More than ever, the time
is here to think in-depth and critically. At stake is everything.
Perhaps one of the most
revolutionary activities in which we Black Americans can
presently engage is to be consistent and active critical
thinkers. It is imperative that Black Americans and our
Brown and Red sisters and brothers, in concert with all politically
conscious people of good will, not allow ourselves
to fall prey to lethargy and superficiality.
The systemic superficiality
of the corporate power elite of the US and its allies is no accident. It is intentional.
A people who are both informed and think critically cannot
easily be controlled or manipulated. Thus, it is of paramount
importance to the corporate so-called news media to
ensure that the information it presents to the public remains
both superficial and often, highly inaccurate.
thinkers insist upon not only gaining information but also
seriously examining and analyzing it. Too often, people are uncritical
receivers and accepters of information that, upon closer
examination, is not only superficial and inaccurate but also utterly
lacking in common sense. Critical thinking and analysis is
what I refer to as the politics of unfettered thought. It
is feared by the power elite but is absolutely an essential
part of the struggle for economic, social, and political
equality for people in America and around the world.
Despite the enormous power
and influence of the corporate power elite and their concomitant “news
and information” media, active critical thinkers can, should
and often do pose a major problem for those who utilize superficial
and inaccurate information to manipulate and control the
majority of people. It is increasingly crucial for people
to be discerning and disdainful of accepting superficial
information as being truth or fact.
The 21st century, with all
its many ways of disseminating information, has done precious
little to encourage people to think critically and in-depth.
In fact, the dissemination of information has been largely
conglomerated into the hands of a relatively elite few, and
is more accurately described as the dissemination of misinformation
to the masses of people. The control of television, radio,
newspapers, and magazines remain essentially the domain of
big, multinational corporations who, in reality, fear critical
Change, if it is real, is
not merely superficial. Likewise, critical thinking, if it
is real, is precisely the opposite of superficiality. Thus,
those who claim to represent real “change” but deprecate
structural / systemic change are actually using rhetorical
superficiality in an attempt to mask the same old manipulation
of the people.
In other words, they are attempting to fool the people.
The ability to be critical
thinkers is a gift that we Black, Brown, and Red peoples
must never overlook or negate. Becoming and remaining active
critical thinkers is another important component of keeping
our struggle real, while simultaneously working in conjunction
with that part of humanity, which like ourselves, has grasped
that critical thinking is beyond being important - and is
essential to our very survival.
Editorial Board member,
Larry Pinkney, is a veteran of the Black Panther Party,
the former Minister of Interior of the Republic of New
Africa, a former political prisoner and the only American
to have successfully self-authored his civil/political
rights case to the United Nations under the International
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. For more about
Larry Pinkney see the book, Saying No to Power: Autobiography of a 20th Century
Activist and Thinker, by William Mandel [Introduction by Howard Zinn].
(Click here to read excerpts from the book) Click here to contact Mr. Pinkney.