alcalloway.jpgCome on, now. You don’t mean that after more than 400 years there is confusion about what Occidentals will do to black people? All but taking away the right to vote is just another challenge to overcome – that is, if black people still want to play this game called “democracy”?

It’s not clear to me, though, that every black body wants to play the game.

Maybe that’s why so many don’t register to vote? Maybe too many are fed up, scared off or just don’t care? White nationalists are betting that America’s cruel history and their national voter suppression campaign will convince enough black people that they are not wanted in America.

The latest possible adjunct to voter suppression coming out of Florida is to deny use of polling place toilets to voters in line who are outside of polling places. Those voters in long lines for hours will indeed be hard pressed to remain and cast their votes. So expect the Rev. Al Sharpton and other civil rights and church leaders to stage another rally and complain.

But what the civil rights community will not do is organize to win. Neither Sharpton nor the Urban League’s Marc Morial nor any other “leader” will go before the Organization of African Unity (OAU) and the United Nations requesting assistance from the world’s people to fight oppression and tyranny in America – land of the (lynching) tree and home of the grave.

Mass progress has not been the sine qua non or singular priority of black leadership, anywhere! Mass progress has constantly been utilized as the apex of negotiation from which compromise is wrangled. So-called leaders and their “courtiers” are immediate and perennial beneficiaries of sparse largesse for which they promote that positive change is coming.

And what do the black masses get? They get gentrification, which is black removal, and more law enforcement as police brutality. Black communities get poor schools as “public schools” and mis-education and they stagnate and go downhill from there. Black children are more like feral in the streets while churches that glut their neighborhoods shut them out.

There is something else that most black people know but refuse to face: The slavery experience has left black people with a psychology of dependency – a need to be taken care of by white people; a deep unconscious desire to be with them, even to believe them. Shackles on minds are hardest to remove.

Obviously “freedom” has not worked for the black masses precisely because it is something given by oppressors and sophisticated by their progeny from a system of containment to a pogrom of gradual extermination. Black people must become liberated from the concept “freedom” because it is fraught with perilous conditions.

Liberation is not something that is asked for or given. It is an inalienable right and where denied it must be taken. That’s just being human, no other reason. And that is exactly why black people have to quickly grow a different leadership – a leadership that organizes within, not one that negotiates without power of the people.

The day that Negro leaders capitulated to white supremacy and changed the movement from human rights to civil rights, black America lost its thrust to internationalize the cause. Civil rights kept the movement internal, within the boundaries of the United States and its laws/lawlessness.

That is why white America could ignore the U.S. Supreme Court decision of 1954 in Brown v.  Board of Education that was supposed to have ended school segregation. Among other things, it is how Bloody Sunday occurred on March 7, 1965, on the Edmond Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, when armed officers of the law attacked peaceful marchers on their way to the state capital in Montgomery.

No more capitulation! No more compromises! No more media-made leaders catapulted by white nationalists of the left or right. No more “poverticians” and other pimps. Rise up, rise up from the people and organize, organize, organize.

Al Calloway is a longtime journalist who began his career with the Atlanta Inquirer during the early 1960s civil rights struggle. He is writing a book of essays. He may be reached at