Blacks and the Alabama U.S. Senatorial Race
“The capitalist moribund two-party electoral politics takes us down a dead-end road.”
Democrat Doug Jones’ hair’s-breadth win Republican Roy Moore is being hailed as a great victory. In reality, it makes no difference.
An unemployed Alabama black construction worker John Dewayne Richardson provided food for thought. According to the Washington Post, he said, “People don’t vote because they don’t feel their votes matter because nothing is going to change. What difference is it going to make?”
Did not Obama or Trump v. Clinton or JFK teach us a lesson? The capitalist moribund two-party electoral politics takes us down a dead-end road. Even the Jackson experiment and the Black Lives Matter movement are bound and limited by bourgeois electoral politics.
Instead, start with independent political action movement beyond mainstream, electoral politics. Give it an anti-capitalist base. Add massive doses of anti-racism, anti-sexism, anti-homophobia, and pro-immigration. Give it an internationalist view. Our allies represent oppressed people of the world.
“Even the Jackson experiment and the Black Lives Matter movement are bound and limited by bourgeois electoral politics.”
Get over the dump Trump syndrome. Instead, dump capitalism with its bourgeoisie electoral politics. It is not about replacing Trump with Bernie Sanders types. The capitalist economic crisis is real. Attacks will continue lowering wages, cutbacks in social areas as well as attacks on our democratic rights.
Alabama’s history is strewn with varying degrees of independent black politics – not relying on electoral politics. Black miners’ activated struggles in the 1890s and turn of the century. Organizing black sharecroppers signaled still another method. The modern civil rights era brought us Rosa Parks and the E.D. Nixon-inspired Montgomery bus boycott.
Birmingham’s Rev. Shuttleworth’s 1956 efforts to end segregation in that city woke up the struggle. Dr. King’s Birmingham SCLC campaign exemplified another form of battle not led by electoral politics. The Selma to Montgomery marches marks another epoch struggle.
“Alabama’s history is strewn with varying degrees of independent black politics – not relying on electoral politics.”
The Lowndes County Freedom Organization (LCFO) helped usher in a more concentrated form of independent black politics mixed with black solidarity, and black awareness. The group helped to create a transition from civil rights to black rights. LCFO, with its symbolized black scowling panther, was nicknamed the Black Panther Party, aided by SNCC field secretaries that Stokely Carmichael led.
True, none of these Alabama episodes were anti-capitalist. They did contain seeds of independent politics that spawns it. My argument is that these happenings included elements of independent, albeit different methods, of struggle.
Spontaneous reaction to black oppression is not enough. The black working class and black working class-minded sisters and brothers must be the central leadership.
Alabama represents fertile ground. Build the movement!
Dr. Morgan is a Black, and internationalist activist scholar. He can be reached at [email protected]