Is Obama Really "The One"?
Even if Obama had good intentions, history would be against him. This country assassinated President Abraham Lincoln and President John F. Kennedy and their credentials on race were mixed. President Bill Clinton was able to survive the White House because be signed some of the most repressive laws in this countryâ€™s history against Blacks.
[I Write What I Like]
Assuming that Senator Barack Obama can win the White House, the relevant question, nonetheless, is whether he can save Black America.
Rev. Jesse Jackson, in a recent Chicago Sun-Times op-ed piece, apparently would answer this question in the negative. A presidential candidate who is afraid to raise Black issues is also afraid to offer Black solutions.
Our condition is so dismal that we need someone who can save Blacks in America and not someone who can simply win the White House. The criminal agents include racial genocide, racial mentacide, economic warfare, chemical warfare, environmental warfare, biological warfare and police terrorism.
It is a contradiction in terms for someone who wins the White House to also solve Black problems. Again, Blacks are being asked to endorse and finance our own oppression. Oppression cannot occur without the acquiescence of the oppressed. The White House is the headquarters for white supremacy. It reminds Blacks of the “Big House.”
The doctrine of stare decisis controls public policy in the United States. This means that whites respect their ancestors and public policy was formulated in this country more than 200 years ago while Blacks were in slavery. There is also the doctrine of checks and balances with a bicameral legislature, a three-tiered judicial system and an impeachment process for both the judicial and executive branches of government. A politician has a better shot at escaping from Alcatraz than passing remedial laws for Blacks.
Although Rev. Jackson fails to say it in these words, there is a national conspiracy against descendants of enslaved Africans. On the state and federal levels, the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government are continuing to conspire to deny to Blacks basic human, economic and civil rights.
Even if Obama had good intentions, history would be against him. This country assassinated President Abraham Lincoln and President John F. Kennedy and their credentials on race were mixed. President Bill Clinton was able to survive the White House because be signed some of the most repressive laws in this country’s history against Blacks.
Rev. Jackson put his finger on the problem when he wrote: “The Rev. Martin Luther King saw the movement to end segregation and gain voting rights as the first stage of the civil rights movement.” These gains have benefitted immigrants from historically-oppressed groups. There have been no further gains.
Whites secured voting rights and the right to political and legal representation in 1787. Blacks only secured a semblance of voting rights in 1965. He never mentioned the continuing denial of the right of Blacks to enjoy political and legal representation. Politically, there is a wide gulf between whites and Blacks.
Rev. Jackson further wrote: “The second stage --to gain economic justice and equal opportunity in fact -- he knew would be difficult.” Within the context of operating within the system, the second stage should be political and legal representation. This is the bridge between segregation and voting rights, on the one hand, and economic justice and equal opportunity, on the other hand.
The right to vote and the right of political representation are not synonymous. Representation is a broader concept and the right to vote is only a subset of representation. The goal line in politics is political representation. Blacks actually believe that they are scoring touchdowns by crossing midfield. This explains why Blacks are mired in quicksand. We are putting the cart before the horse and we are equating political presence with political representation. As we put more Blacks in political offices, our condition is worsening.
There is a national phenomenon that is spreading its wings in the United States and it is ensnaring all Blacks. A recent study by the Pew Charitable Trusts shows that while the middle class of every other ethnic group is expanding, the Black middle class is on the decline. Black children will not fare as well economically as their parents.
In part, this results from a war on Black males. To be sure, the Black male is searching for solutions. See, for example, the Million Man March in 1995. More than two million Black males assembled on the National Mall. Since 1995, the war on Black males has escalated with no solution in sight.
Without the right of political representation, Blacks can only act as proxies and pawns for those who have an economic stake in this country. It was never the intent of the “Founding Fathers” to empower Blacks politically and whites will cut off their noses to spite their faces before Blacks enjoy political equality.
The right to vote is not mentioned in the Constitution. The Fifteenth Amendment authorizes Congress to enact legislation to keep discrimination out of the polling booth. For ninety-five years, voting rights abuses were honored in the breach. Voting rights focus, primarily, on polling booths and not on legislative arenas nor on political decision-making.
The condition precedent to enjoying the right of political representation is the exercise of the rights under the First Amendment. These rights include free speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of association and petitioning the government for a redress of grievances. Any examination of the legal history of the First Amendment will show that Blacks have not fared well. There is a reason why it is termed the “First Amendment,” however. It is the most important of all the constitutional amendments. All elements of the First Amendment must be present to constitute political representation.
Blacks are not allowed to engage in political speech. The late Congressman Adam Clayton Powell found this out when he hosted a Black power conference on Capitol Hill. This was one of the first nails in his coffin. He had previously criticized the corrupt practices of the New York Police Department. New York is still a police state. This is why we are witnessing a legal charade in Sean Bell et. al.; the case of the young unarmed Black man killed when police fired more than 50 bullets at him last year in November on the date of his wedding.
Any Black person who engages in political speech is committing treason. In 2007, Blacks must still know their place. Jim Crow is still alive. Forty years ago, Dr. King spoke out against the Vietnam War at Riverside Church in Manhattan on April 4, 1967. The following year, on April 4, military intelligence of the U.S. Army assassinated him in Memphis, TN. Connect the dots.
We must strengthen our knowledge of our history. Very few Blacks know the causes of the Civil War. Frederick Douglass, among others, knew that Blacks had to have a voice in the political debate. Thus, he helped form the Liberty Party and, subsequently, the Free Soil Party. This is instructive. To have a voice in politics, an oppressed group must have its own political party.
Our ancestors must be turning over in their graves. No self-respecting Black person, in the nineteenth century, would have enrolled in the “slave party.” It still is.
An effort was afoot after the Civil War for the Democratic Party to recapture its Blacks. The crowning jewel of this effort would be to make a descendant of enslaved Africans its titular head.
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