The Bridge: All The Way In Or All The Way Out, Part 1

By Darryl James

African Americans are on the way out.

We are out of style, out of line and many of us are out of our minds.

And I suggest that we go further out. Until there is nowhere left to go.

It’s like learning to swim the hard way. You get thrown into the deep end of the pool and you learn that once you touch bottom, there is nowhere else to go but up.

We are almost at the bottom.

We are confused and harried, turning in circles because we have no real direction.

We are without a compass, without a consistent methodology and without our own true North. We have no center.

We appear to be rebelling against the dark and the light, the cold and the hot, against motion and inactivity.  Many of us are rebelling against the revolution and revolting against nothing, yet many of us claim to be revolutionaries.

None of us can be either Malcolm or Martin or Huey Newton.  There is nothing else.  There is Jesse and Al Sharpton, and there is President Barack Obama, but the former two are charlatans and the latter is maligned by the confused who want to chastise him, but fail to have a Plan B.

And we don’t even want a Plan B. Our true thinkers and doers are so few and far between that we can’t even coalesce around any real movement. The confused angry morons try to chastise the thinkers for thinking.

We have so little faith, trust and love for each other that we are not only unable to do business with each other, we are having difficulty establishing and maintaining relationships and we are even having difficulty having conversations.

Look at some of the Internet tomfoolery, where at the end of reason, morons hurl insults to pretend to be “edgy,” when really they are just mean idiots with no checks and balances. And then those of us with reason are pressed to play nice.

Things are ugly and no matter how we couch them, there is not much beauty in our plight or our direction.

Other people have a theological center, a cultural center and something from which discipline and world view are constructed, which in turn, enables them to create a future by laying down a blue print.

Our problem is that we have none of that, but we pretend that we do.

Individuals pretend to be “warriors,” “kings,” “queens,” and “revolutionaries,” but do nothing warlike, revolutionary, royal, noble or worthy of being followed.  We refer to what once was, yet pay little respect to what it took to exist that way.  It’s like trying to build a house of cards on sand or building a sandcastle with manure.

Many cheered when Bill Cosby told poor Blacks that they were horrible human beings.  They said “Amen” when he told those poor Blacks about their poor behavior that lead them to poor conditions.  But what he didn’t do, and what none of those who cheered him will do is to talk about real solutions from the ground up.

Kwame Toure, formerly known as Stokely Carmichael said “Capitalism will come to confuse us, causing us to concentrate on the form and so miss the essence.”

Black Americans are concentrating on the form–focusing on what it looks like:  Blacks with decent jobs, laughing Negroes on television, Oprah and Bob Johnson with billions, and shiny things.  Yes, shiny things.  Blacks get five dollars and spend four on a truck, some cheap jewelry and some “nice clothes,” and Cosby is a fool for saying that it is only poor Blacks because even Puffy wants to be ‘hood rich, which is why the confused jackass just changed his name to Diddy Dirty Money, when it should be Diddy Damned Dumbass.

The boy needs Jesus.

We all need him, or someone to save our souls.

But we know it won’t be the churches.

They are too busy building megachurches while still employing mini solutions for the communities they suck dry.

We are so focused on what we look like that we have missed what we could be.  We talk about “us” making more money, but “we” do very little by way of long term empowerment for “us.”

Magic Johnson should be the norm, not a media marvel and not one more Black woman should claim to be looking for a man on her financial level, unless she has one million in the bank. Liquid. Unless you have one million, you don’t have a level, you have a job and you talk too damned much and take too much pride in what you are probably about to lose anyway.

There is no infrastructure and no nucleus to our community. We are like dandelions after you blow the tendrils away, blowing through the wind without being connected to anything.

That which we claim as our culture is a bastardization with the most diseased aspects of our mis-socialization substituting for culture.  The waste product of our heritage has become the new legacy.  Rap artists who claim to be revolutionary by calling each other “Nigger” in public and tacitly urging other races to use the word are clear examples of this.

You can’t even have collective intelligence if you don’t have a base from which to move forward.

The Asian paradigm is excelling at technology.  There is a default setting to excel in math and science. It’s a stereotype, but they roll with it, and make the best of it for themselves.

Jews are about making money and being thrifty with the dollar.  You’ve heard the expression:  “’Jew’ him down to a better deal.”  A stereotype, but a paradigm that keeps that community in the Black (pun intended).

The deal is that they go all the way in.

We are on our way out.

Darryl James is an award-winning author of the powerful new anthology “Notes From The Edge.” James’ stage play, “Love In A Day,” opens in Los Angeles this Spring. View previous installments of this column at Reach James at

3 Responses to “The Bridge: All The Way In Or All The Way Out, Part 1”

  1. And I am on the way out from even looking at your column anymore. You can get more bees with honey than you can with vinegar. Your Article begins with vinegar and gets progressively more sour as you read, especially as you insult those who paved the way for us and then the ultimate by insulting our President. This is ludicrous and I am appalled and saddened.

  2. You criticize Cosby for not providing answers but you provided no answers , just complained. You just ended up eloquently stating the problem, which you say…is the problem.

  3. Keep up the great writing! One cannot confront a problem unless the mirror is held up to them. They can’t miss THIS mirror. PS: You’re right about Cos. He could have at least bought some ‘Hooked on Phonics’ sets out his pocket as a ‘down payment’ on the dream.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: