by Solomon Comissiong
Black people in the U.S. “are locked in struggle with white supremacy, institutional racism and oppression.” At the same time, however, they embrace the brown face of the ultimate front man for Power: Barack Obama. This is a formula for community incoherence and defeat.
Dear Black America: It's Past Time to Wake Up
by Solomon Comissiong
“We need desperately to wake up from our collective political drunkenness.”
Dear Black America:
I want you to first and foremost understand that I write this open letter/essay out of great concern and love. I love our Black/African community, not only within the US’s manufactured borders, but as well as throughout Africa and her Diaspora. I love our legacy of resistance to oppression as well as our overall history of perseverance within the most difficult of times. I am constantly inspired by our legacy of greatness through innovation, scholarship, nation building, and dedication to fighting injustice. However, I despise our continued status as systematically targeted and oppressed people throughout the US. I also hate the painful recognition that many of us have allowed ourselves to be manipulated politically, virtually unable to recognize those whose intentions for us are nothing short of nefarious.
If the mere notion that African/black people remain an oppressed demographic within the US causes you to shudder in shock, it more than proves my initial point that we have been politically manipulated. That political manipulation is a significant component of our overall struggle. There is a disinformation campaign in full throttle. This struggle has caused many American born Africans (black people) to buy into the false notion that America is post-racial – and even that the United States is a beacon of hope, freedom and justice. And in accepting these fraudulent notions, we have allowed our communities to be co-opted by disingenuous politicians and the organizations they represent. These politicians primarily come from the Democratic Party’s side of the two-headed corporate dictatorship that controls the US, the Republican Party representing the other half. However, the Republican Party tends to be much more honest in their thoughts about so-called “minorities” and the poor. They seem to be much more comfortable asserting themselves as the racist party they truly are.
“The Democratic Party is no more committed to peace, justice and equality than their Republican counterparts.”
In rightfully distrusting, and seeing through the lies of the overtly right wing charlatans of the Republican Party, we have made a horrible mistake in wishfully visualizing the Democrats as a political party of justice, peace, and equality. The Democratic Party is no more committed to peace, justice and equality than their Republican counterparts. The sooner African/black people recognize this fact, the better off we will be. The sooner we realize this, the sooner we will accept the fact that our struggle to end oppression hinges on our ability to politically organize in an independent manner. And, yes, this means realizing that, as a community, we are locked in struggle with white supremacy, institutional racism and oppression.
Institutional racism kills. Thanks to the work of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement we know that in 2012, at the very least, every 36 hours a black person is extra-judiciously executed by police, security guards or self-appointed law enforcement in America.
We also know that the median family income of Blacks continues to hover around 57 cents to every dollar of white median family income. And the average black household controls less than a dime of wealth for every dollar of wealth that a white household controls. African/black communities continue to be under attack by exploitative whites that seek to move them out, by way of gentrification. This is one of Euro-America’s forms of internal-colonization. And African/black school systems are targeted for privatization at an alarming rate, all by way of the Charter School Scam. This privatization scheme is supported by the US’s first brown-faced president.
“Malcolm warned us about the fork-tongued nature of the Democratic Party.”
The Democratic Party’s interests lie with those of finance capital. The Democratic Party is no more a friend to the African/black person than is a wolf is to a sheep. These warnings were issued long before this author was born, by Malcolm X. He warned us about the fork-tongued nature of the Democratic Party and how they preyed upon African/black communities when it was politically convenient. They would show up a few months prior to a major election, syphon off 90 percent, or more, of the black vote, only to return months before the next major election with a brand new batch of lies and false promises. And why would these wolves in Democrat clothing do it any other way when we allow them to. We need desperately to wake up from our collective political drunkenness. Malcolm X’s words in his famous “The Ballot or the Bullet” speech in 1964 could not have been more accurate:
“They get all the Negro vote, and after they get it, the Negro gets nothing in return. All they did when they got to Washington was give a few big Negroes big jobs. Those big Negroes didn't need big jobs, they already had jobs. That's camouflage, that's trickery, that's treachery, window-dressing. I'm not trying to knock out the Democrats for the Republicans. We'll get to them in a minute. But it is true; you put the Democrats first and the Democrats put you last.”
African/black people find ourselves in a political and social crisis. We allow ourselves to be made into political chumps and doormats for politicians to wipe their feet on. They dismantle our communities, just as they are dismantle our ancestral homeland: Africa. Democrats and Republicans alike wage imperialist wars on Africa and the rest of the Global South. We have become so subservient to our Democratic Party masters that we allow them to commit atrocities, without a collective peep or demand. The two-party dictatorship set up the re-colonization of Africa, via AFRICOM, they wage war on Libya, invoke devastating sanctions on the people of Zimbabwe, finance proxy wars in Congo and Somali. And the majority of us remain silent or flat out support these actions through our unfettered support for the Democratic Party and their brown-faced war criminal Barack Hussein Obama. As Malcolm X told us, all they had to do was send a “Big Negro” to Washington and that was enough to mollify and silence millions of American born Africans. We have fallen for the “trickery” and “treachery” that brother Malcolm X spoke about.
“Many African/black people have soiled our reputation for standing on the side of justice and in solidarity.”
Barack Obama has been the most potent psychological weapon the Democratic Party has used on African/black people to date. It was not enough that over 94 percent of us are obsequious tools of the Democratic Party, they had to add a slick talking, Al Green singing, bad dancing, brown-skinned imperialist named Barack Obama. Under his presidency, many African/black people have soiled our reputation for standing on the side of justice and in solidarity with other oppressed people throughout the globe.
The crafty white people who run the Democrat Party have discovered a powerful formula that they intend on using to maintain their most powerful grip on the “black vote.” Like a mad scientist, they have found out that when they cross a black person willing to do whatever they want (so long as it advances their careers) with their amoral political party (Democratic Party), you get a Barack Obama or someone like Susan Rice. Abracadabra and presto – they now have phenotypically brown people willing to carry out the actions that were normally reserved to that of Euro-American politicians. This experiment has worked so incredibly well that most of our African/black community is willing to stand down in obedience when Obama paternalistically blames them for a society laden with institutional racism. Obama did this masterfully at the NAACP’s 100th anniversary dinner telling African/black parents that they should accept the fact that black youth have to work two and three times harder than their white counterparts simply to gain the same opportunities. Obama would never lecture a predominately white crowd in that way, telling them that they should accept some social injustice as some sort of character builder instead of fighting to change the bloody system that makes injustice so profitable. However, Barack Obama can do that to our African/black community, because we have become his old faithful “lapdog.” And in doing so, those of us who have accepted this hollow role are thus serving the same old white power structure the Barack Obama serves.
We even make excuses for things he does that we would never tolerate from a white person, such as when he referred to African-Americans as “a sort of mongrel people.” Ironically – and thankfully – Obama has inadvertently exposed many of the frauds within the US’s so-called “black leadership.” These individuals have been parading around for years as advocates for the “black community”, however, with the ascension of Obama, they have exposed themselves to be the same capitalist swindlers he is. It’s not hard to spot some of them, just tune in to MSNBC or CNN any evening of the week or on Sunday mornings. In order to remain within Obama’s good graces they all appear to have made a pact not to criticize some of the most nefarious policies he has championed – the same policies they roundly criticized Bush for. They are, quite simply – frauds.
“Obama has inadvertently exposed many of the frauds within the US’s so-called ‘black leadership.’”
What kind of African/black person who respects him or herself and lived through the Reagan Era would extol that evil man? Barack Obama, that's who. Reagan was a man who referred to African/black women in Chicago as “welfare queens” and African/black men as “bucks.” Ronald Reagan chose his language carefully and knew exactly what he was saying. He was trying to curry deeper support from racist Euro-Americans. Reagan also invaded Grenada and backed the assassination of the great Maurice Bishop. Deemed the “Great Communicator,” Ronald Reagan ordered and financed a covert war in Central America. He backed the death squads (Contras) that were used to massacre tens of thousands of people from that region. This is an often-untaught reason for mass immigration from Central America by people who were fleeing for their lives.
Reagan also was a willing supporter of oppressive white minority apartheid regimes in Azania (South Africa) and Zimbabwe (called Rhodesia when controlled by the likes of Ian Smith and Cecil Rhodes – hence the name “Rhodesia”). For the aforementioned reasons, and many more, Ronald Reagan should be considered an enemy of people of color. Barack Obama is well aware of these facts concerning Ronald Reagan. This is not new information. However, Obama feels compelled to praise Reagan every time the opportunity presents itself. Obama makes no excuses for commending a racist, war mongering, white supremacist, like Ronald Reagan – but many of us (African/black people) are emotionally overcome with a desire to defend Obama unconditionally.
Black America we are being made fools and being used like tools against our own historic interests, as well as forgetting our obligation to remain in solidarity with other oppressed peoples of this world. I write this letter/essay because of my deep love for our community. I have seen things occur within the last few years that I would have never imagined possible, such as a majority of African/black people accepting and making excuses for this country’s wars. If it does not stop, we will remain as a perpetual underclass within the US, which will assure the same fate of future generations of African/black people.
Trust me, this president you so blindly support does not hold the same warm fuzzy feeling about our community, and certainly does not feel compelled to advocate on behalf of improving our plight.
“Obama feels compelled to praise Reagan every time the opportunity presents itself.”
Many of us have placed our struggle in abeyance simply to boost the career of a brown-faced president who serves, not us, but finance capital. These words are far from conjecture this is the painful truth. The sooner many of you accept this, the sooner we collectively get back to the business of organizing for a better future. Organizations like the Pan-African Collective for Advocacy & Action are currently working on initiatives that support these kind of important goals.
As Malcolm X said April 3rd, 1964 in Cleveland, Ohio:
“Look at it the way it is. What alibis do they use, since they control Congress and the Senate? What alibi do they use when you and I ask, ‘Well, when are you going to keep your promise?’ They blame the Dixiecrats. What is a Dixiecrat? A Democrat. A Dixiecrat is nothing but a Democrat in disguise. The titular head of the Democrats is also the head of the Dixiecrats, because the Dixiecrats are a part of the Democratic Party. The Democrats have never kicked the Dixiecrats out of the party. The Dixiecrats bolted themselves once, but the Democrats didn't put them out. Imagine, these lowdown Southern segregationists put the Northern Democrats down. But the Northern Democrats have never put the Dixiecrats down. No, look at that thing the way it is. They have got a con game going on, a political con game, and you and I are in the middle. It's time for you and me to wake up and start looking at it like it is, and trying to understand it like it is; and then we can deal with it like it is.”
Solomon Comissiong is an educator, community activist, author, and the host of the Your World News media collective (www.yourworldnews.org). Mr. Comissiong is also a founding member of the Pan-African collective for Advocacy & Action. Solomon is the author of A Hip Hop Activist Speaks Out on Social Issues. He can be reached at: [email protected]