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I am sure many of you have heard this commonly used Morse Code distress signal used to notify someone that their ship is in trouble and that they are in need of help on the waterways. The S-O-S distress signal was first adopted by the German government in radio regulations in 1905, and officially became the worldwide standard in 1908.

The S-O-S distress signal consists of a continuous sequence of three-dits, three-dahs and three-dits again, all running together without any letter spacing. "S-O-S" became an easy way to remember the order of the dits and dahs. Although S-O-S doesn’t stand for anything in particular, in popular usage,

S-O-S has become associated with the phrase "Save-Our-Ship."  

If ever there was a need for someone to send out a distress signal, that distress signal should be aggressively coming from my people; Black people.

In the 21st century, Black people appear to be facing issues that put our ship (community) in a vulnerable position that seems to indicate that we are currently stranded as a collective group of people.


Blacks are losing our one-time, lucrative and high profile positions in many industries;

The wealth gap between Black and White Americans has tripled;

Black communities are being ravished, abandoned and even taken over by folks who don’t look like us;

If you look at what is going on in Washington and hear about this sequestration, you see that many of our most vulnerable Black Americans are having important social services cut;

The unions that many Black Americans have relied on to ensure fair and just treatment as workers are being dismantled or threatened;

The voting rights of Black people are being challenged and threatened daily;

Roughly 93% of the Black homicides that are committed in this country are being carried out by another Black person;

Traditional Black schools are being closed at an alarming rate in traditional Black neighborhoods

Black community residents remain silent or run away from the issues that impact them regularly;

Black politicians are either under attack or are selling us out;

Many of our Black athletes and entertainers aren’t investing back into their community;

Black political power, community strength and political representation has weakened as a result of a continuous mass exodus of Black people, away from Black communities and towards communities who are primarily inhabited by other cultural groups;

Black unemployment rate is as high as it has ever been; and

Blacks are at or near the top of every negative category and at or near the bottom of every good category.

But are you ready for the truly sad part?   This has all happened, and has all gotten worse, under the first Black President, Barack Obama.

Black folks listen up!!!!!

There is a lot of finger pointing and blaming that we could all do, but the primary blame can never begin or go farther than that of our own people first.

It’s time to stop blaming the government; blaming your momma; blaming your daddy; blaming your neighbor; blaming the Democrats; blaming the Republicans; blaming every elected officials; blaming every person in a position of authority; blaming President Barack Obama; and most importantly, blaming the White man.

Yes, I said it. We need to stop blaming the White man for many of the things that we bring on ourselves.

How long will we continue to make excuses for our own apathy, poor choices and foolish behavior? How long will we continue to play the blame game my people? How long?

I must admit to you just how discouraging it is to inform people that they are headed in the wrong direction and that they are about to make a grave and serious mistake and then see those same folks ignore your warnings. Then when calamity strikes, you hate to see the outcome and results, particularly since you saw it coming.

I can only imagine what was going through the mind of Noah, who God told to build an ark to survive the flood that was coming. Noah, knowing that the flood was coming, tried to warn everyone what was forthcoming. Subsequently, Noah had the unfortunate experience of seeing those who refused to listen to him perish.

You know what? Forget Noah for a minute. I really wonder what was going through the minds of the people who refused to listen; soon realizing that they were up the creek without a paddle (pun intended).

I am reminded of the quote by Benjamin Franklin, who said, “A small leak will sink a great ship.”   There are many small leaks (issues) that are seeking to sink us as a people. We must not allow those leaks (issues) to bring us down. Rather, we must collectively do what we must, in order to deal with those leaks (issues) and ensure that we can sail smoothly into the sunset from generation to generation.

Black people…….we must put forth our best effort to Save-Our-Ship. If we don’t, these leaks (issues) will not have mercy on us and will actually Sink-Our-Ship!

Jeffrey L. Boney is Associate Editor for the Houston Forward Times newspaper, a Next Generation Project Fellow and a dynamic, international speaker.  Jeffrey is the Founder and CEO of the Texas Business Alliance and is an experienced entrepreneur and business development strategist. If you would like to request Jeffrey as a speaker, you can reach him at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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