Abdul Rahman Haron, 40, an illegal African migrant from the Sudan, “risked his life last week by climbing four fences, evading international search teams and as many as 400 security cameras and walking 30 miles in the darkness of the Channel Tunnel in an effort to reach Britain from Calais, France as he dodged 100-mile-per hour trains traveling to London,” The New York Times reported.  

He nearly made it to the other side, Folkestone, England, before he was caught and arrested.

This incident reminds me of the first 20 African slaves to reach Jamestown, Virginia in the American colony of Virginia in 1619. Europe shipped its brutal White supremacy doctrine along with these beleaguered African souls. And their subsequent descendants, like me, would inherit the dehumanizing system of American racial segregation/apartheid and suffer at the devious hand of American-styled legalized slavery and religiously sanctioned racial brutality. The education system was responsible for the fundamental mis-education of African descendants.

The difference between Abdul and me is that as an African American today, I and my descendants live in a land of opportunity that is made possible by a system of laws that protect individual and human rights. It is not perfect and all of the promises have not been kept, but it is the best system of governance in the world. Unfortunately, not enough Blacks have kept pace with the new opportunities that are available, especially in economic growth. Progress always suffers when false hope is placed on the arbitrary racial classifications of humans.

For example, based on the false premises/theories of racial differences and the residual effects of the slave era, a desperate American population, Black and White, scurrying to free itself of this racist pathology in 2008, naively hoped that by simply electing a human being whose complexion was dark, as its president, that somehow through magic and other supernatural acts that the residual impacts structural and mostly economic problems of an under-educated, economically mis-educated and historically unaware Black community that has lost the knowledge (history) of its own past and opposition to Black self-empowerment (an idea that most Whites also reject in favor of generations of failed, crippling welfare programs that have continued to produce Black dependence, inner rage and an absence of grit would come to an end). Now we know the savior was just a part of the illusion and reality is the true casualty.

Thus, President Barack Obama’s legacy of altruism and his avoidance of Black self-empowerment fits the overall American attitude (which is why he was elected twice) that Blacks cannot compete with Whites unless the playing field gives Blacks an unearned advantage. The Black and White prophets of Black self-empowerment such as Marcus Garvey, Frederick Douglass, William Wilberforce, Thaddeus Stevens, Booker T. Washington, Madame CJ Walker, Harriet Tubman and Elijah Muhammad were right all along.

As a result of this history lesson, today there is not one viable Black self-empowerment movement left and grit is equally rare among younger Blacks. Many of the historic men and women of great foresight and goodwill were economically, politically and socially destroyed because they refused to believe that Whites would do for Blacks what Blacks refuse to do for themselves and insisted that the cure for racism was not violence but the economic and political strength that comes from pride and character – GRIT.

So what is “grit”? Grit is a character trait, and your character is your destiny, specifically those character traits of your personality that are known as self-discipline, determination and resilience, as grit is loosely defined. IQ always helps you move the ball down the field and money works up to a point, but grit is the gift that keeps on giving. That’s why it’s what truly counts when it comes to making money and having a high IQ.

Instead of a harboring fear of Black people, Whites should sublimate this fear factor into a healthy behavior that does not require racial discrimination and separation to give them a feeling of personal security.

The solution is to teach all children the character traits of objective reasoning, self-discipline, determination and resilience and a focus on making good choices: grit. That will enable them to develop self-respect and pride. Money and success inevitably follow grit. The false construction of race and the social empowerment of racialism are self-destructive  myths.

For more information on the subject of self-empowerment and how to develop your own jobs and businesses in your own community, visit www.TonyBrownsJournal.com and download the FREE Tony Brown’s Journal Video & Film Catalog that has show descriptions of the nearly 1,000 programs produced during the 40-year history of the Tony Brown’s Journal television series.  As a university dean emeritus of a journalism school, I consider this historic collection to be the equivalent of an academic Ph. D. degree in Black History and Black Affairs. In fact, it has been described by one archivist as “the most complete and thoughtful record of African-American opinion.”