In the 1870’s the Democrats AND the Republicans engaged in an open conspiracy against African people. The Republicans wanted control of the federal government, particularly the executive branch as a basis for economic expansion and land acquisition. The Democrats wanted a resumption of slavery like conditions in the South for Afrikans and other poor people, the end of Reconstruction military governance, and the imposition of Jim Crow segregation. The deal was struck. That is why it stuns me that we seriously believe that either PARTY of the two majors in particular, has any real interest in our well being. It was the Democrats of the 60s that was the party of the Klan, the Citizens Councils, and lynching. It was the Republicans of the 80s who decimated the economic safety net built during the Roosevelt years, pushed competitive economic immigration which bled our community of jobs and expertise, and began the rhetoric of modern racism and police brutality. So for the most important sector of voters, these latter developments have been within our lifetimes. Yet, we ignore the comments of DuBois, of Ron Daniels, of Shirley Chisholm and many others that what we need to advance is neither a candidate nor a party, but our own agenda, assigning any political support or withdrawal of that support on the basis of their endorsement and actual follow through with that agenda, regardless of party affiliation. I am an indpendent and have voted for candidates of all parties based on principles. It’s interesting that if you go back there was once a time, not long ago, when voting or having anything to do with the Democrats for about 100 years would get you instantly tarred and feathered. When the government build the social welfare infrastructure, our allegiances changed and since then it has been the same rhetoric, slovenly support for Democrats, whether they do something or no. 200 plus years of looking for the lesser of evils among evils. Allowing our enemies to approach our collective and economic situation as those of helpless beggars, when we are not. I don’t think there is a perfect candidate or human being. But in our condition, what is the crime of listening to new ideas, new approaches, younger voices, not because of their party or ideology, but for whatever part of their program speaks to our condition and positive change? I detest fascist neoconservatism AND idealistic dependency liberalism. One abandons our needs, the other uses them to make us dependent on those who oppressed us. We need a Freedom Party, a centrist entity, that allows us to develop a strategy for the kinds of things people of conscience are doing and allows us to join hands “across the hood,” “across the aisles.” and “across the waters” to capture our talent and abilities in whatever form or language they come from. We have to grow up politically. I remember once Dr. Clarke said I don’t care what religion an Afrikan is or chooses to be. I just care that they are African ABOUT it. We must evolve past this childlike obedience to any party and say “I don’t care what your party is, I care about whether you are committed to the cause and have ideas and programs that can lead us down the road to more, rather than less, self-determination”. I remind you our ancestors mastered and tamed for their purposes, both elephants and donkeys.
Both major US parties have gone through phases where they floated with open white supremacy and some configuration of statist socialism or charismatic authoritarian fascism and all those projects ultimately fail because they come up against some equally strong basic impulses in US society. Radical individualism and making money. You can push any fringe ideology you want as long as you can show everyone how it is not going to interfere with what they want to do and that it will not interfere with their wallets. I regret that is the kind of civilization that we live in, but I believe that to be it. I believe this to be a radically individualist plutocracy. There is no nation as much as there is a state and a powerful collective of similarly motivated individuals. Rights are given and taken back based on the extent to which the majority believes that the rights interfere with their “freedom” or their moneymaking. This is why COVID-19 was so difficult for the US. As a public health issue, what needed to be done was simple. But as a political issue it was a nightmare. You had a situation where people were and are supposed to sacrifice their capacity for wealth creation and their personal preferences for the collective good in a society where people are told that the purpose of life itself is wealth creation and where the state exists to advance individualist autonomy. It was an attempt to get the dog to meow and the cat to bark. I believe Malcolm was right, he said the fundamental problem with the civil rights movement was that it had a critical presumptive flaw. It appealed to the collective morality and conscience of the society in a society where any morality and conscience that exists, exists in individuals or at best groups of them. The very notion of collective beyond a collection of individuals is problematic for a society built from the beginning for individual wealth and separation from obligations to others. You were trying to appeal to something that does not exist. And this is why the Afrikan structure in the US seems to go on and on. If you were going to try to solve it, using the state, you would have to violate the two rules. White supremacy is a collective mental illness, a collective ideology. Yet, the system requires that you engage people as autonomous individuals. A solution to racism is rendered impossible unless you somehow get to each individual person who has prejudiced ideas. You could try through education, but the minute you do there, you are going to get a strong pushback on the grounds that you are not to use the schools to contradict the individual choices for beliefs and preferences of the parents or the choices of local community preferences. Try to deal with the economic effects of slavery. Part of the reason I think reparations a dangerous pipe dream in any real form (I don’t confuse little stipend handouts with any kind of real economic systemic change in the US) is that to do it, you would have to identity the collective, argue that you are going to reassign people’s individual tax dollars to a collective on the grounds of the collective experience, when the collective experience in question both made money and was legal for individuals. You could compensate Japanese-Americans for WWII because the argument was their internment was illegal, interfered with their individual rights, and destroyed their economic wealth. Try that for indigenous people. See what happened on the pipeline? You want us to sacrifice OUR jobs and money and wealth and our right to use the land we stole from you as we choose in order to respect some culture or environment or something that is not mine personally and not yours? Perish the thought. So what is my conclusion. It’s Garvey, it’s Elijah, it’s late life DuBois, it’s Malcolm, and so many others. Any collective vision for Afrikan people or any common economic strategy is against the core culture of this society and therefore the development of that is inherently a revolutionary struggle. It cannot be compromised with US conservatism or liberalism and must involve Afrikan people with themselves, for themselves, politically and otherwise. Any thing else is moving the deck chairs on the Titanic and trying your very best to believe that the giant iceberg protruding through the main deck is no real challenge to its seaworthiness.