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Race Relations
Do you think that race relations in the United States will improve in 2015?
Do You Know What Time It is?
5/21/2015 2:18:08 PM

By Hakim Abdul-Ali

As I sit here in this isolated space and time, I'm thinking about all the continual chaos and upheavals that's been going on in the world, especially within the confines of the Black experience. That's a lot to digest if you're aware of the worlds of existences that the majority of "colored" folk live in here in Babylon west.

Because of that reality, I have to ask you, as I ask myself poignantly, "Do you know what time it is?" Take your time to consider that significant question and please, if you're prepared to answer, do so with an intellectual reference to the struggles of "our" collective masses in times of ethnic communal difficulties.

You see, from the Baltimore to Staten Island to Ferguson to North Charleston, for example, "Black Lives Matter" in case you didn't know it. I say that with complete attention given to all of the unspoken of other areas where Black and other ethnic folk live in the United States and are under all types of systematic sieges.

Hoping that assessment is in alignment with your current state of understanding that the overall national African-American community, in particular, is suffering from unconcerned political sabotage, massive economic deprivations and not-so-hidden police insensitivities in many sectors of the bald eagle's landscape. If know this to be true in your present mental thinking, then you probably are not questioning why I ask politely, "Do you know what time it is?"

Being of color in America always seems as though it's an uphill battle to fight for equality and respect from others in some shape, manner or form. It's systematically been that way and it brings to my mind something that former U.S. Congressperson William H. Gray lll said, and that was "It is naive to think that (Dr. Martin Luther) King's dream is going to be totally realized in 25 years in light of 350 years of slavery, segregation, and institutionalized racism.

As that provocative resonates in my now reflective mind-set with a bitter reality, I wonder do you know that time waits for no one. In my own ever-present view of interpreting life's philosophical realities, I offer that "Nothing comes to a dreamer but a dream."

Living in a state of real life racial hypocrisy isn't a placebo dream if "in-your-face bigotries and oppressions of all kinds" still exists under the American premise, or should I say pretense, that equality, justice and freedom is for all and, tragically, in realty, it doesn't exist. "Do you know what time it is?"

My job and others writing as journalists and columnists for the Black Press of America is to deliver thought-provoking information that challenges you, the reader, to think, if you already haven't or don't, and to investigate what's keeping us behind in the race for so-called equality at all levels, even at this late stage of freedom's clarion shoutout. "Do you know what time it is?"

James Baldwin once said that "you cannot fix what you can not face." Remembering that point from one of "our" great literary thinkers and political activists of all time makes me know that in some way he knew what time it was back in the '60s when he said that brief, but astute revelation.

Just thinking about the woeful current states of Black related social, educational and fiscal affairs affecting the entire national Afro-American communities wherever they are, makes wonder if their (current) elected political and academic leadership officials throughout this country really are bent on fixing what ails them as Mr. Baldwin was alluding to. Think loudly, "Do know what time it is?"

Scholar, historian and critic Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., once said,"We need something we don't yet have: a way of speaking about black poverty that doesn't falsify the reality of black advancement; a way of speaking about black advancement that doesn't distort the enduring realities of black poverty." Dr. Gates said a mouthful if you're an understanding person of color, who senses that without financial capital and ethnic unity in this country, and anywhere els for that matter, you're completely out of it in this materialistically democratic society.

Do you know what the bottom line is behind Dr. Gates' assessment of where we, as a collective ethnic entity, are in the dollar earning terms, again for example, compared to other ethnic groups? If you do, then you already know that the time is more than now for us to get our unified acts together and to "TCB" in all matters that affect our existences and survivals as viable segments of current and future productive community Americana.

The ground breaking comedian Flip Wilson used to say, "What you see is what you get." That quick motto always stuck with me in many ways and definitely as I looked at some of our (?) so-called "his-stoical" buddies and political allies who claimed to be our friends, etc. from near and afar in every arena of life.

Maybe, that sums up the total agonizing results of why so many of our nation's African-American communities have been shortchanged by the election of "What you see is what you get" politicians who sell them out, en masse, with nothing to show for them (the Black communities) giving them their precious and much needed votes at election times with nothing to show for it afterward. That's why I'm asking you, "Do you know what time it is?"

"Black and All Other Lives (Do) Matter." Time is not something to play with. You, or someone close to you, could be here today and gone tomorrow. "Do you know what time it is?" If you don't, you only have yourself to blame if the bottom falls out on you and your ethnic community. America is potentially great.

In conclusion, abolitionist Frederick Douglass said, "If a slave has a bad master, his ambition is to get a better one; when he gets a better one, he aspires to have the best(one); and when he gets the best, he aspires to be his own master." I hope you get that symbolism because by now you should know what time it is. For today and always, that's, "As I See It."


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