Black Voters Beware!

The democratic politics of appeasement continues for the forthcoming elections. The African-Americans of course are at the receiving end of this tokenism.
Alton H Maddox Jr. writes to the AmNews
Caveat emptor: Black voters beware!
Over the next three months, the Kerry-Edwards presidential ticket will be making frequent visits to Black churches, hoping and praying that its loyal Black constituents will not look under the hood of A Strong, Respected America, the 2004 Democratic National Platform. When Sen. John Kerry and Sen. John Edwards are unavailable, Black used-car salespersons and escorts will be employed to keep Blacks distracted until November 2.

Unfortunately, most Blacks would rather listen to puffery than read the national platform of the Democratic Party. After the political season is over, these unscrupulous salespersons will resume their duties as Black Judas goats. Its all about the money and living large. This bait-and-switch gimmick repeats itself every four years.

This summer is a far cry from the summer of 1964. There is no ongoing struggle and there are no Black demands that have been made on the political establishment. Blacks have gone from being courted by political suitors to being hustled by political pimps.

Ralph Nader, a.k.a. Mr. Clean, should be ashamed of himself for refusing to initiate a class action against these hustlers under the lemon law. Obviously, Nader also wants some of the action. Otherwise, he would be cleaning up a corrupt political system rather than diving into the fray.

In 1964, Black leaders exercised moral authority. The list includes but is not limited to Fannie Lou Hamer, Ella Baker, Dr. Martin L. King Jr., Malcolm X, Stokely Carmichael and H. Rap Brown. None of them were pawns of the Democratic Party. Today, you are unable to name one Black leader who is not a political pawn. They will sell anything to anyone for a bone. Dogs beware!

For attempting to register to vote, Hamer was evicted from a shack on a Mississippi plantation. Today, the political establishment can get Black leaders to do anything against their own people by refusing to house them in five-star lodgings and denying them first-class airline tickets.
Hamer was able to not only secure a political presence for Blacks in future delegations of the Mississippi Democratic Party but she also contributed mightily to the enactment of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The Democratic Party should honor Hamer in prime time on July 26, the first day of the Convention.

Since 1968, there has been no groundbreaking civil rights legislation, and with this current bunch of leaders, Blacks would be lucky to get a post office named in honor of a Black person. The political establishment does not reward political misfits by passing major human rights legislation.

The Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party held its founding meeting in August 1964 and more than two weeks before the 1964 Democratic National Convention. MFDP, composed mostly of sharecroppers, challenged the all-white Mississippi delegation. This challenge was made despite rampant terrorism in the Magnolia State.

Political terrorism was a problem in 1964 and it is still a problem today. A local sheriff viciously beat Hamer in Sunflower County in 1963. U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp of Tennessee recently assaulted Representative Corrine Brown of Florida on the floor of Congress with absolutely no protest from Black leaders. If they ran away from Tawana Brawley in 1987, what do you expect of them today?

Hamer did not suffer from any illusions. Mississippi Blacks suffered from both political and social exclusions. Hamer was a field Black. Things are different in 2004. Blacks may sit at the table. Political presence, however, fails to equal political representation. In other words, Blacks may be seen but not heard unless they are doing the Crowns business.

Unlike the Great Society platform in 1964, this years platform totally ignores Blacks unless you are guilty of hallucinating. A majority of the platform delights the military-industrial complex such as Halliburton. Undoubtedly, the national platform is fait accompli.

The poor are completely ignored. No attention is given to Black unemployment, Black incarceration or police brutality, among other things. Domestic policies are centered around the white middle class. For Blacks, the national platform is a lemon  nothing is under the hood.
This is a betrayal of Dr. Kings vision, whose last effort was to improve the lot of poor people by calling for an end to militarism and a massive redistribution of wealth. Before his assassination, Dr. King was preparing a Poor Peoples Campaign on the National Mall. Black people have too many problems for Black Judas goats to be pushing lemons in Boston. Zero sum has entrapped the poor.

Through Skull and Bones, President-select George Bush and Kerry are joined, philosophically, at the hip. Chapter 322 of the Order is more than a fraternity. It is rooted in Hegelian logic which, inter alia, is the elevation of conflict and the manipulation of opposites to produce negative change.

Both Bush and Kerry, for example, supported the Patriot Act because it elevates the state over individual rights. They also agree to conducting a pre-emptive strike on Iraq. When Kerry now complains that the intelligence was flawed, he misses the point. Ostensibly, they disagree on cultural issues.

To follow Black leaders in this intelligence-craved environment is like the blind following the blind. They lack the intellectual capacity and property to be more than used-car salespersons. The Black community is in deep trouble. Because of a lack of intelligence, we are confined to thinking inside the box and we are unable to see any dots.

Nonetheless, I hope we can see the handwriting on the wall. Both political parties are pursuing the Southern Strategy. Howard Dean spilled the beans  no pun intended. Any Black leader with integrity would have vacated the Democratic Party long ago and formed a third party to exercise political leverage like the Liberty Party and the Free Soil Party did before the Civil War.

The Southern Strategy clamors for the open implementation of the hidden Thirteenth Amendment, which President Abraham Lincoln signed in 1861. But for this Amendment, it would be a constitutional violation to fly the Confederate flag over any state or public property. We are over our heads politically and we will never know what hit us. The national platform, notwithstanding the statute of frauds, seals our fate.

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Author: Saswat Pattanayak

Journalist, Generalist, Atheist, Poet, Lover, Photographer, Communist, Third wave Feminist, LGBT ally, Black power comrade, Peacenik, Anti-capitalist, Critical media theorist, Radical film critic, Academic non-elite…

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