9 Things The Diaspora Can Do About Somalia

(Cedricmuhammad.com) In the privacy of my own mind (and out loud, on my talk show, “The Cedric Muhammad and Black Coffee Program” broadcast at BlackElectorate.com – http://www.blackelectorate.com/) I often envision and wonder what a generation of conscious music by Public Enemy, KRS-One, Big Daddy Kane, and Dead Prez; the tapes of the spiritually powerful talks of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan as well as the politically potent sound bites of Minister Malcolm X-El Hajj Malik al-Shabazz; and stimulating books authored by Cheikh Anta Diop, Dr. John Henrik Clarke, Amos Wilson, and Dr.Yosef A.A. Ben Jochannan will eventually produce in the way of uniting Africa and her Diaspora in a meaningful and permanent way.

I am convinced that eventually these cultural, political and spiritual references, when combined with the unresolved community-oriented debate from the 1960s and 1970s that took place in the Diaspora, over the best relationship between Africa and her Diaspora held by four primary parties - The Black Panther Party, Maulana Karenga/Amiri Baraka, Stokely Carmichael (Kwame Ture) and the Nation Of Islam – will ultimately yield an arrangement somewhat similar (but not identical) to that which the international Jewish community enjoys with the state of Israel.

I fast and pray to see that day.

However positive I am, optimistic and confident as ever, I find myself lamenting, almost grieving in moments like these – when a Black or African nation garners headlines in the mainstream media and the gross ignorance of Black Americans and others regarding that nation, its history, and culture are exposed by our knee-jerk reaction to slanted and biased coverage.

Our ‘informed reactions’ are sometimes worse than the basic ignorance that once preceded, in that they show how powerless we are.

Yes, the most unsettling aspect of this yearly phenomenon [remember Kenya (2008), Sudan (2004), Zimbabwe (2002) Rwanda (1997) Haiti (1994) Ethiopia (1985)…and oh yeah, I forgot, Somalia 18 years ago] is not those who are most ignorant of what is going on (these are always great opportunities to teach) but rather those who are most informed and aware of what is going on in Africa and their (our) inability to do anything to impact the events of which they have knowledge.

It is as if, what matters most to too many intellectuals on African affairs today, is being what I call ‘the smartest person in the room,’ where data and information rather than progressing along their scientific continuum into knowledge, understanding and finally wisdom (the application of your understanding) are valued more for their power to explain, than their power to activate and organize resources to change reality.

Could this be the real crisis of the Black intellectual today: his or her desired to understand and explain reality means more to him/her than changing reality?

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Cedric Muhammad

Sunday, May 10, 2009