Do We Hold Black Leaders Accountable?

1 Jul

A discussion with  a certain beloved political junkie sparked the idea for this post. You know who you are.

When news of the FBI raid on one of Dallas’ most prominent Black politicians hit the media airwaves, reactions were polarized. Some called it justice. Others deemed it racism. I dwell in between. I mean, the man has not been officially charged, a fact that both he and his lawyers stress. And his color may have made him a target. Yet, when a politically-connected friend called me to rant about how whether or not Price was innocent, the federal probe was just another manifestation of racism, I couldn’t believe it. Whether or not Price was guilty, whether or not he was corrupt, whether or not he was profiting on the backs of his Black constituents, the man is a victim?  

And regardless of innocence, he will stand behind Price and support him. What does that say to Black leaders when the Black community at large gives them an all-access “get out of jail free” pass and pledges their unconditional loyalty?

When there is no punishment, no repercussions from the constituents these men and women serve, the Black community is asking our leaders to exploit us. Go ahead, we say. Take from us. Embezzle money that belongs to the community. Rob our children. Place unsavory businesses in our neighborhoods. Impede development and progress. No matter what, we will still support you.

It’s a screwed mentality. One that goes back to the plantation and the idea that despite his faults, ole master wasn’t so bad. 

Looking beyond the bad for the good. Letting the good outweigh the bad, regardless. 

Or better yet, consider how as the Black community recounts the horrors of slavery, we lay blame at the feet of Whites. We conveniently forget it was fellow Africans that sold us like products into the system. That profited from our misery.When doling out accountability, we must hold both parties responsible.

But even in 2011, the same game still reigns. When anything questionable occurs, Black leadership cries racism and points their fingers at Whites, distracting us from the real issue at hand to conveniently evade accountability. Racism doesn’t make you shakedown companies. Racism didn’t force you to bully the less powerful or give you a license to lay claim on all you want.

It’s stupid. And speaks to the lack of respect and love with have for ourselves. Letting someone get away with crime simply because of a black face is a slap in our own faces. A Black leader can be just as exploitative as any one else. Yet, we let the  standard of leadership be compromised to keep more black faces in office.

Sadly, my friend is not alone in his perspective. In fact, most members of the Black community in Dallas would side with my pro-Black friend and state that whether or not any wrongdoing occurred, the fact that Price was singled out when others on the political landscape were probably equally crooked negated any possible fault.

My response? If God deems you guilty, would you pointing your finger at another negate your sentence?


If the people don’t demand more their leaders, who will? Some blame the Black media. I know, many deem local Black newspapers as little more than public relations rags and note that the Black media can’t act as a check and balance because so many of them are lying in bed financially and politically with the villains they should be criticizing.

I must admit, I’m conflicted. The role of the Black media is to add the Black perspective to the media landscape, a voice that is often ignored altogether in the mainstream. If Black media joins forces with the mainstream in lashing out and lynching its leaders, it will be simply imitating the larger publications. If you have two messengers telling the exact same story, one is unnecessary.

Yet, to sit back and defend corrupt leaders regardless of evidence, or worse, remain neutral in the face of corruption is wrong. It’s a debate of particular significance now, as the evidence piles up against Price and many other notable faces in Dallas’ Black community.

Silence and unfettered support is what corrupt Black officials count on from the Black media. In adhering to these rules, Black media becomes a laughing stock, renders itself irrelevant, does its readers and communities a disservice–and takes on its share of the blame.

Corrupt Black Leadership and Culture of Failure Impede Black Progress

Cornel West: Corrupt Black Leaders


6 Responses to “Do We Hold Black Leaders Accountable?”

  1. Mao's Army July 1, 2011 at 11:15 am #

    As an expert on black leaders and the black community…I can say with certitude that everything mentioned in your post is correct.


  2. marvin jones July 1, 2011 at 3:09 pm #

    Brilliant!!! You are just beginning to scratch the surface of your genius.


  3. marvin jones July 1, 2011 at 3:17 pm #

    For Free…The Black Press covers for the shady deeds of some AA elected officials. Why?? They throw them a few “info crumbs” that the mainstream press is not privy to, or they give them a small PR contract to stay in their good graces. Who looks out for the people, with all the “conflicts of interests” certainly not the Black Press.


    • lcooksmarketer1 July 2, 2011 at 4:45 am #

      Good point. The compromise is certainly not worth what the Black Media gets in return, especially in the long run.


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