Issue 21

The Enemies Of
Project 2019

The mission of Project 2019 is to elevate the socioeconomic level of black America to the same level as the rest of America. This can not happen until black Americans reach educational parity with the rest of America. And the most effective and most efficient way to accomplish this goal is as a result of the “Project 2019 Movement.”

Because the Project 2019 Movement is an instance of black Americans working for the betterment of black America, one might conclude that the only enemies of Project 2019 would be avowed racists intent on keeping black Americans “in their place.” Unfortunately, this is not the case.

History teaches that it is impossible to affect social change without reactions from those who are not in one hundred percent agreement with the change. These reactions can range from reasonable concern to intractable opposition. The usual reason for opposition to change is a real or perceived negative result for the person opposing the change. Other reasons for concern or dissension include the rationale for the change, the timing of the change, the nature of the change, the scope of the change, and one’s role, or lack of a role, in the change.

It is important that the proponents of Project 2019 anticipate all conceivable opposition. And it especially important for the proponents of Project 2019 to understand that most of the opposition to Project 2019 will come from enemies within black America. Proponents of Project 2019 must also remember that it is always a costly and often a fatal mistake to not know one’s enemies or to not be prepared to deal with them.

The Skeptics And The Doubters
Some of the first enemies of Project 2019 to surface will be the “skeptics” and the “doubters.” They will question the value of Project 2019. They may argue that racism is still the biggest problem in America today and produce statistics to show that black high school graduates earn less money than white high school graduates earn – and that black college graduates earn less money than white college graduates earn.

The “skeptics” and “doubters” will not accept that the ultimate solution is for more black Americans to own more companies and for more black Americans to occupy upper management positions in corporate America. They will not believe that this is the best way, and perhaps the only way, to ensure that black Americans receive fair and equitable treatment in the work force.

Those Without Faith
The “faithless” will also be enemies of Project 2019. They will be represented by black Americans who are downtrodden or those who have seen or experienced the worse effects of racism. They may remind black America how the 14th and 15th Amendments to the Constitution failed to solve black America’s problems. They may point out how the Civil Rights Movement and Affirmative Action did not end black America’s three and a half centuries of pain and suffering.

Those without faith will insist that, in the end, Project 2019 will not change the fate of black America. They will not be able to see the progress that black America has made. Nor will they understand that much of this progress can be attributed to their ancestors having never lost their faith.

The Impatient And The Demanding
Enemies of Project 2019 will include the “impatient” and the “demanding.” They will discover that the value of Project 2019 will be realized over a period of years and will be of no immediate benefit to them. They will insist that there must be a better way. They will complain that ten or twenty years is too long to wait for something that will ultimately not benefit them.

The “impatient” and the “demanding” will not understand that there is no immediate solution for a problem that has festered for hundreds of years. They will not care that it will take the selflessness of one generation of black Americans to create a better America for all future generations of black Americans.

The Selfish And The Miserly
A cruel combination of enemies of Project 2019 will be the “selfish” and the “miserly.” They will be represented by black Americans who have “made it” and who see the struggle only through their own experiences. They may declare that if they could do it, then those “lazy blacks still in the ghetto” can do it. They will see the struggle as an individual endeavor and conclude that it was hard enough to get “theirs,” hard enough to keep what they have, and it is not their responsibility to save the rest of black America.

The “selfish” and the “miserly” do not know or do not care that thousands died in order for them to have an opportunity to get “theirs.” They also do not know or do not understand that they are “still” black Americans and black Americans are the least powerful people in America. The “selfish” and the “miserly” must understand that they are in the position that free blacks were in during Slavery. Until all black Americans are “free and equal,” then freedom and equality is not guaranteed to any black American.

The Prideful
Some of the most tragic enemies of Project 2019 will be the “prideful.” They will not be able to accept the merits of Project 2019 because Project 2019 does not perfectly match their vision for solving black America’s social and economic problems. They will see Project 2019 as being in competition with their philosophies and they will not believe or will not care that any differences can be resolved. This is unfortunate because they are the black Americans who have given the most thought to and worked the hardest to solve black America’s problems. They are sorely needed by Project 2019 because they are the ones most qualified to lead the movement.

Racists And Extremists
A predictable enemy of Project 2019 will be “white racists.” They will make every effort to discredit and derail Project 2019. The tactics of white racists are well known, their motives are clearly understood, and their power to negatively impact Project 2019 will be limited.

A not so predictable but much more unsettling enemy of Project 2019 will be “black racists.” For various reasons, some of which will be heartfelt and sincere, they will see Project 2019 as a betrayal to black America. They may argue that attempting to “beat the white man at his own game” is a waste of effort. They may insist that the black man has a higher calling or a more spiritual purpose. Black racists will not see themselves as racists and will not understand that they are just as misguided as white racists.

The Apathetic
Second only to ignorance, the most formidable enemy of Project 2019 will be apathy. The “apathetic” will be formidable because their numbers will make them the largest group of enemies. They will also be formidable because they will be the most difficult to recognize.

When confronted, the “apathetic” may pay lip service to the merits of reaching socioeconomic equality through formal education and they may indicate that they support Project 2019. However, they will do little or nothing to further the cause. And when called upon to do their part, the apathetic will always have something more important to do. The “apathetic” will not understand that if they are not a part of the solution, then they are a part of the problem.

The Uninformed And The Unenlightened
Without any doubt, the most insidious, pervasive, and formidable enemy of Project 2019 will be “ignorance.” There is the initial level of ignorance that must be overcome in order to get the message of Project 2019 to black America. There will then be the level of ignorance that must be overcome to convince black America of the merits and the possibilities of Project 2019. And when these tasks are successfully accomplished, there is, of course, the main challenge of Project 2019 – eliminating the ignorance that is the results of black America’s educational deficiency and replacing it with knowledge and enlightenment.

Defeating The Enemies Of Project 2019
There is good news for the proponents of Project 2019. The enemies of Project 2019 are all, on some level, defined by ignorance – and ignorance is inherently a weakness. Additionally, the proponents of Project 2019 are operating from a position of strength. They have knowledge and enlightenment on their side – and knowledge is power. And, historically, knowledge and enlightenment have always conquered ignorance and fear.

Ultimately, knowledge and enlightenment will prevail over the enemies of Project 2019.