Note: This article was originally published on the author’s site.
I came here to vent. Actually, I came to tell a story. No, that isn’t right. I’m here to offer an explanation.
See, I hate when academics throw jargon around that isn’t digestible to the masses. Half the time, it’s barely digestible to me. And it’s clear that there is a dire need to educate our folks, Black folks, on the lies they are being told and sold.
Case in point: Obama was a nice guy. Right? Kind demeanor. (Seemingly) level-headed. Charming. And an excellent orator. And therein lies the problem: his charm, kind and level-headed demeanorand excellent oration pacified us; made us buy-in. All the while, it was his administration that built cages for children; his administration that deported 3 million immigrants (more than the Bush and Clinton administrations before him); his administration that literally bombed a wedding in Yemen and then claimed the innocent victims were militants. And we allow him to get away with it. Why? Because he’s Black, and charming, and a Democrat.
Why is it that when Republicans do things that are egregious, we (rightfully) get upset? And why is it that when Democrats, specifically Black and Brown Democrats, do things just as egregious, we look the other way?
Coming off the heels of months of protest against police brutality, we proudly hit the ground for a self-proclaimed “top cop,” whose record is highlighted by criminalizing poor Black parents whose children missed school. Why? We stomped for Raphael Warnock even after he boasted his opposition to defunding police and supported military aid for Israel (used to further oppress Palestinians), while condemning the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement. Why?
We give Stacey Abrams endless credit for fighting voter suppression and registering Black voters, yet we don’t talk about her pulling credit away from Black women organizers, like Latosha Brown, who were actually on the ground getting the vote out in Georgia; or her company receiving millions of dollars to register new voters and severely missing its mark, all the while profiting herself. Or her very questionable business relationships between her company and the state government she was elected to serve. Why?
Why do Democrats think it’s enough to dress up their anti-poor, anti-working class policies in Blackface and offer it to us as enough? Why do we let them? It’s time we do our own research on these candidates and abandon corporate news outlets, like CNN, who have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo.
Why do Democrats think it’s enough to dress up their anti-poor, anti-working class policies in Blackface and offer it to us as enough? Why do we let them?
Since antebellum times, Black and Brown people have been allowed into positions of power: Anthony Johnson was the first Black slave owner in the 17th century; Hiram Revels, the first Black person to serve in the U.S. Congress in 1870; Barack Obama, the first Black person elected as President of the United States. The common theme is that in every instance, the masses of Black and indigenous and poor folk have not progressed an inch — from Jim Crow, to redlining, to blockbusting, to restrictive covenants, to urban blight, to mass incarceration, to underfunded schools, to concentrated poverty, to the criminalization of social ills — all the while issuing bipartisan tax cuts for the rich, corporate bailouts, and a slew of policies that further consolidate wealth and power among those who already have it.
The Democrats are not for us. The Black misleadership class is not for us. That includes Barack, that includes Kamala, that includes Stacey, that includes Warnock; that includes all Black, Indigenous, and other Persons of Color (BIPOC) who prioritize the needs of capital over the needs of the people and hope to sell us their mere representation as progress. This is the neoliberal agenda of the Democratic Party and therefore all establishment Democrats. When it comes to the good of the masses, they are no better than Republicans; Democrats are just more polite with their facism.
History shows that incremental reform and trying to negotiate with our oppressors just simply does not work. What we need is transformation; only radical politics and social movement will bring us that. The time has come take hard stances, fight passionately for what we know is right, and align only with our comrades willing to do the same.
Antiracist. Anticapitalist. Afrosocialist 🌹. #AllPowerToThePeople⚡️