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Sunday 25 September 2022
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Who Really Speaks for the Black Community?

Op-ed Howard Eagle

Howard Eagle

As it relates to vitally important issues and concerns that impact the local Black community in profound and devastating ways, it appears that a relatively small group of individuals, composed mainly of disconnected religious “leaders” and a few others, are the assumptive, sole spokespersons. The “anointed” group is so small that everyone who is paying attention knows them by name. They are clearly designated and propped up by mainstream media, and by some governmental officials, the latter of whom are among mainstream media’s biggest advertisers. See how that works?

However, it is way beyond time to remind media operatives, as well as everyone else, that, like any other racial/ethnic community, the Black community is not monolithic. Instead, it is composed of many diverse, authentic, legitimate voices and perspectives. Interestingly enough, and predictably so, the collectively (popular) voice of the masses, is the one that is rarely heard. 

With regard to so-called “positive” voices, mainstream media in particular, has seemingly identified, if not “anointed” a relatively few individuals, some of whom are of, but not necessarily in the Black community. They are the tiny group that supporters of the status quo apparently believe are the only legitimate spokespersons for all Black folks, which of course is not the case at all.

Relative to vitally important issues and concerns impacting the black community, such as rampant violence, police and community relations, unemployment, housing, mental health and addiction services, and other potentially life-threatening issues, a phenomenon has developed by which individuals from nearly every demographic imaginable, except of course, those who are suffering the most, get to weigh in regarding potential solutions (even if they are as disconnected as they could possibly be), which frequently is the case. We are unequivocally convinced that this reality represents a HUGE part of the reason why most issues are never resolved. 

It is arrogant and unacceptable (to say the very least) for disconnected,  talkative, lovers of microphones and television cameras to assume that they speak for Black folks (without our permission), and in the process, ignore voices that genuinely attempt to express the sentiments of the Black masses.

We are serving notice, especially and particularly to mainstream media; “anointed [black] leaders;” as well as all others, if you continue this long-standing, unacceptable, arrogant pattern, we will begin to point you out to the folks for whom you claim to speak, and we’ll call you out by name.

On behalf of the leadership team of the Take It Down Planning Committee; Faith Community Alliance Coalition
Minister Clifford Florence
Mr. Mario Mongeon
Ms. Cliandra Yarde
Mr. Fred Tanksley
Mr. Howard Eagle

(The views expressed on our opinion pages are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the position or viewpoint of the Minority Reporter.)