Our First 40 Days

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Sometimes new politics means more than just new voters, new leaders and new policies. There are times when it serves as the spark for something more. Now is that time for African Americans.


There is a call out there for a ”Festive 40-Day Fast for the Future.” The idea is to establish and achieve a series of short-term goals for the 40-day period from the inauguration to the end of Black History Month. If we can do these things, using the swell of black pride generated by the Obamas in the White House, we can begin to correct some of the negative patterns in our communities.

The goals are simple. Here they are:

No black-initiated crime during the 40 days, a truce, if you will.

No black truancy from school during the 40 days.

No black-on-black violence during the 40 days.

No bitches, no niggaz and no hoes for 40 days.

The first three goals may seem repetitive, but they’re not.

The first involves nonviolent crimes such as theft, breaking and entering, and other property crimes that do not involve physical harm. The second is self-explanatory. A moratorium on drug distribution may be the perfect complement to the no-truancy goal.

The third involves the subculture of death and destruction (of self and of others) so prevalent in some black communities today. Our children deserve a break from the violence and death that stifle their prospects and shorten their lives. Our elders deserve a celebration of their accomplishments that does not include coffins, TEC-9s and urban warfare.

How do we get there?

We have to speak life into existence. Life comes from knowledge of self and knowledge of the world, which is why we must push for a zero-tolerance for black crime, truancy and misdeeds over the next 40 days.

We have to speak community into existence. Community comes from common respect, which is why we must end the use of slurs that diminish our value and our self-respect. These are not terms of endearment.

These 40 days could be an opportunity to purge ourselves of bad habits, negative thinking and harmful behavior.


The fact that there’s a President Obama means that America will never be the same again. It is a new season, and we must take advantage of its promise. There is no better way to celebrate this moment than by permanently changing our communities for the better.

Lenny McAllister is a political contributor for several outlets including Fox News Rising in Charlotte, N.C.