I’ve always wanted to be viewed as an intellectual. In case my life ended unexpectedly, I’ve instructed my mother and daughter to engrave on my tombstone: “Here finally rests a very smart, thoughtful and concerned man who served with intellectual passion!”
If I was not involved in the media profession, I’d have a Ph.D. and be a professor teaching life (leadership and critical thinking)skills to young people globally. Today, I live as a businessman, prophetic thought leader, self-proclaimed writer and concerned citizen who loves his hood without fear nor regret.
I have some words for those who attempt to control certain aspects of other people’s lives. This is my letter to them as well as to my entire community.
Racism is alive and well but it’s also dead and a thing of the past. This revelation finally came after discovering a man while watching an interview on Bloomberg News. I’ll further discuss him later but first, I want to say to conservatives and fake liberals: Don’t be sympathetic to individuals. Nope. Be extremely empathetic to the fact that people of color have been subjected to bigotry and racism that, in lots of cases, has prohibited many qualified and talented Blacks and Browns from advancing further in America.
In other words, don’t feel bad for a Black or Brown person, but feel very guilty about what racism has done toa race of people. Prejudices have been injected into Black and Brown people’s lives and have caused mass hysteria. Millions of colored folks have been lost in translation due to bigotry.
Nonetheless, it can’t ever be an excuse for people of color who truly want to succeed. White and Black conservatives and shady liberals can never disrupt our groove if we believe in ourselves.
This leads me back to the interview that inspired me. My newfound philosophy was driven home when I listened to Roger Ferguson who is the first Black person to hold the post as president and chief executive officer of TIAA, the leading provider of retirement services in the academic, research, medical and cultural fields and a Fortune 100 financial services organization. Bloomberg did an in-depth story on this incredibly impressive smart Black man that blew me away!
Ferguson was very believable in his views on racism and even affirmative action, which he indicated played a key role in his life. In the ‘70s, Harvard University was looking toenrollmoreBlacks in their school and there was a national search. He was discovered as a student who excelled academically and was admitted through the affirmative action program; the rest is history.
Ferguson literally influenced me to alter my life or at least my thinking.
I am now taking a serious look at where I am and at my influence on others as well as my past and present accomplishments…no more games! It’s time to get all the way real. I love knowledge and progress — it’s what ignites my fire when I read or hear about excellence. I want my peers to think about excellence. I want my daughter and other immediate family members to dream of excellence. I will not be concerned with mediocracy. So please, keep that away from me!
Are there reasons why people don’t excel to the highest level? Yes. However, I’ll only work with people if they truly want to take a huge leap and advance their thinking. It’s excellence or nothing! I’m asking my peers to raise the bar, not bottles in clubs. If we want to see progress, we have to first demand it from ourselves. The American system is flawed and racist, sure, but Ferguson said some things that triggered ideas of how to excel and make people acknowledge your intellect.
See, people of color can also be racist. Their bigotry is in not allowing excellence to stand up and be seen in their communities. For instance, when Black youth show signs of excellence, family members, friends, and loved ones need to encourage and invest in them. We need to ensure that the youth maximize their abilities to shine, escape and excel!
Ferguson discussed how racism was very present in his life, but what he also understood was that excellence can’t ever be denied. It can never be shut off or shut down!
Individuals who can find solutions to some of America’s many problems are always welcome into the room. If your intellect far exceeds everyone else’s, you only need one person in the room to acknowledge your presence and that person may help navigate you through racism. If you have dreams and want to succeed, think excellence!
Ferguson also insisted that you make no excuses and make no promises to anyone but yourself!
At the end of the day, your life’s journey will be decided by how much you believe in you. Open your mind to find that bright spot that’ll allow your light to shine through. Excellence commands a quality of life that will bypass bigotry and prejudice! When you defeat racism, wealth and power are within reach!