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Cashing In On the New Crop of Misery

Fri, Jul. 26, 2013 Posted: 12:15 PM


Media, Black Leaders and Organizations Cashing In On Trayvon Martin Tragedy

So many times, the present-day dilemmas that plague the black community in America is described as them still living on a modern-day plantation. There yet exists a monolithic, tightly controlled and rigidly-guided mindset that predictably produces the same thing, over-and-over again, year-in, year-out. We see a mass of dissatisfied people driven on the most part to believe that America is a hostile and unaccommodating place for them, with not chance to eacape the perils of racism, poverty and disenfranchisement. This is why an increasing number of observers make the comparison of black America today with black America prior to Emancipation in 1863.

If this is the case, then what is the product? Who are the slave masters and beneficiaries? When King Cotton ruled the South and black people were held as his subjects, the primary excuse for preserving this miserable culture precipitated down to economics, and people of color were of very little value in terms of human attributes. The slave was an integral part of the economic well-being of the nation itself, as even our Founding Fathers from the northern colonies had to barter and deal with the slave-holding colonies as they labored to construct the U.S. Constitution. From its beginning, the United States could not separate itself from the issue of human bondage, and ending up losing hundreds of thousands of lives through the ensuing Civil War and decades of civil unrest that following.

Wealthy northern investors laid heavily on southern plantations and businesses that depended upon the miserable conditions that were viewed as being “socially acceptable” in order that the beneficiaries would enjoy their luxuries as well as their most basic needs. The cotton industry not only serviced the United States, but Europe as well, so this particular crop grown in the southern slave states was the cash crop of much of its citizenry—either directly or indirectly. Today, the monolithic state of black America serves as easy prey for the race profiteers, or should we say, the field bosses who run the national plantation?

There are many blacks who have described a social and cultural infrastructure within the black community as having plantation-like qualities. Books written by black conservatives like Mason Weaver’s Its OK to Leave the Plantation and Star Parker’s Uncle Sam’s Plantation make startling comparisons of how similar the conditions of black people today are to those of black slaves of yesterday.However, there is one significant difference- today's black dilemma is totally unnecessary and preventable! It is no longer white America that holds black America in bondage, but on the most part, it is fellow blacks designated as leaders and their white liberal co-conspirators!

Even liberals like Yale professor Dr. Cornell West recognizes that there is a clearly discernible pattern of plantation-ism. In a July 21 interview with Tavist Smiley, he commented about Rev. Al Sharpton's reluctance to address the truth concerning the plight of black America…

“Now the good thing is it won't settle down and I think it's going to create some kind of division within our black political class because it's just too humiliating it's too embarrassing, you see it with Brother Sharpton; Sharpton probably deep down wants to be critical of the President, but he can't because he's still on the Obama plantation…”

So in recognizing the mutual acknowledgement that there still exists a specter of a plantation mentality within the black community, what can we say is the cash crop? We acknowledge as in 1 Timothy 6:10 tells us "For the love of money is the root of all evil..." and the power and influence it wields can cause many things to happen, whether for good or for evil. Fame and fortune, political, social and economic agendas, quests for power and control- all of which men may strive to acquire and achieve above all else! The struggle to be the shapers of destiny and the ones to command and control- all lofty goals for deciding who will rule and who will be ruled.

While we saw cotton as the primary cash crop raised and harvested through slave labor, there were other crops raised also. Tobacco, sugar cane, and sweet potatoes were also prized and cultivated for high production. The main thought is that the enslavement of human beings for the purpose of extracting their labor (or any other reason) has been, still is and shall always be an abominable act! The deprivation of the individual’s right to be free can be seem as the unnatural state of human existence whether it is in the Old South or the nation of Sudan today, but man has always had that ability to take advantage of his fellow man for the sake of personal benefit for thousands of years. The product of their painful labor has always been a commodity to be traded and bartered at will. Human misery is the commerce of the eilte!

Because King Solomon observed in Proverbs 1:9, “The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun” it is warranted to take a serious look at the notion that human evils do not necessarily retreat nor fade away, but simply change forms! In other words, it can be said that the plantation system has not been eliminated, but has taken another form. Consider for instance, when it comes to the discussion of slavery, most people immediately focus their attention on the Deep South and the conditions they may even believe still exist. Around the world, people still take advantage of people, and it does not end at our borders, but is quite prevalent in ma forms—including the political arena! Although blacks have excelled to great heights of social and economic success, there are those who are still locked in time believing that the region is still steeped in Jim Crow. Then there are others who want other blacks to believe it because they themselves benefit profoundly.

It is true that blacks as well as some whites might live in America under seemingly Third World conditions, but this dilemma can be found in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, St. Louis, Chicago, Cincinnati, Newark, Harlem, Baltimore, Washington, D.C. and practically everywhere you might find humanity itself! This strongly suggests that misery within the black community has expanded nationwide instead of the poor cruel South, but the most striking truth is that the misery exists as a self-perpetuating system of cultural acceptance. Out of the misery comes the benefits—the cash crops being harvested the profiteers—today’s cotton, tobacco and sugar cane extracted from the pain and misery of blacks trapped in a system of dependency of their great masters of whom they have placed greater trust! This plantation is a national system.

It is true… black misery is the most valuable product one can possess! As we can identify how many people, groups and organizations seek to elevate themselves to profit and prominence in the aftermath of the Trayvon martin tragedy, while hundreds of black youth die everyday in the most senseless circumstances, it is obvious that the profiteers and slave masters use only certain cases to harvest their cash crop.

Dr. Melvin Johnson