From The Heart by Ron V. Jackson

The Lingering Effects of the S-Word

The Lingering Effects of the S-Word
Ron V. Jackson
Here we are decades post slavery. Blacks have become surgeons, scientists, and star athletes. They are top boardroom executives, and local, state & federal government officials. They are movie stars, talk show hosts, and business owners. They have parlayed their skills to become educators, music moguls, models, and philanthropists. When given the opportunity they have dominated their industry to hold such titles as King of Soul, King of the Blues, King of Pop, Queen of Soul, Queen of Talk, and the Mother of Civil Rights. For an ethnic group that was striped of its rich heritage, deep cultural roots, and century old traditions, Blacks have done quite well.

However, there remain three major hurdles still standing. First, Blacks must understand that the whole is greater than its parts. There must be some dialogue designed to network their multi-billion dollar resources. The old adage is that Blacks do not lack resources. They simply lack togetherness. Certainly, there are standouts that have made profound contributions to our society. To all of them we tip our hats with pride and honor. As with any person or business entity, if you dismember the body it can never walk upright or reach out and embrace the greater causes of its people. If you cut off its head, the body will soon die. Until Blacks find a way to network their wealth, power, influence and resources, they will run the risk of always being behind. The reason that the Jewish community can say never again to the holocaust is because there is a concerted effort to diffuse any element that would attempt those kinds of atrocities. Likewise, Blacks must develop a system that will positively impact their people for generations to come. Until that happens, Blacks remain susceptible to the S-Word.

Secondly, Blacks must realize that their validation as a people or individual is not determined by whether they are accepted by any other ethnic group on the planet. Neither is it determined by material acquisition. God is the ultimate valuator. Every person born was validated on the day of his/her birth. If someone does not accept you that is their loss. Chances are you can do without them anyhow, right? Prejudice is exacerbated when Blacks feel that they must conform to or seek the approval of someone else before they are considered good enough. Nobody deserves that kind of control. This is simply another form of the S-Word. Do not waste your time seeking the approval of anyone but your Creator. God is your litmus test who challenges you to love, unconditionally.

Thirdly, Blacks must learn not to hide or be ashamed of who they are. They must move decisively with boldness and confidence. You are who you believe you are. You can do what you believe you can do. You can be what you believe you can be. If you believe you can, you’re right. If you believe you cannot, you’re right. Do Blacks need a twenty-first century song that tells them they are Black and proud, AGAIN? What Blacks need is a reality check. Blacks must now move away from the excuses that have plagued them for decades. The French, Chinese, Hispanics, Indians, Japanese, Koreans, Sudanese, Kenyans, Afghans, Pakistanis, and other ethnic groups too numerous to mention are here to stay. They are competing for social, political, religious and economic clout. They make no excuses, and do not believe that society owes them anything except an opportunity.

They are not suffering from the long-term effects of the S-Word that has rendered many Blacks hopeless and helpless, and in a perpetual state of denial. Some Blacks are still hiding behind the cloak of low self-esteem and fear of rejection. They start businesses but are afraid to put their faces behind it. I have a friend who is planning to put up several fast food franchises in the small southern town where we grew up. However, he is afraid the White establishment will find out who he is and block his efforts. Let me be very clear. If God be for you, who dare can be against you? You and God are a majority in any situation. Here is an opportunity to exercise your faith in God. As long as what you do is supported by a strong business plan, a quality product, impeccable service, and unquestionable character & integrity, let the chips fall where they may. You have the formula for success.

Look around. How many nationally, Black-owned restaurants do you see? You know Blacks eat out every Sunday. How about Black-owned hotel chains, department stores, cruise ships, sports teams, automobile manufacturers, malls, or high-rise office buildings in the sky line of major cities? Is it because Blacks lack the collective resources? Nope. Are Blacks afraid that they may ruffle the establishment’s feathers by aspiring to the next level? Maybe. The truth of the matter is that Oprah Winfrey is not the only Black billionaire in America. The resources are here. The challenge remains whether or not Blacks have the resolve to put aside cultural infighting. As I penned this final paragraph, I had an epiphany. Until and unless Blacks decide that there is a need for Black power, there will never be any.

Brothers and sisters, fame and fortune is good in its proper perspective. Certainly, Blacks need and deserve economic and political clout. Blacks must continue to fight for the poor and those without a voice. However, Blacks must aspire to be all that God has called them to be. That is where true success lies. Blacks must learn to love one another, and to esteem their fellowman above themselves. At the end of the day ask yourself these questions. If I died today living in the biggest house in my community, driving the biggest car that money can buy, with millions in my bank account, where would I go? Would God be impressed with what I have done for people? Would he be satisfied with what I have attained? Is he going to care that I have years of work experience and several degrees behind my name? Is he going to take into consideration that I had the number one show, the most touchdowns, the most Oscars or the most points in a game? Will I turn his head because I was touted the number one entertainer or athlete in the world? Will God even notice that my charity or foundation literally fed millions of people around the world? Will I be honored for living a “good, clean life?”

Truly, God has no problem with acquisitions or accolades. After all, you were made in his image and after his likeness. He expects you to excel in what you pursue. The primary questions that will be asked of you are did you receive my son, Jesus? You did know that he died for you, didn’t you? Did you accept him as Lord and Savior? Were you ashamed of him? Did you live for him? Did you tell others about him? If you answered “No” to these questions, I can tell you this much. Only what you do for Christ will matter. The good news is here is your chance to get it right. Say this prayer out loud and from your heart. “Lord Jesus, I am a sinner in desperate need of a savior. I believe that you are the Son of God. I believe that you died for all my sins, and I believe that God raised you from the dead according to Romans 10:8. So I call on your name now. Come into my heart. I receive you now, and I declare you as my Lord and Savior. Thank you for saving me in Jesus’ name. Amen.” Now tell somebody that you received Jesus as Lord. Get your hands on a Bible, and get into a church that preaches and teaches the uncompromising word of the living God. Write me and let me share in your joy. I want to hear from you.


This commentary was written by Ron V. Jackson; a Christian activist in Richmond, Virginia. You may respond pro or con to him at
Ron V. Jackson


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