Repairing the Breach: Image Impacts Economics

Go Lean Commentary

Here is an American experience that the Caribbean region can learn from and take to heart:

  • Martin Luther King was a great man – No Doubt!
  • When a community names a street “Martin Luther King Street/Drive/Boulevard”, the property values … go down!

Wait, What?!

This is a matter of image … impacting economics. This point was highlighted in a previous blog-commentary:

“In many instances (but not all), public opposition has led King’s name to be socially and geographically marginalized within cities, which has worked to stigmatize these streets and create public anxiety about renaming more prominent streets”.

See more in Appendix A below.

This is not about justice; this is about the economic reality.

According to a White Paper by a Caribbean academician, Dr. Donald McCartney of the Bahamas, the Black men and boys of the Caribbean region is a dysfunctional population sub-group. Their outworking on the general society is one of crime, violence and image degradation.  They are victims and villains and have experienced a breach in good citizenship in our society – “hurt people hurt people”. The White Paper addresses the question: “How to repair this breach?”. It also identifies some viable solutions for the region to consider. See that full White Paper here, and an Excerpt as follows:

White Paper Title: Repairing the Breach in the Caribbean – EXCERPT
By: Dr. Donald McCartney

 Questions, regarding Black men and boys, are being raised … these questions are being revived because many, too many Black men and boys are not a part of the economic structure or the body politic. Upon close examination, it becomes clear that many of them are not in community with their ethnic group.

For the most part, Black men and boys live in isolation, better yet, they are marginalized. They find it difficult to connect with society in general and the significant persons in their lives in particular.

The spiraling  murder rate and other acts of violence (particularly against young men and the elderly), makes it clear, that many Black men and boys in the Caribbean, pose a serious and critical problem of interpersonal violence in every corridor and thoroughfare that Caribbean peoples and residents must cross. Consequently, Black men and boys in the Caribbean are feared, demonized and vilified.

Even though [this] question goes far beyond Black men and boys, it is directly related to our young men in particular and their inability to participate and develop within the body politic and the economic structure of the Caribbean:

… How do we expect to engage Black men and boys in constructive dialogue and participation within Caribbean society while, at the same time, refurbishing the image that has now been unfairly placed upon the entire population of Black men and boys?

… In order to accomplish the goal of creating a better society for all stakeholders, there must be an integrated plan of action.

See the full White Paper here:

This commentary completes the 4-part series on Repairing the Breach; using the foregoing White Paper by Dr. McCartney as the premise. This entry is 4 of 4 in this series from the movement behind the book Go Lean … Caribbean in consideration of solutions – Way Forward – to assuage the plight of Black men and boys. The other commentaries in the series are cataloged as follows:

  1. Repairing the Breach: Hurt People Hurt People
  2. Repairing the Breach: Crime – Need, Greed, Justice & Honor
  3. Repairing the Breach: One Option – National Youth Service
  4. Repairing the Breach: Image Impacts Economics; Get on board!

While all of these commentaries relate to “how” the stewards for a new Caribbean can assuage the failing dispositions of the Caribbean among our Black men and boys, this final submission highlights the economic consequence of having a substantial segment of the population in a dysfunctional state: it depresses the economic value on the whole community.

Economics is an important consideration for this discussion. There is an “elastic” relationship – see Appendix B – between community economics and community dysfunction. When there are failures in the economic engines, then the good people in the community leave and abandon the homeland. This causes a spiral to a worse disposition in that the number of dysfunctional men and boys increase compared to the overall population. With a majority Black population in 29 of the 30 Caribbean member-states, the focus of this series of commentary has been on the problematic population of Black men and boys.

The opening role model referred to Rev Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.. His Civil Rights advocacy helped elevate the image of the African American population; his life course made a huge impact. Just before his death (assassination) in 1968, he waged another campaign addressing issues of economic justice; one historic report related:

King traveled the country to assemble “a multiracial army of the poor” that would march on Washington to engage in nonviolent civil disobedience at the Capitol until Congress created an “economic bill of rights” for poor Americans.[156][157]

… The campaign culminated in a march on Washington, D.C., demanding economic aid to the poorest communities of the United States.

King and the SCLC (Southern Christian Leadership Council) called on the government to invest in rebuilding America’s cities. He felt that Congress had shown “hostility to the poor” by spending “military funds with alacrity and generosity.” He contrasted this with the situation faced by poor Americans, claiming that Congress had merely provided “poverty funds with miserliness.”[157] His vision was for change that was more revolutionary than mere reform: he cited systematic flaws of “racism, poverty, militarism and materialism”, and argued that “reconstruction of society itself is the real issue to be faced.”[161]

The Poor People’s Campaign was controversial … [and] its demands were unrealized… .


VIDEO – MLK, Poor People’s Campaign, and Economic Justice –

Published on Jan 20, 2015  

The “baton” for a Poor People’s Campaign has been passed on to a new generation: the Repairers of the Breach, founded in 2015 by the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II. This is a nonpartisan not-for-profit organization that seeks to build a moral agenda rooted in a framework that uplifts the deepest moral and constitutional values to redeem the heart and soul of the country (America). They declare that the moral public concerns of faith traditions should be how society treats the poor, women, LGBTQ people, children, workers, immigrants, communities of color, and the sick. The name of this modern Poor People’s Campaign is derived from the same scriptural premise as the foregoing White Paper by Dr. McCartney: Isaiah 58:9-12, to …

“raise up the foundations of many generations and … be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to dwell in”.

See the portrayal here of the new the Poor People’s Campaign/Repairers of the Breach in this VIDEO:

VIDEORevival: Time for a Moral Revolution of Values

Repairers of the Breach

Published on Aug 30, 2016 – An overview of the powerful 2016 Revival tour being led by Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, Rev. Dr. James A Forbes, Jr., Rev. Traci Blackmon and Sister Simone Campbell.

This discussion is relevant for the movement behind the Go Lean book – there is an advocacy to “Battle Against Poverty“ (Page 222). It delves into strategies, tactics and implementations to mitigate economic chaos in the Caribbean region. In fact, the prime directives of the roadmap strewn from the book is described as follows:

These role players – Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II – are American role models with a scope of impacting America. There is the need for our own Caribbean effort. This is the quest of the Go Lean book. It serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU). The goal of the roadmap is to elevate Caribbean societal engines, to Repair the Breach for all the population in the region, but especially too, Black men and boys.

The reality of the Black men and boys in the Caribbean is even worse than the disposition of African-Americans in the US (or other Diasporic countries). We are considered “Less Than“, even among the population of “Less Than” North Americans and Europeans. This has been a consistent subject in previous Go Lean blog-commentaries; consider this sample: ‘Black British’ and ‘Less Than’ Caribbean Image: ‘Less Than’? Immigrants account for 1 in 11 Blacks in USA The Image of Ireland and the Irish – A Diasporic People Image of Miami’s Success Due to Caribbean Failure The Image and Reality of Ethnic Names Image of the Caribbean Diaspora – Butt of the Joke Lesser Image of Caribbean “Dreadlock hairstyles”

This is real talk about the Caribbean Black men and boys.

We will not assuage the Caribbean Less Than image until we Repair the Breach. Thank you “Dr. McCartney” for your White Paper, showing us a Way-Forward for effecting change.

This is also the goal of the Go Lean/CU roadmap, to reform and transform our region’s societal engines so that all of our people, including Black men and boys, can prosper where planted here in our Caribbean homeland. We must fix our identified societal defects!

“Fixing our defects” is a point that is pronounced early in the Go Lean book with the Declaration of Interdependence (Pages 12 & 13) with many statements that demonstrate the need to remediate Caribbean communities and elevate the disposition of our young men and women:

xi. Whereas all men are entitled to the benefits of good governance in a free society, “new guards” must be enacted to dissuade the emergence of incompetence, corruption, nepotism and cronyism at the peril of the people’s best interest. The Federation must guarantee the executions of a social contract between government and the governed.

xii. Whereas the legacy in recent times in individual states may be that of ineffectual governance with no redress to higher authority, the accedence of this Federation will ensure accountability and escalation of the human and civil rights of the people for good governance, justice assurances, due process and the rule of law. As such, any threats of a “failed state” status for any member state must enact emergency measures on behalf of the Federation to protect the human, civil and property rights of the citizens, residents, allies, trading partners, and visitors of the affected member state and the Federation as a whole.

xix. Whereas the preparation of our labor force can foster opportunities and dictate economic progress for current and future generations, the Federation must ensure that educational and job training opportunities are fully optimized for all residents of all member-states, with no partiality towards any gender or ethnic group. The Federation must recognize and facilitate excellence in many different fields of endeavor, including sciences, languages, arts, music and sports. This responsibility should be executed without incurring the risks of further human flight, as has been the past history.

xxiv. Whereas the Caribbean region must have new jobs to empower the engines of the economy and create the income sources for prosperity, and encourage the next generation to forge their dreams right at home, the Federation must therefore foster the development of new industries, like that of ship-building, automobile manufacturing, pre-fabricated housing, frozen foods, pipelines, call centers, and the prison industrial complex. In addition, the Federation must invigorate the enterprises related to existing industries like tourism, fisheries and lotteries – impacting the region with more jobs.

The American role models of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II does not mean that the US is the desired model for the Caribbean to emulate. While Black men and boys amount to only 6.5 percent of the US population – they are minorities there – but they are the majority population group in their Caribbean homelands – that makes a difference. The majority status allows for race – and other matters outside of an individual’s control – to not be a reason for continuous oppression.  Repairing the Breach is the opposite of oppression.

Repairing the Breach in our societal eco-system for our Caribbean youth would also mean success for our Caribbean image, local and abroad.

The only image we seek is the worldwide recognition as the greatest place on the planet to live, work and play. 🙂

Download the free e-Book of Go Lean … Caribbean – now!

Sign the petition to lean-in for this roadmap for the Caribbean Union Trade Federation.


Appendix A – Additional References on MLK Street Naming Economics


Appendix B – Economic Elasticity

Elasticity is a measure of a variable’s sensitivity to a change in another variable. In business and economics, elasticity refers the degree to which individuals, consumers or producers change their demand or the amount supplied in response to price or income changes.

Source: Investopedia definition for “Elasticity”; retrieved March 7, 2018 from:

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