April 4, 2014

Business, Education, Feature, Opinion

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H. Lewis Smith, Founder and CEO - UVCCUnited Voices for a Common Cause, Inc.

By:  H. L. Smith

There seems to be a thick blanket, or veil, covering the Black/African-American’s psyche. For the past 30 years, Black America has allowed a certain culture within its group to dictate a mindset of self-destruction by glorifying violence, drugs, ‘gangsta’ lifestyles, use of the n-word, misogyny, and displaying utter contempt for self-respect, and the struggles and sacrifices of their beloved ancestors. The air-waves, recording and movie industries have followed suit by displaying a lack of respect towards the Black community in general—not to mention National Rifle Association board member Ted Nugent comments.

As well, a psychosis exists regarding the n-word that the black community, for the most part, completely denies or misses (is blinded to). The ravages of centuries of brutal mistreatment at the hands of whites—through slavery, Jim Crow segregation and senselessly heinous acts of cruelty—still has a powerful psychological effect on black people.

Individual silent voices throughout Black America of strong mind, character, discipline and honor do not condone the aforementioned self-destructive demeanor displayed by some African-Americans. These enlightened few realize the 400-year plight of mental enslavement being imposed upon them and have rightfully—with no deception or apology—quietly handed this indigestible delicacy back to its chef.  However, silence and diligently “working with your head down” does not affect change; it is the screeching door that gets the oil. The silent voices for self-respect, pride and dignity must rise up as a collective voice and demand to be heard. The non-profit organization United Voices for a Common Cause, Inc. (UVCC) was formed specifically for the purpose of serving as a platform for these voices to unite into one collective voice and be heard.

During the post-slavery era, no program has existed to manage the past and present massive psychological, economic and social stress endured by Blacks.   Because of this fact, a strong argument can be made towards African-American pathologies encompassing such issues as black-on-black crime, the abnormally high incarceration ratio of blacks, rampant drug problems, poor academic performance, and diseased self-hatred, to name a few. These same stresses and psychological deficiencies are passed down through generations of African-Americans via use of the n-word.

Today, in this 21st century, some argue that the n-word is not the problem, that the n-word has been reduced to being only a racial slur—in that it is an empty term that solely refers to one’s complexion, and carries no weight or markings of the struggle, strife, degradation, and dishonor that pieced together the very foundation of the term. Thus, in this light, some people believe that the word has been desensitized—metamorphosed into this acceptable, unsubstantially mind-controlling term—and embraced by all. They believe that the n-word is just a word, no different from any other negative word; however, they are wrong: Although the word itself is not the sole culprit, the associations and mentalities that it perpetuates is indeed a fact, relevant, and direct and tangible effect of the term.

Psychological studies have been conducted by The Osiris Group lending some credence to the aforementioned observations of which a book entitled Post Traumatic Slave Disorder was written by three of its staff members—Sekou Mims M.Ed, MSW; Omar Reid, Psy.D; and Larry Higginbottom, MSW/LCSW. Dr. Joy DeGruy, author of Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: America’s Legacy of Enduring Injury and Healing, and of no affiliation to The Osiris Group, says: “The real recovery from the ongoing trauma of slavery and racism has to start from within, beginning with a true acknowledgment of the resilience of African-American culture.”

Our civil rights organizations have and continue to do an excellent job in leading the fight against inequality. Time and time again these groups are slighted and slammed into tough situations, but they continue to rise to the call, proving the tenacity and perseverance—in spite of adversity—of the African-American spirit. However, that is only half the battle. The other half requires the righting of the ship by each individual within the Black community. There are consequences for anyone’s actions and the prevailing attitude in the Black community is to NOT hold one another ACCOUNTABLE for anything. But as the “silenced enlightened” begin to gainfully employ outlets such as UVCC to take a stance and “be heard”, we have started to see encouraging signs that this peculiarity is slowly changing. To grow and advance, one must be calledundressing the N word out on their errors, held accountable for their actions, and take full responsibility for correcting their actions—rather than behaving immaturely by making excuses and pointing fingers elsewhere.

UVCC has always been serious about its message and purpose, but to ensure that same seriousness and formal call to action is effectively conveyed, UVCC has re-launched a more professional and visually-appealing website. All are encouraged to visit online. Upon perusing the pages, if the reader realizes that he/she is ready to take their place in this fight for restoring cultural self-respect and dignity to the Black race—because once a person respects him/herself, others will have no choice but to do so as well— UVCC would be privileged to secure his/her support by becoming a member.

It is time for Blacks to take back their self-respect, pride, dignity, and honor. High time has come for Blacks to stop being a doormat to the rest of the world—for it is first and only through self-respect and economic independence that Blacks can rationally demand and gain respect together as a group. UVCC, with true supporters’ help, can be the vanguard in the Black community, becoming a more influential and potent force in the advancement of the Black/African American community, and the American society. All is not well in America; there is a need for a new and bold leadership in more ways than one—secular and non-secular. UVCC will proudly serve as one of the new leaders essential to resurrecting the greatness the Black race once represented.

H. Lewis Smith is the founder and president of UVCC, the United Voices for a Common Cause, Inc., http://www.theunitedvoices.com  author of Bury that Sucka: A Scandalous Love Affair with the N-Word, and the recently released book Undressing the N-word: Revealing the Naked Truth, Lies, Deceit and Mind Games https://www.createspace.com/4655015

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