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Here's a thought about how we can increase our political leverage in America. I'm very interested to hear what you think.

  • African America, en masse, pulls out of the Democratic Party (and the Republican Party) and registers Independent.

  • In places where our vote can be the deciding margin (one way or the other), we wait through the course of a campaign to see which candidate offers an agenda that best fits our interests.

  • We ignore party ideology. We hold each candidate accountable to _our_ interests without regard to classic party loyalties or platforms.

  • We vote the candidate that promises black people the best "deal". Period.

    Essentially, we take the rules of the game and use them to singularly maximize our political influence and objectives. We play the Democrats and Republicans against each other - getting the best deal for black America.

    It's a classic phenomenon that terms all of a sudden get better when you mention what the competition is promising you. Why not apply the same logic to politics? Think about some of the Southern states where blacks represent huge portions of the total population. We would be the swing vote determining elections left and right. Think about the race in Florida now. Black folks sit back and let Bush and McBride "court" us. We pledge our vote to whomever gives us the best "deal", and then we elect whomever is best for us. In a couple of days, the LA, NC, AK, TX, and SC senate races, and the FL and MD guberatorial races - just off the top of my head - we'd control. Period.

    This would invariably strengthen the commitment from the Democratic Party. It would also make the Republican Party much more moderate and force them to consider our perspectives. Our interests would take on much greater weight in American politics, not because our numbers would be any greater, but because we'd use our leverage in a way that maximized our impact. We'd be THE STRAWS that broke the camels back to elect candidates. In that way, black votes would be the _most important_ votes. That fact would significantly raise the stature of our votes and our interests wherever we live in meaningful numbers. It could transform the political landscape.

    This strategy gets even more powerful when you consider the coalitions that we could drive. We pull in groups with similar interests (labor, Latinos, whomever . . . .) and our power to influence agendas and policy gets even stronger!

    What do you think?

    MBM

    Onward and Upward!

    [This message was edited by MBM on December 13, 2002 at 11:22 AM.]
  • © MBM

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    ...On the unity thing. We need to come together and decide just what it is we want from both parties. Kind of like a "Contract for Black America" or "Contract for African America".

    As for the GOP becomming more moderate, that is already happening. The old conservative guard from the Reagan years are leaving congress. They are being replaced by a more moderate (liberal) body of thought softening the traditional hardline positions.

    President Bush is not a hardline conservative, contrary to what many believe. Don't take my word for it, look at the legislation he had signed in the last 12 months alone. The same for Jebb Bush. Trent Lott, while Senate majority leader, gave Bill Clinton everything he wanted and socializes with Tom Daschle.

    Still, Mr. MBM, I think your idea has merit.


    big grin big grin big grin
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    quote:
    Originally posted by ocatchings:
    That would require black unity and.....,well you know.....that is only a myth. frown



    Well, I'm not sure what got us from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party in the early to mid 1900s, but we've already demonstrated the ability to do something like this in the past. Sure, it wouold take some leadership and coordination, the more I think about this the more I think it's a chance to really get our voices heard to a much greater degree than we do now.

    I'm going to do some research about the numbers of black votes by state, and the number of Dems and Repubs by state as well to see if this really makes sense numerically.

    This just seems to make too much sense.

    Onward and Upward!
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    quote:
    Originally posted by jazzdog:

    Does that mean that blacks could actually end up voting for conservative candidates if they happen to have the best deal.


    Good question. Will conservative candidates continue to be "conservative" in districts where the black vote (if not conservative) is the key bloc? Probably not (if they want to get elected).

    Onward and Upward!

    [This message was edited by MBM on November 04, 2002 at 07:41 AM.]
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    I think that they will always be conservative; to what degree remains to be seem. I mean you have the hardcore conservatives and then you have the moderates who are trying to pull the GOP back to the middle instead of so far to the right. I think that the conservatives that you would see would be the moderates, the ones still pitching conservative ideas but at least willing to compromise with liberals.
    quote:
    Originally posted by jazzdog:

    I think that the conservatives that you would see would be the moderates, the ones still pitching conservative ideas but at least willing to compromise with liberals.


    Agree. And that's what it would be all about - having both liberals and conservatives consider Black Americas' interests more seriously in developing their own agendas.

    Could this be a strategy to implement Jazhawk's "party proof" agenda?

    Onward and Upward!

    [This message was edited by MBM on November 04, 2002 at 08:22 AM.]
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    I like the idea of using a "Black Contract with America" to leverage our political power. And, I believe it's way more doable than we're giving it credit. The get out to vote issue would be the easy part. People, for the most part, are sheep and will follow whomever happens to lead. Most voters vote for candidates and/or issues without even taking the time to research them.

    The bear would be actually developing the agenda. This would be where the unity factor would come in. Our so-called leaders would have to subvert their egos for a greater cause, Black America.
    Unfortunately, in order to get this thing going, we would need a "Black Central Committee" to develop the agenda and negotiate the power of our vote.

    From there, however, we could just follow the example of the "Moral Majority", use the Sunday pulpit to broadcast the message.

    BTW, I think the biggest opposition to this plan would be Black politicians, who are already vested in the system as it stands.
    I would agree on the committee as long as it included representatives of all political idealogy i.e. liberal, conservative and libertarian. To get the most of our voting block I think that it is important to put forth the very best ideas from all sources to get the best mix for us.

    Needless to say there will have to be some give and take in the committee coming up with the final framework of what we expect politicians to deliver to secure our vote. And I think that a warning that we have a long memory should be included for those politicans looking at a life time of political service who want our vote.
    quote:
    Originally posted by jazzdog:
    I would agree on the committee as long as it included representatives of all political idealogy i.e. liberal, conservative and libertarian. To get the most of our voting block I think that it is important to put forth the very best ideas from all sources to get the best mix for us.

    Needless to say there will have to be some give and take in the committee coming up with the final framework of what we expect politicians to deliver to secure our vote. And I think that a warning that we have a long memory should be included for those politicans looking at a life time of political service who want our vote.


    Agreed. I see this as much more of a local thing than a coordinated approach. Sure, nationally, a Black Agenda would help to guide local issues, but I'd want each candidate running for office anywhere there was a meaningful number of blacks in the electorate, to cater to the specific issues that were important there.

    Onward and Upward!
    quote:
    ...we would need a "Black Central Committee" to develop the agenda and negotiate the power of our vote.

    -Kweli4Real


    Hmmm. I'm envisioning a group of registered voters comprised of various ideologies coming together and crafting a Mission Statement and sending it to various candidates. The statement might include their status as registered Independents, as well as the voting records of the candidates if they're dealing with incumbents. So, "This is what we want, and based on your voting record and [insert their rhetoric if they've backed it with action], we are considering voting for you. We also have the ear of this organization___________and these voters here___________. Tell us your plan to help us. Signed, your constituents."

    Next election cycle that same group might then note how much if any of their goals were might by whichever candidate they dealt with, and proceed from there. Oh, and it would be good if there were several groups doing this, to at least keep the politicians on their toes, or from thinking they just have to cater to one set or another.

    This sounds too easy...
    I agree with MBM that this would be most effective if pushed on the local (State) Level; and with Lea, that a mission statement and correspondance be sent to the candidates.

    But how about this - the organization taking the form of a PAC or private foundation ... "Mr/Ms Candidate,Not only can we deliver the vote, we also can deliver cash. But remember, trifle with us or renege and we will use both against you next go round." (Lessons from the NRA, Right to Lifers, Energy industry.)
    I agree that some sort of organizational structure is required to get this thing off the ground, but is a private foundation applicable to what we would be trying to achieve. I mean is possible to have a private foundation that speaks for 15 million people with a single voice. I think I would favor a PAC or a new lobby that clearly sets itself apart from traditional PAC's or the old civil rights leadership and their movement.

    While it would be importatnt to retain some of the old civil rights leadership for their connections and knowledge of beltway politics, it would be very important to let them know up front that this is a new day and a new way of doing business. We will not allow leaders to play different sectors of the group off aganist each other for personal political gain. In fact if one is seem as politically gaining authority or power at the expense of the group and its goals, he/she has got to go. That means no seperate backroom deals.

    Members of the executive committee or steering comittee or whatever has to be open to the idea that one political idealogy is not going to work and that inclusion of all people is the key to this thing working. That means that conservative and liberals will have to play fair.

    It also means getting the group to come to a concensus on a variety of subjects that are important to us and always brings out people's emotions like:

    welfare reform
    prison industrial complex
    death penalty
    america's status as world leader
    AIDS/HIV problem
    Economic development in our communities
    Environmental racism

    These are just of the issues that would really test the new groups ability to come together and present a formal document to a candidate of our concerns and what we expect this candidate to address to earn our vote. While it is probably unlikely to get a concensus across the broad on what we want and how we want it, I think there is probably enough common ground for compromise if people are continually reminded of the big picture.
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    Oh yeah, the carrot and the consequence,

    quote:
    But how about this - the organization taking the form of a PAC or private foundation ... "Mr/Ms Candidate,Not only can we deliver the vote, we also can deliver cash. But remember, trifle with us or renege and we will use both against you next go round." (Lessons from the NRA, Right to Lifers, Energy industry.)


    The cash, yes let's not forget that. The PAC might be fluid and flexible, to include a variety of groups who are natural allies on different "bullet points" of the mission statement. So, everyone concerned abou education might come together, and the same PAC might unite allies on tax issues, another set might lobby for business revitilization, etc.
    I'd like to point out that this concept of block voting is not a new concept and was presented to we younger folk by the leaders of the previous generation. As I said in my post in the conservative topic, I think that it is the most intelligent approach for blacks in America to become independent voters. I am already there and patiently waiting for my people to join me. However this will have to definitely be a grassroots movement since our so-called leadership has been sitting-in since the 1960's. Many have gotten fat butts and fat pockets by doing all that sitting!

    Souljah
    quote:
    Well, I'm not sure what got us from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party in the early to mid 1900s, but we've already demonstrated the ability to do something like this in the past.


    That's pretty easy. By using the same tactic they use to keep Black folks voting the same way. Giveaways. In the 1900 it was the New Deal. Poor, disenfranchised people went to the polls in droves with the promise of a chicken in every pot.

    Black folks would run on mass into any party as long as they are made to feel secure and will get something for nothing. That's not a slight on Black voters, but after generations of food stamps, ASDC, public housing, poor schools, and low expectations, it would take quite a lot to train folks to look at life in a different way.

    And before you attempt to try to tell me I'm way off the mark, look at the 2000 presidential campaign and not necessarily the result for a few minutes. You did hear terms like:

    [center]3/5's of a man.
    picking cotton
    voting rights expiration
    Jesse Helms
    loss of food stamps[/center]


    Sure you did.
    They are running a campaign in Arkansas right now telling Black parents that Black children will lose the one good meal (school lunch) many get all day if they don't vote democrat.

    This in 2002; democrats are still successful keeping Black people in check using the same stuff Al Gores' daddy used to keep Black folks in the corral. Speaking of Gore, why can't Al Gore talk like he does when he is speaking to an all white audience when he speaks to Black folk? Why does he feel a need to preach fire and brimstone?

    I'll tell you why.

    Because he knows Black folk love to be entertained and that entertainment can be turned into votes. And he knows that it is more important to promise to deliver than to actually deliver anything. Black folk wear democrat promises like charms on a bracelet. And the loudest cheering section when the campaign starts where everyone is invited to compare charms. Republicans don't give charms.

    Political promises to Black people are just like having the real thing. Because it's more than a republican would do. Democrats know this. All they have to do it demonize anybody or anything associated with the other party.

    And it works.

    -Jazhawk
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    What we do not have, which hinders this rejuvenated idea, is humble leadership. Humble to their position that is. Too many of our leaders have secret agendas that sometime surfaces to the obvious, but is always prevalent. We have too many leaders who are leaders because they want to be in charge and not because they see a cause that needs to be tackled. They reap the rewards of being head ____ and do so at all cost, even the cause. Though the cleverness has improved, the game has stayed the same and we remain gullible.

    One of the greatest characteristics of both X and King was that neither intended to be who they were, they just saw a problem and wanted it fixed bad enough they risked their lives.

    Remember with this theory there could be no splitting of the group or another want to be leader branching away. No new leaders could rise with a splinter group that would sometimes bring opposition to the drive. We would follow one direction, for the good of Black people. This is easier said than done, but still possible.

    I believe we will be at this point one day, but I'm afraid of what it may take to get us there. Some things can't be built until you start all over and a serious awakening is due.

    EAZy
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    Let's consider three questions:

    1) What would the Republican and Democratic parties do in response to this tactic?

    2) How would white America respond generally?

    3) How could we create the unity and organization within our communities to execute this?


    I'm very interested in your thoughts!

    Onward and Upward!
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    1) What would the Republican and Democratic parties do in response to this tactic?
    A: Wishful thinking perhaps, but the Democrats will learn they cannot take us for granted anymore. They cannot use scare tactics to get us on board, they will have to actually present us with a plan and a reason to vote for them. The Republicans may learn there is some value in looking our way and "pandering" to us, as they are willing to do with the Hispanics.

    2) How would white America respond generally?
    Not sure if it matters since I don't think they would impede us from trying this...but if their opinion does matter, at the least it might occur to them we aren't a monolith, we are thinking about issues, and we aren't just mindlessly following the party line.

    3) How could we create the unity and organization within our communities to execute this?

    Bottom up. For example, start with family and friends. Network with like-minded people. If someone's not on board, don't worry about it. A lot of people aren't "early adopters," they tend to wait until the ball is rolling. Skip them and deal with the folks who see the big picture, but do not alienate the ones who don't see it. Perhaps start small. For example, in my town a couple years ago a company was thinking of putting up a hazardous waste well that would affect our town, and several others in the Downriver area. My family went to the townhall meetings about it, and we (and other registered voters) signed petitions to send to the governor saying that we didn't want the well. We let our reps know we didn't want the well. We didn't get the well. Yay. Now, come election time a year ago my father made a point of reminding me to vote for the city councilwoman who worked hard to keep the well from coming to us. Suppose there was something we wanted from her. So, we send her a letter saying "We are members of SuchandSuch PAC, and we voted for you because of the haz-well issue, and we would like your attention on this issue." Let's say we get her help on it. Great. Now we tell everyone we want to get on board with us. We have proof we are serious, that we will act, that we get results. At the same time, the politician in question knows that we are paying attention, we're serious, we will act, and we expect results from her.

    That's my $.02.
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    I think that the downfall of the Dems and with all the recent news about their big losses in races around the country has opened everyone's eyes to a certain degree. I have heard some in black press even discuss the option of developing a block. I say let's take it a step further and create our own party. As far as white folks are concerned I think a realistic response from them, especially older folks is that they'll be offended. They'll start talking about how much they've done for the black commuity, and especially start talking about reverse racism. So I mean we're damned if we do and damned if we don't. What we need to start doing is what's in the best interest of black people.
    I read a post in here about the inept black leadership. I agree with that. Unfortunately, there can never be another Malcolm X who spoke with intensity and intelligence and didn't try to "preach" down the issues of his day.
    Now if we could get someone like Malcolm on board we would be good to go.

    Souljah
    Souljah, I respectfully disagree when you say "Now if we could get someone like Malcolm on board we would be good to go."

    We don't need to find a single person to rally around. We don't require a single individual to come up with the ideas or put them into practice. We most certainly don't need to put ideas on the back burner until we can find just the right person to follow.

    We know what our problems are. Much of the solutions are self-evident, and don't require a charismatic personality for us to put them into practice. All we need to do is act. Any leader who we happen to have will arise out of that effort. If it turns out a new Malcom X or whatever is forged from that effort, great. But anything that happens now shouldn't be dependent on the existence of a "leader." No longer should we expect for a single voice to speak for everyone, plan for everyone, or think for anyone on every given issue.
    quote:
    Originally posted by Lea:

    No longer should we expect for a single voice to speak for everyone, plan for everyone, or think for anyone on every given issue.


    Agree 100% Part of the inherent power of this concept is that it could get more black folks, on a local level, involved in politics and thinking about their government and what is important to their community. True power will only come to us when it is distributed as locally and individually as possible, IMO. We need to nurture leadership at every level and in every incarnation. Every community should have their Malcoms and Martins! smile

    Onward and Upward!
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    I can't get in line fast enough.

    Yes to all of the above.

    This whole "race thing" thing is about control of the vote of African America. Without going into all of that past, a political party is the only way to have an impact in American politics.

    Step out of both parties --- wholesale.

    At that point, it will not matter whether, or how we vote. We will have taken both the power, and the control of our vote.We will have taken both the power, and the control of our vote.

    Organization can happen "in due time." All parties will know where the power of that vote rests, and will be kicking down the door to get in.

    Consider: When you take the vote of African America out of the mix, they are left to face each other.

    Why do you think Bush "dissed" the NAACP Convention? He believes knows how to preempt the vote of African America. He did it in 2000!!!

    THIS IS THE MOST SIGNIFICANT ISSUE FACING AFRICAN AMERICA TODAY!

    I like the suggestion of "Lea."

    If not a mission statement, certainly a Position Statement. It would be uniform, and issued to every, registered, National Political Committee. The number of supporters does not matter at this point.

    The first thing to establish is PRESENCE!

    PRESENCE IS THE FOUNDATION OF CREDIBILITY.

    The only thing difficult about this that first written declaration.

    PEACE

    Jim Chester

    JWC
    I think it would be good for the "Independent" party, rather than vote for the best issues and candidates on their issues, to initiate and prime a candidate of it's own!! Might be just the shot in the arm to this morally-corrupt system of government and politics that we currently endure now! Eek

    Black by Nature, Proud by Choice.
    Let's not naysay ourselves out of this. The idea is good. We know it is good. Let's simply do it, one person at-a-time. Who else does it is not nearly so important as whether YOU do it.

    As MBM suggested, local action is the key. If it's two people, do it. If it's two thousand people, do it.

    We should jointly develop a very simple modus operadi to assure some uniformity. And then get the message to the politicians runnning for office, beginning with the national offices.

    You would be surprised how sharp the "political nose" is for new activity.

    In my area, African American-Americans are categorized as "politically insignifican." They are right, because we do nothing. No simply because our numbers are very small. We do nothing. When we "do something" the politicos come running until they see that once again it's a toothless bulldog.

    Let's simply do it.

    By the way, I am alrady registered Independent.

    PEACE

    Jim Chester

    JWC
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    I think the idea I posted/cited about an elected National African American Assembly/Congress would be a great idea. It would be in a sense a permanently designed "third party". It would consist (hopefully) of all of our leaders from every walk-of-life and at every level of society. It would constantly voice our concerns and serve as a nationally recognized leadership WE establish as opposed to the age old leadership that is more or less appointed by White America...

    African American Consultative Assembly
    • African Americans need democratic self-determining processes (elections) to establish what it is they want and who speaks for them, and a permanent mechanism (parliament or assembly) to endow that leadership with the full authority of the will of the African American people.

    • Both the process and the mechanism can be brought about by African Americans themselves, outside of any institutions and processes currently established by Anglo Americans. It need not depend on Anglo American good will; it could be done without it. Yet once established by African Americans as the legitimate spokesbody for African Americans, the African American Consultative Assembly (or whatever it might be named) would be well situated to lobby the U.S. government for legal recognition and structures of governance (i.e. law-making and administrative capacity) in relation to the African American community in sectors such as education, health and so on. It would also be positioned to seek some manner of public funding (transfer payment, the right to tax, etc.) for its regular and ongoing enablement -- similar to autonomous arrangements for national minorities elsewhere in the world which receive public monies to establish, fund and run the institutional structures their people require.

    • A Consultative Assembly may be the mechanism through which African Americans might best pursue their goal of reparations - as well as negotiate to determine what the reparations should be, and how same should be disposed of. Indeed, legally recognized and publicly funded structures of governance might be the reparations!

    • While an African American Consultative Assembly might have been attempted by several leadership elements coalescing and proclaiming themselves to be such (witness the various so-called African American Summits), only the holding of elections within the African American electorate at large can invest the Assembly with the necessary aura of democratic legitimacy.
    To me, coming from a Black Nationalist perspective - and we must realize that American Patriotism/Conservativism is, in fact, WHITE NATIONALISM - this seems to be the most intelligent way to install a "third party" perspective with lasting force.

    We need to be realistic. The reason why the Two-Party system remains to be strictly two viable parties is that they have mastered a way to "eat up" any "splinter groups"... In that sense, unless we resign ourselves to single-issue politics, then the traditional third party angle is of little or no use for a people with its own agenda.

    The political philosophy of black nationalism means that the black man should control the politics and the politicians in his own community; no more.



    ._____________________________________________.
    "A race of people is like an individual man;
    until it uses its own talent, takes pride in its own history,
    expresses its own culture, affirms its own selfhood,
    it can never fulfill itself."
    - Malcolm X.
    .________________________.
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    This idea is bigger than being posted here as a reply in this thread. To give this concept it's due consideration, why don't you paste this as a new thread in the Issues forum?

    Great Stuff!



    There is no passion to be found playing small, in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living. - Mandela
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    MBM...

    Am I to assume you are talking to me?
    If so I have in a round-about way:
    Time To Elect A Black President! (thread)

    I, too, feel it is an idea worth considering. I found it on C.U.R.E. website - Caucasians For Reparations... I think the author is married or at least has the same last name as a "Black" man who has done a lot of study in international law and has done some consultant work with the U.N.

    I feel it is worthwhile and would feel honored to dedicate time & energy into seeing it come to fruition.

    Maybe I will repost it in a more direct way.
    It's a litle hard for me do so without "expousing" Black Nationalist "rhetoric". I sure that turns some people off, not to mention it being an untried method that some will see as a waste of time both practically and intellectually.

    I wonder what the said to Dr. King when he first told someone he had a "dream"... lol

    [This message was edited by Nmaginate on July 28, 2003 at 07:56 PM.]
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    quote:
    Originally posted by MBM:

    Our interests would take on much greater weight in American politics, not because our numbers would be any greater, but because we'd use our leverage in a way that maximized our impact.


    The other way to make this happen is to create an exodus of black folks from around the country to one state, in effect creating a "black state". We'd have black mayors, a black governor, black representatives to Congress, and black U.S. Senators. We'd have much more control over what happened in "our" state. In addition, we'd guarantee representation in Congress - particularly in the Senate where we've been far too scarce. By giving blacks experience in the State House and in Congress and the Senate we'd also be giving them the kind of experience that creates credible Presidential candidates.

    Interesting . . .



    There is no passion to be found playing small, in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living. - Mandela
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    I ran across this after responding in the "Repatriation" thread.

    MBM, you seem to be taking a different tact here on the "State Option". You are catering to the seduction of having power, but I know you recognize the "dead-end" future of the "State Option." The negatives are massive from isolation to industry/business backlash to resultant job loss to etc.

    The "State Option" clearly would focus the political power of a lot of African Americans, if it could be made to happen, but what about those, African Americans, who are not in the "State"? I don't believe this response is your "considered" answer. The scenario you paint is utopian.

    But then while this is an excellent discussion, it too is a uptopian "what if", is it not?

    PEACE

    Jim Chester

    You are who you say you are. Your children are who you say you are.
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    quote:
    Originally posted by James Wesley Chester:

    MBM, you seem to be taking a different tact here on the "State Option". You are catering to the seduction of having power, but I know you recognize the "dead-end" future of the "State Option."


    I believe this is the same "Mississippi Plan" advanced in another thread. What do you mean by "dead end"? BTW - power in and of itself is meaningless to me. I am much more focused on the acquisition of power in an effort to make meaningful change in the lives of the African American community. Yes, I do see opportunities to do that within our existing system. I also see becoming more active and smart politically as being an initial step in any positive evolution of our people - in whatever form or wherever that may occur.

    quote:
    The negatives are massive from isolation to industry/business backlash to resultant job loss to etc.


    As you know, "backlash" is an oft-used threat to any efforts at black empowerment. We can't govern our behavior based upon the fear of white backlash. Further, where there are essentially black cities now, white folks are dying to get back in.

    quote:
    The "State Option" clearly would focus the political power of a lot of African Americans, if it could be made to happen, but what about those, African Americans, who are not in the "State"?


    It will only take a few million black folks to move into some of our Southern states to create a majority for us. Even if this plan did stimulate a great movement of blacks to one state, certainly things would be no worse than they already are in states where our numbers are anemic like Montana, Wyoming, Vermont, North Dakota etc. where in the entire state there are only 3 or 4,000 African Americans!

    quote:
    I don't believe this response is your "considered" answer. The scenario you paint is utopian.


    I believe that getting 7% of African America to move to Georgia (for example), and creating a black controlled state there, is far more achievable than getting an African nation to roll out the red carpet for us and getting African Americans to abandon all they've known, as well as their standard of living, to go to Africa. That doesn't mean that I disagree with repatriation, I just think that if we're talking about "Utopian" that getting us back to Africa is much more on that order.

    quote:
    But then while this is an excellent discussion, it too is a Utopian "what if", is it not?


    No. I'm talking about serious things that we can do to make a difference now. Think about the degree to which Mexicans have created communities throughout this country in the last 20 years or so. We already run Atlanta, again, getting a few million blacks to move there could be something that could happen relatively quickly. I've seen the way Jews have supported the growth of Israel - sending their kids their to work in kibbutzes etc. They share the philosophy that they are really building something. I imagine that an effort like this would take on a similar flavor.



    There is no passion to be found playing small, in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living. - Mandela
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    quote:
    Originally posted by MBM:
    Here's a thought about how we can increase our political leverage in America. I'm very interested to hear what you think.

    + African America, en masse, pulls out of the Democratic Party (and the Republican Party) and registers Independent.

    + In places where our vote can be the deciding margin (one way or the other), we wait through the course of a campaign to see which candidate offers an agenda that best fits our interests.

    + We ignore party ideology. We hold each candidate accountable to _our_ interests without regard to classic party loyalties or platforms.

    + We vote the candidate that promises black people the best "deal". Period.

    _Essentially, we take the rules of the game and use them to singularly maximize our political influence and objectives. We play the Democrats and Republicans against each other - getting the best deal for black America._

    It's a classic phenomenon that terms all of a sudden get better when you mention what the competition is promising you. Why not apply the same logic to politics? Think about some of the Southern states where blacks represent huge portions of the total population. We would be _the_ swing vote determining elections left and right. Think about the race in Florida now. Black folks sit back and let Bush and McBride "court" us. We pledge our vote to whomever gives us the best "deal", and then we elect whomever is best for us. In a couple of days, the LA, NC, AK, TX, and SC senate races, and the FL and MD guberatorial races - just off the top of my head - we'd control. Period.

    This would invariably strengthen the commitment from the Democratic Party. It would also make the Republican Party much more moderate and force them to consider our perspectives. _Our interests would take on much greater weight in American politics, not because our numbers would be any greater, but because we'd use our leverage in a way that maximized our impact._ We'd be THE STRAWS that broke the camels back to elect candidates. In that way, black votes would be the _most important_ votes. That fact would significantly raise the stature of our votes and our interests wherever we live in meaningful numbers. It could transform the political landscape.

    This strategy gets even more powerful when you consider the coalitions that we could drive. We pull in groups with similar interests (labor, Latinos, whomever . . . .) and our power to influence agendas and policy gets even stronger!

    What do you think?

    MBM



    Onward and Upward!

    [This message was edited by MBM on December 13, 2002 at 11:22 AM.]


    This is brilliance, absolute brilliance! Listen MBM I'm an independent voter and have done exactly that on an individual basis as well as all the people whom I affiliate with.

    Here's something to, we know we have to have our men/women on high to be a force against pervasive white racism. We also know that the men/women force on high that speaks against racism come into those positions via the democrat party as the republican white male party only puts up its colored puppets to promote stripping all black power from the books.

    As so, we've got to walk a tightrope on this matter. We've got to let it be known we support those already on high, while not supporting the Democrat party.
    quote:
    Originally posted by Les Apt:

    The "Best Deal" includes what?


    Nothing different than what any candidate pledges to any electorate in any election. brosmile


    There is no passion to be found playing small, in settling for a life
    that is less than the one you are capable of living. - Mandela
    Last edited {1}

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