The Dillard Doctrine

Urban Conservative Commentary on Politics & Life

Invoking Our Right of Revolution: An Independence Day Message to the Black Community

One of my favorite parts of the Declaration of Independence is this:

That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

This passage establishes the right of revolution-the inalienable right of a populace to remove (preferably through peaceful means) a government that has lost the consent of its people to govern.

What does this have to do with the black community?

A few weeks ago, there was a survey that popped up on FB asking “has President Obama failed the African American community?” I answered no, because while things under his watch haven’t necessarily gotten better for us, a majority of that isn’t his fault.

It’s ours.

After the end of the Civil War and slavery, African Americans nationwide worked hard to establish themselves in civil society, seeking employment, education, and attempting to fulfill their responsibilities as new American citizens. Facing discrimination at most every turn, it became necessary for government to secure those rights of these new citizens.

But at some point-which many put at the establishment of the New Deal’s social welfare programs-we begin to allow government to take on a greater role in providing for our care. Yes, there are many who need assistance from the government from time to time…but there became less and less an imperative to seek gainful employment if you could count on a check on a check from the government every month, or if you paid next to nothing in housing costs, or if the government provided you (and your kids) with healthcare.

Worse, there became no need for black men to fulfill their responsibilities as men. DC became Dad, and the worst of us-those who just father kids with no knowledge (in some cases) or care (in too many more) of the responsibilities that fatherhood entails-became “sperm donors.”

Compounding these problems is a desire for some in the political arena to maintain this status quo; to keep us dependent on the government and not on ourselves. Too many of our sisters and brothers have been reduced-or have reduced themselves-to mere vassals of the state, and too many in our government want us to remain that way.

Sounds bad, right? There’s more.

Back in 2009, The Network Journal provided this statistic:

The collective buying power of Blacks in the United States is expected to hit $1 trillion by 2011, but most of that power will be exercised outside the African-American community….

One trillion dollars…spent on businesses outside our community.

Sure, we’re good at going to the barber/beauty shop on the block, but when was the last time we visited a black-owned grocery store? Or took our financial matters to the black CPA we speak to in church every Sunday? Or reinforced the belief to our children that they can be doctors by having them treated by a black one?

Imagine what we as a community could do for ourselves if we did business within ourselves. Imagine how much of our happiness and safety we could provide for ourselves if we kept our money within our community. Hispanic and Asian communities are renowned for their ability to keep their dollars within their communities. Why can’t we do the same?

It’s time for the black community to invoke its right of revolution. We have to get away from this misguided belief that a system of governance-any system of governance-can better address our needs than we can. We have to stop looking for government to provide-which we are more than capable of doing on our own-and instead look for it to protect…because that role of protector is the only one that government should fulfill, and only when it is impossible to do that ourselves. And once we get away from this flawed notion of “government as provider,” we have to begin to take care of ourselves, because we are the best guardians of our future security. One way that we can do that is by frequenting and supporting those businesses in our communities.

235 years ago, a nation was born out of the necessities of individualism and self-reliance, qualities that run through our communities just as strongly today as they did at our nation’s founding. It’s going to take those same qualities to rebuild a community that, for too long, has looked to someone else to do what it should-and can-do for itself.

This Independence Day, let’s commit to a return to those qualities.


Written by Coby Dillard

July 2, 2011 at 1:38 pm

Posted in Editorials

2 Responses

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  1. ~
    235 years ago, a nation was born out of the necessities of individualism and self-reliance,

    If they were so self-reliant, why in the fornicate did they need enslaved Africans?



    July 5, 2011 at 12:02 am

  2. Did they need them? I don’t know; I suppose there’s an argument that the nation could’ve been built without them.

    All I know is that slaves were taken because they were seen as weaker and/or inferior.

    Coby Dillard

    July 5, 2011 at 6:59 am

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