The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Our Readers Speak

February 24, 2014

Our Readers Speak — Monday, Feb. 24, 2014

New brand of black leadership needed

There are certain people in our community who have anointed themselves as “leaders.” Black “leader” or “leading blacks” (to destruction)?

We are offended by black politicians who say, “I am not a black politician; I am a politician who happens to be black and I will work for all of the people.”

How strange it is that we NEVER hear any other politician make such a foolish and ridiculous statement. Why have you forsaken us, black politicians? After being in office for decades and accumulating wealth for yourself and your families, why have you turned your backs on us?

Black intellectuals, why do you lecture us on the economic problems we face, but seldom, if ever, build institutions or start initiatives that will solve the problems that you decry? Surely you have the intellectual capacity to lead us to higher economic heights, with all of your degrees and your oratory skills.

Black religious leaders, why have you gone the way of the moneychangers? Your influence is the strongest among black people, but you misuse it for your own self-aggrandizement, building edifices that showcase your ability to persuade black people to put up or shut up when it comes to their money.

After we have supported, promoted and even forgiven black leadership for your mistakes, you have ignored our needs; you have collaborated against our interests, you have engaged in actions that “keep the patient sick” as Booker T. Washington noted.

You continue to lead us in circles instead of where we need to go. How is this possible from intelligent black leadership? Why do you pursue an integration/assimilation strategy that pushes black people toward the bottom rung of the economic ladder? What sense does it make for you to keep silent in the face of the continued mistreatment of your people? Or are we your people?

We don’t know what your answers are, but we do know that we are tired and we must have a new brand of black leadership. We did love you, but as Luther said, “It’s Over Now.”

Adib Aqeel


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