imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Critical Thinking And Constructive Criticism

by Ron Daniels Friday, Oct. 13, 2000 at 3:25 PM
ronmae@aol.com

"To be a critical thinker is to refuse to simply accept things as they appear on the surface, to question and analyze before acting." Ron Daniels, executive director of the Center for Constitutional Rights, spells out exactly what this means for the liberation struggles of Africans in America--and, indeed, for all of us.

Critical Thinking And Constructive Criticism The Black World Today

October 9, 2000

Critical Thinking And Constructive Criticism:
Essential Elements Of The Liberation Process

By Ron Daniels

As Africans in America and the world continue the journey towards liberation from cultural aggression, racial oppression and economic exploitation into the 21st century, it is vitally important that we strive to develop educated, conscious and critical thinking citizens of the Pan-African world. The experiences of African people in the 20th century should have taught us that being biologically black in and of itself is not sufficient to guarantee liberation for the masses of our people. In the U.S. and throughout the African world our experiences with corrupt, self-serving, self-aggrandizing, dictatorially inclined "Black" leaders should have exposed the fallacy of skin politics -- a focus on and allegiance to skin color rather than substance.

It is my contention that as a people we have often been victimized by skin politics because we do not think critically, engage in critical discussions about the issues of the day or engage in constructive criticism of our leaders. To be a critical thinker is to refuse to simply accept things as they appear on the surface, to question and analyze before acting. To complete our journey towards liberation, we need informed, tough minded, critical thinking Africans who are unwilling to accept pronouncements from on high from Black leaders or anyone else without a serious and thoughtful examination of the questions and issues at hand.

Recent history offers some telling examples where Black political leadership has demanded of Black people that we accept their pronouncements uncritically. For example, William Jefferson Clinton, despite a decidedly mixed record on issues affecting Black people, has assumed almost hero status in the Black community merely because he is not as bad as Bush or Dole might have been and because he gets along well with Black people. Some comedians have gone so far as to dub him an honorary Black man. Similarly Clinton was recently received in Africa like he was a savior. He was paraded around in traditional African dress and given five African names, an honor that was not bestowed so abundantly on notable African leaders from the U.S. like Malcolm X or Martin Luther King.

Despite the passage of the Africa Trade Bill, which most progressives believe is a prescription for institutionalizing neo-colonialism, Africa is still not very high on the foreign policy agenda of the U.S. African leaders seem so starved for attention and economic trinkets from the U.S. that Clinton is welcomed and presented to the African masses as a savior for offering a more slightly polished set of shackles. It is not necessarily wrong to develop working political relations with Clinton or to even support him. However, the people should demand that the "leaders" tell the truth about why we might choose pragmatically to deal with Clinton instead of presenting him as the best thing to happen to Black people since sliced bread. There is nothing inherently wrong with supporting a political candidate or leader because his/her positives outweigh the negatives given our agenda and interests at a particular time. We used to call this "critical support."

This is how Black people should treat this Presidential election or any election for that matter. But during the Democratic primary, I was stunned to hear Cornel West, as a self-defined radical democrat, introduce Senator Bill Bradley to Black people like he was a "revolutionary" alternative to Al Gore. Amiri Baraka actually used the rhetoric of revolution to describe his embrace of Bradley! Cornel should have simply provided a reasoned explanation of why Bill Bradley's record was incrementally better than Gore's on certain issues. Now that Gore is the candidate, Black Democrats are presenting him to Black folks and praising him to high heavens as if the sky will fall if George Bush becomes President. And heaven forbid that a Black person should consider Ralph Nader, even though his politics are closer to that of Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, the insurgent candidate for President in 1984 and 1988, than either of the candidates of the establishment parties. There is a reasonable rationale for supporting Gore, but Black leaders should present him without the halo.

The campaign to mobilize Black voters to assist the Democrats to recapture the Congress, particularly the House of Representatives, is also devoid of discussion and debate. My recollection is that it was a Democratically controlled Congress that cowered before Reagan and later Bush in drastically reducing spending for social programs while beefing up the military budget and expenditures for police and prisons. The question is what do the Democrats propose to do differently this time. It is not enough simply to tantalize Black voters with the prospect that Charlie Rangel will be Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee and that a number of other members of the Congressional Black Caucus will Chair powerful committees and sub-committees. Charlie Rangel and other prospective Black chairs of committees should be campaigning across the country sharing their vision and platform for what they intend to do when the Democrats regain control of Congress. Instead the Black electorate is being asked to support the effort to reclaim Congress so that Black faces will replace White faces in powerful positions and places. Our experience in the 20th century strongly suggests that this does not necessarily lead to empowerment for the masses of Black people.

Black leaders need to speak to the people about their goals and objectives and not assume that pigmentation equals liberation. And, knowledgeable, conscious and critically thinking Black people should not let Black leaders get away with it. Critical thinking and constructive criticism are vital elements of the liberation process.

Copyright (c) 2000 The Black World Today. All Rights Reserved. Republished by permission of the author.

Report this post as:

Local News

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M31 5:20AM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 7:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 8:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 9:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 10:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 9:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 8:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 8:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 11:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 8:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A27 5:37AM

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A13 12:39AM

lausd whistle blower A11 6:58AM

Website Upgrade A10 10:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 8:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 6:58PM

Change Links April 2018 A01 6:27PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Paraphysique de psychosomatique S22 6:58AM

Chuck Grassley: Women Abusing, Animal Murdering, Illegal War Supporting Criminal S22 2:58AM

Finance Capitalism and the Digital Economy S21 4:45PM

Muselières syndicales, muselières patronales S21 7:19AM

Jeff Bezos, Amazon, The Washington Post, Whole Foods, Etc S21 2:50AM

Why Choose Nut Milk Over Cows' Milk S21 1:01AM

Antrhopocène, le grand effondrement S19 9:53AM

Abolir l'économie S18 11:18AM

The Dictatorship of Corporations S17 5:26PM

18 Lethal Consequences Of Hunting S17 3:13PM

Paraphysique de l'outplacement déontologue S15 6:51AM

Shopping du bashing S14 8:42AM

After Lehman Brothers, Experts Say Global Financial Crisis Can Happen Again S13 8:28PM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen S12 9:30PM

Probabilités de fin d'humanité S12 6:49AM

Florida Area of Migrant Farmworkers Denied Right to Construct Health Clinic near NaplesCIW S11 2:57AM

Steer clear of work morality! S09 12:10PM

The Shortwave Report 09/07/18 Listen Globally! S06 11:23PM

August 2018 Honduras Coup update S06 12:28PM

Brett Kavanaugh Filled The 5th Circuit With Execution Judges S06 6:14AM

Augusta Georgia Woman Gets 5 Year Prison Sentence for Writing About Russians Crime Acts S05 8:29AM

Paraphysique de contextualité S05 8:29AM

Crisis Regulation in Global Capitalism S03 3:39PM

Ex-voto de réification S03 10:24AM

Please Oppose Warmonger, Execution and Torture Supporting Bush Operative Brett Kavanaugh A31 10:45PM

Paraphysique d'exploitation occultation A31 10:24PM

Ryan Zinke Is Charging Taxpayers For A Trophy Hunters' Council A31 2:10PM

Is the Financial Crash 2.0 Coming? A31 10:07AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy