There is an age old tale told by an old, tough Texas rancher talking politics with a young man from the city. In that story, the old man compares a politician to a “post turtle”. The young man doesn’t understand and asks him what a post turtle is. The old rancher replies, “When you are driving down a country road and you see a fence post with a turtle balanced on top, that’s a post turtle. You know he didn’t get up there by himself. He doesn’t belong there, he can’t get anything done while he is up there; you just want to help the poor, dumb thing down.”
First, We MUST Understand that what ever job you are doing or what position you are serving in, you did not get there by yourself.
“Black Turtles” (affluent, bourgeois Negroes) Must Understand that what you enjoy today was purchased with the blood of many Black freedom fighters who laid it all on the line for you. You have absolutely nothing to glory in.
Rev. Al Sharpton recently stated that the majority of Black people from the Civil Rights Era, never marched, never protested, never boycotted and didn’t so much as give a dime to the movement.
All the heavy lifting was done by selfless activists like Martin Luther King Jr., Fannie Lou Hamer, Ella Baker, Dorothy Irene Height, Medgar Evers and John Lewis - types who laid it all on the line – some even costing them their own lives and livelihoods.
The “Turtles on the Fencepost” today want to enjoy all the benefits of Civil Rights sacrifices, but do not want to lift a finger to do or risk anything to do what our ancestors did. They are too selfish, stuck on themselves and sold out their own Black people for 30-pieces of silver.
These hapless “Black Turtles” sit on the post thinking that 50 years after the Civil Rights Act of 1964, racism and attacks on the Black community are gone. They believe that a person can achieve the impossible and that the sky is the limit.
However, what they don’t understand is we all can see the same sky, but only a few are standing on the mountain, while the majority are looking up from a deep canyon.
The “Black Turtles” sitting on the fence post love their fraternity and sorority galas, mansions, cars and talking about their stock portfolios and credit lines- thinking that it all just happened.
They dispel the importance of the Civil Rights Movement as “poppycock” and never look back or engage in the Black community. They are numb to what is happening today with voting rights, the treatment and education of Black children and see it as someone else’s problem.
“Black Turtles” are in serious denial. They live and believe that if things are not happening to me, they either did not occur or it is not important enough to make the “agenda” or it is all just a figment of the Black imagination.
These “Black Turtles” on the fence post sit there watching as the Black community burns, not realizing that the fire will someday make it to their fence post (mansions and neighborhoods) where they live.
We Must Understand that we got an education and opportunity because people were doing things. Poor, low wage fathers, mothers and college students were spat upon, beaten, went to jail and shed their own blood to open doors for us to go where they could not enter. You did not do it by yourself!!!
Inequality, racism and the attack on voting rights for Blacks are still viable issues and there you sit on that very post as the world goes by without a clue.
Second on the list are politicians who get elected, then run far away from the true meaning of being the ideal public servant to the Black community needs.
Many Black elected officials holding office as state representatives, city councilmen school board members or who are appointed to boards and civic leader positions are turtles on a fence post. They sit on that same post doing absolutely nothing and think about how their status and position is an entitlement or a lifetime gift from the people.
They are doing nothing for their constituents. As years pass by, they get re-elected, even though crime gets worse, the job and economic situation deteriorates and the problems with education issues with Black kids get bigger.
These “turtles are unfit” for duty because they lack ability, they have no power, and are completely unqualified. Many are out of place and cannot deliver for constituents.
Some “Black Turtles” sit on the post and have the nerve to plot and dream about ways to get to the next political level.
Black complacency must end. We MUST Understand that we have not yet arrived.
Your community needs you off the sideline and in the fight right now.