Time for a Constitutional Right To Vote
“We need visionary demands,” said Bruce Dixon, speaking at the Black Agenda Report panel at the annual Left Forum conference in New York City. A constitutional amendment guaranteeing the right to vote would “invalidate” all the restrictions that disenfranchise so many in the United States. “If it’s not in the Constitution, any sheriff, any mayor, any governor or state legislature, any county official, can make a rule that interferes with your right to vote,” said Dixon. Democrats had “the moral high ground” to pass such an amendment in the 70s and 80s, but instead decided to rely on the U.S. Supreme Court to safeguard voting rights.
Democrats Spread Confusion in Black America
“We need revolutionary change in this country,” said Ajamu Baraka, the veteran human rights activist who ran for vice president on the Green Party ticket and is currently organizing the Black Alliance for Peace. The Democratic Party has been “the main impediment for us developing the kind of radical, oppositional politics and consciousness that we have to build,” said Baraka, an editor and columnist for Black Agenda Report. “Most of our community understand where the Republicans are coming from, but it has been the Democratic Party that has been the source of ideological confusion” in Black America.
The Rulers are in Crisis
The rulers of the U.S. face a “crisis of legitimacy,” said Dr. Anthony Monteiro, the Philadelphia-based Duboisian scholar and frequent contributor to Black Agenda Report. “All of the institutions of governing and ruling the people are being rejected by the people,” said Monteiro. This crisis exists in “all the major centers of global capitalism,” and demands that the left make “strategic decisions about how we move forward.”
Don’t Get Paranoid About Infiltrators
At a Left Forum panel on “Infiltration and Cooptation of the Left,” veteran activist Kevin Zeese, of Popular Resistance, said a “security culture” to identity agents of the state is “useful” to movement organizations. But, “we don’t want to create paranoia.” Zeese advocates a “nothing to hide” approach, based on the fact that “what we are doing is right, we’re on the right side of the issue.” If an organization does become hopeless infiltrated, however, “it’s OK to just leave and start” another one.
Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network is hosted by Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey. A new edition of the program airs every Monday at 11:00am ET on PRN. Length: one hour.