By AL CALLOWAY
For me it is still bothersome that during Obama’s entire 2007-08 candidacy for President, there were few public occasions in which he did not exhort the American people to take control of our vaunted democratic processes. Over and over, Obama said, “organization is from the bottom up not the top down,” and “yes we can.”
The Brother laid a simple revolutionary concept out there that could change America, and the ultra shame of it is that, of all people, African Americans slept on it. People came as a hoard to Obama’s January 2009 inauguration. It was freezing. The millions praised him and celebrated, many cried as the event’s enormity hit home. And after the festivities, most people went home and did nothing.
Obama’s 2007-08 clarity was phenomenal. What kind of power would we now have, had we organized our neighborhoods, forged coalitions and mobilized? “Organization is from the bottom up not the top down,” and “yes we can.” In 2011, young white professionals, intellectuals and college students organized the Occupy Wall Street movement to “protest corporate influence on democracy.” The protests also called for legal action against those that brought about the 2008-09 economic crisis.
It is up to the American people to make democracy work. We must hurry before a great internal armed force is established throughout the nation with an appendage Gestapo-like secret police. The now Donald Trump led American right wing, like a fleet of submarines, has surfaced all over America. What some thought was mainly a deep southern socio-political will now see that it permeates all of America, save for its inner cities.
Somehow African Americans have in mind that if they vote there is nothing else to be done. So they waited for Moses (Obama) to take them to the “Promised Land.” Somehow the prospect that Obama’s election presented an opportunity to pressure government through organization es- caped black people throughout America. Not one leader came to the fore from any sector of black America to galvanize the people.
If there was even a modicum of understanding that Obama needed black organized pressure on Congress, the Supreme Court and his administration to facilitate positive social change, black reluctance to do anything rendered the Democratic Party base useless. The American white nationalist right used the opening to viciously attack Obama, take Congress and the Supreme Court.
We’re almost eight years later with Hillary Clinton dependent on the black vote to be elected President and, again, there is no black organization, no black policy initiatives known, and no known agreed upon deal. There is only a consistent appeal from Hillary for the black vote. By now the Clinton camp and just about everybody else outside of Trump world is certain that Hillary R. Clinton will be the next POTUS.
While it is imperative that all eligible voters of African descent cast their votes on Tuesday, November 8th, it is equally important that the same mistake of failing to organize for group self interest never be repeated going forward after the election. Black people must pressure the next President within the first 100 days to put all black issues high on the policy agendas with sound assurances of implementation.
Do not, I repeat, do not use the regular channels of communicating with the President, that is through the Negro leadership. These people have been negotiating for African Americans since slavery. How do you like the job they’ve done so far? These people have bravely positioned themselves to negotiate for you and I without our permission because we have allowed them to get away with “pimping” us.
Instead let’s organize using social media and groups like Black Lives Matter. Make preachers open churches and hold community issues forums and post findings. Utilize the black press and black orientated radio, especially during drive time to share information and send political messages to the White House and to black elected officials. Black people need to start organizing. Black people need to vote and do for self. Hillary won’t give you a thing unless you make her give it.