Speaker calls for greater self-sufficiency in black community

Black leaders need a new theme song for the future, entertainer-turned-lecturer Reginald Jones told 35 people Tuesday in the Technological Institute.

“Every election year, we’re singing ‘We Shall Overcome’,” Jones said at an event sponsored by the College Republicans. “Don’t you think it’s time for a new song?”

Jones, an advocate of black self-sufficiency, said left-wing black leaders need to abandon the methods of the 1960s and focus on empowering black people to be more competitive in business.

“They haven’t learned anything since the ’60s,” Jones said. “It’s always got to be someone else doing it for us.”

Jones, who began his career as a musician and singer, later founded the Reggitainment Group, which manages, promotes and publishes music. Since 1994, Jones also has worked as a public speaker, representing the black leadership group Project 21.

He said black leaders should encourage youth to become economically educated. Jones criticized leaders such as the Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton for having low expectations of black youth.

“When you teach young people to become hopeless, you have completely defeated an entire class of people before they can start,” he said.

Jones accused the liberal leadership of catering to black audiences by discussing racial issues, instead of other topics, such as foreign and economic policy, which the black constituency should learn about.

“You’ll never hear the term ‘tax cut’ in front of a black audience because as far as they’re concerned we don’t pay taxes,” he said. “If you respect the intellect of the audience, you let them make up their mind and you tell them the truth.”

Weinberg sophomore Katie Althen, College Republicans president, said she was impressed by Jones’ devotion to the black community.

“After hearing him speak, what really comes across is the pride that he evokes for his people,” Althen said. “It’s a very uplifting presentation even as you’re discussing negative aspects of political issues.”