Speaking & Teaching
Jul. 19, 2019
Yesterday, on The Blackman's Read Aloud Hour while reading Chapter 5 from The Debt: What America Owes Blacks authored by Randall Robinson. Mr. Robinson discussed an idea formulated by the late great former mayor of Atlanta, Georgia Maynard Jackson. The concept was simply Mr. Jackson felt that the leaders and residents of black communities across this country should develop an issues-oriented card that would be distributed to every black person in this country to utilize for every political candidate running for any municipal, state, or federal office that affected the black communities residents, men, women, and children.
I was shocked that this formula or concept wasn't implemented. You see the book The Debt was published in 2000. It seemed simple enough to go to the leading black organizations in the country, all the black Greek fraternities and sororities, all the social-economic organizations like the NAACP, CORE, Urban League, all the black religious organizations The National Baptist Conference, SCLC, Nation of Islam, as well as the core leaders of these black mega-churches that are seeded financially by blacks, along with the black educational organizations such as NABSE, and Urban Superintendents and present this political plan that would put the candidates feet black or white to the fire to actually be aligned to a group of 20 issues nationally to gain our support.
This would mean that it wouldn't be the candidate's political party that would be of consequence. The deciding factor would be about the candidates, white or black responded to these questions yes or no, in deciding who we would support for election. I mean, it's simple, create a series of 20 questions that affect the black community nationally. Then request every candidate to answer these questions, yes or no, and then grade them individually on their responses to these questions. The candidate with the highest score, whether democrat or republican would gain the support of the black electorate.
After the candidate, we have supported gains the election seat. We hold that candidate, black or white, democrat or republican, to his/her word on honoring the pledges made. If the elected candidate jives us or doesn't fulfill working diligently on producing results during that term in office. That candidate isn't supported for reelection. The issues cards would be distributed to each and every black American or coalition of Americans who align together on these 20 yes or no questions. The beauty of these issues cards is now the cards can be digitally produced, as well as produced on card stock. In every session that the candidates are in leading up to the election, they would be quizzed on these vital questions related directly to the community uplift.
You see a candidate on the street of any city, USA and pull out the issues cards and quiz them on their position. Surely, if we had these issues cards distributed maybe we would've actually gained something during the past democratic administrations other than speak talk. We may have had candidates willing to actually support issues that are vital to our community's progress. We could've had a President who actually worked for us when we gave that candidate almost 95% of our votes. You think we could've held those candidate's feet to the fire for actual support of reparations? Controlling law enforcement procedures and policies? Creating better educational facilities? Providing true economic and job opportunities? I think personally we would. We shouldn't allow candidates to control, or define our central or universal issues. Those critical issues should be developed by us, for us, and control by us.
The candidates, black or white, democrat or republican would now be more responsive to our needs. The Democratic Party could no longer take advantage of our support because that support would hinge on how the Democratic Party actually works to the benefit of the entire black electorate. At one time the Republican Party was our party of choice but over the decades we switched alliances to the Democratic Party. Neither political party actually has responded in kind for our faithful allegiance. The time is now to hold accountable these political parties as well as the political candidates. We need to upgrade our strategies. We cannot simply give out our support and gain nothing. I actually think that creating this digital and printed card of 17-20 core issues will define a new day in establishing political power. What we cannot do is allow the same old candidates with the same old policies to define the issues for us. We must define those issues ourselves. Let's honor the memory of Maynard Jackson now. Let's start to creat these questions now. Let's make sure that 2020 really means change in how we do our political business. We thought hope and change was the deciding factor but that proved to be simply a mirage.