After the Election of Donald Trump: Where Does the Black Community Go From Here? Part II – 12/10/2016

After the Election of Donald Trump:
Where Does the Black Community Go From Here?
Part II

In Part 1 of the article, I tried to describe the tremendous beating that the Democratic Party recently received with the election of Donald Trump.

Over the past two decades, on a national level, with the exception of a few markets, the Democrats have been losing big.

I started the article by asking: “Where do Democrats go from here and what is the plan to begin winning again?” We need answers and we need them quickly. It has been over a month since the election and the democratic leadership is disturbingly quiet.

With the exception of Senator Bernie Sanders, I heard nothing of substance that speaks to their failing status and how they plan on improving.

Their silence speaks volumes and I believe the reason for the silence is that they do not have an answer.

The Democrats are suffering from a leadership void. So, I ask you, who is emerging from within their ranks that has the capacity to change the tide for their party? There is no more Barack Obama, and while he represented a unique spirit, he did not build the Democratic Party.

The fact of the matter is that the election of President Obama weakened the party in many ways. If the Democratic Party is leaderless, this can equally be said for the Black community and for the diehard Black Democrats who thought that affiliation with the party would be the answer. Now, we must ask ourselves how we can stop this iceberg from melting.

The Democratic leadership has failed the Black community miserably and they are doing exactly the opposite of what they stated they were all about – diversity and inclusion. It is more like an illusion. They can be compared to what I have termed “liberal colonialists.” They are liberal only to the extent that Blacks remain dependent upon them (I will explain further in my later articles).

The difference between Republicans and Democrats is that Republicans will tell you that they are going to stab you, whereas with Democrats you only find out that you were stabbed when you see the blood coming through your shirt. Both have stabbed you.

The “stab” is symbolic for thinking that your political participation would produce economic outcomes commensurate to your political participation, and when you look at the loyalty of the Black vote with the Democratic Party, Blacks should be doing much better especially when you consider this support has been in place for more than 60 years.

We must question our logic and our loyalty. For the most part, where we have this lopsided romance, our schools are failing; poverty is growing; our neighborhoods are deteriorating; investment has consistently left our communities; and, for the most part, gentrification is taking place in several of our communities. What an insult!

The only thing we have gotten for our solid and loyal vote is “symbolic patronage” in the form of a few Black elected officials who have adopted (lock, stock and barrel) the policies, strategies, and methodologies of their White predecessors; Black people who play politics as if they are White people. There is a saying in politics, that if you want to determine what is important to a politician, FOLLOW THE MONEY; FOLLOW WHERE THEY PUT RESOURCES. When you examine where the Democratic leadership placed their resources, especially in this last election, the Black community was a BIG WHOPPING ZERO while spending hundreds of millions of dollars with White communications firms and White consultants trying to capture the “so-called” White suburban swing vote.

Our community did not get an economic windfall like other communities; our communication infrastructure (i.e. print, radio, television, and social media) did not get overwhelmed with resources; our community organizations did not get the resources to organize and invigorate the Black independent voter, even though many of us warned the Democratic leadership that there was a negative undertone about this election. The Democratic leadership was so misinformed, and we had little or no Black surrogates and/ or activists hired to rally the Black vote. This happened in spite of the efforts of people like myself who warned them that the Black community was not feeling Hilary Clinton. THERE WAS VERY LITTLE INVESTMENT MADE BY THE DEMOCRATIC LEADERSHIP IN THE BLACK COMMUNITY. With the Black vote down by 10% from 2012, and the Democrats losing Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania by 110,000 votes, this election would have been winnable if the Democratic Leadership had not taken the Black community for granted.

Democrats must address the future of the party quickly and specifically the relationship with the African American community.

No, Black people must address the relationship with the Democratic Party.

In politics, there is a saying that politicians are the only ones that should lose in a political election. What does this mean?

It means that our agenda must be defended and advanced no matter who is in office, which requires a political sophistication that Black leaders must provide to our community. Unfortunately, the Democratic loss is a huge loss to the Black community because Black community, for the most part, has all of its eggs in one basket. Of all the groups in America, the Black community can ill afford such loses.

There is a saying that there are Democrats, there are Republicans and there are White people.

Restated, White people can take an ideological position and lose because they are not economically impacted by such loses as Black people are. Looking back into history, there have been a number of Black leaders who urged our community to form its own party.

In some cities, like Philadelphia, the concept of the Black Political Party got a little traction, but was undermined and disbanded when the then- Democratic leadership, opened their closed system to a few Black people. In fact, during the 1960s and 70s the Black politician was an extension of the Black movement. It was part of the natural process for our liberation. Imagine where we would be if those concepts had held together and were legitimate options now.

We have wasted so much time trying to get White people to like us that we were woefully misled.

One of our wise elders once told me that, as Black people, we should never get comfortable in America because we are under a constant assault and once we forget this reality, we lose big time. When looking at the political climate, I THINK TOO MANY OF US DID JUST THAT, WE GOT TOO COMFORTABLE. Because a few of us have so-called made it, we have established what the pathway for success for the millions of Blacks that are trapped in economic poverty or near poverty should be. It is assimilation.

I liken it to the concept of the casino or the lottery. The masses are led to believe that they can beat the bank or hit the lottery. Therefore, they continue to contribute into a system that they have absolutely no chance in hell of winning or at least on a mass level. This is the illusion of the American dream, while we live the American nightmare. It is sad, because we have bolstered this concept while there are very few successful Black people who have resisted taking their success into the suburbs and mainstream, and instead invested in the Black community. I know of only one person who has done this and he is Kenny Gamble, who has further to cement the narrative of “getting out” of the hood (this approach intricately tied to every aspect of our culture).

There are consequences to taking our eyes off the prize and none could be more obvious than in our political miscalculations. The Black community, because we have placed all of our eggs into one basket (Democratic Party), loses when the party loses.

This violates the fundamentals of Politics 101, in which we should never lose regardless of who wins an election.

We now have an even greater fight because while America has never shed its racism and discrimination of Black Americans, being openly racist had at least been uniformly rejected (a true measure of success given the history of this country) until the election of Donald Trump.

If he is not openly racist, he is woefully insensitive and ignorant and, therefore, unfit to hold the highest office in the country. Recently, when asked what he would do about the protests and the issue of racially motivated violence, Trump simply stated, “There’s no such thing as racism anymore. We’ve had a Black president so it’s not a question anymore. Are they saying Black lives should matter more than White lives or Asian lives? If Black lives matter, then go back to Africa? We’ll see how much they matter there.”

It is one thing for him to be a reality show host or even a real estate mogul and be racist; but it is an absolutely different level and consequence to be racist and be the President of the United States of America.

We have no one to blame but ourselves. Sure, the Democratic Party has truly let us down, but we have let ourselves down more. Our Black leaders have equally failed us and led us down a path that will not allow us to be able to win. Where does the Black community go from here? The answer is the same direction it needed to go before the election and we cannot go too far without LEADERSHIP. Our leadership is practically non-existent and our community is operating on autopilot. Many of us can see the sustained deterioration that the Black community is experiencing and we are unable to do anything about it. I have spent a considerable amount of time asking Black leaders if they had the “will” to do what is needed to represent a voiceless Black community; to stop the bleeding, and after a discussion with one of our elders, I have revised the question to: “DO WE HAVE THE DESIRE?”

In the next part of this article, I will discuss further the concepts of “desire” and “will” and will describe things that we are working on to answer the question: WHERE SHOULD THE BLACK COMMUNITY GO FROM HERE?

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