The 50/50 Rule by Brandon Whitney


Half of where you end up in life is based on your environment. The opportunities that are presented to you are going to be a big factor in how successful you are. For African Americans this has meant that oppressive governments and racism have put us at a disadvantage. The other half of where one ends up in life is dependent on one’s own actions. We are the captains of our own fate. That being the case, an Obama presidency or a change in the leadership in the NAACP will have an impact on Africa America, but it will be individuals in the community that determine their own, and their peoples, success.

Political officials are not as important, or unimportant, as we make them. Too often we pretend that the government is either an all encompassing force that rules every aspect of our lives, or an unimportant outlier that can be completely ignored. If African Americans are to succeed, it will be because individuals begin to understand their duty to the whole and make choices in their everyday lives that will benefit themselves and others. It means that African Americans who complain the loudest must be the ones who vote the most often. It means that African Americans who wish young people would vote must actively seek them out and sell them on voting in language that they understand. It means that we must save money to protect ourselves from economic emergencies and invest in African American financial and educational institutions.

Obama will be a great president. But he can only change so much by himself. Benjamin Jealous may be a great president of the NAACP but he will not be able to fix every problem that affects people of color. People like Obama and Jealous have control of only half of what changes the world. Individuals like you and I are responsible for the other half. Improving the lives of African Americans is as simple as sending twenty-five dollars to an HBCU or investing in a mutual fund or IRA, preferably an African American one, or making sure your own financial house is in order so you can help others. The 50/50 rule means you have to do what you can with what you have for your own good and for the good of your people. The failure or success of politicians is not an excuse for us to slack on our part in the progress of our people.

Brandon Whitney is the creator of Homelandcolors.blogspot.com a blog that focuses on issues that affect the African American community. He is also a frequent guest on News and Notes’ Blogger Roundtable. Brandon has political experience as an Outreach Director for the Democratic party and is passionate about being a positive force in his community regarding African American issues. He is also a frequent guest on News and Notes’ Blogger Roundtable. You read more of Brandon’s work at Homeland Colors.

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