Respect for Minorities: Reconstruction then Redemption

Go Lean Commentary

This subject of “Respect for Minorities” is dominant in the news right now. This commentary is 3 of 3 in this series on lamentations for defective social values. The complete series is as follows:

  1. Respect for Minorities: ‘All For One’
  2. Respect for Minorities: Climate of Hate – ‘It Gets Worse Before It Gets Worse’
  3. Respect for Minorities: Reconstruction then Redemption – A Lesson in History

There are these familiar proverbs:

1. What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. – The Bible; Ecclesiastes 1: 9

2. The more things change, the more they remain the same.

CU Blog - Respect for Minorities - Reconstruction, Then Redemption - Photo 4There is a lot of history in the United States regarding “Respect for Minorities”; and the lessons from that history apply for the Caribbean. In this case, there is the history of the 2nd Reconstruction and 2nd Redemption that applies directly to Caribbean people living in the US. Life in the US for our Diaspora has been a familiar theme for the publishers of the book Go Lean…Caribbean; this theme has been exhausted in the book (Page 118 – Reasons to Repatriate to the Caribbean) and in countless blog/commentaries (see list below), within the quest to dissuade Caribbean people from emigrating to the US and to encourage many of the existing Diaspora to return to their homelands, to repatriate.

Why is this so important? The Go Lean movement (book and blogs) have been consistent: it is easier for the people of the Caribbean – a majority Black and Brown demographic – to prosper where planted in their homelands than to endure as alien residents in foreign countries. This commentary asserts the key ingredient for reforming and transforming societies with diverse demographics: “Respect for Minorities”.  This commentary seeks to learn this lesson based on  life (and history) in the US; though the principles here can easily apply to Canada and the many western European countries that receive our citizens. Consider this analogy:

Do you want to go a party – that you hear is a lot of fun – uninvited? What if you hear the host really wants you at the party, and then when you get there you discovered that they want you to serve and work and cater to the other preferred guests; you are just there as support staff?
Want to go home yet?

This is the experience for so many Caribbean Diaspora when they ‘come to America’. Just take a quick tour at so many tourist/travel facilities at America’s principal cities. So many of the “serving” staff are of Caribbean heritage. One would talk to taxi drivers, hotel maids, waiters and retail store clerks and you discover that these ones descend from the Caribbean.

You think: They came here for “this”? They are minorities among a majority that has little respect for them.

There is this above scenario, and then … there is “prosper where you’re planted”:

Just like a tree planted by the rivers of water
That bring forth fruit in due season
Source: The BiblePsalms Chapter 1 verse 3 – King James Bible

CU Blog - Respect for Minorities - Reconstruction, Then Redemption - Photo 3This was the strong point made by one of the key figures in African-American history, Booker T Washington. He asserted that the African-American community must work to prosper in its own hometown, that they must seek reconciliation with their White neighbors and find a way to co-exist. This was a good plan for Black America, the minorities; but White America, the majority population didn’t always cooperate. The effort to reconcile was attempted before, immediately following the Civil War, during the period of Reconstruction; 1865 – 1877. This period of time actually featured some real progress in liberating and promoting the previous enslaved minority population – an enfranchisement of all freedmen. But then, at the end of the formal Reconstruction period, there was redemption…

… redemption: a return to American original values, that is “White supremacy” and the repression of the African-American race.

During this Redemption period: Jim Crow laws – segregation in public places – were implemented, as the follow details depict:

The end of Reconstruction … was followed by a period that White Southerners labeled Redemption, during which White-dominated state legislatures enacted Jim Crow laws and, beginning in 1890, disenfranchised most Blacks and many poor Whites through a combination of constitutional amendments and electoral laws. The White Democrat Southerners’ memory of Reconstruction played a major role in imposing the system of white supremacy and second-class citizenship for Blacks. – Sourced from Wikipedia.

CU Blog - Respect for Minorities - Reconstruction, Then Redemption - Photo 1

That was then, 130 years ago; how about now? The notion of an Encore/”Second Take” seems unthinkable; and yet this is the historicity of events and experiences after this 2nd Reconstruction – the Civil Rights movement of the 20th Century: think Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Civil Rights Act, Voting Rights Act, Affirmative Action, Minority Set-Asides, etc.. See the encyclopedic reference here:

Reference Title: Second Reconstruction
Second Reconstruction is a term that refers to the American Civil Rights Movement. In many respects, the mass movement against segregation and discrimination that erupted following World War II, shared many similarities with the period of Reconstruction which followed the American Civil War. The period of Second Reconstruction featured active participation on the part of African-Americans to regain their rights that they had lost during the period of Redemption and Jim Crow segregation in the latter part of the nineteenth century.

During Second Reconstruction, African-Americans once again began holding various political offices, and reasserting and reclaiming their civil and political rights as American citizens. Unlike Reconstruction, however, most African-Americans abandoned the Republican Party for the Democratic Party. A noteworthy feature of Second Reconstruction was the political realignment that occurred in 1965, which transformed the nature and composition of both the Republican and Democratic Party’s, eroding the Democratic Solid South.

In the same way, however, that Reconstruction was followed by Redemption, some have also claimed that period following Second Reconstruction could be termed a Second Redemption characterized by more conservatism on the part of the federal government, and several Supreme Court decisions that weakened the scope of civil rights reforms, especially in the Northern States

The years between 1954-1972 have often been called the Second Reconstruction, since it has noteworthy similarities with the First Black Reconstruction (1865-1877), which began with the abolition of slavery by the enactment of the Thirteenth Amendment. Both periods saw African Americans making tremendous gains in the fields of politics and civil rights. Three major Supreme Court decisions (the Brown decision on school desegregation (1954), desegregation of public transportation (1956); bussing to achieve school desegregation (April 1971), two legislative enactments (the Civil Rights Act, 1964, and the Voting Rights Act, 1965) and the March on Washington, D.C. (April 28, 1963), many demonstrations and riots, resulted in major alterations in race relations. There was “change within change,” and America would never be the same.

While the Second Reconstruction destroyed the legal foundations of the segregationist system, it also highlighted the further and more difficult challenge of translating legal victories into real change. Moreover, the 1968 assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., removed a key symbol and source of unity in the nonviolent freedom struggle. According to one activist, King was “the one man of our race that this country’s older generations, the militants, and the revolutionaries and the masses of black people would still listen to.” As the limitations of the Civil Rights movement became more apparent, growing numbers of young African Americans advocated Black Power as an alternative to nonviolent direct-action strategies. Partly because revolutionary black organizations like the Black Panther party (formed in 1966) emphasized the mass mobilization of poor and working-class blacks, armed struggle, and opposition to the Vietnam War, they came under the combined assault of federal, state, and local authorities. Under the weight of official and unofficial white resistance, the Black Power movement fragmented and gradually dissipated by the early 1970s.

Late Twentieth Century Developments. As the civil rights and Black Power movements weakened, white resistance to the gains of the Second Reconstruction intensified. Opposition to affirmative-action policies in employment and education were closely related to the deindustrialization of the nation’s economy. The loss of jobs to mechanization and low-wage overseas factories affected all industrial workers, black and white, but the persistence of overt and covert discriminatory employment practices rooted in white kin and friendship networks made black workers and their communities especially vulnerable to economic down swings. African-American unemployment rates persisted at well over the white rate, especially among young black males. At the same time, the beneficiaries of existing affirmative-action programs–the middle class and better-educated members of the black working class–experienced a degree of upward mobility and moved into outlying urban and suburban neighborhoods. They left working-class and poor blacks, disproportionately single women with children, concentrated in the central cities, where violence, drug addiction, and class-stratified social spaces intensified, causing acute tensions in day-to-day intraracial as well as interracial relations.

Perhaps even more than in the industrial era, the post- industrial age challenged African Americans to develop new strategies for coping with social change and the persistence of inequality. Some of their emerging responses built upon earlier struggles. Institution-building, marches, participation in electoral politics, and migration in search of better opportunities all continued to express black activism and resistance to social injustice. Yet, much had changed in the nation and in African American life, and such time-tested strategies took on different meanings in the 1980s and 1990s. Rising numbers of southern- born blacks returned to the South during the 1970s. After declining for more than a century, the proportion of blacks living in the South increased by 1980. Other African Americans rallied behind the Rainbow Coalition and supported the Reverend Jesse Jackson’s bid for the Democratic party’s presidential nomination in 1984 and 1988. Still others endorsed Nation of Islam minister Louis Farrakhan’s Million Man March (MMM) in 1994. Calling the march a “day of atonement” for black men, leaders of the MMM encouraged black men to earn and reclaim a position of authority in their families and communities. Four years later, many black women responded to the MMM’s gender bias with their own Million Woman March, which emphasized the centrality of women in the ongoing black freedom struggle. Through these various actions and many more, African Americans continued to resist shifting forms of inequality and gave direction to their own lives as a new century began.

These same years saw the emergence of a new generation of African-American academics, musicians, performers, sports figures, and writers. Such diverse men and women as the scholars and public intellectuals Henry Louis Gates, Cornel West, and Stephen L. Carter; basketball superstar Michael Jordan and track-and-field athlete Jackie Joyner-Kersee; film actors Eddie Murphy and Denzel Washington; jazz musicians Joshua Redman, Herbie Hancock, and Wynton and Bradford Marsalis; television celebrity Oprah Winfrey; and an array of novelists and writers including Maya Angelou, Alice Walker, and Toni Morrison enriched American life and gave voice to the black experience.

By the 1990s, the nation’s more than 30 million African Americans, representing about 12 percent of the total population, had transformed themselves from a predominantly rural people into an overwhelmingly urban people; from a southern regional group to a national population living in every part of the nation; and, perhaps most importantly, from a group confined to southern agriculture, domestic service, and general labor to a work force with representation in every sector of the nation’s economy.
Source:  Wikipedia Online Encyclopedia – Retrieved May 26, 2016 from:


VIDEO 1Henry Louis Gates assesses the black community today

Uploaded on Oct 28, 2011 –


VIDEO 2 – Powell Comments On Gates Arrest, Admits Being Profiled “Many Times”

Uploaded on Jul 28, 2009 – Gen. Colin Powell talks about the Henry Louis Gates arrest with Larry King. He said the story “went viral” when President Obama commented on the story. Also, Powell thinks that America “isn’t quite post-racial” at this time. “These problems still exist in post-racial America.” However, he suggested that Gates should not have argued with the policeman arresting him. “You don’t argue with a police officer,” he says.

Powell also called the arresting cop, Sergeant James Crowley, “an outstanding police officer.”

Also, at 5:10, Powell admits he’s been profiled “many times” [even] as the National Security Advisor.

CU Blog - Respect for Minorities - Reconstruction, Then Redemption - Photo 2This conclusion of a 2nd Redemption is not so far-fetched!

Just consider the current campaign of Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump: “Make America Great Again“. It bears to mind the question: “just when was America great before”? Answer: After the first Redemption.

It should be hard to justify migrating to this American climate/eco-system, rather than the quest to prosper where planted in the homeland. The societal defects in the Caribbean – that “pushes” many to flee – must be that acute!

The book Go Lean…Caribbean declares that the “Caribbean is in crisis”; but asserts that this crisis is a terrible thing to waste. The book serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU); an initiative to bring change, empowerment, to the Caribbean region; to make the region a better place to live, work and play. This Go Lean roadmap has these 3 prime directives:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion & create 2.2 million new jobs.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to protect the resultant economic engines.
  • Improve Caribbean governance to support these engines.

The book describes the CU as a technocratic administration with 144 different missions to elevate the Caribbean homeland. This underlying goal is stated early in the book with this pronouncement in the opening Declaration of Interdependence (Page 12):

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…

CU Blog - Respect for Minorities - Reconstruction, Then Redemption - Photo 1Change has come to the Caribbean. The Go Lean book declares that for permanent change to take place, there must first be an adoption of new community ethos of the Greater Good; this term community ethos refers to the national spirit that drives the character and identity of its people. This Greater Good ethos, with genuine concern and respect for minority groups, is what was missing in previous American generations … and current Caribbean population. This point of “Respect for Minorities” is therefore our biggest lesson from this consideration in history – the foregoing encyclopedic reference.

The Go Lean roadmap was constructed with this and other community ethos in mind, plus the execution of strategies, tactics, implementation and advocacies to forge the identified permanent change in the region. The following is a sample of these specific details from the book:

Community Ethos – Deferred Gratification – Historic Motivation of Black America Page 21
Community Ethos – Economic Principles – People Choose Page 21
Community Ethos – Economic Principles – All Choices Involve Costs Page 21
Community Ethos – Economic Principles – People Respond to Incentives in Predictable Ways Page 21
Community Ethos – Economic Principles – Economic Systems Influence Individual Choices Page 21
Community Ethos – Economic Principles – The Consequences of Choices Lie in the Future Page 21
Community Ethos – Security Principles – Anti-Bullying and Mitigation Page 23
Community Ethos – Governing Principles – Minority Equalization Page 24
Community Ethos – Governing Principles – Lean Operations Page 24
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact the Future Page 26
Community Ethos – Ways to Foster Genius Page 27
Community Ethos – Ways to Help Entrepreneurship Page 28
Community Ethos – Ways to Promote Intellectual Property Page 29
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact Research & Development Page 30
Community Ethos – Ways to Manage Reconciliations Page 34
Community Ethos – Ways to Improve Sharing Page 35
Community Ethos – Ways to Promote Happiness Page 36
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact the Greater Good Page 37
Anecdote – LCD versus an Entrepreneurial Ethos Page 39
Strategy – Vision – Confederation of the 30 Caribbean Member-States into a Single Market Page 45
Strategy – Mission – Celebrate the Music, Sports, Art, People and Culture of the Caribbean Page 46
Tactical – Confederating a Permanent Union Page 63
Tactical – Fostering a Technocracy Page 64
Tactical –  Separation of Powers: Federal Administration versus Member-States Governance Page 71
Implementation – Ways to Pay for Change Page 101
Implementation – Foreign Policy Initiatives at Start-up Page 102
Implementation – Ways to Deliver Page 109
Implementation – Reasons to Repatriate to the Caribbean Page 118
Planning – 10 Big Ideas for the Caribbean Region Page 127
Planning – Ways to Make the Caribbean Better Page 131
Planning – Ways to Better Manage Image Page 133
Advocacy – Ways to Grow the Economy Page 151
Advocacy – Ways to Create Jobs Page 152
Advocacy – Ways to Improve Governance in the Caribbean Region Page 168
Advocacy – Ways to Better Manage the Social Contract Page 170
Advocacy – Ways to Mitigate Terrorism – Anti-Bullying Mitigations Page 181
Advocacy – Ways to Improve Communications Page 186
Advocacy – Ways Impact the Diaspora Page 217
Advocacy – Ways to Preserve Caribbean Heritage Page 218
Advocacy – Ways to Improve the Arts Page 230
Advocacy – Ways to Promote Music Page 231

Previous Go Lean blog/commentaries stressed issues relating to respect for minority rights and full societal inclusion. The following sample applies: Caribbean Image: ‘Less Than’? Street naming for Martin Luther King unveils the real America ‘The Covenant with Black America’ – Ten Years Later A Lesson in History – After the Civil War: Birthright Mandates ‘Good Hair’ and the Strong Black Woman Buggery in Jamaica – ‘Say It Ain’t So’! Better than America? Yes, We Can! American Defects: Racism – Is It Over? Racial Legacies: Cause and Effect A Lesson in History – the ‘Grand Old Party’ Sports Role Model – Playing For Pride … And More Philadelphia Freedom – Some Restrictions Apply The Crisis in Black Homeownership Book Review: ‘Prosper Where You Are Planted’ Lack of Respect in European Sports – A Lesson; A Role Model America’s War on the Caribbean Book Review: ‘The Divide in American Injustice’ Hypocritical US slams Caribbean human rights practices

The purpose of the Go Lean movement (book and blogs) is not to fix America; it is to fix the Caribbean. We want to learn important lessons from this advanced democracy who have endured a bitter history but has now emerged as the richest, strongest and most-prosperous nation in world history. The US is now a “frienemy” of the Caribbean. As we lose so many of our Caribbean citizens to life in the Diaspora in the US.

Some reports are that the Diaspora and their heirs amount to over 20 million American residents. America’s population and economy grows while our region is in crisis.

Our people leave our homelands due to “push and pull” reasons; “push” as in societal defects that cause many to seek refuge abroad, and “pull” in the presumption that American life is now optimized for the Black-and-Brown people. But a consideration of this commentary helps us to understand the “DNA” of American society, that while “Respect for Minorities” is improved, it is far from optimized.

The recommendation from this commentary and the Go Lean book in general is:

  • “stay home” in the Caribbean and work toward improving the Caribbean homeland.
  • And for those who have left, please consider repatriating home and bring us your “time, talent and treasuries”; help us reform and transform our society.

The US should not be considered the panacea of Caribbean hopes and dreams”. With the adoption of the appropriate community ethos, strategies, tactics and implementations of the Go Lean roadmap, we can make all Caribbean member-states better places to live, work and play. 🙂

Download the book Go Lean … Caribbean – now!


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