Although I am certain that the vast majority of the nation is relieved to see this particular political season end, the politically astute within our community will continue to be haunted by it for one particular reason, the unavoidable reality that African-Americans have been largely rendered a non-issue due to the absence of a political agenda. Black leaders inability to develop and then wield a political designed to address the many evils afflicting our community would lead one to believe that they believe that there is little wrong within our population. Black leaders fawning over Hillary Clinton would one to believe that she has struck some backroom deal to dedicate her Presidency toward addressing the aforementioned evils in a way that not even President Barack Hussein Obama failed to do during his two terms in the Oval Office.
Make no mistake about it, Black leadership has continued what could be considered their longest tradition of ‘selling-out’ their community by remaining mute in regards to even raising the pressing socioeconomic issues facing our community. Put simply, Black leaders have behaved as if this extremely important election will have no impact upon current and future generations of Black America.
Unfortunately for the African-American community, so-called Black leadership has allowed yet another election come and go without creating and then articulating a Black agenda that aspiring politicians at local, state, and national levels would have been forced to address prior to receiving the Black vote. If I were to gauge the absence of strategizing about and then the wielding of a political agenda like an Excalibur at any level, the African-American political agenda and therefore the community’s leadership is in a word, nonexistent.
Unfortunately for Black America, we have allowed, unlike the Jewish community, our extended tradition of politicization to become dull as an overused butter knife by failing to continually remind succeeding generations of our people of the storied history that their people have traveled in a land that has never been true to the lofty principles and ideals that bring millions to its shores on an annual basis. Make no mistake about it, our ancestors have had to fight, claw, and use every disruptive form of activism to get to what amounts to the second-class citizenship status that we now occupy.
It is our ancestors dogged strength alone that has ensured our existence, however, today’s Black leadership has facilitated a regression that has most certainly disturbed the souls of those that came before them. Consider for a moment that in the 21st-Century, the following statements are true regarding our people.
- African-American babies are more likely to die than any other group of children.
- African-American children are more likely to be suspended from school than any other group.
- African-Americans are more likely to be illiterate than other groups.
- African-American children are more likely to drop out of every level of school than their white counterparts.
- African-American men are more likely to be killed during their lives.
- African-American men are more likely to be incarcerated at some time in their lifetime.
- African-American men are more likely to be killed by a ‘peace’ officer.
- African-American children are more likely to be raised in single-parent, female-headed, households than any other group of children.
- African-Americans are more likely to lose a limb due to health issues during their lifetime.
- African-American men die before their white counterparts, not even making it to retirement age.
Unfortunately for Black America, not even the above harsh realities of being Black in America has proven sufficient to move our kind beyond being not only disinterested in politics, but also woefully foolish and incredibly inefficient when we do engage the all important political arena.
One is left with no other conclusion than African-Americans have at some point lost faith in their ability to execute tried-and-true stratagems that have yield positive results for every other American group and yielded to what can be accurately termed a ‘grimy’ existence.
Most shocking of all is that the alluded to ‘grimy’ existence occurring within our midst is not solely reserved for uneducated segments of our community as many of those in possession of a modicum of an education or some level of political clout often engage in their own version of ‘griminess’ by exploiting the community from whence they come ‘by any means necessary’. During this political season, many of the more prominent examples of ‘grimy’ behavior is this class of individuals selfishly delivering the Black vote to the hands of non-appreciative and non-responsive Democratic Party candidates or the tendency of Black clergy to remain silent during crucial moments in exchange for ‘30 pieces of silver’.
So as we stand on the precipice of yet another Presidential campaign, there is absolutely no doubt that our community is as unprepared to engage and wield what should be a vote that matters as they have ever been. Quite possibly, the most disturbing aspect of it all is that even Black politico economic leaders still have no reasonable plans to work together toward the creation of a Black agenda that would prevent a repeat of another season of Black political irrelevance. Instead of working for the uplift of the entire community, Black leaders are doing what they have done in every Presidential election since John F. Kennedy’s electoral victory over Richard Nixon, that being, seeking the most self-advantageous path available and rushing toward it as if they had channeled the spirit of Tony Dorsett or Ezekiel Elliott. And it is for that very reason that the African-American community will remain at this same place, meaning politically disorganized, powerless, and largely irrelevant in every political season. There is no reasonable way to view this matter than to consider Black leaders and significant portions of our community as treasonous, meaning that they are working against the uplift of their community for personal politico economic gains. I guess that we can take some solace in the fact that ‘as long as we continue to do what we always do, we will continue to get what we always got’ and therefore know what to expect in our lives and succeeding generations.
So, I begrudgingly tip my hat to the unfailing, consistent manner in which Black leaders and those who support them follow the same path to political irrelevancy every political season. All that I can say is, Bravo!!!!!! You have managed to do it once again.
Dr. James Thomas Jones III
© Manhood, Race and Culture, 2016