Strategizing on a California Black political agenda

Ph.D. | 10/6/2010, 5 p.m.

Last week on KJLH's FrontPage with Dominique DiPrima, publisher and community activist Rosie Milligan started a firestorm of discussion over her not-finished comments on the state of Black political participation in California and elsewhere.

For the portion of her comments that she was allowed to get out, Milligan indicated that Black folks just have a lot of very serious work to do before we are simply rendered politically obsolete, given our tendency to continue taking where we are for granted. Besides the heat--not necessarily the light--generated in the aftermath of her comments, one highly significant development was Ms. DiPrima's agreement to try and get Stevie Wonder's station to support an upcoming series of Black community political strategizing sessions to craft a viable California Black political agenda.

Such sessions have long been needed, now they are positively crucial, and the support of KJLH will be very instrumental in signaling the substantive nature of the undertaking. These strategy gatherings will not and cannot be mere gripe sessions nor simply opportunities to vent one's frustrations, no matter how legitimate.

Our Weekly will be apprised of when and where the sessions will take place as an exclusive to this newspaper. The thinking, responsible Black public will be invited, and African Consensus protocols will be followed throughout the meetings. That means those who have pertinent and relevant things to say about the topic of the moment will be listened to, but irrelevancies will be noted and then disregarded.

The overall theme of the sessions will be "moving forward." There will be a comprehensive political agenda report resulting from the cumulative sessions, and it will be distributed throughout the California Black community.

Why is a Black political agenda even necessary in the days of President Obama? Just look around. Educational reform at the policy level and at the grassroots level most frequently finds Black folks absent or poorly represented as participant attendees.

Have you been to a community meeting at a local school lately? Has anyone noticed the significant and steady decline in the registered voting population of Blacks in both the city and county of Los Angeles? Has anyone paid close attention to the quasi-literate state too many of our children are settling for? English has become a foreign language for far too many of us, and mediocrity in math and writing has somehow become not just fashionable, but justifiably acceptable.

How many of you have participated in Dr. Bill Releford's Black Barbershop Health Programs, or one sponsored by 100 Black Men and several other groups? If so, then you may be up to date on the generally unhealthy condition of most of us--we are way too obese, way too addicted to French fries and pork, and way too undisciplined regarding our overall relationship with food.

Then when we are in medical crisis mode because of too many food indiscretions, the continuing major and petty racisms of (our nation's) health care (system) kick in, and we are either taken out of here before our time or incapacitated, before we have finished our work to move ahead.