THE HARE REPORT: STATE OF BLACK RACE
The Hare Report: State of Black Race
--Special To The Sun Reporter
(Published, 12/27/2001 issue, pp. 3,7,8)
Drs. Julia and Nathan Hare -- keeping the flame of Black social, political and economic doctrine burning -- have turned up the heat with a compelling analysis of where African Americans really are and where they must go to secure a stable future.
The highly-respected psychologists, authors and social critics/activists, operate the Black Think Tank and their report comes in the wake of a State of the Race Conference in Georgia and a world forum on racism in South Africa.
Every year, the National Urban League compiles statistics to ascertain the State of Black America.
However, the Hare Report speaks from the heart and soul of modern day griots who all calling a village together for a candid, honest inventory.
"Black people are on the verge. Over the past three decades, black folks have convened hundreds of conferences, seminars, lectures, workshops, written news releases, e-mail, snail mail, ad infinitum, on where do we go from here?" the Hares note.
"But once we leave these confabs, feeling hyped and ready to get on with a black agenda or whatever purpose; once the microphones are packed away, the lights dimmed, the speakers paid, we're back to business as usual; we're like a stationary bicycle, a rocking chair, in constant motion but getting nowhere.”
"There's hardly ever any immediate follow-up. Could this come from apathy, fear of losing jobs, being singled out as `trouble makers,' dreading ostracism from the comfortable middle class, or some unfathomable hesitation to confront a volatile condition.”
As long as we continue to give in, give out, and give up, as long as we cling to the old ideas and strategies which have not worked, or may have worked at another time but now no longer apply, or avoid definitions of the problem, the dialogue and its results will continue to be the same, all talk and little action, resting on rationalizations such as `money talks and poverty walks' or `show me the money.' This implies that the solutions to our problems rest only with money, which is not the case.”
"Not only do we have some money, used and misused for other purposes, money is not the only thing that can save us. In fact, on a scale of one to ten, money may not even be at the top. As we enter a new year, the second year in this second millennium, it is time to pause and dissect the segments of our lives, our race and community, and how these intertwine to impact on our goals of liberation, parity and equity.”
"We must examine those things that keep us in a state of apoplexy. If we would scrutinize some of the categories that have made other ethnic groups strong, some weak, we just might begin to find the answers to our problem.”
They pool their resources, shop with one another, develop and build their own business communities.
"They do not seek integration or assimilation, but may be said to integrate but not assimilate, while we seek both integration and assimilation and wind up with assimilation without integration, let alone elevation and empowerment. Their major quest is for autonomy, keeping their group intact, defining their own culture and family values, practicing those values at home and abroad, while we clamor for recognition and acceptance. Feasting upon
acceptance at any cost, the only thing we gain is the illusion of inclusion.”
Leading Blacks or Black Leaders
"We are the only group that is defined by its leadership, a leadership we ourselves do not appoint and often do not approve, and would be better off without -- people who find their place in the sun as darlings of the media, political pawns and gatekeepers.”
"They are often known for charismatic rhetoric or oratorical skills honed in the limelight of the pulpit. The result is that we too often confuse black leaders and leading blacks.”
"What if we in the year 2002 chose our leaders by their qualities of expertise and commitment? The next time the white media converges on the community with camera in hand asking who speaks for the community, we ask them what is the issue. It's up to us to tell them we have medical leaders, economic leaders, political leaders, mental health leaders, cultural leaders, athletic leaders, entertainment and religious leaders, not just spiritual leaders and entertainers. We have been devastated more than any
other group by athletes and entertainers speaking for the race.”
"This could halt the practice of self-anointed crackpots and spiritualists posturing and hop-scotching across the stage of the black experience.”
When there is a crisis or issue for the black community, we would demand that the media call spokespersons out to face the cameras according to their expertise. When Timothy McVeigh blew up the Oklahoma City Federal Building, they brought out criminologists and other experts on terrorism to inform the public, not just evangelicals and county dogcatchers.
"Religion has long occupied a central place in the lives of black people, but as time, technology, family and social conditions change, so must the black church. Sunday can no longer be our only Sabbath day; it has go one very day. The doors of the church should be open every day and every night as a place to go and discuss and debate our problems and solutions.”
There should be no stipulations other than need and commitment. Sunday can remain the core day for ceremonies and services, the tent pole of the religious experience.
"We don't make the best use of our time on Sunday mornings, still the most segregated hour of the week, the one where we can talk about our troubles without fear of repercussions. This might take the form of the minister preaching one Sunday and teaching the next three. One Sunday an attorney might be invited to give us legal updates and prepare us ahead of time for legal pitfalls; the next Sunday, a social worker to reverse the tide of our social disorganization, including stemming the tide and stopping the trend
of our children being removed arbitrarily from the home instead of sending people and resources to the home to teach and help with the parenting.”
Teachers, principals and educators can come in and tell us what is required to get our children through the educational maize of the public schools. A teacher could explain such tests as the SAT (not to be confused with teaching a particular test but teaching how to take any test), to raise the scores and performances of black children as well as other ways to get behind our children in the public schools. After the Sunday morning service, while cookies and tea and pies and pastries are being prepared, congregants could retreat to rooms set aside for high blood pressure and cholesterol screening, mammograms and prostate tests.
People resisting change will likely raise the roof and shatter the stained glass windows, crying `breast and prostate screening in the church?' Tell them we have funerals in the churches for people who have died from these same problems. As the old African proverb puts it: If you want something you've never had before you, you must do something you've never done before.
The church that leads this important renaissance in public health may be criticized at first, but once successful will be the envy and model of others.
The Mental Health Community
"This (segment) can likewise organize and offer group therapy
and practicums in black male/female and family relationships, knowing the family is the cornerstone of any coherent culture. We must restore and give back what the black community has lost. We must formulate, initiate and instigate support groups and also do screenings for homicidal, suicidal and psychotic tendencies, all of which disproportionately affect black people at an early age. We must find out early any serious or troubling tendencies toward addiction, whether drugs, alcohol or other chemical abuses, gambling,
delinquency, kleptomania and whatever dysfunctional or sociopathic traits that might loom in later life.”
Legal Community, DNA and Civil Rights
"We're coming now to a point where our National Bar Association will have to step up to the plate and tell us how we should get behind them to require that everyone arrested should have access to DNA testing where it's relevant or applies. And this should be administered before any trial that might waste the taxpayers' money and destroy families through erroneous incarceration of
too many black men. Not only is this the humane thing to do, civil rights and the survival of black people under a one person one vote system of majority rule is at stake. We know that most people vote according to their particular interests and, typically, the candidate that looks like them.”
Many states have disenfranchised ex-felons, even when they have paid their debt and released back into society. If they get a job or money, they must pay taxes but cannot vote. Does this sound like taxation without representation?
"As often and as long as black people have had to endure the criminal justice system (questionable laws, judges, juries, bail bondsmen, lawyers and bailiffs), it is strange that we didn't know until O.J. that when a jury exonerates a defendant on a criminal matter, the family or aggrieved can take the case back to court and get a conviction for the same crime on ‘civil' charges. History teachers had taught us this was double jeopardy.”
That's why it's important that the National Bar Association should fan out and converge on our churches and inform us of essentials of the constantly changing law, so that we won't always be waiting till the house burns down to grab a fire hose, which too often does not work.
"As long as we `live under black robes and white justice' (in the words of Judge Bruce Wright), we need attorneys to give us the 411 before these things take place. Many of us didn't know what level of participation we're required to give police without an attorney present until the Jon Benet Ramsey case. We thought the Ramseys were getting special privileges when they were simply employing privileges few were aware of. Attorneys could tell us how to change sentencing laws that disproportionately affect black people such as the three-strikes-you're-out measure”.
Reparations for Slavery
"No question that reparations for American Africans are overdue. Attorney Robert Bittkin, a white distinguished professor of law at Yale Law School, published a book as early as 1969 on The Case for Reparations, estimating, on the advice of economists and statisticians, that America owed African-Americans $1 trillion. That's got to be quintupled with the changing value of money, not to mention interests and penalties since then. “
“However, in widespread canvassing by The Black Think Tank, people from all walks of life, including some of its advocates, have confessed to pessimism that reparations to black Americans will not be forthcoming to black people."
Dr. Julia Hare doesn't think blacks will ever get reparations under any circumstances, and Dr. Nathan Hare, also a sociologist and an advocate of reparations since 1967, now believes that "once again we've come up with too little too late and, since the fall out from September 11, we can put reparations on a backburner for quite a while and go on to other things.”
"We call upon our economists, statisticians, estate attorneys, and economic leaders to roll up their sleeves and draft a whopping low-interest loan for Afro-America, like other peoples claiming to be a nation are given.”
Black Male/Female Relationships
"Perhaps the most talked about but misunderstood subject among African-Americans today is black male/female relationships. Yet if we had to name the most tragic failure of black people historically in this country we'd have to point to the relations between black males and black females, the most basic and intimate of all human relationships and the one that is the most crucial for the subjugation of a people. This in turn affects the relationships between parent and child. If a child cannot respect the parent, the child cannot respect authority figures of whatever kind, the teacher, the preacher, the social worker or the policeman.”
"The child is impelled instead to turn against the parent, to turn against authority, to turn against society and in turn against themselves. “
Consequently, our confusion and our negligence in this area are both curious and shocking. For almost two decades following the 1960s, black scholars and intellectuals pretended that all was well with the black family. Then when the crisis became too acute to ignore, we had no apparatus in place to correct it and had allowed others to define the terms of our liberation. The black woman especially is left with an agonizing duality of racism and
sexism, which combine to confuse us and to control and defeat our collective thrust.
"The problem, the black male/female schism, is complicated further by the inability of the white-dominated feminist movement to answer crucial questions it has raised for black female liberation. Too often she has managed to elevate herself occupationally but looks around to find that there is no male to stand beside her, that she is even further isolated psychologically and sociologically from her man. While much attention is paid to the emasculation of the black male, little is given over to the defeminization of the black female.”
"Her beauty has been denied, her femininity and virtues denigrated, as she was made to take up the slack and too often play the role of mother and father to her children. While building on the black woman's socioeconomic strength, we must find ways to beef up the black male as well as bring fatherhood to the black children, extending the concept of the biological father to the psychological or social father, which we provide collectively or as a social group.”
Black Love Groups
"We must find ways to defuse the displaced power struggle that has erected a wall between the black male and the black female. We propose that we begin to establish Black Love Groups (psychological workshops, group therapy) to begin to elevate Black Love Groups to the status of a social movement in the
way that we have done with rites of passage for black boys. “
“Through Black Love Groups or Kupenda Groups (`kupenda' is Swahili for `to love'), we may begin to iron out our differences and our difficulties and perhaps arrive ultimately at a workable solution. It seems likely that at the same time as black love group participants work out their personal conflicts, they would indirectly contribute to the general solution of black male/female conflicts in the years ahead.”
"We believe that through black love groups we may learn to love again (that is, to feel loved), to love ourselves, and therefore one another. We already know how to hate one another.”
“Black males in particular are at a crossroads in the United States today. They incite widespread fear and curiosity in the public mind. To some they represent crime and violence; to others, they are a source of sexual envy, resentment and sometime admiration as the dominant participants and record-breakers in the athletic and entertainment industries. More than a few have risen to the top, even to greatness, in a panorama of other endeavors, as these avenues have been opened to them. However, as a group, black males lag drearily in their relative socio-economic position, as well
as in their ability to stay with their women and children and to provide for them.”
"We can start by finding ways to correct the rift between personal goals and the perception of personal possibilities among our children. A few years ago a rich white alumnus of a New York school promised the sixth grade students at his inner city alma mater that he'd pay the fare of any student who later went to college. The number of takers was high. We can pool our resources and do the same. We should build o the work of the Coalition of 100 Black Men and similar groups in the tutoring and mentoring
of black boys and girls.”
More Concrete Solutions
“Black fraternity and sororities have the time and loads of money and education. If each member gave $10 a month for one year, it would come to tens of millions of dollars a month. With interest and hundreds of millions of dollars a year, we could fund anything we wanted to fun, including starting our own radio and television stations. If we did this, we could begin to call our own media ‘mainstream.’”
"Individuals, fraternities, sororities and similar middle class groups and individuals can sponsor rites of passage to usher black boys into manhood.”
Also, these should be mandatory in every school.
"Two-parent families should `adopt' boys from single-parent homes and include them in normal activities to which they take or would take their son. In this way, we could begin to restore the positive virtues and the basic humanity to the idea of `surrogate parenting.'”
"Black ministers should work with judicial systems to devise means of sentencing first-time offenders to the laymen of their church, to offset the clutches of the hardcore criminal values awaiting them in the prisons. Each church could focus on first offenders in their own surrounding blocks.”
“Black women, mothers and mates of black male convicts, should demand a renaissance in the entire prison and judicial system which captures too many of our most vibrant and promising black males. At the same time, black women are in a position to become special advocates for a reclamation of parenting rights and the overall ability and authority of black parents and the black community to determine the proper child-rearing and the proper road to the resurrection of our black children's minds.”
Further, black women, particularly black female single parents, should serve as headhunters for black male teaches in the primary elementary and secondary schools, actively recruiting the males; drafting them for this important work. They must cajole school boards to offer appropriate and necessary financial incentives.
Black fraternity groups have the time and the resources to initiate weekly activities for Black male juveniles, not just the incorrigibles, but also the entire spectrum. This includes their active presence and participation as well as provision of resources and structures.
"We must have armies of volunteer psychotherapists and counselors to provide free counseling individual and group, to single parents and their boys and other families at risk. They also should organize groups and show our people how to set up and run simple self-help groups patterned on the popular Alcoholics Anonymous models as may be elaborated or enlightened by their expertise. The Kupenda Group is a case in point.”
"The armies of volunteer professionals should include attorneys, dentists, physicians, any and all professional types, even police officers clubs.”
Entertainers and athletes may wish to adopt a boy on a sort of godfather basis, and the same is true for girls. We must not forget to keep up the socialization of the girls because they can learn to have an impact on the boys before it is too late.
"We must begin to restore and revitalize the parent, the first and most continual teacher.”
We must begin to raise the level of excellence in academics to the level of excellence in athletics.
What the black woman has not had is the chance for full family rights, including respect and dependability of the male. We must begin to find ways to give the black woman greater access to the full care and comfort of her children, adequate housing, the right to a socio-economically sufficient man an adequate mate, an employed husband, instead of a black male shortage born of frontline, down-in-the-trenches military service, mass imprisonment.
"The black woman's family rights include the right to discipline and direct the development of her own children's minds. She may need childcare but she also may need the chance to care for her children in her own way.”
"Even as a slave she could care for the children of the mistress, somebody else's children.
"In short, the black woman must be aware of the needs of
reproductive rights for herself and productive rights for her man.”
"In addition to the rites of passage, we must begin to find out what we lost in Africa that can service us in today, and take the best of the past and leave the rest of it alone. We must begin to prefer substance over symbolism, constructive and reconstructive strategies for change informed by the African way instead of or in addition to the ceremonial and the cosmetic.”
"We need more independent schools whether in the evenings or weekends. Such schools can serve as the carrier groups of our cultural values that promote the aspirations of the black child. This will help keep them focused to take advantage of the public schools and higher learning institutes within the society just like the Jews and the Asians. We cannot sit back and expect white society to raise our children or our children to raise themselves.”
"Our black intellectuals must now begin to focus more on reclaiming our past knowledge in order to make it relevant for our children's future development. We must no longer allow ourselves to be bogged down in a past that has gone forever, but we must learn from the past and take the best of the past and leave the rest alone.”
"When we started to focus on black studies in the 1960's we meant not to escape into Africa and antiquity but to bring Africa to the black community, to fill it with the African way. There has been a failure in terms of too much focus on the information (or African content) but not enough on the means of implementation (or methodology). We have-not focused on the African approach to education, which is always practical and involves the collective. Black Studies is left with an Afro-centric content but a Euro-centric application or methodology, because we have only looked at our culture on the surface. There must be a greater emphasis on social cohesion and intergenerational connectedness that we have lost.”
"We should not be taken in by spurious claims of research proposing to find correlations between `credentials' and performance. This is a simple result of the fact that teachers with better credential are inclined and able to work in the better or/and more middle class schools. Over the years we have more and more credentialed teachers and less and less learning in the inner city schools, more of a medicine that does not work. It does not take a schoolmarm with a master's degree from the University of Chicago to teach an
Oakland inner city child how to read, anymore than having a teacher with a credential will assure that a child will read.”
"We should find ways to activate the knowledge and individuals in the black child's life, starting with the parents. It's necessary for parents to pay attention and participate in their child's education. One social experiment found that the school performance of children improved merely by having parents require that children review their homework assignments and their master y of them with the parent. This worked even when the parent did not know exactly what the child was talking about. Another study showed that a
child's performance improved on observing the mother attempting to get an education or improve her lot in society or to affect the community. However, we can no longer leave the job of educating black inner city children to parents who themselves age often uneducated and impoverished.”
"We must take as a primary goal the creation and promotion of the social parent, while taking pains not to undermine the authority of the biological parent. We must bring education to the black community generally, both by promoting educational activities among adults but especially by putting educational or `success' activities in the child's daily life to replace in part the "failure" activities so popular among them today. We will therefore educate the black child's environment, the black community, so that the child will be caught up in the whirlwind and fashion of learning as it evolves.”
"The more others are learning around the child, the more learning there is around him, the more the child will be impelled or moved to learn.”
We therefore replace the continually futile endeavors to "motivate" the child from within with a strategy of mobilizing the educational resources already existing in the environment. Individuals should be invited to the school or other structure to teach what they know to those who do not. Just as the parents must be more involved in the schools, the teachers or their representatives and aids should become more involved in teaching in the neighborhood and home.
"We must find ways to bring parents and teachers back together again, new ways of bonding parents and teachers.”
"We should sponsor and promote scholastic competitions on the order of athletic marathons and decathlons. We could set up academic leagues on the order of the YMCA basketball leagues and the adult bowling leagues popular in the black working class.”
"Read more to children and let your children see you reading more.”
Visit a school as Mayor Willie Brown did recently and learn they don't have any heat on cold days.
"We need to organize and step-up and support whatever organizations we have for organ donations.”
"We need to become more involved in the ethical committees and ethical considerations of biomedical research and cloning, to help to define and monitoring it rather in contrast to our usual policy of waiting until white people have determined what a thing is to be and then crying belatedly to be included or to gain our representation or share in what they have decided.”
The same is true of all major social policies and social agendas.
The black race, the African, has failed to grasp and harness the true implications of his uniqueness, his `soul,' his socio-culturally transmitted warmth and spirituality. Our incorporation of the notion of superiority to the idea of supremacy has caused us to disdain our own spirituality and continue to fail our historical mission. So let us come to an understanding: we will probably not soon outstrip the European in the making of machines, not to mention the stockpiling of the weapons of war, nor in shooting down the world's multitudes. Our contribution to the world will therefore not be so much in our sameness to the European as to our differentness. The very fact that we are not so much assimilated to the machinations and machinitis of the western world will be the thing to permit us to recapture and resurrect the lost spiritual force and the deeper human meaning which is fading from the universe. Once we have grasped this fact sufficiently, and reclaimed our stolen mission, we will then hold the irreplaceable key to a new humanity.
Editor’s Note: For more information contact nhare@...
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Publication Date: January 21, 2002,
(anniversary of the founding of
The Black Think Tanksm)
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