There are two kinds of people in this world: those who help themselves by climbing from the backs of others to reach the top and leave it there like the evil Lotso Bear in Toy Story 3 who tries to keep the other toys from escaping as he rules from the top of the heap. And then there those who know the teamwork of then reaching back down to help others up to the top, too.
I see it all the time, even as a woman in ministry. Two kinds of people. The one kind missing so much joy they would get from helping others.
Instead there are people achieving some level of success who suddenly forget that it’s God’s grace that brought them there. And why were they blessed? In order that they might be a blessing … to others.
These kind of people view power and money as a zero sum game—a fixed pie in which their giving someone a little helping hand means they have less in theirs. Not only is this wrong, but their perception problem has–at its very heart–a core of selfishness.
To stay selfish, they cling to all kinds of failed assumptions.
Frankly, the hypotheses have been tested for years. Every black author and civil rights figure I’ve discussed so far in the Resurgence series knows these failures and doesn’t buy the failed hypotheses. They’re one kind of men—the Resurgent type of men who don’t leave their brothers behind. It’s how they climbed successfully and now, they are trying to be the kind of blacks who reach out to help others up. Man to man, not with a mano a mano adversarial outlook of the zero sum game, but as a genuine help up and a very real guide who can show them how.
They don’t believe in the I-got-mine attitude of walking away, heartlessly waving goodbye as some map of a theoretical way out flutters to the ground that might as well read, “You’re on your own, pal.” That’s what many politicians do.
Water Williams writes, “My argument has always been that the political arena is largely irrelevant to the interests of ordinary black people.”
He sees the failed hypothesis: “Much of the 1960s and ’70s civil rights rhetoric was that black political power was necessary for economic power. But the nation’s most troublesome and dangerous cities, which are also cities with low-performing and unsafe schools and poor-quality city services, have been run…for nearly a half-century — with blacks having significant political power, having been mayors, city councilors and other top officials, such as superintendents of schools and chiefs of police.”
Like Shelby Steel, Williams sees that the color of any official’s skin–even the President’s skin–isn’t a cure-all. Yet, colorblind policies can be implemented to help. Power residing with the people can be vitally important. That’s why Williams says reassuringly,
“Panic among some blacks over the upcoming Trump presidency is unwarranted. Whoever is the president has little or no impact on the living conditions of ordinary black people, even when that president is a black person, as the Obama presidency has demonstrated. The overall welfare of black people requires attention to devastating problems that can be solved only at the family and community levels.”
Sure, there have been activist politicians, even preachers, promoting themselves as the perfect solution, but the main thing they’ve proven is that there are two kinds of people: ones who use their position to help others up and those who reached the top and do a whole Lotso nothin’ to help the racial divide.
Of the two kinds of people, we need more Resurgent men who will see the expanding universe of hope and the rising tide for all by reaching out to offer a hand up, not with a political solution, but with a brotherly one. We’re in this together.
And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. (1 Corinthians 12:26)