“It’s so amazing to me that so many of us speak of unity, yet we are to assume we know what is meant by unity and unification. The word is never clearly defined by the user. In the between time, there is a mean spirited tone to the discussion that should be avoided if we are truly in process of unifying. This is based on my own definition of the word.” Bro. Amenta
This is part of a comment by my Bro. Amenta on a previous post. He and I agree on the fallacy of black unity that is preached by the majority of Black people. At the very least, it’s a slogan of bygone days (during the activist stage of their life) or at the very most, it’s an intellectual talking point. Regardless, there is no real substance nor commitment to making this ideal a reality.
Furthermore, what does black unity really mean? I acknowledge it means different things to various people. For myself, there are some Black people I have no desire to “unite” with. In the words of Public Enemy: “a brothah ain’t a brothah just because of collah”… (I would add “sistah” too). The reason I have no desire to unite with certain Black people has nothing to do with their political ideology, or religion, or sexual orientation, or gender, or nationality, or “add in whatever”. It has everything to do with their character, sincerity of purpose and having the same goal (maybe different strategies) to empower people of African descent. I would much rather work to find common ground in an effort to unite with a Black conservative than with a White progressive. Working to unite with only Black people who believe as you do, whether politically, culturally or religiously, is neither work nor unity.
With all this in mind, I was not surprised by all the disparaging and demonizing comments leveled against the Black Republican speakers Arthur Davis and Mia Love, by some in the African-American community. I understand it’s all apart of the “Plantation” politics that the majority of African-Americans, who identify with the Democratic Party Plantation, are engaged in. However what I found troubling was some of the “mean spirited tone” of the attacks against Mia Love.
These two posts are examples of what I found utterly distasteful: “Women of color in a strange place” and “The questionable racial and ideological authenticity of Mia Love“.
Both articles stress the fact that Ms. Love parents were Haitian immigrants and one even falsely makes the point that she “represents the typical immigrant who came to America looking for a better life with her family”. The fact is that Mia Love was born and raised in the United States. However, by highlighting the nationality of her parents and by extension her heritage, both authors went on to use this fact to question her understanding, relating and empathizing with the so-called African-American experience. One went so far as to question her “racial authenticity”. Really!? This smacks of the “birther” arguments leveled against President Obama by the Republicans who question his American citizenship.
Both articles further makes the point that due to her Haitian heritage, Ms. Love has no understanding of the history of slavery that was faced by Blacks in America, and that the Black immigrant experience in America is so much different that the African-American experience:
“Ms. Love, in her mind, isn’t burdened by America’s sad history when it comes the blacks who were brought here under quite different conditions. So sadly she doesn’t even view herself as one of those American blacks.”
“The fact of the matter is that she is the only one of her generation in her family born and raised in these United States. As such, she doesn’t have a personal historical background as do the many black people living here descended from the slaves set free (on paper at least) by Abraham Lincolns’ Emancipation Proclamation a hundred and fifty years ago.”
The actual fact of the matter is whether you were born in Haiti, Jamaica or America and are of African descent, then we have this in common: we are all descendants of African slaves or servants of European colonialism. The actual fact of the matter is whether you fought for your freedom, granted your freedom or your freedom was proclaimed, today those of us of African descent worldwide have this in common, we are all under assault from White supremacy based capitalism and/or imperialism.
The actual fact of the matter is just because your parents were immigrants and you have a different political affiliation that most African-Americans, doesn’t make you any less “Black”.
Let me briefly discuss an aspect of the Black immigrant experience in the North America, whether in Amerikka or Kkkanada. Her politics aside, I can relate to Ms. Love in this respect. My parents came to Canada from Jamaica via England. I was born in England, spent some of my formative years in Jamaica, but I was primarily raised in Canada. My parents instilled these values in my sisters and I: take advantage of all opportunities available to you, but never depend on them to succeed. Regardless of whatever benefits government programs may provide or whatever obstacles society may put in your path, failure is not an option. Our success is dependent on the grace of God and on hard work.
Immigrants from the so-called “third world” have experienced that whatever programs their government provides to benefit the masses, they can be easily taken away by the next U.S. backed government or U.S. controlled international organizations such as the United Nations, World Bank and IMF. Therefore they are sckeptical of what they see as “government handouts”. They have also experienced that social capital, such as education and affordable health care, are not regarded as a “right” by the government in the country of their birth. You have to pay out of pocket to be well and for your children to get even the basic elementay education and most cannot afford either. Therefore, good health and education, especially having the opportunity to attend secondary school or college is the domain of the rich, the children of government officials… not the poor and certainly not the intelligent.
So most children of immigrants are shaped by this message: you better work hard, maximize your opportunities, depend on your own knowledge, skills, abilities, most importantly resourcefulness, to get and keep what you have. Don’t put your faith in anyone or anything other than your God. Focusing on blaming the “white man” for all our ills as a community or as an excuse for your personal failures will get us nowhere… just do it!
One of the authors referred to Ms. Love as the “top token negro” in the Republican Party at the present time… which may be true, just as Barack Obama was at one time seen as the “top token negro” of the Democratic Party during their 2004 convention. Just like the Republican convention last week, the Democrats during their convention this week will parade their plantation negroes to the nation and the world, to extol the glory of their party and their presidential candidate. They will however trump the Republican’s “top token negro” with their own: Bill Clinton… and then by their close second… Barack Obama.
When you get involved in politics, align yourself with a political party and put your views, policies and platform out there as to be assessed and voted on, then they’re fair game to be discussed, debated, criticized and even attacked vigorously. Plantation politics aside, these types of attacks on Mia Love, by other members of the African-American community is neither constructive nor do they move us as a people towards real unity. What they are… in the words of one of the authors… “it’s serious House Negro behavior.”
The world of American politics, especially presidential politics is blatantly and unashamedly opportunistic. It’s all about hype, slogans and who can capitalize on the latest story capturing the short attention span of the fickle public in the 48 hour news cycle, and/or trending within the world of social media.
Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich can learn from the master politician, President Barack Obama, on how to jump on an opportunity like a pit bull on a 4 year old. When Rush Limbaugh referred to Sandra Fluke on February 28th as a “slut” and “prostitute” for voicing her support for birth control during an unofficial House Democratic hearing, 2 days later she got a call from the President asking if she was “okay”. The parents of Trayvon Martin, a black teenager who was murdered in a racial motivated shooting on February 26th, has received no call (as yet) from the President to ask if they were “okay”… and they probably won’t.
See… Obama knows he needs the white woman vote to get re-elected, so he strategically decided to show empathy for Fluke’s hurt feelings when she was called a couple of derogatory names. On the other hand, he knows he’s got the Negro vote sown up, so why would he need to show any concern for their pain? Why risk his re-election by being accused of showing favouritism (i.e. sympathy) to people with the same skin colour as him in their time of grief for their murdered son… a grief caused by the imbedded racist attitudes of the “other” people he needs to support him for a second term in office?
The Republican contenders should take a page from Obama’s playbook and call Martin’s parents to offer their condolences. They should also put on a hoody, have a bag of Skittles in one hand and an Iced-tea in the other, take a pic and post it on their Facebook page with the caption: “We’re All Trayvon Martin!” Sure it’s blatantly insincere and strategically opportunistic, but that’s what American politics is all about. It’s about taking advantage of the hot story and manipulating the story line for your own benefit. After the Fluke affair the media was on them, particularly Romney, for not calling Fluke or publicly admonishing Limbaugh, especially after President Obama did so. By calling the Martins, maybe the media… and African-Americans… may finally wake up and realize that “Barack Obama doesn’t care about Black people”. The republicans may even get a few more black votes.
Hmmmm… I doubt it.
Allan West (left) from Florida and Tim Scott from South Carolina, are the first black Republicans to be elected to the U.S. Congress in over a decade. Both apparently represent the more conservative wing of the party and had received support from Sarah Palin and the Tea Party.
Op-ed submission by Project 21
Just a year ago, Americans were so eloquently sold on hope and change that came from a shiny, new black sedan of a limousine liberal. It turns out what they really wanted was something that came from the likes of Scott Brown’s old Chevy truck.
Once dazzled by the illusion of Barack Obama’s hope and change sloganeering, it took Americans a year to the day to make it clear they are through with liberal shenanigans and are taking matters into their own hands.
Republican Brown’s election in Massachusetts to the U.S. Senate seat held by Ted Kennedy for almost 50 years is a definitive rejection of the Obama agenda.
Yet there are liberals still defiantly invested in the folly of Obama’s now-tarnished vision of hope and change. If Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi stubbornly continue to push the President’s unpopular bill of goods despite the new math in Washington, they risk unleashing the full wrath of the American voter upon themselves and their colleagues this November.
Scott Brown’s victory is less about opponent Martha Coakley’s poor campaigning than an awakening to conservative values in the bluest of blue states. It’s a major step toward enacting true hope and change over the politicians’ desires. It’s something all parties and persuasions should take to heart.
Brown’s win in Massachusetts exhibits the mood of the rest of America. Unlike our global neighbors, Americans are no longer under the spell of bouffant speeches and bankrupt promises.
The jig is up for the Democrats, and Republicans would be wise to take note of conservative momentum of now.
For fear of appearing unrefined, racist or out of touch (or all of these things, if you watch MSNBC), Republicans have been resistant to embrace true conservative voices in their ranks: the southerner “hicks” so offensive and uncouth to the Georgetown elite; abortion opponents who fight for the right to life over the self-serving wisdom of Washington aristocrats; NRA members who know the last defense against tyranny is self-defense and those who may or may not believe in climate change but know cap-and-trade will devastate our economy.
Now is not the time to shy away from the pro-lifers. With confident compassion and humility, one can articulate that being against abortion is not about limiting a woman’s choice or ruining her life, but rather choosing love and the beauty of a woman’s ability to give it.
Now is the time to speak proudly about clinging to guns and religion, for both are critical in keeping our nation at peace and in freedom.
Now is the time to call a terrorist a terrorist, lest we all become faceless potential hijackers.
Spoken in earnest and with conviction, conservative values are the values most Americans trust.
For Republicans, Scott Brown’s victory should not make them overconfident. It is not enough to simply rest on the discontent and distrust for the current Washington culture. There is still much work to be done. While Brown is no Jesse Helms, any return to a platform that is diffuse and weak ramblings of conciliation will mean renewed defeat.
Brown’s win undoubtedly caught the Democrats’ attention. While a leopard cannot change its spots, expect at least some Democrats to try to alter their message to broaden their appeal. That’s what Bill Clinton did after his 1994, and it worked.
While liberals sulkily chalk Martha Coakley’s loss to bad campaigning, PMS bloat or some other null excuse to justify their continued push for this administration’s ill-fated agenda, conservatives must be ready to lead. Brown’s campaigning for reason on taxes, terrorism and health care is what the people in Massachusetts – and the rest of America – favors.
Lisa Fritsch is a member of the national advisory council for the Project 21 black leadership network and a writer and radio talk show host in Austin, Texas.
This is what Ms. Goforth, an administrative assistant to Tennessee republican State Senator Diane Black, thought was appropriate and humorous to email to a “list” of people… the wrong list according to her! I wonder who was on the “right” list!? President Obama is represented in the last square in this collage of U.S. presidents… nice… real funny stuff!
Read post below by Tafari.
Breaking down the concentrated class struggle
Right now US society needs a clear understanding of the difference between socialism and fascism because a war is being waged against working class people. Americans fail to understand the class basis of the State. They also have a difficulty in making comparative analyses between the US brand of bourgeois democracy and other types. Imperialism and fascism are not such very different systems. US society presently faces a neo-fascist “dictatorship”.
First of all, socialism is a revolutionary social system. It is born out of revolt, uprisings and insurrection. It is a bottom up society and a system created to wither away; that is, socialism is not a society which has a long-term future. It will be transformed into a society where revolutions, uprisings and insurrections are unnecessary.
Socialism, like the society which must succeed it, will transform the means of distribution so that all the resources of society will be available to its members. The State must operate as the primary instrument for socialized distribution of resources — to contrast with capitalist privatization of collectively produced wealth — but not as the sole force for this activity.
Socialist democracy means working class democracy. This is the logic of democratic struggle. Once the laboring masses eradicate the degenerate notion of racist supremacy, the democratic political process must take on a more principled character. America thrives on the practice of racist supremacy, pure and simple.
Never has this been more apparent than the racist resurgence rising to challenge President Obama’s tenure in office. From Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio voicing his admiration for the Ku Klux Klan to the police summarily executing Oscar Grant on a BART station platform, these examples of racist reaction raising its hydra head have to meet forceful, unbreaking resistance from our community.
Racism shapes the culture of the colonizer society, and deforms the culture of the oppressed. It is, in reality, an expression of class warfare. As such, racism designates one nationality as a master race and the others as servants or slave races, a so-called underclass. These ideas, inculcated thru out colonialism, set the standards for interactions between workers of different nationalities. Workers from the white society think of themselves as superior to blacks, Latinos, American Indians, and Asians. Even government census forms convey a false sense of race purity.
The government bail out of the bloodsucking banks, tho, will deepen the merger of international finance capitalism with the State, which is the very definition of fascism. Capitalism is comprised of concentration of wealth into as few hands as possible. Imperialism constitutes capitalism’s merger of finance with the corporations to create an international finance system. So because of what is taking place today, with the State giving massive amounts of money to the Wall Street bankers, this is the end-game in the Milton Friedman economic model first advocated by Ronald Reagan, also known as voodoo economics.
Barack Obama seems to deepen this trend of reducing US white workers to colonized status, while the neo-cons continue to inflame racist sentiments. This struggle reflects the historical lag between bourgeois ideology and working class self-realization or, on the opposite hand, white workers reaction. Until that gap gets closed, the colonized masses must remain in a defensive posture against their white working class comrades on the other side of the skirmish line.
- Harvard scholar Dr. Jonathan D. Farley on “The New Black Politics”
- Glen Ford at Black Agenda Report on “Is Black GOP Chairmanship a Victory for Black People?”
- Friends of the Congo on “Laurent Nkunda’s “Arrest:” Rwanda’s Latest Shell Game in Response to International Pressure”
- Crossed Crocodiles on “AFRICOM’s New Kissinger?”
- The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life report on “A Religious Portrait of African Americans”
- Washington Post’s 4 part series in 2007, on the inner workings of former VP Dick Cheney… a very interesting read… “Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency”