A Capsule of Black Electoral Politics in America

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A Capsule of Black Electoral Politics in America

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A Capsule of Black Electoral Politics in America

  1. 1. “A CAPSULE OF BLACK ELECTORAL POLITICS IN AMERICA” From the Gary Declaration, National Black Political Convention, 1972 To “Rejecting the Language of White Supremacy” This RBG Learning Series includes an eloquent and cogent historical chronology of the topic from the re-construction era forward by Chairman Omali Yeshitela – entitled “Obama, the Elections and the Struggle for Justice, Peace, a Better Life and Black Power” See: Black is Back Coalition Conference, Newark, New Jersey (2012)http://www.blackcommentator.com/143/143_cover_white_supremacy.html NBPC, Bobby Seale, left, and Jesse Jackson talk, Saturday night, March 12, 1972, at the National Black Political Convention in Gary, Indiana.Muhammad Ali points to newspaper headline to prove that hes not the only one Washington, D.C.- Howard University, remained shut down as rebellious protesting the Vietnam War, March 1966. students continued to try to force radical changes in the federally supported schools administration, March 22, 1968. “A CAPSULE OF BLACK ELECTORAL POLITICS IN AMERICA” Page 1 of 13
  2. 2. Gary Declaration, National Black Political Convention, 1972Source: http://faculty.washington.edu/qtaylor/documents_us/gary_declaration.htmTHE BLACK AGENDAThe Gary Declaration: Black Politics at the CrossroadsIntroductionThe Black Agenda is addressed primarily to Black people in America. It rises naturally out of thebloody decades and centuries of our peoples struggle on these shores. It flows from the mostrecent surgings of our own cultural and political consciousness. It is our attempt to define someof the essential changes which must take place in this land as we and our children move to self-determination and true independence.The Black Agenda assumes that no truly basic change for our benefit takes place in Black orwhite America unless we Black people organize to initiate that change. It assumes that we musthave some essential agreement on overall goals, even though we may differ on many specificstrategies.Therefore, this is an initial statement of goals and directions for our own generation, some firstdefinitions of crucial issues around which Black people must organize and move in 1972 andbeyond. Anyone who claims to be serious about the survival and liberation of Black people mustbe serious about the implementation of the Black Agenda.What Time Is It?We come to Gary in an hour of great crisis and tremendous promise for Black America. Whilethe white nation hovers on the brink of chaos, while its politicians offer no hope of real change,we stand on the edge of history and are faced with an amazing and frightening choice: We maychoose in 1972 to slip back into the decadent white politics of American life, or we may pressforward, moving relentlessly from Gary to the creation of our own Black life. The choice islarge, but the time is very short.Let there be no mistake. We come to Gary in a time of unrelieved crisis for our people. Fromevery rural community in Alabama to the high-rise compounds of Chicago, we bring to thisConvention the agonies of the masses of our people. From the sprawling Black cities of Wattsand Nairobi in the West to the decay of Harlem and Roxbury in the East, the testimony we bearis the same. We are the witnesses to social disaster.Our cities are crime-haunted dying grounds. Huge sectors of our youth -- and countless others --face permanent unemployment. Those of us who work find our paychecks able to purchase less“A CAPSULE OF BLACK ELECTORAL POLITICS IN AMERICA” Page 2 of 13
  3. 3. and less. Neither the courts nor the prisons contribute to anything resembling justice orreformation. The schools are unable -- or unwilling -- to educate our children for the real worldof our struggles. Meanwhile, the officially approved epidemic of drugs threatens to wipe out theminds and strength of our best young warriors.Economic, cultural, and spiritual depression stalk Black America, and the price for survival oftenappears to be more than we are able to pay. On every side, in every area of our lives, theAmerican institutions in which we have placed our trust are unable to cope with the crises theyhave created by their single-minded dedication to profits for some and white supremacy aboveall.Beyond These ShoresAnd beyond these shores there is more of the same. For while we are pressed down under all thedying weight of a bloated, inwardly decaying white civilization, many of our brothers in Africaand the rest of the Third World have fallen prey to the same powers of exploitation and deceit.Wherever America faces the unorganized, politically powerless forces of the non-white world, itsgoal is domination by any means necessary -- as if to hide from itself the crumbling of its ownsystems of life and work.But Americans cannot hide. They can run to China and the moon and to the edges ofconsciousness, but they cannot hide. The crises we face as Black people are the crises of theentire society. They go deep, to the very bones and marrow, to the essential nature of Americaseconomic, political, and cultural systems. They are the natural end-product of a society built onthe twin foundations of white racism and white capitalism.So, let it be clear to us now: The desperation of our people, the agonies of our cities, thedesolation of our countryside, the pollution of the air and the water -- these things will not besignificantly affected by new faces in the old places in Washington D.C. This is the truth wemust face here in Gary if we are to join our people everywhere in the movement forward towardliberation.White Realities, Black ChoiceA Black political convention, indeed all truly Black politics must begin from this truth: TheAmerican system does not work for the masses of our people, and it cannot be made to workwithout radical fundamental change. (Indeed this system does not really work in favor of thehumanity of anyone in America.)In light of such realities, we come to Gary and are confronted with a choice. Will we believe thetruth that history presses into our face -- or will we, too, try to hide? Will the small favors someof us have received blind us to the larger sufferings of our people, or open our eyes to thetestimony of our history in America?“A CAPSULE OF BLACK ELECTORAL POLITICS IN AMERICA” Page 3 of 13
  4. 4. For more than a century we have followed the path of political dependence on white men andtheir systems. From the Liberty Party in the decades before the Civil War to the RepublicanParty of Abraham Lincoln, we trusted in white men and white politics as our deliverers. Sixtyyears ago, W.E.B. DuBois said he would give the Democrats their "last chance" to prove theirsincere commitment to equality for Black people -- and he was given white riots and officialsegregation in peace and in war.Nevertheless, some twenty years later we became Democrats in the name of Franklin Roosevelt,then supported his successor Harry Truman, and even tried a "non-partisan" Republican Generalof the Army named Eisenhower. We were wooed like many others by the superficial liberalismof John F. Kennedy and the make-believe populism of Lyndon Johnson. Let there be no more ofthat.Both Parties Have Betrayed UsHere at Gary, let us never forget that while the times and the names and the parties havecontinually changed, one truth has faced us insistently, never changing: Both parties havebetrayed us whenever their interests conflicted with ours (which was most of the time), andwhenever our forces were unorganized and dependent, quiescent and compliant. Nor should thisbe surprising, for by now we must know that the American political system, like all other whiteinstitutions in America, was designed to operate for the benefit of the white race: It was nevermeant to do anything else.That is the truth that we must face at Gary. If white "liberalism" could have solved our problems,then Lincoln and Roosevelt and Kennedy would have done so. But they did not solve ours northe rest of the nations. If Americas problems could have been solved by forceful, politicallyskilled and aggressive individuals, then Lyndon Johnson would have retained the presidency. Ifthe true "American Way" of unbridled monopoly capitalism, combined with a ruthless militaryimperialism could do it, then Nixon would not be running around the world, or making speechescomparing his nations decadence to that of Greece and Rome.If we have never faced it before, let us face it at Gary. The profound crisis of Black people andthe disaster of America are not simply caused by men nor will they be solved by men alone.These crises are the crises of basically flawed economics and politics, and or culturaldegradation. None of the Democratic candidates and none of the Republican candidates --regardless of their vague promises to us or to their white constituencies -- can solve our problemsor the problems of this country without radically changing the systems by which it operates.The Politics of Social TransformationSo we come to Gary confronted with a choice. But it is not the old convention question of whichcandidate shall we support, the pointless question of who is to preside over a decaying andunsalvageable system. No, if we come to Gary out of the realities of the Black communities of“A CAPSULE OF BLACK ELECTORAL POLITICS IN AMERICA” Page 4 of 13
  5. 5. this land, then the only real choice for us is whether or not we will live by the truth we know,whether we will move to organize independently, move to struggle for fundamentaltransformation, for the creation of new directions, towards a concern for the life and the meaningof Man. Social transformation or social destruction, those are our only real choices.If we have come to Gary on behalf of our people in America, in the rest of this hemisphere, andin the Homeland -- if we have come for our own best ambitions -- then a new Black Politics mustcome to birth. If we are serious, the Black Politics of Gary must accept major responsibility forcreating both the atmosphere and the program for fundamental, far-ranging change in America.Such responsibility is ours because it is our people who are most deeply hurt and ravaged by thepresent systems of society. That responsibility for leading the change is ours because we live in asociety where few other men really believe in the responsibility of a truly human society foranyone anywhere.We Are The VanguardThe challenge is thrown to us here in Gary. It is the challenge to consolidate and organize ourown Black role as the vanguard in the struggle for a new society. To accept that challenge is tomove independent Black politics. There can be no equivocation on that issue. History leaves usno other choice. White politics has not and cannot bring the changes we need.We come to Gary and are faced with a challenge. The challenge is to transform ourselves fromfavor-seeking vassals and loud-talking, "militant" pawns, and to take up the role that theorganized masses of our people have attempted to play ever since we came to these shores. Thatof harbingers of true justice and humanity, leaders in the struggle for liberation.A major part of the challenge we must accept is that of redefining the functions and operations ofall levels of American government, for the existing governing structures -- from Washington tothe smallest county -- are obsolescent. That is part of the reason why nothing works and whycorruption rages throughout public life. For white politics seeks not to serve but to dominate andmanipulate.We will have joined the true movement of history if at Gary we grasp the opportunity to pressMan forward as the first consideration of politics. Here at Gary we are faithful to the best hopesof our fathers and our people if we move for nothing less than a politics which places communitybefore individualism, love before sexual exploitation, a living environment before profits, peacebefore war, justice before unjust "order", and morality before expediency.This is the society we need, but we delude ourselves here at Gary if we think that change can beachieved without organizing the power, the determined national Black power, which is necessaryto insist upon such change, to create such change, to seize change.Towards A Black Agenda“A CAPSULE OF BLACK ELECTORAL POLITICS IN AMERICA” Page 5 of 13
  6. 6. So when we turn to a Black Agenda for the seventies, we move in the truth of history, in thereality of the moment. We move recognizing that no one else is going to represent our interestsbut ourselves. The society we seek cannot come unless Black people organize to advance itscoming. We lift up a Black Agenda recognizing that white America moves towards the abysscreated by its own racist arrogance, misplaced priorities, rampant materialism, and ethicalbankruptcy. Therefore, we are certain that the Agenda we now press for in Gary is not only forthe future of Black humanity, but is probably the only way the rest of America can save itselffrom the harvest of its criminal past.So, Brothers and Sisters of our developing Black nation, we now stand at Gary as people whosetime has come. From every corner of Black America, from all liberation movements of the ThirdWorld, from the graves of our fathers and the coming world of our children, we are faced with achallenge and a call:Though the moment is perilous we must not despair. We must seize the time, for the time is ours.We begin here and how in Gary. We begin with an independent Black political movement, anindependent Black Political Agenda, and independent Black spirit. Nothing less will do. Wemust build for our people. We must build for our world. We stand on the edge of history. Wecannot turn back.Source: "The National Black Political Agenda," in Komozi Woodard, Randolph Boehm, DanielLewis, ed., The Black Power Movement, Part 1: Amiri Baraka from Black Arts to BlackRadicalism (Bethesda, Maryland: University Publications of America, 2000), microfilm, reel 3.“A CAPSULE OF BLACK ELECTORAL POLITICS IN AMERICA” Page 6 of 13
  7. 7. Issue 143 - June 23 2005As we move toward an historic national Black convention in the first quarter of 2006 – “Goingback to Gary,” as convener William Lucy, President of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionistsphrased it, referring to the 1972 National Black Political Convention in that Indiana city – it isimperative that we reexamine the language of our political discourse. Otherwise, we will wind uptalking nonsense – or worse, speaking against our own interests.In the 33 years since the Gary convention, corporate-speak has become ever more deeplyembedded in the national conversation, reflecting the assumptions and aspirations of the veryrich, who have vastly increased and concentrated their power over civil society. This alienlanguage saturates the political culture via corporate media of all kinds, insidiously defining theparameters of discussion. Once one becomes entrapped in the value-laden matrix of the enemy’slanguage, the battle is all but lost. We cannot strategize ourselves out of the racist-corporate coilwhile ensnared in the enemy’s carefully crafted definitions and points of reference.“Going back to Gary” must mean going back to straight talk, from the African Americanperspective. The political consensus among the Black masses remains remarkably consistent, buthas been relentlessly challenged since 1972 by 1) the rise of a small but vocal corporate class ofAfrican Americans who see their own fortunes as linked to larger corporate structures, and 2)aggressive corporate subsidization, beginning in the mid-Nineties, of a growing clique of Black“A CAPSULE OF BLACK ELECTORAL POLITICS IN AMERICA” Page 7 of 13
  8. 8. politicians who define Black progress in terms of acceptance among rich, white people.Thus, the internal contradictions in African American politics have greatly multiplied since Gary.This has not occurred because of increasing conservatism among a much enlarged Black middleclass over the last three decades – a corporate-concocted slander for which there is no factualevidence – but by the determination of Big Money to impose an alternative leadership on therecalcitrant Black masses.Time for confrontation, not celebrationThe 1972 National Black Political Convention took place in an atmosphere of euphoria over thedemise of Jim Crow, which unleashed the shackles of those Black social sectors that wereprepared to take advantage of new opportunities, and empowered a new set of politicians whofound themselves in majority Black jurisdictions. When the call to convention went out,everyone was welcomed, and as many as 5,000 showed up. Although much worthwhile politicalwork was accomplished, the general atmosphere was celebratory. We were “Movin’ on Up” to“Celebrate Good Times.” Most believed there “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now – We’re on theMove.”Essentially, the Gary-era Black discussion centered on consolidation of the gains made duringthe previous civil rights decade. Short shrift was given to those who had called for deepstructural change in the United States, whose demands (and often, lives) were snuffed out byU.S. police and intelligence agencies amidst the carnival of No-Mo’-Jim-Crow. There seemed tobe great promise for Black America under a post-segregation regime – and certainly there was,for some. As long as that promise seemed attainable, demands for basic change in American (andworld) power relationships were deemed by the upwardly mobile African American sectors aspassé, distractions, quaint, but dated.This self-satisfied analysis was encouraged by a (mostly) white corporate class that harboredlarger plans for total world domination: for the absolute, planetary rule of money. By the mid-Nineties, important elements of this class finally got over their reflexive racism – the aversion tositting in a room with more than a few Black people – and invited some Black folks to join theclub.In 1972, Black collaborators had to work hard to get paid even a pittance to advance thecorporate agenda that is inextricably entwined with the ideology of White American ManifestDestiny. Today, they are actively solicited, and handsomely paid in monetary, media andpolitical currency. Corporate-speak is mimicked in many high places of Black American society.For example, corporations dominated the leadership-selection process of our largest massorganization, the NAACP. Corporations have always had a special place in the National UrbanLeague. Corporate influence has reached unprecedented levels among members of theCongressional Black Caucus – while most members stand firm with the historical BlackConsensus. And corporations have created out of whole cloth a number of purportedly “Black”organizations, such as the Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO), which serve theinterests of Wal-Mart and the rightwing Bradley Foundation – and are now also subsidized by“A CAPSULE OF BLACK ELECTORAL POLITICS IN AMERICA” Page 8 of 13
  9. 9. the Bush regime.Under Bush, the Black clergy have been subjected to wholesale cooptation, through the BradleyFoundation-invented Faith Based Initiatives bribery schemes. This massive subornation of acritical Black institution resulted in only a net two percent change in Black party affiliation –from nine percent to eleven percent Black GOP voters in 2004. The base remains steadfast, butthe leadership institutions have been infected by corporate and Republican money.Even so, the major Black Baptist denominations this year reaffirmed their allegiance to the“social gospel” that is our proudest legacy, and has generated and encouraged so many othermovements that have pushed the envelope of civilization.Who, then, should be welcomed to the next “Gary” convention, tentatively scheduled for March,2006? Everyone, just as in 1972.It is the job of the conveners and organizers of the next National Black Political Convention toset the terms of the Great Black Debate. In large part, this is a function of language – to craft alanguage that is not infested with assumptions born of white privilege, imperialism, war-mongering, and anti-social ideology. In other words: Let’s talk Black. Among our own people,that kind of conversation wins the day, every time. Amen.The apologists, collaborators, and opportunists cannot confuse us if we speak directly to theissues that our people care about most deeply. Let the turncoats come – and be exposed. Somemay even be saved.No rule of law?It is at times of crisis that precise language becomes most important. The Bush regime hasplunged the entire planet into crisis – their grotesque version of globalization. While serving asWhite House counsel, the current Attorney General of the United States, Alberto Gonzalez,derided the Geneva Convention – the basis of international law, and codified as U.S. law – as“quaint.” The 2002 Gonzalez memo signaled that the regime was preparing to launch, not a Waron Terror, but a war against world order, and against the rule of law within U.S. borders. Wemust reject his proclamation, in precise language that affirms the magnificent wording of theGeneva Convention, which outlaws aggressive war and upholds the right of all peoples to self-determination. That means get out of Iraq now, and no further threats to the independence andself-determination of other nations.Black America is the firmest national constituency for peace, having opposed U.S. adventuresabroad in greater proportions than any other ethnic group. We arrived at this more civilized stateof being through our own gory experience of White American Manifest Destiny, which declaredthat a Black person has no rights “that a white man is bound to respect.” George Bush is actingout this vicious dictum on a global scale, and we know it. Therefore, we must tell the truth, asthe masses of Black folks understand it: the United States is an aggressor nation in the world, andwe demand that it cease, immediately. The problem in Iraq is not U.S. casualties, which are the“A CAPSULE OF BLACK ELECTORAL POLITICS IN AMERICA” Page 9 of 13
  10. 10. result of George Bush’s crimes, but the predicate crime of U.S. aggression, a violation ofinternational law.Mass Incarceration is GenocideBlack America has always stood for the rule of law, despite the fact that American law has sooften ruled against us. It does so every day, in vast disproportion to the anti-social behavior ofsome African American individuals. Guantanamo Bay is, indeed, part of an international “gulag”of American prisons, dotting the globe, as Amnesty International has declared. But the largest“gulag” in the world is in the United States – half Black and only 30 percent white, in a 70percent white country. Fully one out of eight incarcerated human beings on earth are AfricanAmerican, the casualties of an internal war that has not ceased since the Euro-Americanaggressions against Africa. Rather, it escalates.At our next grand convention, we must state in no uncertain terms that the real crime wave isbeing committed against us by all levels of U.S. governments, which have placed Black peopleunder surveillance for the purpose of incarcerating them, and devised laws that impact mostheavily on our communities. Mass Black incarceration is a legacy of slavery and, therefore, aform of genocide. “We Charge Genocide,” again – because our social structures are beingdeliberately destroyed through government policy. Our language must make that plain.This language is not meant for the oppressors’ ears, but for those of our own people. Blackconventions are meant to mobilize Black people. Others are invited to take note. Our object is togalvanize African Americans to take action.Our history tells us that others follow our lead. Therefore, as a people that believe in the onenessof humanity, we are obligated to lead. We must reject the entire edifice of language that justifiesa U.S. war machine that costs more than all the rest of the world’s militaries, combined, and thenclaims there is no money for the people’s welfare. We know where the money is: it is engaged incriminal, global corporate enterprises, such as war. We demand these enterprises cease, and thatthe national treasure be redirected to domestic concerns, and to righting the wrongs that theoppressors have inflicted on humanity throughout the planet – including the wrongs committedagainst Black people in the United States.We must not argue on corporate terms, about the “affordability” of national health insurance, orhousing. We have a right to life, and to live somewhere. There will be no negotiation. Humanrights trump property rights and corporate rights and warmonger rights. State it clearly.A real social contractCorporate politicians and media deploy the code words of “working people” and “middle class”to mean “white people” as the “deserving” members of the national community. We must rejectsuch language, which is intended to exclude all Black people, including those who work, butexplicitly dismisses the unemployed. We must not accept that corporate decisions to eject or barpeople from the workplace, should have moral authority or political effect. All citizens have a“A CAPSULE OF BLACK ELECTORAL POLITICS IN AMERICA” Page 10 of 13
  11. 11. right to live a decent life. We must demand a national minimum income, in addition to livingwage standards.The cost of the Iraq war and related U.S. military deployments would finance a fundamentalchange in the average American’s life expectations – and life span. Nobody needs such a changemore than Black folks. The rich can afford it. We need to say so, and dare the rich to go to someother country with their money. Nobody else wants them, and nobody else will fund theirmilitary, which is the savior of their holdings.We must directly confront the idea – the unquestioned Holy Grail of corporate politicians andmedia – that corporations have the rights of citizens. Black and brown metropolises (the top 100largest U.S. cities have non-white majorities) are at the mercy of corporate barons who shape theurban landscape to fit their profit-driven needs. Inevitably, they move in white people, theprocess that we call “gentrification.” This process is mostly unchallenged, yet it decides whereBlack people will live and work, and whether we will preserve the majorities that allow us toeven contemplate meaningful democracy in urban America. While we are still majorities in theseplaces, we must take action to exercise the powers that cities possess, in the service of ourpeople. There must be a movement for Democratic Development – development that serves thepeople who already live in the city. This is perhaps the greatest challenge that faces the nextNational Black Convention because, if it turns out anything like Gary, in 1972, there will beplenty of Black politicians in attendance who have not done a damn thing to preserve the assetsof the cities they nominally oversee, or to protect their own electorate from being displaced bycorporate power. So be it. We must tell the truth, because our people are in crisis.There is no solving the problem of urban education, unless we can force the sharing of educationfunds. White people in the mass have shown over the last four decades that they will not shareclassrooms with us. But they must share the money, to correct the gross disparity betweensuburban and urban schools. Integration is not a one-way street, but citizenship is a shared status.We must state clearly that we are entitled to equal funding – that is, funding adequate for a whitesuburban district, and additional monies to deal with problems that suburbs don’t have.There are many other issues that must be tackled as we struggle to escape the Race to the Bottomthat has been initiated by multinational corporations, and is politically empowered by thehistorical racism of white Americans, and made lethal by the military power of the U.S. state.The conveners of the next Black Political Convention should keep the agenda as efficient aspossible, knowing that our assembled folks will add a plethora of resolutions. But keep our eyeson the prize. Black folks understand racism, but the whole world is getting an education inunbridled corporate behavior, that leads to famine, wars, and the dismantling of social servicesworldwide – including the United States, which is intentionally being made to fail as a society.In the current configuration, globalization means corporate rule – by the gun, if necessary.Privatization is part and parcel of the deal, a divvying up of the spoils. National rights and therights of minorities are all subservient to the rights of capital. Voting rights go down the toilet.We must teach a lesson in resistance, and give guidance to action – for our own people, and to“A CAPSULE OF BLACK ELECTORAL POLITICS IN AMERICA” Page 11 of 13
  12. 12. those who look to us for leadership in the desert that is the United States.If we are to Speak Truth to Power, we must aim our words with precision.Black knowledge as a weaponThe Coalition of Black Trade Unionists is ideal for the mission that faces us, since Blackunionists have an intimate understanding of both corporate ruthlessness and the racistmachinations that white privilege has found so successful through centuries of plunder and rule.Black unionists know the animal up close, and have smelled his foul breath. They also know theweaknesses of white co-unionists, who are quick to claim white privilege and abandon classsolidarity. These are lessons learned painfully – but become weapons in the hands of thosecommitted to struggle.We must not accept the legitimacy of the current rulers of the United States. They are thieves:stealers of elections; of the bodies of a million imprisoned African Americans; of the minds thatare enfeebled by their corporate media; of the countries that they treat as plantations, and feelthey can invade at will; and thieves of the productive capacity of the world, which grows everyyear, but fills only their own bank accounts.The predatory lenders of the United States have stolen a half trillion dollars from the pockets ofAfrican Americans, according to anti-racist reporter Tim Wise. They have also stolen wholecontinents, and converted their populations into low-wage slaves whose labor is used as aweapon against workers of the United States, including the dwindling number of Black workersfortunate enough to have jobs.The global tentacles of multinational corporations are not a logical consequence of humancivilization, but a construction of predators, whom we know all too well. It is our task to upholdcivilization, against the corporate machine that would crush all humans underfoot. We know thefeeling. We’ve been crushed before, and reel from the butt of the gun. But still we rise, to indictthe criminals.And we, alone, have a constituency that is ready to march – if we tell them where and why to go.Let us choose our words carefully.Reaffirm the Black ConsensusWe are not looking for drama, but for clarity. The corporations and their war machines areproviding the drama. A nation and world in crisis need clarity. Black America retains the powerto speak, in the terms of our elders who identified with – and were – the Wretched of the Earth.On this coming Fourth of July, remember the words of Frederick Douglass, our greatest thinkerand leader of the 19th Century, who spoke in the darkest hours of our people’s oppression, in1852:“I do not hesitate to declare, with all my soul, that the character and conduct of this nation never“A CAPSULE OF BLACK ELECTORAL POLITICS IN AMERICA” Page 12 of 13
  13. 13. looked blacker to me than on this 4th of July!”Frederick Douglass’s words were not popular with his white audience, but they buoyed thespirits of a people seeking freedom. They resonate with us now, when the “character and conductof this nation never looked blacker.”We can end this madness, but not without great exercise of discipline, and the precise use oflanguage. Much of it has already been written. But we must write the next version of ourdestiny…and act on it.Glen Ford and Peter Gamble, Co-Publishers of BlackCommentator.com, are writing a book onBarack Obama and the Crisis in Black Leadership.Related reading / downloads: Black is Back Coalition AFRICAN JUDAS: Barack What is African Internationalism,Conference, Newark, New Jersey Obama and the Politics of White Political Education Led by (2012) Supremacy Chairman Omali“A CAPSULE OF BLACK ELECTORAL POLITICS IN AMERICA” Page 13 of 13

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