I fear that in my tired state, I may not do this topic justice. However, I've been procrastinating too long and fear Febuary will leave before I post anything. So here goes:
A change is definitely happening in the "black world" (for lack of a better term). I am more and more hearing the phrase "we are not a monolith" and even hearing folks wanting to redefine what is means and who's included in the term "black". Some are taking an exclusionary approach to it all; some inclusionary. All this as the white world looks on.
Sometimes I see the black world as a piece of bread with peanut butter spread all over -even to the far reaches of the bread. Its stretched so much that the upper left even forgot that the lower right exists; and the upper right is absolutely disgusted at the lower left. Each group is wanting that they be declared the "true black" because that is what they each want black to be. Divide the bread! Cut it up.
This readiness to "cut the bread" comes from, I suspect, a confidence that usually follows good jobs, money, status, pride, etc. Either that or it can come from the notion that there is no more "outside enemies" so, 'i don't need you no more!'
Could it be that racism is so seen as obsolete that we don't need all able bodied members? Or that we have such organizations in place such as the venerable NAACP that some feel we can begin to discriminate ourselves? (Or can it be that some are so tired of feeling discriminated by other blacks that they want to do a tit for tat?)
Whatever the case may be, i'd like to put out an argument for unity. For those who are spiritual, you know that ultimately God is One. The Universe is one. However you want to put it. The closer we get to that oneness, the more godly we are. Yes, there are differences among us. We are like a matrix.
picture of a matrix:
2 4 5 6 7 7 4
2 5 7 8 4 7 4
7 5 7 5 2 7 4
Just like this! Even though we are different (some of us are 2s, 5s, 7s) all the answers, all the numbers, are needed to complete the matrix. To be complete, we still need the difference -the difference- of each of us.
On a non spiritual standpoint, there is strength in numbers. We have seen all too well what happens when folks are divided. After division, comes the conquering.
Often times, I read from non Jewish sources how they talk about the Jews. Its always "the Jews". Living a jewish life, I can actually see European Jews, Jews of African /Morrocan descent, Lithuanian (litvish) Jews, Khassidish Jews, all different types! But nobody makes that distinction (ok, maybe they'll point out the Ethiopian Jew). They just hear the Anti-Defamation League and they think Jewish.
Why tear down the power that we have in numbers? Its sad enough that White America is aware of the difference in Caribbean vs AA black -and don't tell me they don't play on that when its convenient!
Lesson from the Incense Offering.
In Judaism, there was a special offering that was done when the Holy Temple stood. The big 'kahuna' or the cohen, or high priest (whatever you want to call it) had to grind up about 11 spices. These were to be burned as incense both morning and afternoon. It was forbidden to leave out any spices. But one of them was GALBANIM. A very stinky spice!
Why was that spice included? Why was it so mandatory that it be kept?!
That reminds me of another thing. When we fast, the fast is said to be incomplete unless a sinner is also fasting among us. Why must the bad be included? What good does including even the bad, the stinky, in the group do?
It is said that by adding this pungent smell to the incense, it only enhances the overall fragrance of the incense. Just as when we include a sinner in the group, it gives him a chance to repent.
I think that even though we want to 'discard' a few blacks from the whole picture of things, including them just might bring them to your way of thinking. For sure, if nothing else, it will increase our numbers.
In summary, there is a definite wind of change happening in the BC; but it does not have to preclude unity and togetherness. Our differences can actually enhance this unity and give it a beautiful 'fragrance'!
(Lastly, I once saw a movie called "Nick of Time" and loved it tremendously. Why? Because I enjoyed the way all the 'laymen' of the hotel had to work together to beat the criminal. This kinda reminds me of the movie.)