STOP ASKING ME WHAT “OR ELSE” MEANS!

I am putting everyone on notice!

If you are still asking me the question, “What does the ‘or else’ mean?” as it relates to the 20th Anniversary of the Million Man March, then be prepared for my unadulterated responses.

See, I figured out a long time ago that the answer to that question would never come from those who are more worried about what the ‘or else’ means than they are about the fact that Black people have not and are not receiving ‘justice’ in this country.

Some of the smartest Negroes around are also some of the most ignorant Negroes around.

It is much easier for us to be lazy, uninformed and continuously fed a bunch of B.S., than it is for us to properly educate ourselves with important and critical information, while seeking out the truth that can set our people free from mental, social, educational and financial bondage.

I had the great fortune of being at the “Justice or Else” movement this past weekend in Washington D.C., and it was a life-changing experience for me. It was a blessing because I got to see the beauty of what it looks like when Black people from all across this country, come together in unity for a common cause and collective focus – seeking justice or else.

My absolute favorite moment from the event was when Bronx rapper, Mysonne, delivered a powerful spoken word piece that had everybody on their feet. One of the lines that he said that stood out to me the most was when he said:

“It’s a shame to do the same thing and expect a different result

The same ones who made us slaves is the one’s we keep asking for help.”

We have seemingly become so focused as a people on gaining the acceptance of those who could care less about us, and many of us keep looking for them to save the day for us. We look to them like superheroes, when in fact they are enemies of ours. Our collective mindset truly saddens me.

We are nearing $1.3 trillion in spending power, yet we don’t use that economic power to demand more from the uncaring people who make decisions about our future in this country.

I was appalled at the lack of mainstream media coverage this event received, but I wasn’t surprised. If the deliberate decision of mainstream media executives not to cover such a beautiful event, where unity amongst Black people was shown, doesn’t wake you up then what will?

Would the same mainstream media executives, or Univision or Telemundo, refuse to cover a gathering of a million Latinos concerning issues they care about? What about a million members of the LGBT community? Veterans? Holocaust survivors? Tea Party members?

Of course not, because they control the mainstream media and they could care less about the plight of Black people. But let us start looting and rioting; that is what they are more concerned with seeing from Black people – not collective unity. Since when does a gathering of a million people, primarily Blacks, in one place, not warrant mainstream media coverage?

The majority of the people who ask these questions aren’t doing so with a spirit of humility and genuine concern…they are facetious and pessimistic individuals who do a wonderful job in their roles as either backseat drivers or Monday Morning quarterbacks. They can always question your results or efforts, but have nothing to show themselves – because they haven’t done anything but talk and criticize. Talking loud and saying nothing – ALWAYS!

The call from Minister Farrakhan at the event, along with others, was that 10,000 fearless men and women were being called on who aren’t afraid to address the major issues and legitimate concerns that many people in this country has as it relates to the Black community.

Sadly, however, just like the mainstream media and other detractors have sought to vilify the Black Lives Matter movement, they have sought to do the same to the “Justice or Else” movement that has left the train and has picked up steam.

You can’t blame an entire movement on the missteps or hypocrisy of a few Black people who have chosen to make poor choices and wrong decisions. If the only thing you can take away from the “Justice of Else” movement was that it was a waste of time and another fruitless march, then you never understood what it was about in the first place.

There are a bunch of students in college who don’t take their college education seriously. Does that make college a waste of time and fruitless? No.

There are bunches of baby daddy’s and momma’s who are irresponsible and careless. Does that make parenting a waste of time and fruitless? No.

Lastly, there are a bunch of Christians who go to church every Sunday and don’t take their faith walk seriously. Does that make being a part of the church a waste of time and fruitless? No.

I won’t vilify college, parenting or the church just because there are those who are a part of them, yet are poor examples. Minister Louis Farrakhan, at 82 years young, provided us with a wonderful example of sacrifice, love and compassion for his people, and is still fighting for those who won’t fight for themselves.

There were a ton of positive outcomes from the first Million Man March, but only those who were engaged from then until now would know what those positive outcomes were.

All I will say is this. Don’t step to me if you aren’t ready to put in some serious work in our communities, and if the only thing you have to contribute to this movement is your pessimistic rhetoric and your constant criticism of somebody else’s efforts and contributions, that don’t help our cause or move the ball forward. I will continue to seek justice and will deliver the ‘or else’ whenever the time is appropriate to do so. Any other questions?

Jeffrey L. Boney serves as Associate Editor and is an award-winning journalist for the Houston Forward Times newspaper. Jeffrey is a Next Generation Project Fellow, dynamic, international speaker, experienced entrepreneur, business development strategist and Founder/CEO of the Texas Business Alliance. If you would like to request Jeffrey as a speaker, you can reach him at jboney1@texasbusinessalliance.org.