the case of education with universal service under physicians paid, if possible by the state or helped by the state or paid entirely by the group. Hospitals can be as common as churches and used to far better advantage.

The legal profession can be socialized and instead of being as it is now, a defense of property and of anti social aggressions of wealth, it can become as it should be, the defense of the young, poor, ignorant and careless. Banking should be so arranged as to furnish credit to the honest in emergencies or to put unneeded savings to useful and socially necessary work.

Banking should not be simply and mainly a method of gambling, theft, tyranny, exploitation and profit making. Our insurance business should cease to be as it so largely is a matter of deliberate gambling and become a cooperative   service to equalize the incidents of misfortune equitably among members of the whole group without profit to anybody.

Negroes could not only furnish pupils for their own schools and colleges but could control their teaching force and policies, their textbooks and ideals by concentrating their demand, by group buying and by their own plants, they could get negro literature issued by the best publishers without censorship upon expression and they could involve negro art for it’s own sake and for it’s own beauty and not simply for the entertainment of white folk. The American negro must remember that he is primarily a consumer but as he becomes a producer, it must be at the demand and under the control of organized consumers and according to their wants, that, in this way he can gradually build up the absolutely needed cooperation in occupations.

Today we work for others at wages pressed down to the limit of subsistence. Tomorrow we may work for ourselves, exchanging services, producing an increasing proportion of the goods which we consume and being rewarded at a living wage and by work under civilized conditions.  

This will call for self –control, it will eliminate the millionaire and even the rich Negro. It will put the Negro leader upon a salary, which will be modest as American salaries go and yet sufficient for life under modern standards of decency and enjoyment. It will eliminate also, the pauper and the industrial derelict to a degree but not completely.

This is a program of segregation. The consumer group is, in important aspects, a self segregated group. We are now segregated largely without reason; let us put reason and power beneath this segregation. Here comes tremendous opportunity in the negro housing projects of New York, Chicago, Atlanta and a dozen other centers, in resettlement projects like the 8 all negro farmers colony in 6 southern states, 23 rural projects in 12 states. 

Rail if you will against the  race segregation here involved and condoned, but take advantage of it by planting secure centers of negro cooperative effort and particularly of economic power to make us spiritually free for initiative and creation in other and wider fields and for eventually breaking down all segregation based on color or curl of the hair.

There are unpleasant eventualities we must face even if we succeed, for instance, if the negro in America is successful in welding mass or a large proportion of it’s people working for their own betterment and uplift, they will certainly, like the Jews, be suspected of sinister design and inner plotting and their very success and cultural advance will be held against them and used for further and perhaps fatal segregation. 

There is of course always the possibility that the plan of a minority group may be opposed to the best interest of a neighboring, or enveloping, or larger group, or even if it is not, the larger and more powerful group may think certain policies of a minority are inimical to the national interest. The possibility of this happening must be taken into account.

The Negro group in the United States can establish for a large proportion of it’s members a cooperative, commonwealth, finding it’s authority in this consensus   of the group and it’s intelligent choice of inner leadership. 

It can see to it that not only no action of this inner group is opposed to the rural interest of the nation but that it works for and in conjunction with the best interest of the nation. It need draw no line of exclusion so long as the outside is joined in the consensus. Within its own group it can, in the last analysis, expel the anti social and hand him over to the police force of the nation. On the other hand, it can avoid all appearance of conspiracy in seeking goals in compatible with the general welfare of the nation. 

It can court publicity, it can exhibit results, it can plead for cooperation, it’s greater advantage will be that it is no longer as now attempting to march face forward into the walls of prejudice, if the wall moves then move with it and if it does not move it cannot, save in extreme cases hinder us.

Have we the brains to do this? Here in the past we have easily landed into a morass of criticism, without faith and the ability of American Negroes to extricate themselves from their present plight. A former panacea emphasized by Booker T. Washington was flight of class from mass and wealth, with the idea of escaping the masses or ruling the masses through power placed by white capitalist into the hands of those with larger income. 

My own panacea of earlier days was flight of class from mass through the development of a talented tenth, but the power of this aristocracy of talent was to lay in its knowledge and character and not in its wealth. The problem, which I not then attack, was that of leadership and authority within the group which by implication left controls to wealth by contingency of which I never dreamed, but now the whole economic trend of the world has changed, that mass and class must united for world salvation is clear. 

We, who have had least class differentiation in wealth, can follow in the new trend and indeed lead it. Most Negroes do not believe that this can be done, they not only share American public opinion in distrusting the inherent ability of the Negro group, but they see no way in which the present classes who have proven their intelligence and efficiency can gain leadership over their own people.

On the contrary, they feared desperately a vulgar rivation  (rivalry)of emerging culture among them a contact with the ignorant and anti social mass. This fear has been accentuated by recent radical agitation, unwashed and unshaven black demagogues has scared and brow beaten cultured Negroes, have convinced them that their leadership can only be secured through demagoguery. It is for this reason we see in large Northern centers like Chicago or New York, intelligent, efficient Negroes conniving with crime, gambling and prostitution in order to secure control of the Negro vote and gain place and income for black folk. 

Their procedure is not justified by the fact that often excellent and well trained Negro officials are thus often raised to power. The price paid is deliberate surrender of any attempt at acculturation of the mass in exchange for increased income among the few.

Yet, American  Negroes  must know that the advance of the Negro people since emancipation has been extraordinary success in education, technique in character among a small number of Negroes and that the emergence of these exceptional men has been largely a matter of chance, that their triumph proves that down among the mass, ten times their number with equal ability could be discovered and developed if sustained effort and sacrifice and intelligence were put to this task.

Then, on the contrary, today, poverty, sickness and crime are choking the path to Negro uplift and that salvation of the Negro race is to come by planned and sustained efforts to open ways of development to those who now form the unliving mass of the Negro group, that this can be done by force by the power of wealth and the police is true. Along that path of progress, most of the nineteenth century acculturation of the masses of men has come but it has been an unsatisfactory unsteady method it has not developed the majority of men anywhere near the top of their possibility and it has pitifully submerged certain groups among whites and colored groups like Negroes in America, the West Indies  and Africa.

Here comes then a special chance for a new trial of democratic development without force among some of the worst victims of force, how can it be done? It can be done through consumers groups and the mutual interests that these members have in the success of the groups. It can bring the cultured face to face with the untrained and it can accomplish by determined effort and planned foresight the acculturation of the many through the few rather than the opposite possibility of pulling the better classes down to ignorance, carelessness and crime. It is to be admitted that this will be a real battle, there are chances of failure but there are also splendid chances of success.

 In the African communal group, ties of family and blood, of mother and child, of group relationship made the group leadership strong even if not always toward the highest culture. In the case of the more artificial group among American Negroes there are sources of strength in common, memories of suffering in the past, in threats of degradation and extinction,  in common ambitions and ideals, emulation and the determination to prove ability and desert. Here in subtle but real ways, communalism of the African clan can be transferred to the Negro American group, implemented by higher ideals of human accomplishment through the education and culture, which ever risen and  may further arise through contact of black folk with the modern world.

 The emotional wealth of the American Negro finesses art in song, dance and drama can all be applied, not to amuse the white audience but to inspire and direct the African- Negro group itself. I can convince no more magnificent nor promising crusade in modern times. 

We have a chance here to teach industrial and cultural democracy to a world that bitterly needs it. A nation can depend on force and therefore carry through plans of capitalistic industry or state socialism or cooperative commonwealth    despite the opposition of a large and powerful minority. They can use police and the militia to enforce their will but this is dangerous, in the long run, force defeats itself.

It is only the consensus of the intelligent men of goodwill in a community or in a state that really can carry out a great program with absolute and ultimate authority and by that same token without the authority of the state , without force of police and army, a group of people who can obtain  such  consensus  is able to do anything to which the group agrees.

It is too much to expect that any such guide in consensus will entirely eliminate defense but it will make agreement so overwhelming that eventual clear, irrational decent can safely be ignored. 

When real  and open democratic control is intelligent enough to select of its own accord on the whole the best, most courageous, most expert and scholarly leadership then the problem of democracy within the Negro group is solved and by that same token the possibility of American Negroes entering into world democracy and taking their rightful  place according to their knowledge and power is also sure.

Here then is the economic ladder by which the American Negro achieving new social institutions can move pari- passu (French, meaning: with an equal step or on equal footing, ranking equally) with a modern world with a new heaven and a new earth.       

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