entered a new epoch, facing the same enemy with new and dangerous designs.
critical task facing Black political activists is to identify, expose
and defeat Black Trojan Horse electoral candidates. They must be identified
early, before money and media have provided them with credibility within
and beyond the Black electorate. We have the capacity to expose them
thoroughly, through rigorous research and relentless deployment of our
own media and institutional resources. At every opportunity, they should
be confronted directly and without civility, thus demonstrating our
outrage at their activities. These men and women must be ostracized
from the political life of the community.
of the past year have demonstrated that the Black political movement
is vulnerable to surrogate candidates in electoral contests in which
African Americans are a majority or near-majority.
challenge is funded and directed by the Hard Right. It is a new and
ominous threat, intended to destabilize existing Black leadership and,
ultimately, destroy independent Black political action. Moreover, it
is clear that African Americans will be confronted by this determined
strategy for the foreseeable future and with escalating intensity.
Booker mayoral candidacy in Newark was both a test and herald of the
Hard Right's New Black Strategy. Although Mayor Sharpe James was not
ousted from office, the closeness of the contest and the effectiveness
of the financial and other resources brought into play on Booker's behalf,
encouraged ultra-conservatives to believe that the new approach is practical
succession and with great fanfare, Right-funded challengers defeated
two Black congresspersons: Representatives Earl Hilliard (D-AL) and
Cynthia McKinney (D-GA). Although right-wing Zionists played the most
public role in these campaigns, the same political apparatus that was
at the center of the Booker bid in Newark, provided organizational,
media and financial muscle in Alabama and Georgia.
Right's own propaganda machinery, through its think tanks, has from
the beginning described the three contests as linked enterprises, with
promises of more to come. These enemies of independent Black action
are hard at work in the African American political heartland, seeking
to groom new candidates. It is from within the Democratic Party that
the next Black Trojan Horses will emerge.
Horses, who are creations of our historic enemies, should find no comfort
zone in Black America. But first, we must identify them. By design,
these are stealth candidacies. However, the tools to strip away the
façade are readily at hand. Determined people can overcome the
schemes of wealth.
of the strategy
Black Strategy was first implemented through the political network centered
on the Bradley Foundation, of Milwaukee, which is author of much of
the Republican Party's social policy positions and funds the network's
most aggressive think tanks: Manhattan Institute, American Enterprise
Institute, Hoover Institute, Hudson Institute and other, satellite outfits.
Bradley works closely with the Olin Foundation, the Walton Family Fund,
the Scaife Foundation and other, traditional bankrollers of right-wing
organs, these foundations are capable of causing many millions of dollars
of cash contributions and other vital electioneering resources to be
funneled into targeted contests. They are also extremely influential
among the mass media.
these foundations' direct, Black-related activities were largely limited
to funding compliant African American academics, and to subsidizing
single-person front organizations such as Ward Connerly's California
operations and Robert Woodson's Center for Neighborhood Enterprise.
Attempts to legitimize Black Republican vehicles such as the Center
for New Black Leadership proved ineffective among the Black populace
the campaign for school vouchers, under the direction of the Bradley
Foundation, introduced white conservatives to the possibilities of grassroots
and electoral action under non-partisan cover in the heart of urban
America. The Hard Right had found an issue that, if generously financed,
would make available to it significant numbers of potential minority
office-seekers and ambitious local activists. These "stealth"
candidates and operatives would not be burdened with the Republican
Booker, an obscure city councilman and nominal Democrat, emerged from
the pro-voucher crowd, where he caught the attention of the Bradley
network, which put together the sophisticated machinery and massive
funding for his mayoral campaign.
the interim, George Bush captured the White House. The Bradley Foundation
and other Hard Right funders, who had functioned as the brains of the
Bush-Cheney wing of the Republican Party, were in position to shape
national policy. Vouchers and faith-based initiatives, both skillfully
marketed to create constituencies among African Americans, became top
domestic priorities of the Bush administration. Both "movements"
were invented with Bradley Foundation money.
Right now had its ducks in a row: They prepared to tap billions from
the federal treasury to build conservative Black constituencies through
vouchers and faith-based programs. Meanwhile, the cultivation of stealth,
Trojan Horse candidacies within the Democratic Party would provide a
mercenary core of African American officeholders who could be advertised
as credible, alternative "leadership."
Black Republicanism had failed miserably, Black stealth Democrats are
poised like a knife aimed straight at the heart of the Black consensus.
in Alabama and Georgia - and near-success in Newark - further emboldened
the Hard Right. In the mass media arena, they have achieved unqualified
success; the corporate press have adopted the Bradley Foundation-inspired
analysis of Black America as their own. African Americans, the media
declare, are deeply divided on critical issues - especially vouchers
- and no longer owe allegiance to a "civil rights-oriented"
agenda. By extension, historically influential Black organizations no
longer "represent" African Americans, particularly the middle
class. Black office-holders are hopelessly out of touch with their constituents,
while conservative Blacks are numerous and growing.
the broad ranks of Black political office-holders, activists, and influencers
join in loud and vigorous rejection of the Trojan Horses among us, the
Black electorate will also come to believe the Right's hype. This, of
course, would signal the end of Black consensus-driven political activity
as we have known it.
the same old right-wing
important to stress the attitudinal change within right-wing ranks that
has made possible the emergence of their New Black Strategy. This relatively
recent internal transformation among the enemy is more significant than
the willingness of some talented Blacks to function as surrogates for
the Right. Careerists and opportunists have always been among us, but
their services were not previously so highly valued; nor, in the past,
was their company so welcomed at right-wing functions.
the Hard Right evolved. Their strategy is no longer tokenist. In a sense,
the Hard Right has decided to "normalize" its behavior toward
Blacks, i.e., to employ funding, media, and sophisticated institution-building
strategies in the Black community similar to those that have historically
succeeded among whites. This is precisely what makes the New Black Strategy
so dangerous: it is far less encumbered by past, racist inhibitions
against intimate and expensive relationships with significant numbers
the post-Sixties explosion of African American electoral gains, the
Hard Right kept its hands off intra-Black contests. This period will
henceforth be remembered as a kind of benign Jim Crow, during which
African American politicians were spared the need to confront the full
weight of right wing financial, media and organizational clout on Black
turf. That day is over.
Republican Party's embrace of the Bradley-pioneered strategy has vastly
enhanced the reach and effectiveness of the Hard Right network. Contracts,
appointments and all manner of emoluments are now available to Black
operatives who prove useful in local campaigns - win or lose. The foundations
no longer have to bear the burden of wholly subsidizing their Black
puppets. The inducements available to entice Black Democrats to abandon
the consensus have increased many-fold. The white Right is no longer
stingy to its Black collaborators.
complicating the landscape, this year the evangelical and secular Right
celebrated a post-911 alliance with Jewish groups in solidarity with
whatever government rules Israel. Whether this reciprocal alliance is
limited to Rightists who happen to be Jewish or extends into more mainstream
pro-Israel organizations, is unclear. However, the evidence from Alabama
and Georgia indicates that Jewish organizations that had previously
observed the hands-off rule regarding interference in intra-Black contests
have become interventionist - on the same side as gentile Rightists.
Newark mayoral contest, where foreign policy issues were not at stake
and the Jewish population is small, Booker operatives and their allies
in media repeatedly attempted to inject Black-Jewish "conflicts"
into the race.)
the alliance of right-wing Jews with the corporate Right and the Christian
Right should have no effect on our course of action. Purging the Trojan
Horses from the Black body-politic is essentially an internal affair.
If we succeed, we will end up with the same allies we started out with,
but also a far healthier political environment. As we clear the phony
Democrats out, we will also clear our collective heads.
African Americans must awaken precisely that quality which the Hard
Right seeks to destroy: our historical will to speak for ourselves.
On that ground, there are no honest divisions
among us. Although tolerant of the widest range of political expression
and styles, African Americans can be trusted to recognize and rebuke
their enemies when they are pointed out to them.
Right isn't in hiding - it is in power! It spends freely, in amounts
that wave like red flags in even the most upscale Black communities.
These people are massively buying their way into office and influence.
We and our allies can discover the points-of-purchase - the direct financial
lines to the Trojan Horses. The process can be tedious, but it's not
all that complicated. (Cory Booker was identified and out-ed in the
premier issue of The Black Commentator,
despite his down-with-the-hood pretensions.)
of the Hard Right is easy to detect. Black Trojan Horse candidates
are stealthy, carefully masquerading as cautious Democrats, but their
paymasters betray them at the top of their lungs. Hard Right web sites
and paper publications brag constantly about their actual and potential
minority assets. They can't help themselves because, for the Right,
the creation of an alternative Black leadership is a public ritual.
he or she knows it or not, The Black Trojan Horse is placed in public
view, at significant expense, for display purposes. They are
there to be pointed out and regaled as brave dissidents, fighting the
entrenched Black "establishment." Although powerful financiers
and corporate and foundation executives sit at the center of the Right's
machinery, they work through a public network of organizations, giving
the appearance of a political "movement." Sponsors champion
their favorites for membership in the club; they are introduced to the
people that count. The ritual begins within the orbits and organs of
the Hard Right. We just haven't been collectively looking in the right
places - which is understandable; the strategy is only a few years old.
Study the Right, and you'll find the Trojan Horse before he/she
becomes a media darling.
contributions are arranged long before the race; by the time you see
the money, a fatal dose may already be in the pipeline. However, in
order to secure cash commitments to their Black protégés,
the right-wingers must communicate among themselves in ways that can
be easily overheard. There are no secrets, only people who have neglected
Booker's October, 2000 luncheon speech to the Bradley Foundation-funded
Manhattan Institute should have alerted everyone to the road he was
about to take in his quest to become mayor of Newark. However, no African
American had ever taken that route; these were the Right's first steps
towards direct intervention in Black electoral politics. Booker's core
financial and media backing was assured before he left the room. The
Right's communications network followed up with a chorus of praise for
the first-term councilman, preparing the larger field of contributors.
Booker's name was on every Right operative's lips. Yet, the funding
and media juggernaut that rolled into Newark 15 months later caught
the Black and brown city completely by surprise.
Earl Hilliard didn't know what hit him, either. After
his June 25 defeat by Arthur Davis, Hilliard told The Black Commentator:
"I just found out this past week, that there were people who were
sent to Alabama that were on the payroll of corporations who were doing
all the necessary ground work and preparations and
when they put
the money in, the money came like, WOW! It came almost at one time,
over a period of about 30 days." The congressman from Alabama's
Black Belt saw, too late, the footprints of the Hard Right's New Black
Strategy, an assault that the public perceives, incorrectly, as a mainly
the Right is quite ecumenical, having cemented a pact, this spring,
between the corporate Hard Right (including the Bradley, Olin, Scaife,
Walton foundations, etc.), the Christian Right, and the Jewish Right.
Everyone knew the pro-Ariel Sharon train was barreling down on Cynthia
McKinney. However, as Stephen Zunes wrote in the August 25 issue of
Common Dreams: "[McKinney's] opponent's campaign coffers were enriched
by contributions from individuals and PACs affiliated with big business
and other special interests that surpassed that of the 'pro-Israel'
groups.... Majette's top contributors include a sizable number of major
Republican donors and very few names commonly associated with a Jewish
is no need to look for pro-Sharon Jewish money behind every attempt
to unseat progressive Black officeholders. The American Israel Political
Affairs Committee will shout its involvement from here to Tel Aviv.
Look, rather, to the established networks of the Hard Right foundations
and their think tanks. Gathered there are most of Black people's enemies,
scheming under one, big umbrella. Follow their grants and associations
and you will find aspiring Black Trojan Horses, awaiting their assignments
and checks. Some will be preparing to run for office, others in line
not the whole herd. The Democratic Party's right wing is organized around
the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC), the faction that most slavishly
courts big corporations and seeks to distance the party from unions
and progressive Blacks. (Yes, this is the faction that spawned Bill
Clinton, Al Gore and vice presidential candidate Senator Joe Lieberman.)
Every African American politician associated with the DLC should be
considered suspect, and closely watched. There is no reason for them
to be there except to make deals with the party's right wing - which
believes that Gore lost the 2000 election largely because he became
too closely identified with Blacks and labor.
areas of the country, the DLC is the gray area between the Republican
and Democratic machineries. Cory Booker's only close New Jersey
party ties were with the rump DLC, or "New Democrats," who
lauded him as a future star of the national party.
Congressman Gregory Meeks of Queens, NY, is active with the DLC. The
large bulk of the Congressional Black Caucus is aligned with the Progressive
was formed in the South to keep big business and white conservatives
from allying themselves entirely with the Republicans. Georgia Senator
Zell Miller is a prominent DLCer - he threatened to become a Republican
early in the Bush term, a step that would have made little difference
in his politics. Miller is the sponsor of Denise Majette's political
career. There is little doubt that she will join the DLC; we predict
the same for Arthur Davis.
Policy Institute serves as the DLC's think tank, and describes itself
this way: "The Institute's core philosophy stems from the belief
that America is ill-served by an obsolete left-right debate that is
out of step with the powerful forces reshaping our society and economy."
The statement could have been written by any corporate-funded outfit,
and fits perfectly in the mouths of Black stealth candidates signaling
- but not too loudly - their rejection of the historical Black consensus.
watch who comes and goes at DLC functions. The place is a potential
breeding ground for Black Trojan Horses.
we've got to do a lot of watching, and more.
with two real victories and one imagined triumph, the authors of the
Hard Right's New Black Strategy have doubtless kicked the campaign into
higher gear than initially planned. In addition to the usual centers
of intrigue (the DLC, for example) and the on- and off-line publications
of the Right, it will be necessary to monitor regional and local media
and newsletters to determine who is being courted by whom. Again, when
the cash actually arrives, it will be too late to nip the Trojan Horse
candidacy in the bud.
such monitoring of the associations of African American politicians
and aspirants may smack of paranoia, creating an unhealthy political
climate in African American communities. Just the opposite: it is the
stealth candidates, the Black Republicans masquerading as Democrats,
who lie about their backers and agendas and steal the people's right
to an honest choice. Even if America as a whole isn't ready for real
campaign reform, it is within our power to enforce some degree of transparency
in our own communities.
are eyes and ears needed, but organizations of Black elected officials,
overwhelmingly Democrats, should set up special committees on the alert
to right-wing activities among the Black political class. Special attention
should be paid to local school voucher groups, who have access to (Bradley
Foundation-funded) training centers for activist cadre and electoral
candidates. The school board candidate is only a check away from City
must be serious people, however. The honest, conservative-leaning Black
candidate is not necessarily a tool of the Hard Right. If his pockets
are light, he's certainly not with that crowd.
stealth candidates (or bought-off incumbents) are identified, they must
be exposed. This will require both documentation and dogged perseverance,
making full use of whatever media is available. When media fails to
listen, relatively small groups of people are capable of making
news, through demonstrations and other actions that demand coverage.
be emphasized that there has never been a campaign like the right-wing
offensive that is currently directed against us. We will have to be
creative in our response, while the Right and its hirelings rely on
stealth, the sheer power of money and the manipulations of the corporate
Commentator is working with others to create a center to defeat the
stealth candidates and their sponsors. We have established Trojan Horse
Watch to begin this process. Once organized, we are confident our collective
resources will be sufficient to identify the stealth candidates, expose
the Hard Right's schemes in the early stages, confront the front men
and women at every venue and, ultimately, shape a political environment
in which they cannot operate.
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