By Heru Ammen
"If you have, as leader, to decide on the conduct of a great number of people (emphasis: mine), seek the most perfect manner of doing so that your own conduct may be without reproach. Justice is great, invariable, and assured; it has not been disturbed since the age of God. To throw obstacles in the way of the laws is to open the way before violence. Shall that which is below gain the upper hand, if the unjust does not attain to the place of justice? Even he who says: I take for myself, of my own free-will; but says not: I take by virtue of my authority. The limitations of justice are invariable; such is the instruction which every man should (emphasis:mine) receive from his father.
What is preventing us (African Americans) from rising and transforming? I’ve often asked that question and I’ve concluded that part of the answer to that question is that we fail to utilize the intellectual, spiritual, and political resources that we have to formulate strategies or solutions that will cause us to rise and transform. Instead, our energy has primarily been focused on what I term the excess of redress
The excess of redress is a phenomenon of propping up and fronting a platform that incorporates the art of complaining about discriminatory practices and past or current injustices. It has often been said that power concedes nothing without a demand. Let me add that power does not even concede a place at the table of public discourse and debate for milquetoast rhetoric.
The excess of redress has spawned its own industry of African American pundits, politicians, religious based orators, and other nefarious front men. These African American men and women earn millions of dollars doing nothing more than appearing on television, radio, or in the pulpit complaining about a particular injustice.They use their exceptional communication skills to discuss and complain about the latest injustice, get paid for it and then move on to the next studio, stage, march or pulpit and complain about another issue. This is nothing more than the illusion of substance in action and the reality of overt inaction. Because after the show is over, the amens have subsided, and the audience has moved on, the issue still exist and nothing has been fomented, negotiated, or implemented to deal with the immediate and long term consequences of the aforementioned issue.
It is conceivable that one day after all of the pontification, punditry, confabs, seminars, sermons, marches, books, written white papers, and speeches on the redress of past atrocities we, the African American progeny of a great and resilient people will finally solve the issues that affect our communities. I wouldn’t fade that bet though.