September 13, 2013 //
Dr. Wilmer Leon
Dr. Wilmer Leon is one of the most respected political scientists in the country. He speaks not just on global affairs, but also on how these issues impact the black community. Dr. Leon will be joining Boyce Watkins, Cornel West, Imani Perry, S. Tia Brown, Marc Lamont Hill and Tiara K. Williams for the New York stop of the New Paradigm Tour,set to storm Medgar Evers College on 9/21 at 3 pm.
Here is what Dr. Leon had to say about the state of black America and how it can be improved:
1) What is your name and what do you do?
Wilmer J. Leon, III, Ph.D.,CPCM I am a political scientist, college professor, nationally syndicated columnist, and a nationally broadcast call in talk radio host. I am also certified by the National Contract Management Association as a Certified Professional Contract Manager (CPCM).
2) What is your educational and professional background?
I earned a BS degree in Political Science from Hampton Institute, a Masters in Public Administration (MPA) from Howard University, and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Howard University
.3) What do you consider to be the most pressing challenges for the black community today?
Understanding that the African American community is not a monolith and generalizations can be dangerous, for the sake of brevity I will say the most pressing challenges facing our community are complacency, a lack of historical perspective/understanding, a lack of vision, and finally immature politics.
Complacency – with the progress made as a result of the struggles of the Civil Rights Movement too many in the community believe that “we have made it” and further struggle is no longer necessary.
Lack of historical perspective/understanding – too many have failed to study and understand the history of this country/our history in this country and how we have made progress in this country. That failure makes it impossible to pass on that history and the lessons from that history to our progeny. If our children have not sense of history they have no sense of self.
Lack of vision – this complacency and lack of historical perspective makes it difficult to develop effective plans and programs to move forward.
Immature politics – with the election of the first AA president too many have become focused on the politics of personality and lost focus on the politics of policy. Our politics must mature to see ourselves as a political constituency and demand from the political process and our elected representatives tangible and substantive policy outputs not just the election of people who look like us.
4) What values can be re-ignited in our families to secure a stronger future for our children?
The value of family. Respect for elders, a sense of self and a connection to social norms and values that convey an understanding that the individual is not greater than the family (community) from which he/she comes. You not only represent yourself but you represent a group that is more important than just you. Dialogue and communication. Discipline and self-respect.
5) What should people expect from you at the New Paradigm event in New York City?
I hope that I can first demonstrate a level of success and motivate some of those in attendance to commit to set of principles that will help them set goals for themselves and their families and then develop strategies to achieve those goals. Also, convey a message that once individuals start to take care of their individual circumstances they can start to apply those ideals to the larger community in which they live. “Take care of your own living room first. Once you get that living room straight you can go outside and take care of your front yard. Once your front yard is straight it becomes an example for your neighbors and you can start to have a positive impact on your neighborhood…”
With the information that is imparted to the audience I hope to have some modicum of impact on their thought process. “The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.” Stephen Biko
6) How can people find out more about you?
Facebook Fan Page – Dr. Leon’s Prescription at Facebook.com or WilmerLeon.com or Google my name and read my Op Ed’s.