Isn’t It Time For Black Americans To Choose “Life” Over “The Dream”?

Martin-Luther-King-Jr_-Before-a-SpeechAnother year has come where hundreds and thousands of citizens of all ethnicities, particularly Black-American, rush to the crowds and Media camps to profess their love, devotion, and appreciation for the late 1960’s era Civil Rights icon, Martin Luther King, Jr. I just find it interesting that if one didn’t know any better, you would think that the only speech that Mr. King ever gave was the ‘I Have A Dream Speech” in 1963. Though that was the most witnessed of his speeches, in the shadows of the Lincoln Memorial, as he spoke, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character”. Is this the one that is the best transferable or relevant today – particularly as it has to do with the plight of blacks in America?

To strive for a nation of people who judge one another based on character content is a worthy aspiration to have. A good argument can be made that since Mr. King’s passing, some 40 plus years ago, America has made Herculean progress. But, according to a recent poll, over the past 6 years we have become more Balkinized over the differences of our skin color. But to me the discourse is the effect, rather than the cause. Which brings me to the speech of Mr. King’s that is more needed to be regurgitated at ad nauseam. It is the sermon that he gave some 10 years earlier to the one that is most celebrated in Montgomery, Alabama, called the “The Three Dimensions of a Complete Life.” It was in the sermon that I believe is most meaningful and pertinent today in which he said, “After one has discovered what he is called for, he should set out to do it with all of the power that he has in his system. He should seek to do it so well that the living, the dead, and the unborn could do it no better. Do it as if God almighty ordained you at this particular moment in history to do it. Whatever your life’s work is, never consider it insignificant. If it is for the uplifting of humanity, it has cosmic significant, however small it is. If you are called to a little job, seek to do it in a big way. If your life’s work is confined to the ordinary, seek to do it in an extraordinary way. If you discover that you are called to be a street sweeper, sweep streets like Michael Angelo painted pictures, like Beethoven composed music and like Shakespeare wrote poetry. Sweep streets so well that all the host of heaven and earth will have to pause and say, there lived a great street sweeper who swept his job well. This is what Douglas Mallock meant when he said: if you can’t be a pine on the top of the hill, be a scrub in the valley – but be the best little scrub by the side of the hill, be a bush if you can’t be a tree. If you can’t be a highway just be a trail. If you can’t be the sun be a star. It isn’t by size that you win or fail. Be the best of whatever you are. Set yourself earnestly to discover what you were made to do, and then set yourself earnestly to do it.”

It is in that sermon in which he was not referring to a “dream”, but rather life. He was not talking about “if” some external entity does “x”, then “y” would happen ,wishfully. In the Montgomery speech he spoke of LIFE. He spoke of the blessings of the Creator. He spoke of if each of us did, “x”, then “y” would likely happen. He spoke of what no one in public or in front of the Media cameras will say regarding today’s plight of American blacks – self-responsibility and tying one’s actions, whether they be positive or negative, to results that those actions may bring.  he spoke of one’s relationship to the Creator, not to government.

Just imagine if this was the speech, or quotes thereof, that were played, played, and played again during this celebration, as well throughout the year. The “Dream” speech can be arguably misconstrued as blacks in America waiting for some external entity, i.e., government, giving blacks something. Where as the “Life” speech talks about one doing the best at what they set out to do for themselves, by themselves, using the Creator endowed talent and skills that each of us have, no matter the measure. Where as the former may encourage dependency and an entitlement mindset, the latter encourages independence and self-responsibility.

The picture of the Ferguson’s of today’s America, and that of contagion of crippling under and non-employment of the blacks, in particular the youths, the picture of the gross disproportionate number of blacks in the penal system, and the picture of the epidemic of out-of-wedlock and single-parent households in the black-American community is the cause of too many of blacks staking too much in the “Dream”.  The “dream” that someone, or something, would do more for ourselves than we are willing to do for ourselves. If we one is not willing to hold him self up morally to seek to do the best job that he can do, how can he expect to gain employment or create a business? If one chooses to not to govern himself accordingly, how can he not expect to be governed by someone or something else?  How can one behave immorally and dishonorably, and yet expect just and honorable blessings?

To focus on a “dream” is to induce one to sleep. While to live “life” encourages one to be awake to take charge of his and her life choices, both good and bad. Imagine what a different picture of black America would be today. And imagine how truly great a celebration of this great man’s life we could have.

Does So Many Women Head Of Household Signal Final End To America’s Masculine Identity?

I read a recent report of a Pew Research Study about the unprecedented growth of households headed by women. It reported the nearly 40% of homes with minors has a woman as the primary breadwinner. It was  just 10% in 1960. Today over 60% of the women households are single parented. Some troubling characteristics of the findings are: 74% says as for a working mom it is harder to raise a child; a female single parent has a median income of just $23,000 – compared to those women with husbands earned approximately $80,000; 46% ages 30 and younger never married, of that number 40% are black and 24% Hispanic; and 49% having a high school education or less have a median income of just $17,400 – the lowest among all families with children.

I can still remember the political dust-up over the TV character Murphy Brown and U.S Vice President Dan Quayle had over the character having a child out-of-wedlock during the George Bush Senior’s Administration. Time has flown by with a quickening certainly. But is this a further example of the feminization of the American culture and identity? This so-called phenomenon didn’t just happen of the sudden. Liberalism seldom comes through the front door. The movement to deemphasize men and masculinity under the guise of “equality” in American culture has been creeping through the crevasses of the nation’s society since “the Women Liberation Movement”.

But I believe that there is a galactic silent conversion from America being a masculine culture to a feminine culture. Even Fox News has picked up on it in its report “The War On Men”. The report refers to the fact that there has been a concerted effort to push men of their “pedestal”. There has been an orchestrated antagonistic relationship developed due to the notion that being mothers and home developers and nurtures are no longer relevant or important duties and responsibilities. That in fact such traditional duties are demeaning and tantamount to servitude. Being a man, and the supposed benefits that come with being a man, is now much more appealing and too beneficial of a status. Men were to become the eternal enemy to most women/ feminist. And if you weren’t a woman who openly share these anti-men views, you were look upon as a traitor to the cause.

So now today we have dysfunctional gender relations due to the fact that natural and cultural instincts and fundamental expectations have been turned upside down and backwards. We have men who have no expectations of being the breadwinner or having a job and don’t know how to be bold or masculine, and women who have no expectations of knowing how to cook a wholesome meal or know how to be gentle or nurturing. And therefore they no longer have any expectations of finding those once assumed qualities and characteristics in each other, causing further alienation and indifference. Just look at the high American divorce rate and the exploding rate that more men and women seeing no benefit in marriage or unionizing.

But this break down in gender relations have more profound implications for our nation’s cultural identity and it’s salvation as a world dominant nation I believe. Lets first look at the differences between femininity and masculinity.  Feminine is closely related to goodness. Whereas masculine relates to strength. To be feminine is to be more nurturing. Whereas to be masculine is to be more aggressive. To be feminine is to be more emotionally attuned. While to be masculine is to view things in a more cold calculating manner. To be feminine is be more passive and willing to compromise just to keep the peace. Whereas to be masculine is to be more assertive and rigidly self-determined, even at the risk of being wrong. But, what I believe maybe a more telling general characteristic is that the masculine-dominant will seek to defend and protect himself first, while the feminine-dominant will look first consider the needs of others. In other words the feminine-dominant are more willing to give up their freedoms and liberties for the benefit of others, while the masculine-dominant favors personal security above all else. While it is good for a nation to have a healthy feminine-masculine ratio, America has been exceptionally successful due to its determined masculine-dominant identity.

When you look at the effects of the feminization of the nation’s culture has had it is nothing more astoundingly devastating. From everything from the near total removal of men from the teachers ranks, less than 9%, the removal of the man from the home, due to political correctness and efforts throughout the government educational system to emphasis self-esteem development over academic development, as evident by the abolishment of grades of A’s and B’s, eliminating Honor Roll acknowledgments for fear of injuring self-esteem, punishing the youngest amongst us for opposing homosexuality at school, and even removing male or masculine references from the Bible. Even the most passive observer can tell that today’s America is extremely more sensitive and softer than our grand parent’s. There’s even a car commercial attempting to demonstrate its safety features by surrounding a kid in bubble wrap as an analogy to protecting the child from getting hurt from falls. Geez!

America used to be a place where kids were expected to suffer falls, missteps, and failures, as an education of what life will be when they become adults. America used to be the place where you didn’t have to like or agree with what someone said, but would defend their right to say it. America used to the land were classrooms and universities were places for learning the three R’s and the sciences and ideas to be openly challenged. Children used to be challenged to think logically and comprehensively. Parents instilled in my generation, and those prior, self-reliance and self-responsibility with verbal reinforcements such as, the world doesn’t owe you anything; always look both ways before crossing the street; after you fall of the horse you have to get back on it; and you if you wanted something, you work hard for it, you earn it, and it was yours. One’s word was his bond and his character was to be of the highest exhibition.

Today dependency is the new norm. And in order to be dependent you can not be masculine or overtly manly. If one were to just glance at the U.S Constitution’s first Ten Amendments he would see independence, self-reliance, and masculinity throughout it. It refers to nothing of equality of one citizen coming at he expense of another. Even Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas stated, “Government cannot make us equal; it can only recognize, respect, and protect us as equal before the law.” The Constitution clearly reads of self-governance for the individual and that the government is to only intervene to protect the rights for the individual – not group. The Framers of this most magnificent document intended for the population to be vigilant, strong, and assertive to oppose and defeat any move by the government to overstep its bounds in safe-guarding their liberties. But, with a more feminine-dominant culture we have become more passive and less assertive in tightening the reigns of the government. But in addition to surrendering the reigns of the government, so too have we as a society surrendered the reigns of our own conduct.

With the explosion of feminine dominated households so too grows feminine dominated governance and policies that are less restrictive on personal and social conduct, more likely to favor external governance rather self-governance, and more welling to surrender safety for promised peace and security. The salvation of this nation’s posterity depends on the people recognizing this crisis and to realize that there is a place for femininity and masculinity to co-exist in their proper order in this nation with masculinity as the dominant identity to defend and protect us all from the what threatens us both domestically and from abroad.