The Power of Community


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This is me on my soapbox, screaming at the top of my lungs to the descendant of African slaves. WE ARE LOSING; WE ARE DYING; WE ARE DOING IT TO OURSELVES. We have become drunk with shortsightedness and willful ignorance. We have forgotten the sole point of religion, mythology, technology, history, economics, and life on this earth. TO SURVIVE AND THEN THRIVE.

Last weekend it hit me. I was driving home from my niece’s birthday party through a part of town that I haven’t been in since I moved away ten years ago. Since then, Indians (from India) slowly bought a town. This town was full of thriving small businesses like the America that our parents grew up in. While driving past miles of Indian laundromats, jewelers, accountant firms, grocery stores, electronic repair shops, clothing stores, etc…

I was reminded of one my favorite lines from the film Casino. “We’re supposed to be robbin’ this place, you dumb fuckin’ hebe” You may have to watch/re-watch the movie to fully understand but we have become the Sam “Ace” Rothsteins of America. By that I mean, these people through design or instinct came to America with less than nothing; stuck together; and thrived while we were “living the life.”

Please indulge me for a moment and allow me to define “less than nothing.” Their skin is the same color as many African Americans; their culture and religion was seen as offensive to “The Majority” and their thick accent was easily mocked and ridiculed.

No need to fast forward to today. You can just press play and watch it happening all around you. They did it and are doing it because they are a “they” while you remain an individual. Their entire living lineage resides in one home (paying one mortgage) while we create single parent households. They work in service industries that require only knowledge and funnel their earnings back to their community while we are addicted to… everything. They are the tortoise and we, the hare.

How do we fix it? Just like any other addict.

1. Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon African American unity.
2. For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority—a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.
3. The only requirement for AA membership is a desire to change.
4. Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or AA as a whole.
5. Each group has but one primary purpose—to carry its message to the AA who still suffers.
6. An AA group ought never endorse, finance, or lend the AA name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property, and prestige divert us from our primary purpose.
7. Every AA group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.
8. African Americans should remain forever non-professional, but our service centers may employ special workers.
9. AA, as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.
10. African Americans has no opinion on outside issues; hence the AA name ought never be drawn into public controversy.
11. Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, and films.
12. Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.

Even though the preceding steps were intended to aid Alcoholics recover from their mental disease, it can directly be applied to our struggle. I urge you to adopt the same philosophy. Slow and steady always wins the race.

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