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Making Results Match Rhetoric

James Clingman | , Guest Columnist | 7/12/2012, 2:57 p.m.

The point here is that Black people cannot afford to be drawn into the euphoria of rhetorical nonsense or rhetorical excellence. We must not fall prey to those who only talk a good game but never get into the game. Before you believe, follow, or praise anyone simply because you heard them speak eloquently or share some information, find out what they have done and/or what they are doing. See if they are using their other four senses to initiate, build, or facilitate something of substance rather than just talking about it or telling you what you should do.

Beware of bloviating rhetoricians and sentiment-grabbing, self-absorbed, self-proclaimed know-it-alls. We must have authentic leadership among Black people, not sideline coaches and Monday morning quarterbacks. With all of the rhetoric coming from and to Black folks, we should be much further ahead in this country, that is, if rhetoric alone accomplishes that end. Sadly, it does not and never will. Words without action are just words. Information is only power to those who act upon it. Blackonomics requires action!

Jim Clingman, founder of the Greater Cincinnati African American Chamber of Commerce, is the nation's most prolific writer on economic empowerment for Black people. He is an adjunct professor at the University of Cincinnati and can be reached through his Web site, blackonomics.com.