African Americans

Be an Advocate for Justice

Police Brutality

Love and justice are inextricably linked. You cannot love someone if you’re not willing to advocate for justice for him or her. Justice is what love looks like in public. When things are going on in your community that are not right, you need to take a stand against those things. In order to make change happen, you have to get out and do something that’s going to initiate change. You’re not going to make significant change happen by sitting up in your home hoping that it will materialize. Meaningful change happens when serious efforts are engaged in to make it occur.

As history has demonstrated, African-Americans have suffered from disquieting injustices since they have arrived in America to the present day. We have to do a better job of reporting the injustices we experience throughout the nation. All of the injustices we experience are not going to appear in the mainstream media. We have to, therefore, find ways to have our important narratives heard and read.

Through the power of social media, you can advocate for justice for yourself and others.

Social media presents us with opportunities to have our voices heard. It does not cost an individual anything to use Facebook, Twitter, blogs, YouTube, and etc. to let a global audience know about injustices that have happened to you, someone you know, and someone you don’t know. More people have to learn they’re not powerless against racism, prejudice, discrimination, sexism, and etc. You can fight against injustice if you would only get up off your butt! One does not have to be rich to defeat injustice.

One person can start a revolution.

Don’t think that your efforts to pursue justice for yourself and others are in vain—they’re not. Organize people around your cause. There’s strength in numbers. When you begin to have people to join your cause, they can start to give you information about individuals and organizations that can help to maximize the power and potential of your efforts. Although it’s vital for you to advocate for justice for yourself and others, don’t fool yourself into thinking you can handle this cause on your own. You need people to assist you in advocating for justice.

If you’re supervisor is treating you unfairly, don’t let him or her continue to be unfair to you. Stand up to him or her! You can get another job. You have to understand that you need to place a value on yourself that’s greater than any job you have and/or will have.

Black people should never allow their White employers to control them. If they allow them to do this, then they’re willingly accepting enslavement. Our ancestors paid the ultimate sacrifice for us to be free from the manacles and bondage of slavery in all forms. Don’t render their work useless by being a docile body willing to accept enslavement and exploitation. Honor the legacy of our ancestors by fighting for your right to not be dominated by injustice.

Advocating for justice for yourself and others is not a glamorous job, but it is essential work that must be done for the good everyone and for the good of the global community. When you’re fighting against racism, prejudice, discrimination, sexism, and etc., you have to be willing to be in a war against those phenomena for the long haul. You’re not going to conquer those aforementioned phenomena with “microwave advocacy.” In fact, you will only reaffirm their great power.

Don’t sit back and let things happen to you and people in your community that are unfair. Commit yourself to being an advocate for justice. Black people, it’s time for us to stop settling for oppression, depression, estrangement, exploitation, discrimination, and etc. Let’s use our talents, resources, knowledge, and etc. to defeat the many injustices we confront.

Act today! Be an advocate for justice!

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Advertisements

New Black Expectations

On February 26, 2009, Dr. John Y. Odom spoke at the University of Wisconsin-Madison at the “2nd Annual Black Men’s Initiative Forum 2010.”  He gave the men (and some women) of all races some great insights.  He challenged them to graduate from college as soon as they can so that they can go into the “real world” and make a difference.  His call for Black males to graduate and go into their communities and make the difference is such an important message.

Black men need to understand that we have to seize on a critical moment that we have to evince and illuminate our greatness.  Black men have to understand that we have to do a better job of helping one another to increase, improve, and further develop our skills, talents, and knowledge.  Imagine a day when Black men in America and globally are truly united with one another.  This will be a day when we can work to dismantle the damaging stereotypes and stigmas that plague our progress.  The struggle for Black male progress will not be fully realized until we have stronger support from Black females and higher expectations from them for Black males.

Too many Black women want a Black man who is a “thug.”  Ironically, these same Black women want Black men who are educated, able to provide them with the finer phenomena in life, and who will be an excellent father for their children.  This ignorance emanating from many Black females has to end if they want their Black men to be able to be the empowered leaders they so criticallly need them to be.  Far too frequently do I hear Black women talking about Black men are nothing but “dogs,” “pimps,” “drug dealers,” “players,” and etc.  My simple response to the name calling engaged in by many Black women is you all made them that way—for the most part.  When you all are constantly giving away your bodies so easily to them—this will turn them into dogs, pimps, and players.  What else did you expect?

The way that Black men and women need to correct the problems that they both face is to set higher expectations for themselves.  For example, there are people who are in college at some of the finest schools in the nation—like University of Wisconsin-Madison—who think that they have to make going to college and being successful “cool” by doing phenomena that have caused those who are not in college or who are not successful to be where they are today—like getting drunk everyday, smoking weed everyday, busting slack, wearing clothes that you know does not make you look like you are striving for success, intentionally talking in an ignorant way just to demonstrate how “hood” you are or how much of a thug you are, and etc.

A new day needs to begin where Black people acknowledge that our Black foremothers and forefathers died for us to have the right to be free.  In this right to be free came the right to be free from low expectations.  Today, I make a solemn plea to you—Black people—to demand higher expectations of yourselves, and to fight against any barriers, people, and institutions that would try to prevent you from being the greatest person you can be.  Being truly successful will demand that you not simply do traditional and popular phenomena.  You just might have to upset some people, but it’s all for your betterment and the betterment of the American and global community.  Until you give up doing phenomena that are always popular, you will always be a slave!

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison