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December 28th, 2011

What ever happened to Black political power?



William Reed

"Any time you throw your weight behind a political party… and that party can’t keep promises that it made… and you’re dumb enough to walk around continuing to identify with that political party, you’re not only a chump but a traitor to your race."

- Malcolm X, 1964

What do you think Malcolm X would say to radio host Tom Joyner’s "plea to the Black man" blog statement: "Let’s not deal with the facts right now… let’s just deal with our Blackness and pride - and loyalty. We have a chance to re-elect the first African-American president, and that’s what we ought to be doing… because he’s a Black man."

Fifty years after Malcolm X preached "Black Power" and its concepts of economic and political equity, a Black family resides in the White House and people like Joyner want to keep them there without posing the ultimate question of: "What have you done for me lately?"

Malcolm X had a brilliant rap and great power and influence. His "by any means necessary" pledge to Black equality holds great sway in the "Black Power" psyche. For Joyner to be willing to overlook the fact that Black Americans have the lowest average income of any large racial group in the nation; are incarcerated at alarmingly high rates, and are still segregated and profiled just to get Obama re-elected is a disservice to Black political empowerment. Wouldn’t Malcolm’s rap on the subject be that African Americans "should take stock of what the Obamas being in the White House has accrued?"

At the basis of political struggle are economic interests. The economic interests of Black Americans are not mutually aligned with the Democrats, or the Republicans. In areas of social justice, economic development and public safety, the vast gulf between what is needed and what is provided from government demands re-evaluation. President Obama’s tone toward Blacks’ problems is for us to: "Stop whining." And Herman Cain says to the Black and poor that: "If you don’t have a job and you’re not rich, blame yourself!"

African Americans are a racial minority in a country where racism is a fact of life. In the current scheme of things, Black-oriented issues are regularly put on the back burner and it makes sense to form African-American interest groups who are willing to bring our issues to the forefront of American political discourse. Things can change for us if we make a point of consolidating our own political voting power. Black Americans can no longer complain about how we are treated without adopting tried and true methods to take political power. Identifying with Black culture is necessary. Being part of a 2012 Black voting bloc would be a bold move to put balance back in the American political landscape leading up to the presidential election.

Some Black Americans will like lemmings go the Joyner "Keep a Black Man President" route. In contrast, others will become forces that make their own political fortunes. The Black Political Party Media Fund is a Washington, D.C.-based 527 organization of note that is laying the foundation for a ticket of "Black Power" proponents to get on all 50 state ballots in 2012 and compete in a serious way with Barack and the Democrats and whomever the GOP nominates. For those able to think and act outside the "Mainstream Box," Black-oriented political pursuits can provide purpose, vision, and hope. The Black Power 527 is paying petition gatherers in several states and working on a website and strategy that enables millions of people to conduct a "virtual primary" in mid-2012. The organization is seeking paid staffers and volunteers to work in every state senate district in the country and on HBCU college campuses signing up "delegates" to a Black Party convention.

5 / 5 (2 Votes)

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