The Great Divide

William T. Robinson, Jr.

William T. Robinson, Jr.

It is a no brainer that to cause contention within a group, the most commonly used method is to divide and conquer. This modus operandi has been used since the beginning of time and has been used by groups, organizations, and governments to control the masses. It is a well thought out plan usually utilizing compelling differences, orchestrated by respected and intelligent individuals. It is only made more successful when the issues or objectives are diaphanous or ambiguous to the general public. Thus you have a recipe for deceit and deception often overlooked by many because of smokescreens and distractions hiding the real motives.

This divisive tool is so common it is accepted as status quo and goes unquestioned by the very groups or parties it seeks to dec-eive, destroy, or conquer. Perhaps one of the biggest groups falling prey to this practice are African Americans.

All too often, you find Blacks finding more reasons to complain about their differences and expectations than coming together to work for the best interests of the group as a whole. It’s like pairing the ‘haves’ against the ‘have nots.’ The haves seem to be apathetic to the cause of those with less. The main lesson that is lost is that when one is down and out and suffering, we all are down and out and suffering. We all are one and should be our brother’s keeper.

Forces of deceit with esoteric agendas are able to prosper because they don’t respect the intelligence of the common public (especially African Americans)—seeing them as sleeping dogs, impervious to what is really at stake or occurring in their communities. And the sad part is it seems to be working. This assumption is creditable when all too often, changes are made in the African American communities with little if any community dialogue with the citizens or stake holders. Adding insult to injury, when forced to have open community forums, it acts only as a formality. While the community is able to vent their wishes, they are often ignored with the original plan being implemented.

Now for manipulative organizations or systems to be effective, respected community leaders are hailed as supporting their plan, selling it to other Blacks as being in their best interests. We all know this is not always the case. And often it is detrimental to the Black community. African Americans must be aware that many changes and plans (while sold in the best interests of the city) are not always in their best interests.

We should not be apologetic about advocating for changes and policies enhancing our community or quality of living.

Improving our communities helps all Nashville. Economically, Blacks as a whole are operating from a deficit because of centuries of slavery, discriminatory practices, and dehumanization. This practice is still being manifested systemically, although subtly and discreetly. It is no secret that there have always been oppressive forces keeping African Americans from experiencing full social, economic and educational equality.

Until African Americans publically address these issues and stop acquiescing to what many of us see as corrupt practices, we have only ourselves to blame. We must be cautious of self-proclaimed Black leaders polarizing the community by promoting changes proposed by self-serving entities that may hurt our communities. African Americans as a whole are basically loyal to Blacks claiming to be serving our communities. But we must adhere to the old adage: “All smiling faces are not your friend.” Let’s work together and be conscious of those who seek to divide our house, because we all know that a divided house will not stand. Only we can makea difference in our destiny, but we must work together avoiding the ‘divide and conquer’ practice