Thank you so much for you thoughtful and comprehensive response @D.A. Bell . First, let me thank you for having the courage and desire to be a change agent. Change takes a long time with these movements, and sometimes there is a learning curve along the journey. I wanted to address of a few of your points made.
My point was to help POCs make informed decisions about who they follow, as well as how they lead should they decide to pick up a social change/social justice torch.
You were definitely correct in that there needs to be a central leader or a least an agreement on topics that the movement should address in order to offer a unified front to oppressors and the public. Otherwise, you just sound like a bunch of musical instruments without any sheet music. There is something to be said for a well-oiled vehicle with direction and a mission. Most people don’t understand this, which is why so many grassroots efforts flounder. There is only so much change one can expect without being organized. At the end of the day, it’s a business AND a social justice effort.
There is absolutely no way to disconnect corporations and government from the movement. They have all of the money and power, and must be engaged if any change is ever expected. Sadly most POC grassroot efforts fold because they don’t have money. There will be a few from the movement who will parlay their endeavors into something else lucrative to fund their grassroot endeavors. As my piece expressed, the movement (the change agent) needs money to move. Unfortunately, POCs (in particular Black people) don’t put their money where the mouths are. We talk, we fuss, we rage, we March, but we expect people to fight for multitudes of people with their own money. That is one lesson we Black folks haven’t learned.
MLK took money from lots of organization and individuals famous and not famous. I’m happy millenials are taking over the movement, it’s necessary. There is enough work for everyone. I’m sad they don’t respect or trust the wisdom of open-minded elders. It means they are going to repeat the same mistakes of the past, prolonging progress.
It’s absolute hypocrisy to go into debt (with government backed student loans), to get a degree from a public institution (or a private institution accepting public loan money), to go get a degree, and go work in the same systems you hate. Even if you’re working to become self-employed, you’re working to sell goods and services in the same system(s) you disapprove of. You’re still going to back taxes, and the government is going to use those tax dollars how they see fit. It’s makes no sense, but if the young bucks believe they have a better way, then go for it. They won’t be the first tried something new.
Yes the educational systems exploit, but many have used those sames systems to make great changes and history (i.e. Thurgood Marshall). While the systems need to be rebuilt, there needs to be something to replace it. Unfortunately, the African American community does not have the resources within their community to sustain offering free public education for all.
While I think at the end of the day the BLM is here to stay, if they don’t mobilize and unify nationally, they are going to always struggle to be heard.
Best wishes on your efforts, and thank you so much for sharing your experiences. Be safe.