Churches must work together to create change

By Body of Christ News

A Conversation with Dr. Al-Mansour

Will Barack Obama win the Presidential election? There seems to be a lot of anti Obama rhetoric coming across the airways.

I think Obama will probably squeak through due to a number of factors. He has lined up a very strong following among Hispanics and his organization committees are very effective, loyal and motivated. The amount of money that he has raised is historic. That money has to come from a broad spectrum and there are people who give that money who are probably going to vote. They are not going to give their money and say we don’t care whether he wins or loses. They are going to go out of their way to protect their investment and get some bragging rights.

I think his following among the youth is not picked up in the polls because they don’t pick up cell phones. In my view, I believe that most of the polls are distorted and off. With the organization he has they will probably get a lot of turnout from the youth.

The youth generally don’t vote; sometimes they get excited and register and then don’t vote. They say that the fun is over before then. I think this group is going to get out and I think that the ads by McCain will help motivate them. They’re going to say that they’re not going to let this happen. Also the Republican vice-presidential candidate has not had too many good days. They try to tout her as tough, creative and a quick learner. In several of her last interviews they have asked her to just name any of McCain’s initiatives and she couldn’t.

If Obama is in the white house, how will that help or hurt black America?

I think that Black Americans will be disappointed when they find out that there will be major restraints. If he’s in the White house, he can’t pass legislation. Congress is probably going to be 55%, maybe 60% Democratic.

What can help black Americans?

Many blacks simply want to close their eyes and then open them again and there will be a million dollars in their hands. Dreaming is out. There’s an entire country that is hurting including blacks and the benefits have to be distributed according to a system or plan. If blacks are looking for a 10&, 20% or 30% increase in welfare, forget it! If they are looking for an expanded economy – maybe a 50% chance.

We must look at what kinds of industries are competitive? How can we compete against the Chinese and the Asian manufacturing? American firms are leaving—they’re going to Asia.

If the corporations that stay in the United States get a tax break; those that leave don’t get it. Then the corporations start weighing the situation and saying even with the cheap labor it doesn’t offset the taxes we’re paying. You have to be creative; you have to provide benefits for corporations so that American corporations stay home. American workers are not going to take a wage cut, so how does the price become competitive.

Again, the churches are not telling Blacks the realities. They need to look at the immediate future. In the next 30-40 years, or sometime in that time frame, the United States’ population break down will be that Hispanics are over 50% of the total population in America. Right now Hispanics are more than 50% of the state of California’s population.

If you stop illegal immigration tomorrow, you’re not going to affect the demographic projections because Hispanics are going to have 3-4 children minimum.

The multiplication is such that Hispanics will be 50% and Blacks will be somewhere between 8-12%. So what should we be doing? We should be developing agreements and consensus now. You can’t wait until they are in charge and they’re 50% of the population and then come to them and say “Remember us, we’ve been prosecuted.” They’ll say, “Look man, where were you when we needed you? You were calling us “spics” like everyone else.” You weren’t fostering cooperation, politically, economically and educationally. Now that you’re hurting why should we listen?

The churches should be involved in outreach and saying to the Hispanics, “We really need to get to know each other. We’re all God’s children. We need to start here not when we get to heaven. How can we think out loud and find explore common interests. Let’s not be overly dramatic. Let’s just meet once a month and discuss problems in school and language problems. Maybe we’ll try to learn a little Spanish in order to let you know we’re trying to meet you half way.” People respond to that.

Then they might say, “When everyone else was calling us spics and stuff, the Blacks were cool. They were open and friendly. We all went to basketball games together.”

Hispanics have a tendency to be open and friendly but you have to develop that friendship. If you ignored the Hispanics, don’t come when they are the majority and want favors. The pastors in each church can say, “We are going to have some of the members of the Hispanic community, come and worship with us. We want a couple of members in the choir.”

What do you think about the economy now?

It’s dead. We owe so much money. How much can we tax our people? This country is bankrupt. “We’re talking about just another 700 Billion.” How are we going to pay for it?
It is the black’s mentality is that it is a white man’s country, if he messed it up, let him fix it and until he does, we’re just going to kill each other and steal pennies and nickels from each other. Maybe that will get somebody something. We don’t have a plan.

The churches don’t have a plan. It’s not like the Catholic Church. Why are Hispanics Catholic? Catholics said, “Look we want to get to know you. We want to be friends.

Let’s try to help you with your problems.” The Black politicians are not in general saying to Hispanics, “Let’s team up. You have some problems; we have some problems. Let’s stick together.”

Our leadership is not ready to step up to the plate. We can’t expect the masses or Obama to be our deliverer. Obama is going to be president of all of Americans. If you had a wish list and you said to Mr. Obama, “Here’s what we would like you to do. Here’s what we need. Here’s the crime list. Here’s how many people are unemployed. We have 50% of the Blacks – in Texas it’s 60% – who are flunking out or dropping out of school.” Obama might say, “I can try to open up some training bills but they must first have a high school diploma.”

You tell him, “Well sir, we’re flunking out at 50 or 60% so what do you want me to do?” Obama would have to say, “I can’t have a bill for Blacks only.”

The Black leadership is not thinking through the program. They don’t have a plan. They don’t think through what are the real challenges? Many of them stem from the community. What makes Blacks flunk out of school?

Is this what Bill Cosby was saying?

Bill Cosby was not saying it in a friendly tone. When you start abusing people and you sound condescending, they’ll flunk out just to show you they don’t need you. You have to have a different approach that says, “Look, we believe in you. This is for your benefit.

It’s not going to help me. I’m already through school but I think it can help you. I want to share my experience with you because I want you to be successful.”

How many sermons are preached in the churches about becoming “A” students? How many Sunday prayers are about education? One of the most critical conduits for education is mastering logic and reason. It’s not that difficult, but it’s not taught from kindergarten to 12th grade. This is one of the most important courses there is. It’s not even taught in the schools. Why is this not being done?

Why don’t the churches say this coming Sunday, “We are going to have a special prayer for all of our students. We want all of our students to be on the honor role. We want a special prayer for them.”

We believe that God is able and we believe the young people will respond. We want the parents to become the core that continues to motivate them. It’s what the Jews and the Chinese do. They provide the support.

We, because of slavery, think that the poorer we are the more we are able to shame God to deliver us. The more malnourished and sick we are, we say, “All right God this is your chance to prove.” We need to talk about diet and exercise and interacting with the youth and being role models. Let’s start it in Sunday school. If the students can’t read, why not have remedial programs.

Churches should be educational places like in the old days. Congregations were not beggars. They knew after being so close to slavery as they were that if they didn’t do it nobody would. There was a spirit of self help and a racial pride. The spirit of faith without works is dead. They would pray over the young people, to get good grades, go to college. This doesn’t exist any more.

We have decided that if the white people don’t fix it, we’ll just suffer and they’ll be embarrassed after a while. No other people do this.

Look at the Chinese; look at the Japanese in America. Coming here with nothing but they have prospective, leadership and pride. The Africans in America outperform every group in America. The Africans are the highest performers at the college level. How can you come from a small village where you don’t even have a light at night and outperform everyone? On Wall Street, Africans have a preference over African Americans.

So is it racism?

The real problem is getting worse. Whenever there was a problem before, if you could see there was some progress, even slow progress, at least we could see that the community is getting better and that they can sense a responsibility, but it’s gone now!

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