Black community, it’s time for some tough decision-making. It’s time to decide the best way to conceptualize, create and configure our communities for optimal socio-economic outcomes. Moreover, it’s time for us to promote and demonstrate by example that “more is not always better,” and that there comes a time when it is necessary to downsize and scale back to salvage, strengthen and support those existing organizations and businesses that stand the “best” chance of surviving present and future economic realities. Never has there been a worse time for us to lose the capacity to face the reality of our long-term challenges as a community. It is time to disconnect ourselves from the last sequential obsession with the politics of divisiveness and whatever relative triviality that dominates our conversation.
Given the present economic realities, one can only ponder why there have not been more mergers of black not-for-profit and for-profit organizations, colleges, churches and businesses in the Baltimore region in particular, and across the nation in general. News headlines appear each and everyday about the dire and precipitous decline of black businesses, historically black colleges, and not-for-profit organizations. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to conclude that the black community has adopted a “more is better” approach to address its present conditions. If we really looked critically at our situation and removed our emotions and egos from the equation, we would realize that we have far too many businesses, churches, colleges and not-for-profit organizations that are on life-support and whose days are numbered. We would realize that far too many of these “life-sustaining” institutions are duplicating services, that they seldom collaborate with one another on any major projects, and that they are led by individuals that appear to be trapped in a “Darwinian” matrix of “survival of the fittest/biggest” and of “going it alone” at all cost, which, by the way, is a recipe for romantic, symbolic and specious trappings of black progress.
It is clear that we need to do something, or the black community will find itself reacting to the avalanche of social and economic policies that will reflect a myopic and debilitating vision that maintains the notion of conditioned expectations and the “arrogance of dominance” by a select few. Again, black community, it’s time for some tough decision-making. What are we waiting for, the waving of a magic wand by our first black President, Mr. Barack Obama? Let’s hope not.