By Terry Allen
President Obama spoke to an audience on the current administration and said, “If we turn against each other based on divisions of race or religion, if we fall for a bunch of ‘okey-doke,’ just because it sounds funny or the tweets are provocative, then we’re not going to build on the progress we started.” All the dictionaries define okey-doke as rigid or firm stances that foundationally have no importance or hides the truth; a moment of extreme unpleasantness. i.e. being swindled, hoodwinked, backstabbed. Writer Colin Jenkins says the “The ‘founding fathers’ deliberately arranged a system of governance that would protect the wealthy minority from the majority. Yet it started with ALL Men are created equal, yet Black people did not have a say in the beginning of our country. Is that an okey-doke? Beloved, I am asking for a friend.
The revolution has been televised! On every screen and on the cover of every magazine or newspaper on your social post and in every tweet certain individuals are labeling us as a cancel culture. It is written that cancel culture is “the popular practice of withdrawing support for (canceling) public figures or companies after doing something offensive or deemed so.” We are not cancel culture! We are the extensions of so many warriors of justice such as John Lewis (R.I.P.) who supported change and justice long before we had cell phones and massive economic power. John Lewis spoke that we were all one people who needed to get in “good trouble”. We are Americans who said that silence is not an option for the current climate that has unmasked the condition of injustices that have been simmering for hundreds of years. Just like Rev C.T. Vivian and Congressman John Lewis, we have to get in “Good Trouble.” Let’s do our part to create permanent change send the OKIE DOKE perpetrators back to the 1960s Here is my list:
• GET YOUR HOUSE IN ORDER. Your inner house has to be lifted up with prayer, self-care, and a personal journey. This prevents the OKIE DOKE from separating you and breaking your spirit. Amen. YOU Matter! Instill some cultural self-love.
• BE SELF-AWARE. BE CULTURALLY INFORMED. In order to change the systemic racism in our climate make sure you create a team strategy of an agreement by understanding the experience and the songs of our ancestors and our forebears,” Ain’t gonna let nobody turn me around….I’m gonna keep on walking….”
• STAY IN THE MOMENT AND MAKE THE MOMENT PERMANENT. We must not forget that we don’t want symbolic change but system-wide changes to all levels focusing first on Social Justice and Economic wealth-building freedom. Have some short- and long-term milestones. Do not settle for the okey-doke. Become champions and owners of the narrative.
• BUILD POWER! MAKE ECONOMIC DECISIONS Make sure you demand racial equity and economic redress AKA reparative concessions to gain permanent and proactive changes to our wealth building.
And as we all process our emotions, let us focus our strategies to honor the men in our lives like Congressman John Lewis and Civil Rights leader Rev C.T. Vivian, who disproportionately bear the burden of hatred and the harsh realities of this society each and every day. This is a perfect time to make a permanent change. Can we do this? Please email me at the paper and let me know if you will dismiss the okey-doke and champion change. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Terry Allen is a multimedia journalist and board member of the National Association of Black Journalists.