Black Agenda Report
by BAR executive editor Glen Ford
Democratic Party operatives claim that Blacks are voting “strategically” when they support the corporate warmonger Hillary Clinton for president. The reality is, Blacks believe only Clinton has the money and organization to beat the White Man’s Party – the GOP. But, only two outcomes are possible from such a “strategy”: “either the triumph of the White Man’s Party, or electoral victory for Black people’s worst enemies among the Democrats.”
The Democratic Road to Black Ruin
by BAR executive editor Glen Ford
“The bulk of Black voters have aligned themselves with the right wing of the Democratic Party.”
Without overwhelming Black support, especially in the South, Hillary Clinton could not have achieved her insurmountable lead over the Democratic challenger from her left, Bernie Sanders. Although Blacks are the most left-leaning ethnic bloc in the United States – the most pro-peace constituency and the group that most closely resembles Sander’s beloved “Scandinavian Social Democrats” on economic issues – the bulk of Black voters have aligned themselves with the right wing of the Democratic Party, leading corporate pundits and pollsters to categorize Blacks as a “moderate” constituency within the Democratic sector of the duopoly electoral structure. Based on national voting behavior, the “left” side of the Democratic Party spectrum is now dominated by younger whites, who are locked in a struggle with their elders, Blacks and, to a lesser degree, Hispanics, for the “soul” of the Party.
Of course, the Democratic Party has no soul; it is a rich man’s machinery controlled by Hillary Clinton’s patrons on Wall Street – a fact that most Black voters understand quite well. They are fully aware that Clinton is deeply connected to the “fat cats” with the resources to mount a billion-dollar-plus campaign against the Republican/White Man’s Party, in November. The likelihood that the GOP candidate will be the unapologetically racist Donald Trump lends urgency to their allegiance with Clinton, the cackling war criminal and former “Goldwater girl” who co-championed all of her husband’s mass Black incarceration and poor Black family-crushing initiatives the last time they were in the White House.
“Most Blacks are fully aware that Clinton is deeply connected to the ‘fat cats’ with the resources to mount a billion-dollar-plus campaign.”
Black voters knew of these facts when half of them favored Hillary over Barack Obama in 2008 – until Obama won the Iowa caucuses and proved that white folks would actually support a Black candidate. The bulk of Black voters clearly do not hold the Clintons’ shameless corruption against them in 2016. On the contrary, the Clintons’ ties to super-rich Democrats are seen as assets in what Black voters perceive as an eternal war with the Republican/White Man’s Party and its billionaires – one of whom is the GOP’s scariest candidate for president.
Members of the Black Misleadership Class – who are virtually all Democrats, and whose allegiances are to the party structure that enriches them personally, not their Black constituents – insist that Blacks are engaged in “strategic voting.” Nothing could be further from the truth. In behaving as the national bulwark of the worst elements of the Democratic Party, Black voters ensure their perpetual marginalization and powerlessness. Such a “strategy” serves only to lock Black people in a quadrennial vortex of fear, in which only two outcomes are possible: either the triumph of the White Man’s Party/Republicans or electoral victory for Black people’s worst enemies among the Democrats. It wins nothing for Blacks, and amounts to a kind of self-mutilation that strips African Americans of their own politics and makes them electoral fodder for Wall Street and accomplices in U.S. Empire.
“This self-serving class has never produced a ‘Black Agenda’ worthy of the name.”
Black self-determination – Black people’s independent ability to shape their own collective destiny – fits nowhere in the Black Misleadership Class’s political designs. All they seek is “representation” in the Democratic Party and its sponsoring corporations – meaning, appointments and contracts for themselves. Since questions of policy – that is, the future of Black folks, and of the world – are irrelevant to their personal “strategic” positioning within the corridors of power, these misleaders reduce Black politics to a discussion of how African Americans can maximize their usefulness to the Democratic Party, through their votes. It really goes no further than that, which is why this self-serving class has never produced a “Black Agenda” worthy of the name. Their only concern is to be part of whatever policies are formulated by the real rulers: the Lords of Capital.
Black independent political action, both on the streets and in alternative electoral formations, is anathema to these “representationists,” for whom, to paraphrase Frederick Douglass, the Democratic Party “is the ship; all else is the sea.” The misleaders have left Black people shipwrecked.
“The misleaders reduce Black politics to a discussion of how African Americans can maximize their usefulness to the Democratic Party.”
They have acquiesced to the Democratic Party’s doctrine that Blacks should be divided among voting districts, so as to spread their dependably Democratic votes to the strategic advantage of the Party – an issue that is right now before the U.S. Supreme Court. They dilute the voting power of their own constituencies, to reduce Blacks to an adjunct of white Democrats, unable to wield local power as a bloc, and insufficient to carry on a meaningful intra-Black debate on the future of their communities. For the Black Democratic operative, discussions of Black Power are anathema. Their organizing principle is: All Power to the Democratic Party.
On the national level, it means all power to the deepest pockets in the Party, the most corporate-connected politicians – like Hillary Clinton.
Locally, this “strategy” results in the election of the most conservative, corporate- and white folks-friendly Black politicians. We see the results in city halls across the country, and in the composition of the Congressional Black Caucus.
The Democratic Party’s policy of diluting the Black vote has produced a bumper crop of Black politicians that enthusiastically collaborate in the gentrification of their cities – replicating the Party’s electoral logic through systematic dispersal of African Americans.
The crisis of Black politics is that self-determination has been purged from the discussion, leaving African Americans directionless, confused, and at the mercy of corporate mercenaries in the service of a Democratic Party that is hegemonic in the Black community.
The Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations will hold a national conference on the 2016 Presidential Election and the Struggle for Black Self-determination, in Harlem, New York City, on April 9th, to ignite a discussion on the meaning of Black Power in the 21st century. In the absence of an independent Black politics, no progress is possible – only defeat, irrelevance and dispersal at the hands of Democrats or Republicans.