Success isn’t something that can be handed to you, and it can’t be redistributed — it’s something you have to earn, and fight for.
Burgess Owens is a black athlete who knows something about success. He’s a former NFL safety who played 10 seasons with the New York Jets and the Oakland Raiders. During his rookie season with the Jets, he returned a kickoff 82 yards for a touchdown against the Denver Broncos. While playing for the Raiders, he helped bring his team to a Super Bowl XV victory in1980. As a success story, he knows firsthand that it doesn’t come easy.
On Aug. 24, Owens was interviewed by Steve Malzberg on Spreecast to promote his new book, “It’s All About Team: Exposing the Black Talented Tenth.” The interview began with a statement that an overwhelming percentage of African-Americans planned to vote for the current president in November’s election.
“Ninety-five percent of black Americans have voted for the same political party for the last 40 or 50 years, which is an issue in my mind because it shows we’re not as diverse as we think we are,” Owens said. “ There should never be a time when 95 percent of black capitalists vote for the same person as 95 percent of communists. There’s something wrong with that scenario. Our alliance should be to principle, not ‘blackness.’”
To illustrate, he stated that most blacks are strongly pro-life and pro-capitalism, yet vote time after time against those principles.
Owens said President Obama was good for the black community because he has shown what “full-fledged liberalism looks like — it’s not hypothetical anymore.” As a result, many middle-class blacks “are working so hard and falling so far behind.”
He felt that another good thing to come from Obama’s presidency was that it illustrated that we were now a color-blind society. He felt that after the failed Obama experiment, black Americans would once again begin “looking to principles and issues” while voting. Owens described the president as “big government, anti-freedom.”
Turning to his book, Owens described the year 1900 as a time when the black community was “the greatest example of free enterprise and the American dream.” He said America at that time saw a rise in black colleges and universities, all competing intellectually in debates “with elite schools like Harvard and Yale and winning,” and “Booker T. Washington was advising the president of the United States.”
Then came the NAACP, established by “18 wealthy white socialists” who caused the black community to focus on wealth redistribution instead of accumulating their own wealth. As 90 percent of the black community fell into decline, the “black talented tenth” comprised of an elite class of black politicians and bureaucrats, rose with the support of a team of media leaders.
Turning to the media’s support role, Owens gave the example of a white liberal talk show host who joked with a caller about raping former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Although it should have been news, “team members,” including the NAACP and black leaders like the Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, remained quiet because Rice is conservative.
Before discussing football, Owens spoke of income and employment disparity between black and white America. He warned “the pathway that black America took is exactly the pathway that America [as a whole] will take if we don’t become more engaged and aware. What we see in America of the black family today is what we will see throughout America tomorrow if we don’t wake up and understand.”
The entire interview is a bit over 22 minutes, of which 19 minutes was devoted to politics and Owens’ book, and the last three to football. No matter what political drum you march to, he makes some interesting and occasionally compelling observations that are worth listening to. If you’re just in a “football kinda mood,” skip to minute 19 before starting. Click here to view the entire interview.
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