A disturbing new trend is circulating in America, and certain members of the Black community have jumped on board with both feet. Incredibly, a number of African Americans believe that the earth is flat! Seriously! One of the main explanations believers give is that NASA is perpetuating the myth that the earth is round to keep us misinformed. They totally ignore, or are unaware of the fact, that the earth was known to be a globe before NASA came into existence. This is an unfortunate idea on many levels. What it conveys is a dumbing down of Americans in general and of a certain cohort of Black people in particular. The fact that grown people, from those just entering adulthood all the way up to folks in their 60s and beyond believe that the earth is flat, is frightening. Admittedly, a number of believers are not highly educated. A couple of them who have shown up on Facebook have graduated from high school, but have gone no further. But this is no excuse – all they have to do is look around at nature and see that a flat earth would be a great anomaly.
There is another disturbing trend surfacing in the Black community, and that is the debunking of a college education. “College is not for everyone” is increasingly heard when it comes to academically underperforming youth. The push to encourage youth to forego college in favor of vocational education, which is what’s happening, is not bad in itself, but it is troubling when coupled with a disdain for those who seek the traditional route and obtain college degrees. Fueling the push for vocational education in place of college degrees is probably the costs connected with college. Certainly, a lot of money can be made in the trades, but what is often overlooked is that vocational education is becoming very technologically sophisticated and is as rigorous as traditional degree programs.
Basically, the future belongs to technologically adept critical thinkers. This is evident in obvious ways. Robots are replacing fast food workers at New York’s Shake Shack. There are robots building cars. Walmart has patented autonomous robot drone bees. In other words, the handwriting is on the virtual wall – in order for youth of the future to survive and thrive in America, they will need to develop strong critical thinking and technical skills. Society is not going to stand still and go backward waiting for unskilled laborers to catch up. And the jobs that might end up being available for the unskilled will probably be an inch away from slavery. The very clear message is that our youth will not be able to forego education if they want to survive in an increasingly hostile, inhumane, and technologically advanced world. And for those who say that they will just become entrepreneurs, it should not be forgotten that they, too, will need to develop critical thinking skills in order to be competitive.
As Black America faces the future, all of the excuses usually bandied about that inhibit progress will have to be re-thought. Racism is alive and well, of course, but to expect enemies of the community to work things out for us is ludicrous. Black people must forego counterproductive thinking and come together to craft an agenda that will lift the community out of the economic doldrums. Considering this last point, there are still some Black people who say that their votes won’t count, and many of this ilk encourage people to stay away from the polls. It is this kind of thinking that will keep people from taking responsibility for their actions, thereby resulting in failure. You can’t get away from a need for critical thinking, and this includes its application in the political arena.
It is time that the Black community recognizes that the racism boogeyman can be circumvented through unity, hard work and perseverance. It is not fair to the legions of Black people who have put their noses to the grindstone and achieved success only to be thwarted by those who refuse to change their ways of thinking. The moment for rising is now, and strategic voting can be a viable start! A Luta Continua.