Stopping The Parade of Black Americans

By Dr. James Davison

Many of our strangely anointed leaders rant that they know what is good for us, that they know what we all need.

Moreover, they imply that until all black Americans — each and every one of us — are economically solvent, America has not lived up to its creed.

Our leaders (and their delaying followers) claim that America has a debt to pay these descendants of slaves, that the potentiality for success for each and every black person has somehow been compromised by a history of unequal treatment. They imply that we are owed reparations to give us equal footing on the ladder to success. This is utter nonsense.

There will always be some persons who are successful and some who are unsuccessful in a competitive economic environment. And, as such, there will always be some persons — black, white, otherwise — who don’t “make it” economically. To hold the nation a psychological and moral hostage for the inability or unwillingness of some to achieve is indefensible.


We need to accept that some black people will not make it — now or ever.

Accept it! Rather than wrestling with the unattainable goal of empowerment and success for all, what needs to be determined is an acceptable and equitable level of poverty for black Americans. It is a given that some proportion of our nation will be impoverished.

The goal is now to arrive at a reasonable and equitable impoverishment rate across all groups. Is it 2 percent, 5 percent, 15 percent of all black persons? Perhaps we need to press economists for the figure — to arrive at such a figure would be almost therapeutic for us and the entire nation. Instead of a battle toward the nebulous target of economic equality, we would have a determinable target.


The acceptance of such a numerical and cognitive precept would free us from the interminable battle for “equality.”

We could break ranks and live our lives unencumbered by the unwieldy swords and armor of the black struggle. Our struggles would be our own. We could no longer hold “them” and their descendants eternally responsible for our well-being. We would have to relinquish our tenacious hold of past injustices and wrongs and concentrate on the present and the future. Moreover, we would be responsible individually for our own livelihoods, our own happiness, and our own success and failure.


Dr. James Davison, Jr. is an African-American licensed psychologist and university professor. He conducts a private practice in Seattle, Washington, and has appeared on several nationally-aired programs including The Phil Donahue Show, National Public Radio’s All Things Considered and C-SPAN. Dr. Davison hails from Philadelphia, and is the author of several books - Prisoners Of Our Past and Sweet Release - related to individuality and personal freedom for African-Americans.