AJC: Political hopefuls court black elected officials
'People are very excited': Iraq, economy and Obama prime topics at meeting.
Let me start off by clarifying my agenda. This is a report about a state meeting of Black elected officials in Georgia. By definition - this is a meeting of DEMOCRATS per the loyalties that most Blacks have to the Democratic party.
Of course I have no control over the agenda or topics of discussion as set by the Georgia Association of Black Elected Officials. Instead I do as I do in person when I listen into a conversation in person - allow the individuals to take the conversation on the course that they naturally would absent my interjection of my beliefs. I believe that this news paper article is a representation of the priorities in the minds of Georgia Democrats and the 100% Democratic GABEO.
With them having registered their list of priorities I believe that it is fair game for me to review this list and map it against what I believe to be the common goals of the Black community:
*Safe Streets and Strong Community Relationships
*Quality Education To Train Our People To Add Value To The Community
*Strong Economy To Allow Goods And Services To Be Sold and Purchased Within our Community
* Healthy Lifestyles To Afford A Long, Disease and Pain Free Life As Possible
This is not a surprise attack on the GABEO. This is the execution of my knowledge that IF THEY ARE ALLOWED TO SET THE AGENDA for their discussions absent any broader and compelling framework......the as Democrats will assure that the Democrats win and the Black community's victory .....no so certain.
Here are their priorities as listed:
The war in Iraq, a moribund U.S. economy and the high cost of gasoline were the chief topics of conversation.
"I can remember being on common ground with many of you in this room," he said. "The Bush administration is destroying this country, moving us in the wrong direction."
Some of the most pointed remarks were made by the SCLC's Steele. He said that Michelle Obama has had rougher treatment than her husband because she has ancestors who were slaves, and Barack Obama, whose father was born in Kenya, does not.
"Why are they attacking Michelle Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, and not really attacking, to that degree, her husband?" Steele asked. "Because he has no slave blood in him. He does not have any slave blood in him, but Michelle does."
Steele admitted to the crowd that his remarks about the Obamas were intended to be provocative, but afterward he declined to expand upon them.
He said his larger point was that even if Obama wins the presidency in November, the problems facing African-Americans will still require an outside voice.
In the state of Georgia the list of things that are impacting Black communities varies greatly from this list as forwarded by the GABEO.
Nowhere on their list is:
* Crime in the community - as many communities are being overrun with crime
* Education - too many schools are failing to live up to the promise of quality education. The fiasco in Clayton County where 54,000 Children, the vast majority of them BLACK stand to lose their accreditation
I acknowledge their listing of the Economy as a major problem for many people. Unfortunately they are doing a "Blame Bush" rather than being able to detail any specific cause of the problem and certainly no solutions. Again - a recent newspaper report showed that Clayton County GA had a 10.x delinquency rate for their mortgage loans. The other counties had 1.5 through 4.5 (from my memory). This despite the fact that Clayton's average mortgage balance was $115,000 while the other counties were upwards of $200,000.
This is where the GABEO and other organizations fail. They are quasi-civil rights organizations. If there is no low hanging fruit of blame regarding RACISM they are rendered ineffective. The best that they can do in return is to make the case that in receiving certain sub-optimal results within these communities the people's RIGHTS were not protected or that there is some structural misalignment which has a legacy in slavery and Jim Crow which allowed all of this to happen.
Sadly for Clayton County, a majority Black county - upon looking at the number a CASE FOR "red lining" can be made. Any bank loan portfolio manager seeking to keep his job would be charged with malfeasance for looking past the bleak numbers and attempting to be politically correct despite the clear geographic correlation between concentrations of poverty/low wages and the resulting high rates of delinquency. Even Dekalb County where the majority of the racial battles over mortgages have occurred in the 20 years that I have been watching them pan out - their numbers were on the high end of the cluster of other counties that are in good shape. Clayton was the clear outlier with a rate that was off the charts.
I keep wondering when the Black community, my community will tire of the antics used by the various people in the GABEO and SCLC and other operatives. All the while important issues are left to dangle while their power and their party's power in Georgia - certainly in the Black communities solidifies - they are able to make use of certain tried and true racial queues to insure that their antics are reported on the news.
They should not be reported on for their off the wall racialist antics.
They should be called out for their IRRELEVANCE in addressing the key problems that face our Black communities. Crime and mediocre academic environments of which the students, the parents and the schools systems are contributors to seems to have a degraded amount of conversation because - as the authors of the script - they know that no one is keeping them in check for promoting that which is in the community's interests to solve.
Again it is not for me to attack the GABEO. It is entirely legitimate for me to develop a MEASURING STICK which has fidelity and then to hold them up against it, making note that they fall way short as to the standard of what we need today.
In various debates several of my ideological adversaries have called me out for "building a straw man argument" (painting a certain picture of the offending entity) and then arguing against that which I have constructed about them.
I reject this. I ask that you make measure of the list of "Black Best Interests" and then tell me which elements on this list is not legitimate because THIS IS what I am "straw manning" them up to. I am attempting to be objective and thus there is a need for a set of standards that we can all agree on.
In truth some of my detractors are not interested at all in taking objective measure as to the ultimate effectiveness of these Black, mostly Democratic operatives that hover at the core of our racial consciousness. As long as the ideology that they represent and the party that they are housed in continue to strengthen in power - this list (and me) can go take a hike.
As for me - I can't understand the consequence of measuring that which is endeared to you up to a standard reference. Just as the statement "Permanent Interests, Not Permanent Friends" is used to detail Black folk's relations to external power sources - it is clear to me that the Black community needs to make such a distinction between the community's interests and that which any slick haired Black politician is promoting as a benefit to the community at large. He is promoting a METHODOLOGY for achieving these goals and interests. Certainly it is incumbent upon the community to vet these methods as being effective. Failing to do so - they operate on notions of POPULARITY instead.
In my view a significant portion of that which is called RACISM in 2008 actually has its roots in FAILED METHODOLOGY which produces sub-optimal outcomes. The cry of RACISM serves as a popular catch-all.