"When you knock on doors and the doors don't open, it just means that there is nothing for you on the other side of those doors at that particular time, but it doesn't mean that you should never knock on those same doors again." Cathy Harris
FIRST COMMUNITY ACTION STEP
for "The Essential Women's Movement for African American Women"
Report Back and Action Plan
for Dallas-Fort Worth
April 20, 2017
by Cathy Harris, Syndicated Columnist
As a freelancer this article was written from my point of view as an outsider looking in. As a Baby Boomer, business owner, community organizer, activist and advocate, I wanted to give my two cents on some of the things I saw happening in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, which should be addressed so that Dallasites, Fort Worthians and surrounding areas could continue to build progressive, black thriving communities.
What Came Out of Dallas Police Killings
We all remember when the 5 police officers were killed in Dallas, TX, in 2016. We also know that the
government sent in undercover operatives to monitor the Dallas-Fort Worth surrounding areas to see if these attacks were "terrorist related" or some other scheme cooked up by black folks.
I arrived in Dallas about 2 weeks after the killings and I wanted to be a part of the solution. However, several millennials told me that most people went underground because they knew everyone had their eyes on Dallas.
Afterward a few community meetings took place in black communities, but none had any type of "follow-up" or "action plans" for anyone who
showed up. Following the shootings were several protests because of unlawful acts by police officers in the Dallas community.
Many of these millennials who participated in these protests had no action plans, and many were just
"Protesting to Be Protesting."
Organizing is extremely hard work and unlike many Baby Boomers, who were trained on how to organize successfully, millennials today are out here on their own.
Millennials Need To Be Taught How To Organize
So my advice is that the Dallas-Fort Worth African American community need to reach out to this group to get organized.
The group will help you understand why black communities are set up the way that they are. Why are gun shops (or pawn shops that sells guns) located next to liquor stores? Of course this is all by design to keep black people killing each other and themselves.
If you are going to help poor people, especially poor black people, you first need to understand why they are poor. Most are poor because of their upbringing because they have never seen anything else so they lack vision; others are poor because they want to be poor and remain on welfare; and others are poor during war times. There are over 30 reasons why people are poor.
Remember asking for help doesn't mean you are weak, but asking for help means you simply want to remain strong so as a Baby Boomer, former community organizer, activist and advocate, it is my sincere opinion that the Dallas black community need to ask for help.
Solutions Out of Dallas Police Shootings - A New National Black-Owned Business Network
Out of disasters come "forward thinking" individuals
and solutions so one of the best solutions out of the Dallas police killings was the formation of a
black national business group,
"Black Business Portal,"
a group founded by Jack Standokes. The group names are now "The BlackOBP," but the legal name is "
Black Business Portal"
Jack is seeking ambassadors to help him run some of
his groups so this is an opportunity for you as a business owner to form a "legitimate" business alliance and strategic partnership with a new ethical business group that is definitely on their way up.
Just some of the groups include:
-Black Business Portal - Dallas-Fort Worth
-Black Business Portal - Houston
-Black Business Portal - Austin/San Antonio
-Black Business Portal - Central Texas
-Black Business Portal - National Group
1. Ambassadors must live in the same state, preferably major city or suburb.
2. Must have a reasonably-sized social media following (at minimum 2,500).
3. Must love to socialize and have an outgoing personality.
4. Must have working knowledge and be able to utilize conflict resolution skills.
5. Must be able to work independently, as well as work well with others.
6. Prefer someone who is resourceful, innovative and creative.
7. Prefer someone who is able to research information and can negotiate well.
8. Must be knowledgeable about planning events, mixers, etc., for networking.
9. Must have transportation.
10. Must be well-groomed, dressed, and presentable at all events.
11. Must be able to speak and communicate fluently with great personality.
12. Must have a passion for helping others.
13. Must communicate effectively.
14. Must be able to attend events.
15. Must not be involved in any illegal activity.
What I really like about the
Black Business Portal
. Since writing this article in January 2017, the business group now has "verified businesses" in their network, so if you choose to contact any of the businesses, they are legitimate businesses.
I have never seen any business group set up their
business in this ethical manner, so this group definitely have the right idea and hopefully this is the wave of the future for many black business groups.
Dallasites vs. Fort Worthians
After living 8 months in Dallas, I finally had time to see the lay of the land or at least some of it. It's definitely some type of rift between blacks in Dallas and blacks in Fort Worth.
I don't understand fully what is happening, but if you have an event in Dallas, don't expect blacks from Fort Worth to attend and if you have an event in Fort Worth, don't expect blacks from Dallas to attend. It's like some type of high school ball game rift, which I found to be very petty and amateurish.
In Dallas-Fort Worth when you try to talk to blacks, they just put their heads down and walk away. At least in Atlanta, they would say "Pray About It."
I was really taken back that blacks in Texas don't speak to each other, especially mixed-race couples. It's like they live up north, where no one speak to each other.
Like Atlanta, Dallas is also the "Bible Belt," which means many blacks are into the church and many probably don't make a move, unless some pastor tells them to.
I tried to get an appointment with one of the supposedly 'community-oriented' black pastors in Dallas, just to introduce myself and my platform, to offer FREE GMO seminars and workshops as a form of charity to surrounding black communities.
When I do this I can make money off the sale of my $10.00 books. However, I was told I could only meet with the pastor after 2 months, which I thought was a little long and excessive so I moved on.
The two ladies that I was emailing, did not even bother to refer me to an assistant pastor.
s a business owner I will knock on doors, but as a Baby Boomer, I don't follow behind anyone asking for anything because I have paid my dues. If people can't see the big picture or value in my services, then I will simply move on to the next group, area or city, because not all
black folks are asleep.
Many people are waiting and ready for some great information on how to change their lives. So don't waste your energy or time in areas or with people that don't value your work.
Many people that I ran into told me no matter what you do in Dallas-Fort Worth black communities, you are not going to be able to get folks to come out of their homes and I clearly realize this is because GMOs have turned off most people's brains. And this is why my main platform is to educate the black community on GMOs because foods affects everything that you do or don't do.
What's Missing In Dallas-Fort Worth?
NO BLACK TALK RADIO:
There are no black talk radio stations in Dallas, only Cathy Hughes "booty-shaking" music station, which she can easily turn into talk radio, at least for part of the day. How many advertisers would she lose by doing this?
I heard that at one time years ago, she would close down her stations and make announcements about community issues she was passionate about. Now it seems it's all about making money.
Many black people today, especially young folks, are literally dancing themselves into an early grave, listening to the music being played today on radio stations. They drive around distracted by this loud music and are being pulled over by the police.
listen to this "booty-shaking," "mind-altering" music with no substance 24/7, then on Monday reality sets in and they have no ACTION PLAN to deal with their diets, studies, workplaces or the police.
Many people believe black music today is programming black kids to live worthless lives, and
don't forget all the derogatory language that young kids are picking up. My daughters, who are also millennials, never listened to this negative music because as a "hands-on" proactive mother, I did not allow it.
Instead of listening to music in your vehicle 24/7, your car (and home) needs to become a learning center so buy audiobooks
which is owned by Amazon.com (cost $16.99 a month).
Also make it a point that your children only listen to positive music like
, a former teacher and Christian
that doesn't use profanity.
According to College Professor Boyce Watkins "Black rappers are being paid money to promote ideas that are going to lead our children to prison or to the morgue. The next time you hear a rapper promoting black genocide, I want you to ask yourself this question: Would the white and Jewish record label executives, who run these companies EVER allow us to do this to their communities? The answer is HELL NO.
They care about their children enough to protect them from all enemies, both foreign and domestic. They have the power to exert their will and issue strict punishments on anyone who deviates or profits at the expense of their community.
We must decide who our friends are and who is simply working for the Klan."
I recently joined SiriusXM Radio for $20.00 a month on my smartphone and in my car, just to be able to listen to black talk radio. We know that many progressive black radio talk hosts were taken off air and this was all by design, in order to cripple knowledge from reaching black
communities, especially since radio has the GREATEST POTENTIAL to reach more African Americans.
Many radio hosts had progressive forums where they were organizing boycotts and taking other progressive actions such as
, who was interviewing Presidents, and
, who was an attorney and is facing 30 years in jail.
The attack on black radio is nothing new and this is why the black community need to stay observant and monitor what others are doing.
There are however
some smaller progressive radio forums in Dallas-Fort Worth at
with Kimberly Jackson (aka
Kim J), which you can hear on "The Not Televised Radio Show" on 1st and 3rd Sundays at 5:00 p.m. (CST), "The Author's Lounge Radio Show" with Sheryl Grace and Linda Mubarak at www.FBRN.US, which you can hear every Tuesday from 3:00-5:00 p.m. (CST)
and others that
we need to support.
There were at least two smaller black newspapers, but like most mom and pop newspapers, they were probably ran by "old school" Baby Boomers, that don't realize the true potential of their newspapers.
Many of these newspapers focus more on national news and events than local news. These newspapers should have a major hand in electing local black progressive politicians in their cities, however,
here were no black progressive politicians - none from what I heard of - so one must ask themselves, how can a city like Dallas-Fort Worth be progressive?
On the outside it looked like Dallas is a progressive
city for blacks, but there are no black banks there so everyone, especially local black business owners, kept praying that some black bank out of Houston come and set up shop in Dallas.
We Need To Keep Voting
During my 8 months in Dallas-Fort Worth, I lived in Irving, TX, next to Los Calinos, one of the nicest areas in the area. I was only about 20 minutes from Fort Worth, Plano and other suburbs.
Within one mile of my location, I was shocked to see at least 5 learning centers, which you will never find in black communities. I can't understand why
black bankers are not working with current or former educators to set up these types of educational business venues in black communities.
This is why you need to get away from BIG BANKS and join black banks or local credit unions, who engage in more community endeavors.
If black politicians would allocate funds to open learning centers, which teach business and financial skills at an early age, business incubators or black business districts in some of those abandoned buildings in black communities, you would see how quick black communities would change.
Instead what do you find in black communities? You find churches collecting money every Sunday to put in a white bank on Monday so they can evict black families and deny them business loans; food deserts (no grocery stores or none containing healthy food); liquor stores located next to gun shops; thrift stores; pawn shops; "Your Job is Your Credit" car lots; car tire shops; dollar stores, where everything in there is toxic; convenience stores full of unhealthy snacks and foods; tons of fast food places; and abandoned buildings.
Other communities aren't hurting at all when it comes to sustainability. T
hey have their own little world in a few block radius.
Politicians allocates funds for the upkeep of these beautiful communities, however, black communities elect horrible politicians that could care less about their communities.
t the end of the day, we need people in office who
look like us. People who have gone through our same struggles.
At one point, I thought Fort Worth was a little more progressive than Dallas, but during elections, they held a 2-part community meeting entitled
"Should Black People Even Vote?"
So this is probably why there were no proactive or progressive black politicians in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, who could have their hands in changing things in the community and especially protecting our young people and seniors.
I agree that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were bad choices for the President of the U.S., but voting is not just about electing a Presidential Candidate or even U.S. Senators or Congressmen.
If you don't elect good local politicians such as judges, city councilmen, aldermen, commissioners, state representatives, state senators, etc., then you have already lost the battle to protect and build a thriving, progressive community.
Progressive judges can give your kids probation instead of jail and other local politicians can stop liquor stores from
getting licenses to open these destructive establishments in black communities.
As hard as our ancestors fought and died for the right to vote, black people are just taking this for granted today and a majority of them no longer vote. So it seems the black community is going backward instead of forward.
Why Dallas-Fort Worth New Food Coalition Failed
Even states with extremely cold weather and short growing seasons like Alaska have food coalitions, so it doesn't make sense that cities like Dallas-Fort Worth doesn't have their own productive food coalitions serving black communities.
Food coalitions are the answer to food deserts, where many African Americans and Hispanics don't have access to healthy foods.
In Dallas-Fort Worth, it would have been ideal to form a productive food coalition because they have a longer growing season because of the nice weather, however, two black men tried this and failed.
Like in most movements everyone wanted to be the Chief, and no one wanted to be the Indian. So after garnering community support for this idea, everyone was driven away because they could not work together.
When I first arrived in Dallas in May 2016, there were two black males who were trying to form a new food coalition. One was living in Dallas and the other had just arrived from another state.
Many times people are envious of new people just arriving to new cities and sometimes might not embrace their ideas, however, that wasn't the problem here.
The problem was they both wanted to be the leader
- to head up the new food coalition, but instead ended up branching off to do their own food coalitions. They could have easily become "co-leaders," if they really wanted to make this happen.
The brother who lived in Dallas gave a powerpoint presentation and the first thing he put on the screen was his credentials. Do these educated Negroes really think people care about their credentials?
He also placed at least 15 different committees on the screen to see which committees the audience wanted to get involved in, and gradually one by one everyone got up and left the meeting -- including me. Obviously, he never heard of the phrase,"Keep It Simple Stupid."
With all his education, he obviously never engaged in any community organizing at the grassroot level, because if you want to help black folks, you need to speak their language and their language is to keep it simple.
People are overwhelmed with everyday life and the last thing they want to do is to come out of their homes and be pressured by some "so-called" leader, with a list of things to accomplish.
The other male from out of town was all "gung ho" to get started saving the people of Dallas with his plans for a food coalition. Before moving to Dallas, he initially went to Houston to see the "lay of the land," but felt that Dallas offered more opportunities for this type of project.
He was working with a local non-profit that he had left to form this new food coalition. And since his former food coalition was ran by whites, and had funds coming in, he thought, he too could create a non-profit like the group he left. But like most black people today, his first mistake was trying to launch a non-profit.
As soon as he realized he wanted to hold a 3 day conference, instead of dealing with the local black college that he had initially been dealing with, Paul Quinn, he went to one of the larger white colleges instead.
He then made the remarks, "The hell with black folks! I am going to be the first person ever to build a 2 million dollar food coalition in the state of Texas."
Do you think anyone really care about him and his legacy?
So it was his goal to leave some type of legacy in the city of Dallas-Fort Worth on the backs of hard-working individuals. So like most black, greedy leaders today, he only cared about himself.
The moral of this story is no one is coming to rescue black folks but themselves simply because black folks can't work together. I will be releasing a new book over the next few weeks entitled "Overcoming Food Deserts in Your Community: How To Start A Home, School and Community Garden, Food Co-op and Food Coalition."
Families need to get that book and implement it into their lives.
In order to decide how to eliminate food deserts in your community, you first need to decide if you will grow a home garden, a school garden, get a plot at a community garden, join a food co-op or food coalition, or create these your ownself.
March and April are typically the best months to begin your vegetable garden as this is the time when the last frost occurs in most parts of the country.
The last frost date will vary depending on your location, but it's important to use March and April as a guideline.
HomeDepot.com stores are in every city so you can sign up for "Home Depot Gardening Clubs"
to learn more about growing foods in home gardens or form your own garden club, especially by using meetup.com groups. You can also
seek out local farmers at health and wholefood stores in your city, that can tell you what to grow and when to grow it.
Overall, I found Dallas to be a very slow-moving area, but there are movers and shakers stepping up to the plate and making things happen. We know when George Bush Sr. and Jr., both Texans, were in office, Texas had more black men on death row than any other state and many of these men were probably innocent. So therefore, the state of Texas probably has many laws on their books to entrap black men (and women).
Things can change and I totally believe that. I doubt at this time if there is any area in the U.S. that have not been affected by GMOs, which turns off your brain and sucks the life right out of you, so therefore, most cities and areas need to do what they can, to help save black folks.
At this time I would say if you move to the Dallas-Fort Worth area, be proactive and aggressive in everything that you do. There are too many blacks out here already that are too submissive and passive with no action plans for their families. And these are the people you need to stay clear of.
One of my friends stated that all blacks in red states, like Texas, are too submissive and passive and there is no way she will ever move to another red state.
n many ways I agree with her.
However, I think you just have to find the right group of individuals to form business alliances and strategic partnerships with simply because "
Everyone Can Do Something But No One Can Do Everything."
Book on Organizing in the Community
Action Steps (Homework)
It's never too late to fall back in love with people who look like you again - black folks. Stop being selfish and start taking care of each other by sharing information with each other. You need to realize that no one can live off the grid, away from everyone and everything that they truly care about.
So therefore take the following action steps:
- Reach out to "The People's Institute for Survival and Beyond" and set up "Undoing Racism" classes and workshops in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
- Reach out to Jack Standokes from the "Black Owned Business Portal" and form a business alliance and strategic partnership with him, especially if you live in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
- Support other outlining communities in your city and state. Many of these communities have home, school and community gardens, food co-ops and food coalitions, where you can purchase or learn how to grow you own good, clean, organic foods. If you can -- try to set up these venues in your area. Remember, sometimes these other communities or suburbs provide more timely and relevant information for what you are trying to accomplish in your own personal and business life. So don't write off these communities. You might just need to leave your own little corner of the world in order to make your mark on the world.
- Find a proactive church that is truly taking care of people.
- Open up a local black bank or join a local credit union, who supports black community endeavors. Continue to follow Shaun King at the "Injustice Boycott," who has been boycotting big banks - Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Chase, Suntrust, etc., who do nothing but support BIG BUSINESS and major corporations.
- Get radio shows at local smaller venues, even internet radio and don't forget that radio has always had the greatest potential to reach more people.
- Turn off the TV and subscribe to independent media and support local black newspapers by making sure they have an online presence and also give donations and volunteer. Remember, these newspapers know everything that is happening locally in your community, whether they report it or not. They also know all the local black criminal justice attorneys, which everyone should have on their speed dials. Also volunteer to write for these news entities or create your own local newsletter or e-newsletters to educate your community. You can form a business alliance with a print company and create a weekly, semi-monthly or monthly newsletter (and e-newsletter) to educate your community.
- Register to vote and elect local black politicians, who will have your interests at heart. Monitor laws introduced in Texas by your lawmakers from the ground up. Find out who is available (retired folks, students, 2nd and 3rd shifters, etc.) who can meet with legislators and lobby for bills and work with other groups such as "Texans for Vaccine Choice."
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