SpaceX, a private company spearheaded by Elon Musk, just launched a rocket, the largest, that is slated to orbit the sun. This was an historic feat, and people all over are marveling at this accomplishment. For those of you who are familiar with Musk, he is also the CEO of Tesla Motors, the company that is pioneering electric cars. In short, Musk is on the cutting edge of technology.
On another note, there are major inroads being made in the field of artificial intelligence. There is a robot, name Sophia, created by Hanson Robotics, who asks questions and behaves as a living, thinking person. It is downright eerie when experiencing the conversations between Sophia and her human questioners. Further, there are researchers who are actually planning to build colonies on the Moon and Mars. And others, especially Ray Kurzweil, who has written a book entitled “The Singularity is Near,” are anticipating a future where machines and humanity literally merge.
These are just a few of the applications of modern technology in the works today. While all of this is happening, the Chinese are investing greatly in the African continent, so much so that some people are actually using the word “neo-colonialism” in regard to what they are doing. Africans seemingly are not using their own natural resources to their best advantage, even though they have some of the richest on the planet. Poverty is usually uppermost in people’s minds when Africa is brought up. And this is true about almost every sector of the planet chiefly populated by Black people.
Meanwhile, in the wake of the incredible technologies being generated by the dominant culture, Black people are preoccupied with oppression. When perusing books published by Blacks, concepts about racism, oppression, white supremacy, and related topics are the main areas of focus. Any Black person who creates writings or works of art that do not address these ideas will have their works basically ignored by Blacks and whites alike. Certainly, there are a few books on financial planning, dating relationships or self-help, etc., but very little that does not relate to being mired in suffering and the need to be extricated from it. This is a problem for one main reason: as long as Black thinking is hindered by oppressive reactionary modes, the past will generate a future that is more of the same!
It is very clear, if the truth be told, that the Black community, in a permanent state of denial, refuses to recognize, or act on, the behavior that is keeping the community from adequate progress. For one, if a Black person, such as Tyler Perry or Oprah Winfrey, makes significant gains in being able to chart their own futures, they are called “sell-outs.” In this regard, it is almost impossible to demonstrate any modicum of success without earning this moniker. On the other hand, we celebrate creators of the constant barrage of filth in the form of misogynistic, violence-laden rap lyrics, and sexual dysfunction fed to our youth. We then turn around and wonder why the Black family unit is under siege and why violence is becoming a norm in Black communities. Apologists are quick to say that the “artists” who create this garbage are merely repeating what they know. This is not true; there are numerous examples of Blacks who have achieved successes without resorting to creating genocidal cultural artifacts.
So, as we contemplate Black History Month 2018 we must give some thought to how our future will qualitatively differ from our past. If we keep doing the same things over and over expecting a different result, we will just keep digging ourselves into deeper and deeper ruts. We will go in the direction of our focus! We must learn to read and to think outside of the oppression box. We must generate ideas that will help liberate us and, in fact, help us understand some of the greater ideas that are common to the human condition. Chief among these is that we create our own futures by how we think about it. As long as self-hatred, colorism, lack of education, and negative entertainment dominate, our future will recapitulate the negative past, or even get worse! A Luta Continua.