This is a short note given that I’ve written extensively on this issue before. My countless discussions and debates with fellow intelligent, concerned and political-minded Black people on and off the Internet lead me to the following sobering conclusions. The good news is that we have time to address these things, transform our priorities and refashion our agenda and strategic thinking. No, these conclusions do not represent ALL Black people, just many I’ve talked with and observed. And yes, I am wearing my body armor in preparation for hostile responses…
1. At this late date, we STILL do not understand what politics truly is and should produce
2. We have abandoned our historical tendencies toward self-reliance and independence
3. We still look to a flawed two-party system to deliver for us in meaningful ways
4. We fail to CORRECTLY evaluate politicians (reviewing the legislation they supported and opposed, determining who his/her primary funding sources/allies are, determining how their policies positively or negatively affect US and additionally in the case of Obama, we have not seriously attempted to determine how similar or different his politics are, (via policies and actions) relative to the Republicans we love to hate
5. We have given him between 90-95% of our vote when it is clear that there are some third-party candidates whose policies are more in line with our interests
6. We are too easily moved by speeches, image, and symbolism
7. We fail to appreciate that nothing is personal in politics; only business. Therefore we should approach our political choices (if we agree to participate in the process) by supporting those whose agendas best benefit US and have benefited US in tangible ways.
8. We (despite all of brother Malcolm’s brilliant exhortations otherwise) STILL fail to understand that MONEY, POWER, and LEVERAGE moves most modern politicians not moral, ethical, or racial appeals. Those groups able to amass more of those things will likely have more of their needs and wants satisfied
9. We dedicate far too much energy to national elections and not enough to city and state elections which impact us far more in way of employment, schools, the police force, contracts, etc.
10. We have NOT forced the President’s hand. Yes he’s Black. Yes there are white racists who will oppose everything he attempts to do. Yes he is not just the President of Black folk but of the entire country. The same is true of every other president in reverse, but they still take care of those that elected them! Besides, if you give a person 90% of your vote then make people feel guilty and backwards for not voting for him, you damned well better develop an agenda and FORCE that person and his/her administration to address the issues important to you! Isn’t this why you elected him? Our failure to develop an agenda and pressure the President to address it, allowed him to “sit on the fence” regarding many issues. Without an actual agenda, how do we even evaluate how successful or effective he’s been? What’s the reference point? This “praise the Black man, don’t criticize the Black man, don’t pressure the Black man to deliver” approach MUST END RIGHT NOW….
There it is. Let the barrage begin….