By AL CALLOWAY
What is at once sad and dumb but increasingly dangerous for stratified black communities of America, is the manner in which black politicians relate to their constituencies. After election political leaders tend to go under cover, popping up here and there to speak at various church and other organizational affairs, while much energy is spent on issues outside of their political districts.
Pressure to constantly provide votes along political party lines amid meetings with developers and lobbyists while having to wade through mounds of related documents, dominates black political reality. It is money from downtown interests that black politicians raise to campaign for the mostly black votes that elect and reelect them; that money tells politicians what to do, not black votes!
It is not within the interests of downtown powerbrokers (members of the “white supremacy system/culture”) for black people to actually develop stratified black communities, because white money is already land banking these areas for gentrification, meaning redevelopment including significant black removal through economics.
What black elected officials and other politicos worked with downtown interests to produce in Harlem, Washington, DC and the Overtown community of Miami, are examples of what is to come throughout stratified black America. It has become increasingly difficult for blacks to afford rentals and mortgages in these once all black communities that are being gentrified.
In every instance, so far, black politicos and preachers have gone for the same okeydoke: “redevelopment will bring jobs to the community.” Wall Street sent “Slick Willie” to bamboozle then longtime Harlem Congressman, Charles Rangel who went ecstatic that Bill Clinton, anointed “the first black President of the USA,” would open offices on Harlem’s famed 125th Street.
The Clinton move brought investment bankers and every kind of financial institution to Harlem. There would be no worry about red lining – denying loans to a geographical area because of race or other factors. No, Harlem would now be about green lining! Years have passed and the money is still coming, but fewer and fewer blacks can afford it and whites have gobbled up buildings and opened businesses throughout Harlem.
The white supremacy system/culture has never been fair to black Americans. The problem is why do black leaders expect those who oppress us to be fair with us? Why do black leaders operate on a premise of falsehood? Do they not see themselves on the long road to nowhere? Should sane black people begin to eliminate this psychotic behavior from leadership? My vote is yes, these dangerous people have got to go!
Just think about what should be our vanguard: the more than ten thousand black elected officials that exist across the length and breadth of America. They are officials on local, state and federal levels of governments and I guarantee that most do not know each other. Is that not sad? Is that not dumb? These people are dangerous by the commission of omission.
All political power is local, yet black leaders tacitly refuse to organize their political districts. When campaigning for office, only residents that voted in the last three or so elections are contacted and their votes asked for by a candidate. That may well leave an overwhelming majority of eligible residents out of the picture. Theory has it that if they haven’t bothered to register and vote by now, they will more than likely continue that behavior.
Because the black American experience is significantly different than that of white people, any theory of behavior will undoubtedly show consequences that differ. Many blacks are simply turned off by the white supremacy system/culture to an extent of avoidance. Others are apathetic because they see things around them are just getting worse. Still others may have seen no candidates they deem worthwhile.
Above all else are the startling numbers of people no politician ever talks with, not to. True black community organizing is not a fast track endeavor. “If you don’t spend the time, no way you goin’ shine.” One must have a true message of power development and power sharing through community organization. Black elected officials in today’s world are dangerous if they are not community organizers.