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The year 2005 will go down as a disaster for Black America. Our most vaunted institution, the Congressional Black Caucus, collapsed as an effective body for our collective political vision. Thirty-seven percent of "our" representatives, in the spring of 2005, crossed the "bright lines" that had always dictated Black elected political behavior, to vote with Corporate America.

It is a new experience, to witness this scale of dereliction among our political class. Clearly, a significant number have been bought. Thatís what corporations do. They buy people.

In the process, the space for a Black dialogue has been narrowed. Automatically, this means that progressive conversation in the United States is crippled. The Black Commentator is the foremost communications organ for social change in the nation, but we find ourselves isolated from our natural allies: the most progressive unions and civil rights organizations, who nevertheless count on corporate funding.

We donít want corporate dollars. We need your dollars, your support - so that we can support you.

Yet, we see that the formerly great engines for social change are now in the embrace of corporate giants. The subornation and subversion of the Congressional Black Caucus is but one symptom of the malignancy that has incubated in our culture. We must root it out.

Dangerous for All of Us

We must support our own institutions. There will be no Black Commentator unless you support it. There will be no dialogue outside of the corporate matrix unless we make it so.

The year 2005 wasnít just dangerous for Black folks. Tens of thousands of Iraqis, and over 2,000 Americans died. But the damage to the social order in the U.S. - an intentional destruction - augers a future that could not be comprehended by our mothers and fathers.† The very idea of social justice is now, not just in question, but in ill repute. Corporate monoculture has taken up all the talking space of our society. How can, there, be a conversation?

The answer is: Only if you pay for it. It was not our ambition in the beginning of publication to appeal for funds. But times have changed. Corporate dollars move at the speed of light, and subvert our base, by stealing our leadership.† The base must reassert itself, and pay for its own organs and operations. The Black Commentator is one of those organs.

As our institutions have been subverted by corporate money, so must we respond by funding those institutions that have not been subverted. The Black Commentator is one of those institutions. Please give us some money, so that we can carry on a conversation that leads to a better life.† Invest $50 to become a and if you can give more, a , too.

Glen Ford and Peter Gamble are writing a book, enitled "Barack Obama and the Crisis in Black Political Leadership."

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December 15 2005
Issue 163

is published every Thursday.

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