Looking beyond the election

Filed under OPINION

Over the past year or so, I have been wondering how Black folks would react to the election outcome. Two questions kept coming to mind: What will we do if Obama wins? What will we do if Romney wins? Let’s make it personal: What will you do?

Four years ago I wrote a similar article titled, “The Morning After,” that dealt with what Black folks would do after the inauguration of Barack Obama. Let’s face it; we blew it, y’all.

What will we do if Barack wins a second term? Well, for sure there will be dancing in the streets again, tears and euphoria, and a whole lot of praise the Lords, hallelujahs, and amens.

What will we do?
Will we settle for a big celebration and then go home and fall asleep again, the way we did four years ago? Or, will we understand that when he is elected our work will have just begun? Will we make the same missteps during the second term as we did during the first? Will we organize and mobilize our efforts around a common goal? Will we seek reciprocity for our votes?

There are answers and plans that have been developed long before this election. Ron Daniels has been planning the State of the Black World Conference (SOBWC III) for some time now, part of which is dedicated to our “appropriate” action after the presidential election – no matter which candidate wins.

Daniels is bringing the SOBWC III to Howard University in Washington, D.C. Nov. 14-18, 2012.

You still have time to get in on this solution-oriented meeting comprising some of the nation’s top thinkers, business people, activists, educators, religious leaders, politicians, college students, and economists in this country. Folks from every sector will converge to set us on a path toward prosperity, strength, and self-determination.

Defining an agenda
It is appropriate that the event will be held after Election Day because, irrespective of the ultimate winner, Black people must work together to define our own political, economic, educational, and social agendas.

We must be strong and cohesive in our approach if we want to be counted at the decision-making tables of criminal and social justice, economic empowerment, educational excellence, and political inclusion; and it matters not who is the president.

We cannot win if we are not in the game, and Ron Daniels and his team have set forth an agenda for this conference that, if we attend, pay attention, and commit to doing the work when we leave, will bring the victory to Black people that many of us have longed for and have fought for through the years.

There is much work to do, and it doesn’t matter who lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The work must be done, and we must do it.

For more information on the SOBWC III, call 1-888-774-2921 or go to www.ibw21.org.

Jim Clingman, founder of the Greater Cincinnati African American Chamber of Commerce, is an adjunct professor at the University of Cincinnati.

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