This was the topic of conversation in a live debate I watched on Huffington Post, and the short answer is yes. But the bigger responsibility must come from the everyday man and woman. Charity begins at home.
Until our communities collectively and consistently promote education, exposure, freedom of thought, self-esteem, and all of the other foundational tools that ANYONE needs to be successful in America, celebrity hand outs will be nice thoughts, but as effective as band aids on open wounds.
It’s not easy. There is sooooooooooooo much work to be done. But if we:
prize accountability, get tough on crime, stop allowing and accepting less, stop accepting what others tell you, you deserve, stop perpetuating this slave mentality about beauty and above all dream big and be willing to work your ass off, we can make it as a people, as individuals, and then we can all give back. Then we can pull each other up just as any other race you can name does and has been doing since they came to this country.
Black people suffer from a collective sickness. It’s called whining. Let’s have less whining and more work. Racism, sexism, how dare you ism, unconscious bias, these things are going to exist. They have been in place too long to think that we can make significant change on the back end without doing the work on the front end.
It begins with a mastery of the basic rules of society. One cannot break rules unless you know what they are and can execute them flawlessly. We have a tendency to think we can take short cuts – and this is a sweeping generalization, so bare with me for the sake of the point – but if you take a short cut from one alley to another, you don’t get very far do you?
The alley is where many of us dwell. Our minds and focus are very narrow and dark. We as a people have got to open up our thinking and be more diverse – odd thing to say, but it’s true! – we have got to get on the world’s page and be more global, look beyond the neighborhood and what big mama wants and says is ok (And don’t for one minute think I’m saying what big mama says has no value. No, no and no! Elders have a lot of wisdom to share. But wisdom, like anything else, must adapt.). We’ve got to stop saying, “no you can’t” all the time, and start thinking of ways to do things that we’ve never done, things that our parents, aunts, uncles and friends have ever done. Whatever that may be.
It doesn’t have to be curing cancer or moving to Paris, although if that’s what you want, I say go for it both barrels blazing. It could mean something like, I want to move downtown. I want to work for a Fortune 500 company. I want to own a 3.5 carat yellow sapphire with at least 1.5 worth of high shine diamonds around it, and I don’t want to sell drugs, coochie or anything illegal to get it. That kind of endless vista thinking can open up doors. Big, red barn doors.