There are a number of people alive and well today who meet the criteria laid out above. I'm talking about people like Angela Davis, Chokwe Lumumba, Maulana Karenga, Min. Louis Farrakhan, Assata Shakur, Bob Brown, Elaine Brown, and that's just to name a few. The question isn't whether you agree with any or all of those people. That's the point. They all represent varying trends in the movement from socialist, feminist, Pan-Africanist, Muslim, and Black Nationalist. Most of them have written volumes about the movement and our history. Some were on the front lines in the 60s with groups like the Panthers, SNCC, and US. Some have helped organize significant historical events like the Million Man March, Black Radical Congress, and African Liberation Days, but more importantly, all of those folks have long histories of being on the front lines of our struggle for liberation and forward progress, even though they may have different views on the best way to achieve it.
So the logical question is why is it that when something happens like the zimmerman verdict you never hear from any of these experts? Unless you dig deeper for more independent voices like you are reading here, their perspective on racism is never made available to the majority of the population. Instead, we are bombarded with a steady stream of athletes and entertainers like Charles Barkley on CNN and the bevy of clowns and buffoons who are paraded out on other networks to express their uninformed perspectives on the zimmerman verdict, racism, and what all of this means for present day society. Don't get me wrong. I love NBA basketball and since I was a huge fan of Philadelphia and Dr. J in the late 70s, I was a big fan of Barkley's when he was drafted by the Sixers in 1984. He turned out to be a great ballplayer; six foot four and half at most, but the ability to out jump anyone. I loved watching him and I even saw him play in person on countless occasions. So, I have nothing personal against him. I just think that if I want great basketball highlights, I'll look towards Charles, but if I want an expert opinion on racism, he is not even in the first million that I would turn to. Unfortunately, Charles is confused enough to believe he has an opinion worth hearing. And since CNN and was so eager to hear what he had to say, it's easy to understand why he would think that, but all you have to do is listen to him and it's immediately obvious how naive he actually is on the subject of race in this society. For example, he comments that "I don't go for sound bites...I watch CNN very closely so I know what happened with this trial." First thing Charles, CNN is nothing except sound bites and so if you think you are getting objective news from that, you are really in trouble. Capitalist owned media isn't objective. It's beholden to the corporate/capitalist sponsors who pay for the airtime. The point being Cheverolet, Verizon, Chase Bank, etc., they decide what goes on television since they're paying for it and their organized to insure their interests are represented 100% of the time. This is the reason Barkley is summoned instead of Farrakhan, Davis, or Karenga. The people I named above won't stick to the corporate media line so therefore, you won't see them on there. Of course we were educated about this 50 years ago by none other than El Hajj Malik El Shabazz (Malcolm X) who when told he and the work of the Nation of Islam were denounced by baseball player Jackie Robinson retorted "whenever a Black man stands up and speaks independently for his people, the White man always runs out and gets an uncle Tom negro...An entertainer...a baseball player or a trumpet player, to counter that independent Black man. The White man never gets a trumpet player to speak to the important issues impacting the White community, but whenever they need to counter a clear thinking Black man....Here comes the baseball player.
The clear thinking African man and woman Malcolm was speaking of is still here, but you will never find them on CNN, NBC, CIA, etc. In fact, until we can steer people towards independent analysis of all stripes, we will continue to perpetuate the confusion on racism that makes up the dominant perspective on that and most issues today.