- The HuffPost Politics -Black Infighting Over The Obama Presidency - Getting Beyond It
As I got to my eggs and salsa I read:
In the "Black Infighting" article I have to at least credit the authors for being honest about how the progressives within the Black community are confounded between defending the permanent interests of Black people versus defending Obama against the Republicans. They need to find a disposition in which they achieve their progressive policy ends while ensuring that Obama gets elected. It is clear that they measure Obama's success by his ability to get PROGRESSIVE policies passed - NOT the RESULTS that these policies have on our economy and society. In their arrogance they presume that these viewpoints have experienced enough discussion n their circles to have been sufficiently vetted. Obama is merely the "ball carrier" for their progressive agenda.
There is a real and urgent need to shift the debate on Obama's relationship with the black community from private individuals' issues and will-I-or-won't-I half-heartedness about broaching the topic into an actual nuanced strategy that negotiates the fine line between pandering to extremist views and advancing the needs of a black community that is on so many levels seeing its worst days in generations.
The Reverend Al Sharpton, who has become a leading figure in Obama's black community outreach strategy, has strongly condemned black criticism of Obama, instead arguing for an insider strategy that negotiates with the administration. Sharpton's somewhat hands-off approach signals a real fear that reiterating Obama's black status will hurt his chances of re-election amongst whites and potentially open the door for a far more reactionary conservative candidate to win.The fraud in this analysis is that it puts forth the notion that the "Black suffering" under Obama is a better condition for Black people than the thought of losing the White House to a "reactionary" Republican. Once again the Black Community is asked to carry water for Progessivism and Obama. There will be no Black Progressive journalist who is going to point out that the average Black unemployment rate under Bush was far lower than what is registered under Obama. They instead will make the case that Bush received the benefit that was handed to him from Clinton and that Obama is working to undo "Bush's mess". In the process they never are able to register the benefit or tell of the missed opportunity that the local domination of Black communities by favorable forces have created organic uplift in the form of jobs and quality education. Most instead are pacified by the partisan jousting match. With the Black community of today as a full participant the term "I Know Which Republican Did This To Us" is enough for them to survive yet another day in power.
The choice for the Progressive Political Preacher Rev Al Shartpon to "Speak Truth To Power In Private So The Power Is Not Hurt In The Exchange" shows clearly that what casts itself as a "Black Community Development Agenda" is only an ideological and partisan movement per its derailed state today.
By far the most shocking passage of the article is the following:
As joblessness continues to rise -- above 16.5% among blacks, as opposed to 8% amongst whites -- housing foreclosures devastate black families, and criminal justice practices continue to disintegrate black family structures and prosperity, black America is openly struggling against a potentially historic social and economic collapse during the very time that the first black president is in office. There seems to be little doubt, at least as Obama's first term comes to an end, that African Americans will have fared worse than when he came into office. For Obama's opponents, black and otherwise, that data will be the central theme for judging his administration.Analysis:
But to what degree is expanding black immiseration Obama's fault? Clearly, Obama carries some of the blame, particularly his failure to use the office as a bully pit for challenging the nation to resolve the harmful racial disparities that exist. Yet, in a political system of complex and vexing checks and balances, realpolitik also limits the president's ability to change political directions. These facts, though too often buried in the back pages, fortunately have not been lost on some longstanding leaders in the community.
The rising voice of a middle ground is signaling some hope. Black leaders like Harry Belafonte, a Hollywood star whose history of progressive activism in the black community goes back to the early days of the civil rights movement, have proclaimed a more constructive and productive approach to Obama's relations with the black community and its needs. In an interview on Democracy Now!, Belafonte stated that it is in Obama's interest to be pushed into addressing black policy and political priorities. This can be accomplished by a multi-pronged strategy.
If Obama advances legislation that is desperately needed by a wide range of Americans, the needs of blacks can also be addressed without risking alienation of the dominant power structure. Joblessness is a key area. Unemployment rates among blacks haven't been this bad since the Great Depression. If Obama presses toward targeted job reform legislation, he will not only have addressed the foremost needs of millions of working class and jobless Americans, he will have taken a massive step toward helping the black community in particular.
In the list of Black grievances provided............
- 16.2% Black Unemployment rate as compared to 8% White
- High Housing foreclosure rates for Blacks
- Criminal Justice System as the cause for the collapse of the Black family
- Prospective Economic Collapse
The spacial challenge of these authors is that they transact on "present Black grievances" without the slightest bit of intellectual curiosity to consider if the strategy is EFFECTIVE.
Normally the phrase "Black people are in worse shape today than when the interval started" is said in the justification for the OUSTER of the incumbent. But in the world of HuffPo Black Political Analysis these are sentiments that are exclusive to - OBAMA'S OPPONENTS.
I see no separation between "Obama's Interests" (Democrat and Progressive) and the interests of the Black community. It appears that the primary interests of these aggregated groups is to fight off the reactionary forces that dare to actually be perturbed by their present circumstances and will neither be invited to a private co-strategy with the president nor will they agree to the vow of silence after the meeting.
DID HARRY BELAFONTE SAY ANYTHING ABOUT LIBYA in his "more constructive and productive approach to Obama"? Why even bring in Belafonte to take advantage of his progressive gravitas when it merely adds fuel to the claim that the fix is in - Obama can't lose with the Progressive-Fundamentalists? They tell of "Obama's interests to be PUSHED" but this must mean that a protest march is not a tool for "pushing" but a tool used against an enemy for INDICTMENT. The full character of a movement is seen when they are inspected in reaction to both friend and foe in power.
In their closing Dr Lusane and Sedeghi indicate how Obama can receive salvation by pushing for a sufficiently large government jobs program. Again, lacking any respect for the time line upon which they stand - they don't think about how their expansionary struggle suggested the very same thing as they were driving for control over the lower rungs of power. Now they chose to "rinse and repeat"
The Death Of Our Society
The death of Our Society - which focuses on the internal strategy for Black people in South Africa was a breath of fresh air. Instead of focusing on plotting on how to save the hide of Zuma and the ANC it debated core strategy for the Black community in ZA.
The choice between political empire and economic empire has been settled. With Black South Africans holding the super monopoly vote they have not been able to use their "Equal Black Ballots" to VOTE their way into prosperity. The author does not entertain the notion that had they voted themselves a more radical take over and toppling of the economic order in the nation that their fate would be better. I suspect that he realizes that the disassembly of a machine does not necessarily identify the competency to reassemble an equally functional alternative.
Prince Mashele notes how the Chinese have proven their metal by showing their ability to "produce and innovate". The best "social justice" is the one that you make on your own.
The Black community in America has its consciousness fused onto the notion of "Political Empire". Much of what can be said about the South African is true for American Blacks in the context of this specific article. For any of Mr Mashele's suggestions to take root the Black community would need strong internal governance infrastructure to execute what he has suggested.