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.
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.