Fear of a Black Planet

Was Chuck D able to read into the future?

In 1990, Public Enemy’s third album, Fear Of A Black Planet, was considered one of their best. That album became the soundtrack for the political, cultural and economic strife existing in many Black communities at that time. Oddly, the album still holds up almost twenty years later, with many of the same issues of race and politics rearing its ugly head in the months after Obama’s election win and first year as President.

With the smell of smoke in the air, its beginning to feel like a Civil War is brewing. The outrage that has been voiced against the President and the violence that has been springing up in cities, rural and suburban communities around the country, its obvious that there is a lot of anger. Flaming the flames, among others, are conservative talk show hosts taking advantage of the fear of average Americans on the brink of desperation and those already filled with race based hate. This at a time when job security doesn’t exist, folks are losing their homes and families are being ripped apart. And instead of our trusted politicians and media pundits seeking calm in a sea of fear, there seems to be greater interest in fueling the fear and spreading the hate.

And why, cause there is always someone to blame, to be the scapegoat. And of course, its always been them. In good times and bad times, its always been those people. The black, brown, red and yellow people. Before Barack Obama became President, people of color, the poor and immigrants were the downfall of this country. Now, we are on the hunt to steal power away from the real Americans and of course, create the downfall of the country. How can African Americans, Latinos and other people of color wield so much power in such a short time. In the face of the win of the Presidency, it appears that people of color have all the power and we are just going to go buck wild with it. Despite the fact, that it is statically known that the majority of the economic crisis (foreclosures, job loss and financial insecurity) hit Blacks and Latinos the hardest. And not because we were the cause of the housing crisis. But because poor and working class people, primarily those of color, were targeted by greedy banking and mortgage lenders. There is no one group that did better than the other. Well, many of those who were rich just got richer, but if you were poor, working class or middle class, whether white, black, brown or yellow, we were all hit the same.

But that’s not what the power brokers in media, corporations and major industries like the insurance companies want you to believe. There is a lot of finger pointing going on and as a result random acts of violence, some that are race based and others based on a fear of government control, is becoming less random and more calculated.

How do we as a nation move beyond our mistrust and fear of each other. How do we take the lessons and success of the Obama campaign to move this country to its full potential as a land of opportunity to all who share in the dream of freedom and the pursuit of happiness. Not to just the rich, the famous or of any particular race, religious or cultural group, but to all.

Share your thoughts on any of the issues addressed above or how we can move this country forward, assuming we can move beyond race, power and money.


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