Where is the Black Elon Musk?
Ok, so the title is a bit clickbaity. We don’t actually need some messiah figure to come save us all, BUT we do need a concentrated effort involving the mobilizing of massive resources to solve big problems in the Black community and the world. Not just to help uplift the community, but also because there are major shifts occurring now and in the near future and we are largely missing in action. Sure there are token Black people in various venture capital companies or innovative startup teams, but nobody in a position of meaningful power actually using that power effectively. If we don’t step it up, we will be left behind as inequality worsens, climate deteriorates, and the haves take on almost god-like powers with the help of AI, cybernetics, and genetic engineering.
I know I sound like a broken record at this point, but Black leaders HAVE to start thinking bigger. We’ve spent too long wandering in the wilderness. Now it’s time to start leading humanity.
Let me use some specific examples of what I mean. We still haven’t tackled income inequality in our own community, which is worse than in the general population. Too much wealth in the Black community is concentrated in too few hands....hands that are completely untrained on how to use it.
We still behave like minorities in locations where we are the majority (e.g. Atlanta, Baltimore, Detroit, and many small towns and counties in the South). This is nonsense.
We still rely too heavily on the government and corporate entities outside of our community for our livelihood. This can only lead to economic destruction.
Let me take a page from MLK’s playbook and talk about something even more basic...universal basic income. While I support the idea at the national level and Andrew Yang as the only candidate taking it seriously, we don’t have to or should wait for Europeans to wake up and do the right thing. Frankly, we’ve seen them act against their own economic interests too many times because of white supremacy/racism.
The state of Alaska has had universal basic income for 40 years. There’s nothing stopping us from quietly taking over a small state government and implementing UBI within a few years. The speed at which we do this is only limited by our level of economic organization.
If you don’t understand why this is needed, just think about the fact that almost half of all jobs are vulnerable to being taken over by machines and AI within a relatively short period of time. The Black community is already in a perennial state of economic depression. The onslaught of robots will be the last nail in the coffin for us if we don’t take matters into our own hands and stop waiting for “someone” to come save us!
This is all basic stuff that should be obvious, but unfortunately I too often find myself explaining things that should be apparent to any Black person in a leadership position. We all have access to supercomputers in our pockets and the entirety of human knowledge with a simple google search. There is no excuse for this level of ignorance to persist.
We need to be working on cool stuff like creating sustainable food systems, thinking about space, ocean, and subterranean colonization, creating new ways of generating large amounts of power in order to reach a Type I civilization this century, and advancing spiritual “technology.” But we’re still stuck in basic survival mode.
Furthermore, Black people need to start preparing for the inevitable climate shift that is already underway. The scientists warned us what we needed to do, and nobody in power listened. Even if we get our act together tomorrow, it’s already too late without some major technological breakthroughs that would allow us to reverse the damage quickly and without bankrupting the global economy for a century. We need to break out collectively without waiting for so-called allies and start building in Africa and the Caribbean for a likely climate future. This means planing for a large sea level rise, extreme heat, massive species die-off, and erratic weather patterns. But we’re still worried about Kaepernick getting a job, or Jay-Z allegedly selling out as if they are the ones that are going to save us.
We can do these things I’m talking about with the proper strategy, organization, and cultural strength, all of which we are currently lacking and the reason why we are losing. We want to believe we can achieve these things without leadership because we’re so scared of what “they” will do to any Black leaders that emerge and actually do what needs to be done.
To this I say, they can’t kill us all. They’ve tried. And they won’t kill any of us if we make it so there are dire consequences for such actions. The hard truth is that this is beyond the capabilities of a grassroots organization at this point, and our biggest institution (the Black church) is too far gone to be anything but a hindrance without major reforms. While, a relatively small number of people can make a big impact to get the ball rolling, we need a massive shift in our collective consciousness and visionary leaders to step up backed by sufficient organizational resources.
We also need to demand more from those of us that “make it” and stop glorifying people just because they’re rich and famous but don’t give back in meaningful ways besides token charity gifts that don’t really make a difference in the long term.
Who is ready to step up and tackle the challenges of the 21st century?