Archive for November, 2016

What’s in a name? — November 2016

Articles | Posted by Jim Clingman November 28th, 2016

When the Axe came into the Forest, the Trees said “The handle is one of us.” Macedonian Axiom

A man came into a forest and asked the Trees to provide him a handle for his axe. The Trees consented to his request and gave him a young ash-tree. No sooner had the man fitted a new handle to his axe from it, than he began to use it and quickly felled with his strokes the noblest giants of the forest. Source: Macedonian Truth.org

The movement that began as THE One Million Conscious Black Voters and Contributors, while aspirational as it rapidly moves toward its goal of one million members, it is also dynamic as opposed to static. This movement is participatory and calls on all members to bring their talents to the table to “contribute” to its progress. In that vein, although there are a few rock-solid principles upon which the moment was established and built, not everything is written in stone and immune to critique and suggestions for improvement. The name of the movement is a perfect example.

Since 2005, when Dr. Claud Anderson’s group attempted to develop what he called Maroon City in Detroit, THE One Million Movement has been through several iterations and has had several names. Beginning with “Bring Back Black,” coined by Bob Law in 2006, it became known as The Nationalist Black Leadership Council in 2007; in that same year the name was changed to The Nationalist Black Leadership Coalition (NBLC) in an effort to illustrate openness and inclusion rather than the perception of a small esoteric group.

Added to the NBLC was the acronym, “POBA,” which meant President of Black America, a champion for Black folks who would work for and be paid by Black people, advocate for Black causes, and be totally accountable to Black people. That concept was shelved because it was obvious to Black people that Barack Obama had a good chance of being elected, and most of our attention was focused on helping him become the “first Black President.” From 2008 until 2013, the core group of “conscious” Blacks continued their individual work in their locales and waited for the opportune time to get busy once again.

After getting back together and revving up our Black empowerment engines again, we named the movement “One Million Conscious Black Voters and Contributors” and began to recruit members, many of whom are some of the brightest minds among our people. Several months had passed when one of our members, Sister Shandra Witherspoon, who has been a teacher for many years, proposed an additional word to our name: Conscientious. We also moved “Contributors” ahead of “Voters” to show more emphasis on economics versus politics.

I can hear some of you saying, “But the name is long enough, Jim. Why add yet another word to it?” I understand, but it is very important to THE One Million that you know exactly what we stand for, and if it takes a longer than usual name to describe it, so be it. Compared to names of other Black organizations, there is no trying to figure out what THE One Million represents.

We know that consciousness is not enough to cause some of our people to act upon their beliefs. It’s not enough just to be “conscious,” which means “aware, awake, and knowledgeable.” We must also be “conscientious,” which means, “…governed by conscience; controlled by or done according to one’s inner sense of what is right; principled.”

Being conscientious causes a conscious person to take appropriate action to solve the problems of which he or she is well aware and knowledgeable. A large part of our problem as Black people is that many of us are “Rapolutionaries,” “Radio Activists,” Political Pontificators,” “Afrocentricksters,” “Hotep Hustlers,” “Pulpit Pacifists, and “Barber Shop Rhetoricians.” None of those classifications actually move us forward; they only keep us on a conversational treadmill.

THE One Million Conscious and Conscientious Black Contributors and Voters, because we know that everything black (small “b”) ain’t Black (capital “B”), has added another level of consciousness to our name. We are looking for “Conscientiously Conscious” Black people who are not only aware, but willing to work on and “contribute” their skills, knowledge, and treasure to solving our problems and bringing solutions to fruition.

What’s in a name? A great deal when it comes to THE One Million. So, if you are one who says “Your name is too long,” take some time to analyze that name, and see if it fits your personal agenda for Black empowerment. If it does, and you are a “Conscientiously Conscious” Black person, then join THE One Million and get to work with members in forty-two states throughout the country. And when you write your check, just make it out to OMCCBCV—the short name.

 

 

The Billion Dollar March – Revisited — November 2016

Articles | Posted by Jim Clingman November 21st, 2016

billionIn April 2005 I wrote an article titled, “Billion Dollar March,” at the behest of “The Ice Supreme Man,” Ashiki Taylor in Atlanta.ashiki The article was in reference to our penchant for marching when we are upset, and then going home to sit down and wait for another crisis. This reaction to our grievances is so predictable and has no effect on the situations against which we protest and demonstrate. The obvious question is, “Why do we continue to do it then?”

Because I don’t do foot marching, I won’t spend my time trying to answer that question; you can ask those who are calling for marches to explain it to you. What I will do, however, is suggest another kind of march: The Billion Dollar March. Just as in 2005, we are confronted with the same problems, the same conditions, the same powerlessness, and the same Black leadership that opts for foot marching as a way to get politicians to change, and as a remedy against unfairness, such as being killed by a rogue cop.

Those of us who were members of the MATAH Network in 2000 will remember our monthly “Standing Order.” We received a book and a tape to help elevate our consciousness; two of the tapes were “Internal Reparations,” by Dr. Conrad Worrill, conradand David Whitaker’s “The Wake-Up Call.” charter3 I listened to both of them this week and, while they reconfirmed my decades of spreading the Economic Gospel, those two messages from two astute, conscious, and conscientious Black men really illuminated—once again—the importance of marching our dollars to Black businesses and wielding economic power as a means to change our situation.

Using dollars to reward and punish is a proven way of getting someone’s attention and, thereby, causing them to change their ways. Look at the many examples that have taken place just over the past ten years or so. Nations and their products were boycotted; sports organizations, entertainers, and conferences refused to hold events in cities whose policies went against their beliefs; and most recently we saw NBA Commissioner, Adam Silver, take the All-Star Basketball game out of Charlotte, North Carolina. Now in reaction to the election, three NBA team owners are boycotting all Trump hotels.

Billionaires like Mark Cuban give their dollars marching orders. We must do no less. Our Billion Dollar March must be organized, measurable, maintained, sustained, and used to empower us. It must not be done solely to hurt someone else; it must be implemented to benefit Black businesses owned by conscious and conscientious brothers and sisters, because we know that “everything black ain’t Black.” The businesses we support must use some of their windfall profits to build a war chest to sustain the coordination of our Billion Dollar March.

In addition to supporting and growing our local Black businesses, we must adopt a consistent, continuous, habitual movement centered on buying from ourselves. Every Black household should have Black-made products coming in at least once per month. Goods and services that we use on a regular basis, offered by Black producers, must find their way into our homes continuously. THE One million will keep track of our participation via pledges and feedback from our members and the businesses we support.

Nationally syndicated columnist, William “Bill” Reed, recently wrote, “Blacks spend less money in black-owned businesses than other racial and ethnic groups spend in businesses owned by members of their groups. How many blacks go out of their way to patronize black-owned businesses? African American buying power is over 1 Trillion; and yet only 2 cents of every dollar an African American spends goes to black owned businesses.” A Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management study found that a million jobs could be created if black consumers spent $1 of every $10 at black-owned stores and other enterprises.”

What’s wrong with us, y’all? Worrill, Whitaker, Reed, and others have given us the formula for economic success and, thereby, political success, for many years. We don’t need another foot march, we need –and must have, a Billion Dollar March.

Here is our charge: Start right now to redirect $1 billion back to ourselves in 2017, via the example now being shown by THE One Million Conscious and Conscientious Black Contributors and Voters. We are buying and promoting a ubiquitous product, one that is consumed worldwide in amounts on par with oil and wheat: Sweet Unity Farms Coffee from Tanzania. To purchase, go to our website at www.iamoneofthemillion.com/products.html. We are also getting our tax returns prepared at Compro Tax Offices. Buy Black products and professional services. If one million of us spend $1,000.00 per year at Black businesses we will bring our Billion Dollar March to fruition.

So take a load of your feet; let your dollars do the marching.
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Bible Lessons – Then and Now

Articles | Posted by Jim Clingman November 14th, 2016

“In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is King.”

This article is being written without the bias or prejudice of commentators and political pundits. It is unfiltered and a result of my not having watched the final vote tallies and not even knowing who won the presidential election until 7:30 A.M., the morning after. I have not yet watched or listened to news shows and have not discussed the results, in-depth, with anyone.

That disclosure is important because I want you to know this is not an emotional treatise; it is a pragmatic substantive assessment of what took place not only last night, November 8, 2016, but throughout history as well. We are too emotionally engaged in politics rather than being substantively engaged; and now as many grieve and cloak themselves in sackcloth and ashes, the undeniable and inescapable question is: What now?

In the early chapters of Exodus we find that God hardened Pharaoh’s heart against releasing His people. After multiple plagues, Pharaoh still resisted. God told him, “But I have raised you up (spared you) for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”

Judges 2:11 says, “Then the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and served the Baals…the people did what was right in their own eyes,” instead of what God wanted them to do. On several occasions they cried out for a Judge, which God sent each time, but even after twelve Judges, the people reverted back to “doing what they saw fit.”

In 1st Samuel 8, the people cried out for a king, even though God was their King. After Samuel warned them of what they would suffer under an earthly king, the people, nevertheless, said, “We want a king!” They got Saul, the leader they surely deserved. And in 2nd Chronicles 7,
God similarly warned King Solomon against forsaking His word.

This is not a sermon but a reflection on similarities between then and now. God turned His people over to the Philistines, the Assyrians, the Babylonians, and other evil doers, in order to show His people the error of their ways. Last night this nation elected a man who has actually insulted God by saying he has “never asked God for forgiveness” because he is “a good person.” After saying that, he was endorsed by Jerry Falwell, Jr. and other so-called “evangelical Christians.” 1st John 1:10 says, “If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.” Trump went on to say that he does not “regret never asking God for forgiveness…”

My point is this: We now have a king. We have a king who has let us know what kind of person he is and what he wants to do during his reign. Against all odds, he won authority over us, despite all of the evil things he has said and done. So now we should reflect on our situation and determine what we must do.

Don’t get depressed; don’t hurt yourself or someone else; and don’t check out and never try again to move forward. Look for the lesson in this, especially if you are a spiritual person and believe that God is in control of all. Who knows? Like He did with Pharaoh, God just may have “raised up” Donald for this day and time.

In the confusion, hurt, and anger you may feel, you must act upon the lesson (I see it as an opportunity) by changing your life, or at least by improving on the positive things you are already doing. After all, we have seen this act before, historically and contemporaneously, and we have survived.

The 9/11 mantra was “May God bless America,” to which I wrote back then, “America should bless God,” because He has already blessed us tremendously. Yet, even after 9/11, we acquiesced to politicians who legislated in opposition to scriptural tenets; we turned a blind eye to our current President when he supported abortion and marriage between two men or two women. Maybe we are being held accountable now.

“As I close,” there are several economic lessons in Scripture; I will cite two, one old and one new. In Genesis 41, Joseph’s work gives us a great example of warehousing, storage, inventory control, and distribution. He prepared for the future of his people by acting before a crisis rather than waiting for one to occur. In Acts 2, the first Church demonstrated its members’ understanding of collective empowerment by pooling their financial resources so that everyone could benefit.

We must learn from righteous economic and political examples of the past, and implement their lessons in today’s world.

 

 

Post-Election Disinfectant — November 2016

Articles | Posted by Jim Clingman November 7th, 2016

By the time you read this I trust you will have wiped away the slime and the grunge, regurgitated a few times, taken a good bath or shower, relentlessly scrubbed the stench from your bodies, and maybe even found it necessary to delouse. disinfect3The dirty, filthy, hateful, distasteful, embarrassing, vile, toxic, grimy, polluted campaign we all witnessed is likely the worst in the history of electing a President.
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At the time of this writing (November 4, 2016) the results are unknown, but in light of the lies, slander, vitriol, vulgarity, hypocrisy, hyperbole, false accusations, innuendo, leaks, assaults, and even physical threats of murder, it matters less than usual who wins. No matter the result, there will be millions of people in this country who will be so angry that very little will get done for “The People.” January 20, 2017 will be a very sad day for many voters depending on which side is victorious. That’s a terrible commentary on this country, and an even worse reflection on the leadership we have chosen.

But what does it say about us? We have fought one another over the two candidates, neither of whom is held in high regard by the majority of the electorate. It has been suggested that our choice is between the “lesser of two evils,” and some say the “evil of two lessers.” We have been led down one of two primrose paths of prevarication, perversion, pseudo-piety, and pompous posturing, only to have gone to the polls holding our noses to choose our next leader.

Some have even dropped out of the system altogether because they cannot stand to be a part of such downright evilness. Some have said they will start a civil war if their candidate does not win; some say they will “take out” one of the candidates if things don’t go their way; some have said they will move to another country; and some say the whole system is corrupt anyway so why care about it at all?

We have former candidates who called the two finalists insulting names: “pathological liar,” “con man,” “woefully unqualified,” “criminal,” “predator,” and the like; but those same self-righteous folks, some of whom profess to be of high moral character, are telling us to vote for the very persons they disdained and denigrated during the primaries. What kind of people are they? Are they typical of what we call a “politician”? Hypocrites who turn on a dime when it’s politically expedient for them, no matter what they said a couple of months ago? I guess we know the answers to those questions, right?

Talk about trouble, folks, we are deep into it. This nation is split nearly 50/50, so there is very little room for compromise or concession on either side, and we are right in the middle of this mess. Yes, the nirvana and utopia, called Barack and Michelle, that many Black people thought we were living in is all over—gone. What shall we do now?

Truthfully, irrespective of who wins this election, Blacks and poor folks are going to be in the same shape we have been for a while. After the assessments and Monday morning quarterbacking is over, many of us will still be sitting in the stadium sulking, complaining, and lamenting what took place. I am reminded of LeBron James’ comments after losing the championship to the Dallas Mavericks: “…at the end of the day, they (his haters) have to wake up tomorrow and have the same life that they had before they woke up today. They have the same personal problems they had today.”

Well alright then. We will have to get back to the real world, which includes not having real political power and very little influence on public policy. But maybe this will be the final wake-up call Black people need to understand that until we get our economic act together, we will continue to be viewed as mere child-like voters instead of a true force to be reckoned with.

Applicable solution: If you are a conscious and conscientious Black person, go to www.iamoneofthemillion.com and join the movement as we move closer to economic and political empowerment. We know that in order to attain the levels of power and influence we seek there must be an organized critical mass of people and a vehicle through which that can be done. This is not a knock on anything anyone else is doing; it’s simply a call for just 2% of Black people in this country to join forces, offering their time, talent, and treasure to help our people. THE One Million is the only active movement of its kind.

So after you have cleaned up and disinfected yourself on November 9th, get into a game you can win—THE One Million!

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