Time to throw some political punches
JAMES CLINGMAN | 6/1/2015, 1:05 a.m.
(NNPA) – For the past 50 years, most of our conversations and efforts have been centered on politics. Reminiscent of the Reconstruction Era, when Blacks occupied political office for the first time, many of our politicians are just figureheads, toothless tigers and lackeys for the establishment. Many of them are simply employed and are only concerned about keeping their jobs. Many Black politicians actually work harder on behalf of others than they do for their own brothers and sisters. We must change our conversation from politics to economics.
Before you political hacks get angry, let me say that we must continue to be involved in politics. We must run for office and we must leverage our votes, by all means. But we cannot afford to stop there. We saw what happened in 2008 and 2012; both times Black folks were told to go out and vote. We were told we must vote in even greater numbers in 2012 than we did in 2008. We did it, and we still cannot even get a hearing on reparations. A few years ago, P. Diddy told the young people to, “Vote or die.” They voted and yet, when it comes to economic empowerment, they, and we, are nearly dead. Like I said in a previous article, where is the “Start a business or die” campaign, the “Pool our money or die” campaign?
Black people must realize that while our relatives fought and died for voting rights, those folks didn’t die so we could spend the majority of our time playing politics. They wanted us to take our participation to the next level. Similarly, Black folks, your relatives and mine, also lost their lives because they chose to go into business. Where is the rallying cry today for entrepreneurship?
Black politicians who do absolutely nothing for Black folks come out every couple of years to tell us how good they have been and what they support on our behalf. What a load of fertilizer that is. Even stranger is the fact that Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, do the same things. We may duck the right cross, but we still get hit by the left hook. In other words, we have nothing coming from either political party, and they have proven that to us time and time again.
Since our vaunted voting power is so important to the two major political parties, we should be using it in ways that support the most important political principle: quid pro quo. We should be leveraging our votes; otherwise, why participate at all? It really doesn’t matter what color the politician is. What matters most is what Black folks are getting from the system, and Black folks are getting the shaft from most of our politicians. You know it, I know it, and they know it. It’s bad enough that the leadership in the two major parties really doesn’t care about us. One is throwing Mike Tyson right crosses and the other is throwing Joe Frazier left hooks at us, causing us to be off-balance, out of sync, and off-kilter, as we try to avoid their vicious haymakers.