In the absence
of real political parties, Americans have bought into the fiction
that politics is all about the clash of individual personalities
on scheduled election days. Black America is somewhat more sophisticated
on this score, having been forced to seek change outside of
the electoral system for most of the national history. Before
the Voting Rights Act of 1965, much of the southern half of
Black America was shut out of electoral politics, altogether,
while northern urban city halls remained in white hands until
the early Seventies.
once the ballot became generally accessible, much of Black leadership
shed generations of hard-earned organizing skills like old clothes,
intent on dressing up for the "party" - namely, the
Democratic Party. It was (and effectively remains) the only
practical national venue, since the GOP was busy remaking itself
into the White Man's Party, an eternal American institution.
Over time, the recurrent cycles of content-devoid elections
worked their hypnosis on people who should have known better,
yet forgot that politics is about group empowerment, not individual
is constantly asked, Do you support Al Sharpton for President?
We don't like the question. What we support is Black Power.
In our April 24 commentary, "What
the Black Presidential Candidate Must Do," we briefly
discussed the "historic mission" of anyone who chooses
to become the Black candidate for the White House in 2004. Directing
our remarks to Rev. Sharpton, we wrote: "The largest possible
number of African Americans must coalesce behind one candidate
in order to prove that there still remains a formidable Black
bloc vote. If you are the unabashedly Black candidate,
that should be you."
Black bloc vote is fractured, or can be made to appear unfocused,
the media will declare that the African American vote is no
longer strategically important. From that point on in national
contests, the Black electorate will be treated as less than
the sum of its purportedly scattered parts ....
the only hope for African Americans as a group to have a strong
voice in the Democratic Presidential process, and Black voters
are your only hope of wielding clout as a leader of an effective
also presumptuous enough to offer advice on how Sharpton should
respond to inherently hostile questions about Tawana Brawley.
a minister who believed a young Black woman over the words
of white men in rural, upstate New York. On Black terms, that's
righteous, honorable, and quite enough.
Sr., of Milwaukee, also urges Sharpton not to blink when confronting
what Dr. Cornel West calls "the normative white gaze."
with y'all 100% on the advice to Rev. Al: Stay with your base
and rise or fall with it. Stay with your belief in Tawana
Brawley. All white folks want to be able to say about that
is, "See, I told you so. He had no integrity in the first
place." Rev. Al should not give them that satisfaction.
of Huntsville, Alabama, is an activist who stands alone, when
necessary. In the Democratic primaries, she stands with Rev.
Big Al reads your commentary because it is right on. Be the
Black Candidate and call them on their racist ways every opportunity
you can. Al is the only candidate that can handle BuSh. I'm
looking forward to the national debates. I have my bowl of
letter, from veteran educator Dr. Ron Gerughty, prompted what
we believe was a very interesting exchange on the utility of
electoral politics in 2004. It's a rather long dialogue, so
we've saved it for the last part of this column.
Friendly Version of Condoleezza The Gatekeeper Cartoon]
commissioned cartoonist Khalil Bendib to interpret Condoleezza
Rice's rise as the "most trusted National Security Adviser
in the history of the position," we knew the result would
offend some readers. Mattie Weiss is one of them.
to express my distaste for your recent cartoon about Condoleezza
Rice. I usually find your commentary and cartoons interesting
and insightful, but this latest one was off the mark.
plenty of shit-talking to do about the woman, but to make
the same tired stab that is always made against women in power
(i.e. that she sleeps around to get where she is) is old,
anti-woman, fucked up, and hedges the real reasons she ought
to be critiqued.
you for your time and your newsletter.
the criticism. We do not respect the person of Condoleezza
Rice, and are willing to express that through sexual innuendo.
We will not give her a pass, simply because women are treated
in this manner as a group. We also do not give the worst elements
among Black preachers a pass in expressing our disdain for
bribery-prone clergy - we have featured caricatures that are
call attention to the April 15 San Francisco Chronicle report
that, in fact, sparked the idea for the cartoon. However, it
would be dishonest to pretend that we did not intend every nasty
connotation of Khalil Bendib's illustration, or that we aren't
glad that poet Amiri Baraka goes around the country calling
Rice a "skeeza." Nor do we disavow our January 30
display of a collage depicting Bush and Rice walking hand in
hand against a hellish backdrop ("The Devil's Handmaiden")
or anything else we have said or done to impugn the character
of the National Security Advisor.
nothing polite or civilized about the Bush crew, including their
holds them beneath contempt, and believes that it is Black people's
duty to shun and reject them in every forum and manner
possible. We will not allow considerations of correctness to
dissuade us from taking every opportunity to express absolute
disgust with Condoleezza Rice as a person. She has earned
Robinson, a prime mover of the Eighties movement to divest white-ruled
South Africa, now spends much of his time at the equally important
task of providing leadership through his writings. Last week,
was proud to publish the former TransAfrica Forum executive
director's article, "When
Major Powers State a Coup," detailing the U.S. role
in undermining the democratically elected government of Haiti.
The U.S. wields its awesome power to block international aid
to the island nation.
special period in world relations, it is morally untenable
and politically unwise for the wealthiest nations on earth
to maintain a financial stranglehold on eight million men,
women, and children in Haiti. Haiti has no nuclear weapons.
It has attacked neither American property nor American citizens.
Indeed it is trying its very best, even with its limited material
resources, to be a responsible nation and to support US priorities
in the region. As an active participant in the US led regional
war on drugs, for example, even with its inexperienced police
and coast guard, Haiti was able to double the size of its
cocaine seizures last year over the year before.
bases its aid blockade on alleged irregularities in Haiti's
2000 legislative elections. RLO Brian writes:
of ironies, isn't it, that the Bush people should "punish"
a regime for election fraud? And all because his Daddy pushed
Aristide out of power and Clinton brought him back.
do something to rid the system of Bush.
Kevin Pina reported in the April 3 issue ("Is
the U.S. Funding Haitian Contras?"), it appears that
the U.S. is also sponsoring armed incursions against Haiti,
aimed at toppling President Jean-Paul Aristide.
considers most conspiracy theories to be diversionary shortcuts
that "cloud objectivity, rendering the activist incapable
of assessing her antagonist and fashioning effective strategies
and contingencies." To put things simply, conspiracy theories
most often have the effect of making the enemy appear much more
powerful and resourceful than he really is - a good way to demoralize
In our April
17 and 24 cover stories, we used "conspiracy" to describe
the international "redlining" of the U.S., a global
reaction to the Bush Pirates' offensive against world order.
Theories 2: The Great Unraveling of Global U.S. Power,"
reported Indonesia's and other Asian nations' plans to disentangle
themselves from the dollar by bolstering the euro as an alternative,
world currency - just one aspect of a growing, defensive international
conspiracy. When they crossed the Kuwaiti border, the Pirates
accelerated an already existing trend.
revulsion is near universal, beyond emotion, and fast translating
into concerted action in collective defense against the madman.
Indonesia and Malaysia are simply speaking more frankly than
other nations. The Bush men cannot comprehend that their systematic,
transparent assault on international stability is unpardonable.
And they don't know what it feels like to be hurt. This, too,
will come as a surprise - their Shock and Awe ....
believe they hold the trump card: half the world's military
under one, super-tech command. It is a blunt instrument, with
a narrow range of uses. The real bomb ticks under America's
porch, and will devastate the dollar in a spasm of millions
of individual and institutional decisions to run in the other
the "conspiracy" is a secret only to the American
people, who live in an informational void filled, instead, with
self-serving delusions. David Elliott has managed to escape
from the bubble to witness reality in the raw.
your trenchant analysis is right on-point in the brilliant
'The Great Unraveling of U.S. Global Power' article. In my
view, the current pathological state of world affairs has
its roots in the ill-fated rise of so-called 'western civilization'
over 1,000 years ago. Since its inception, murderous wars
have become the norm and true world peace has been nothing
but an ethereal dream.
No candid assessment of 'western civilization' can conclude
that it has been anything but an unmitigated disaster for
this planet and for humanity as a whole. It can claim only
two true legacies - periodic genocidal campaigns directed
against people of color for the theft of their land or resources
and the wonton destruction of the environment, from the fast-disappearing
rain forests to the irrevocable damage done to the Ozone layer.
men scribble epithets on walls of the hall of nations while
the world struggles to find ways to go about its business without
them. The mad dogs froths, but doesn't know he's sick. A reader
named Russell writes:
excellent form is exemplified. The currency devaluation is
underway and the swashbuckling attitude of the Bush Idiots
will be hard for the people to swallow as their jobs continue
to disappear and their money continues to lose it's value.
The Euro is gaining strength daily as the Bush Bunch call
our allies names and hurl insults and threats at respectable
diplomats from other countries. The avalanche is growing and
the fools keep making loud noises. No amount of weapons or
troops can defend the U.S. against the foolish policies the
Bush thugs have put in place.
for this country no longer exists, we are trading on the peoples
fear of a rabid dog. When the people come to reason the rabid
dog will be eliminated. The dollar is no longer the currency
of choice for other nations to conduct their business. The
oil producing countries that we are shouting insults to are
quietly switching to the Euro for their transactions. This
is the avalanche that ignorance will not overcome.
doesn't realize that all we do at
is study the available materials. Please, don't tell her.
Awesome! I have never read anything from your site
that isn't so close to what is really going on in the country.
With all the insanity on a daily basis, I feel less alone
hearing what your writers have to say. Looking around at the
rest of America, I feel basic intelligence is evaporating,
if it ever was really there at all - more like a power-mongering
rat race that is always at someone else's expense.
the dollar is the only currency we've got, so the bell
tolls for more than just the Pirates. But that's another story.
Alvin Foster, of Boston, appreciates what he's read, so far.
on 'Conspiracy Theories' was perhaps the best I have read
on the Iraq war, etc. Keep up the excellent work. I have re-read
it several times. I love your Black perspective; can't find
that in most 'leftist' literature articles.
White, of Sydney, Australia says "Conspiracy Theories"
makes perfect sense from her geopolitical perspective.
a fantastic article, the best background briefing to these
corporate criminals in the White House that I've read to date.
I'm going to pass the link on to my friends.
Thanks for such a well-researched and clear article.
for helping her lose that out-of-synch feeling. She's part of
the global conspiracy of awareness.
that is the most comprehensive, clear explanation of the motivations
and plans of the Neo-cons that I have read anywhere, bar none.
You capture the pure cynicism of these men, their true material
and power-hungry reasons, and the bloodless distain they hold
for everyone not in their circle. I've been trying for nearly
a year to convince people that "WMD" and "liberating
the Iraqi people" have nothing to do with this invasion.
You would think that the fact that we protected the oil fields
and ignored the hospitals (to say nothing of the museums)
would make it clear to everyone. And yet, today in the local
newspaper I read a story by an "embed" about how
soldiers ignored orders to give candy and water to children.
I'm sure they did, I'm sure that many individual soldiers
are performing many acts of kindness, but not one of them
justifies our presence there.
So, before I rant too long, thank you for the article - a
breath of sanity gives me hope.
arrived just in time to get in on the conspiracy (although its
clear she'd already heard about it.)
passed along your article titled Conspiracy Theories and I've
been busy reading from your site since. The articles and cartoons
are wonderful! I avoid the "mainstream" media whenever
possible and rely on Internet sources to keep informed - Black
Commentator is now one of those favorite sources.
e-Mailbox section you write, "This sick majority is cowardly
at root, but swells with criminally insane pride at the carnage
wrought by U.S. machines of war and the relatively safe personnel
who man them." That is the perhaps the most concise sentence
I've read on the subjects of U.S. nationalism and imperialism.
downside of the pro-war supermajority's essential cowardice
is that they become hysterical when afraid - and scare easily.
It is as likely as not that Permanent National Emergency will
arrive with the initial blessing of the white masses. In any
event, LadyHawke, a Shaman, will have none of it.
good thing that paying taxes is "voluntary" and
that many of us exercise those rights. Tough to sleep at night
knowing that we might be supporting that garbage, not to mention
the murder of millions.
be their rules ... we have our own set. Follow our Hearts
and all is well.
you for sharing the Light. With Peace and Love and Light from
Magic Mt. in Colorado.
Haven writes a letter that, like the email on Condoleezza's
cartoon, we knew was coming.
read the "Great Unraveling" commentary and I want
to thank you for a cogent and, in a way, hopeful analysis.
There may be a way to fight back. I would suggest that a better
term than "Bush men" be found. 1) They are more
monsters than men, 2) the term is too close to Bushmen whose
integrity is as certain as their suffering at the hands of
white imperialism. I suggest Bush cabal, Bush league, Bush
Bushmen, the !Kung
people of southern Africa do not call themselves that, the
whites do. We understand your point, of course. But Bush men,
Pirates, Bushmedia, etc. work for our purposes.
I, Issue 38
As any sane
TV watcher must know (or forfeit any claim to sanity), the Bush
men and Bushmedia are totally lost in fantasy, holding irrelevant
conversations among themselves as if the world moves at the
rhythm of their lips. Like second hand smoke, delusions can
sicken proximate parties. Thus it is noted that many faint hearted
onlookers are, indeed, fainting, overcome by Pirate bravado
- believing there must be something behind the bluster that
the rest of us don't know about. As we wrote in our April 17
Theories" commentary, even the gravest blunders by
the Bush men are interpreted by some as evidence of a grand,
that American Blacks and progressives have begun reading subtexts
and plots into every horror of the Bush men's Iraq adventure.
For example, that the Americans wanted Baghdad to burn. This
is preposterous. The U.S military allowed Baghdad to descend
into chaos because it doesn't give a damn about Iraqi lives,
period. The Bush men would rather have had different pictures
on the world's TV screens. They are inept in nearly every
respect except the arts of their particular style of war,
and in their mastery at manipulation of their fellow white
Americans' delusional minds. They have not a clue as to how
to occupy Iraq, for the simple reason that they are racists
who cannot assess the motivations of Iraqis. This cognitive
black hole - the mental disability associated with racism
- swallows up and disappears facts that do not conform with
the prefabricated version of reality on which the Pirate's
plans are based.
from Portland, Oregon noted the passage, above, and found it
"valuable to me, and should be required reading for activist,
progressives of all stripes."
that I've learned in my readings of history, is that any kind
of change for the better has occurred not by "great men
or women" who get all of the press, but by the power
and wisdom of ordinary folk. Mahatma Gandhi's movement in
India and Dr. King's movement proves this. Not only do conspiracy
theorists engage in all-too-familiar patterns of scapegoating,
but they remove human agency from actions, consigning them
to elaborate schemes that stretch the bounds of credulity.
not only resist this tendency to assign all the bad things
of Bush and his crew of pirates to conspiracies, but we must
always reserve the right to ridicule and mock them, and other
delusional folks that associate themselves with the fantasies
of reaction. Conspiracies only serve to give them credit where
none was earned in the first place.
Indifference to the Species
shuddered and a thousand cultures looked to their own treasures
at news that humanity's patrimony was allowed to burn while
the Marines fiddled around at the Oil Ministry, in Baghdad.
In our April 17
issue, we gave the crime a name.
a depraved indifference to homo sapiens as a species,
the United States last week oversaw the erasure of the evidence
of 5,000 years of human civilization - a crime from which
humanity cannot recover. Although certainly not their
final act of barbarism, the burning of the Baghdad Museum
and the Iraqi National Library under the armed auspices of
the U.S. military is an offense to human consciousness that
no temporal tribunal can ever be empowered to forgive, and
that history will never forget.
that passage because Ella Baccouche did.
on "conspiracy theories" expressed my sentiments
succinctly and with such eloquence.
is so gifted. I just love your writing and have committed
to memory that first paragraph. I just wanted to say something
about the sickening footage I saw on BBC the day Baghdad fell.
heroes? Hmmmm. The performance of those young criminals looting
office buildings, tearing down Saddam's statue, proclaiming
the Anglo-Americans as heroes, showing pictures of President
Bush, revering the American flag, holding up replicas of the
very airplane bombers that supposedly "freed" them
by dropping thousands of depleted uranium bombs on them and
their country, should be enshrined in drama for that was what
it was, pure Hollywood. What a production! What fiction! The
setting of this well manipulated direction actually had unseen
charred bodies of men, women, and children civilians lying
about throughout the city. The intended audience for this
make-believe virtual documentary, obviously diseased with
racial arrogance and evil intent, found these sanitized scenes
to be a welcome sight.
diabolical way of cheapening the suffering of the Iraqi people.
The "Pirates" want us to believe that twelve years
of sanctions imposed on the people of Iraq by the Anglo-Americans,
twelve years of no-fly zone bombing, twelve years of mothers
watching their babies die from birth defects and lack of medicines,
twelve years of dealing with the effects of depleted uranium,
and twelve years of authentic terror all culminating in the
Pentagon's demonstration of "Shock and Awe", with
the dropping of over 4000 bombs, was actually "celebrated"
when the Anglo-Americans took over Baghdad. Only the very
deranged and deluded would mistake those depicted "jubilation
episodes" for the real anarchy that was probably occurring
at the time.
heroes? Malarkey! For most of the world, they are "Pirates."
And, they cannot justify their horrendous deeds by their phony
cinematography. Their malicious, murderous intent is all too
apparent. We can no longer be bamboozled by them and their
media cohorts. We all realize that their so-called "documentary"
was just another rendition of the Columbus saga. Columbus
is celebrated as a national hero in America. They remembered
the song they sang in kindergarten, "Columbus, Columbus,
he's our man, if he can't do it nobody can", didn't they?
We are all reminded about Columbus' heroism every October
12th. And like Columbus, they want to be celebrated by the
Iraqis as hero-liberators. Oh yes, they have a lot in common
with Columbus. In the universal set of all things, they overlap
Columbus on the properties exhibited by the "Pirate Class",
the set of those willing to unscrupulously slaughter thousands
in their eagerness to find gold. Only this time, it's "Black
over a year ago, we launched a publication to address "influencers"
among Blacks and those non-Blacks we consider "progressive."
We began with very direct knowledge of whom we wanted to reach.
has multiplied its audience many times since April 5, 2002,
while maintaining the essential character of readership. That's
mainly due to the dynamic within and among constantly expanding
circles of activism - the way in which "influencers"
we connected with William Bowles, of the UK.
commend you on your site. Intelligent and witty with good
articles on that which ails and affects us. I'll spread the
word. Keep it up.
arrived via the same route as about 1,000 newcomers, last week.
just got your piece via Information
Clearing House. I will spend some time on you site henceforth.
Thank you so much for the clear, and to my mind, accurate
Clearing House posted our December 5 commentary, "Rule
of the Pirate: The $200 billion payday" - at the urging
of the previously mentioned William Bowles, of Great Britain,
who convinced the site's managers that the piece still had lots
of shelf life left in it.
Shabaka had family connections.
you Black People, I am so happy to have found you, you all
are fantastic, your writers are great thinkers. At first my
son turn me on to whatreallyhappened.com, and I ran upon you,
I used to visit what really happened at least twice a day,
now I only read ,
right now I am trying to catch up on previous issues.
the good work.
makes a fine contribution to Internet intelligence.
heard (one of) us on the radio.
I look forward to the Black Commentator. I had never heard
of you before I heard Mr. Ford on the Tavis Smiley show this
week. I didn't agree with your viewpoint, but it was well
put. We're not a monolithic people, so just as we come in
all complexions we have opinions all over the board as well.
I'm interested in reading yours. Peace.
about that. The archived, April 23 commentary can be accessed
Debbie Roberts attests to our emotional equilibrium.
tell you how much I look forward to reading your articles
and letters every week. Blackcommentator.com is a well written,
well designed, blessedly non-hysterical oasis of incisive
thought out on the Web. Thank you and keep up the good work.
Ushanda is concise and very kind.
so much for your clear sight & passionate pen.
the Black Presidential Candidate Must Do"
until last the following exchange of letters with Dr. Ron Gerughty,
of Cottondale, Florida, so that we might end this column on
a heavy note, presenting critical questions for ongoing consideration.
Dr. Gerughty began:
the Internet sites I read, yours is the most informative,
provocative, and, yes, entertaining and for that I thank you
profoundly. With that said, I would like to know why must
we continue to serve the White Man's Party (WMP)? Although,
in principle, the Democrats are far ahead of the Republicans,
in reality, there's not much difference between the two. Given
the DLC and the good old boys network, Al Sharpton has no
chance of gaining the Democratic nomination, although he is,
by far, the best of the lot. Have you given any thought to
a third party, one that would attract a diverse constituency
- one that would be an alternative to the WMP?
If we are successful in 2004 to rid this country of the scourge
of the narcissistic, delusional madman and his minions, who
would we get in exchange - more of the same except a few octaves
I have yet to disagree with any of your insights into the
history of this nation and its subsequent activities. I find
your candor refreshing, yet disturbing, as I have been unable
to change one iota, but I shall continue to try.
for your marvelous publication.
reply to Dr. Gerughty:
very generous to us. The best way to look at multi-racial
organizations is usually to start off with a given: the mass
of white folks is going to be hostile to Black people acting
in concert. Since whites are both in charge and tend
to share a common worldview, they do not need to organize
as whites in order to move in the same direction -
they are already there, so to speak. African Americans
share a common general worldview but are not in charge. Therefore,
we have to meet and plan as a group in order to move towards
In assessing the Democratic Party, we must take general white
hostility as a given, and then ask, how well have Blacks in
the party organized themselves in those areas in which they
are minorities, and how have they leveraged those local party
machineries in which Blacks are the party, numerically
and as officers. Essentially, we must run the test on ourselves,
not on whites, whose general hostility to Black action-as-Blacks
is a given.
Since Blacks have not done a good job of organizing within
the party, and have not treated local bastions of Black numerical
dominance as engines of party-wide Black power, the verdict
on the utility of the Democratic Party is still out. That's
our fault, since we have failed to press our potential impact
on the party to the limits. Simply pointing out white hostility
begs the question of intra-Black political cohesion.
Ideally, every Black caucus within the party should act as
a Black-Party unit. 's
publishers have long maintained that we already have the makings
of a Black political party within the Democratic Party,
if we just acted like it. We have failed to organize where
we already exist in great and strategically placed numbers.
There is no reason to believe that we will do a better job
outside of the party than we have done inside the structure.
However, it is also necessary to create separate structures
outside of the Democratic machinery, to which Black Democrats
would also belong. This organization would be committed to
a broad set of progressive goals that are well understood
as the Black Agenda. (The Black Agenda is a progressive political
agenda that takes into consideration the particular history
and legitimate group aspirations of African Americans.)
One could call this a political party, but the word has too
narrow a meaning in the United States, so let's just call
it a Black National Caucus.
We have been trained like everyone else in the U.S. to think
that parties exist only for the purpose of fielding candidates
for elections. This is a huge, uniquely American weakness,
and a large part of the reason businessmen so easily control
society - they meet and discuss common interests and put forward
programs and devise strategies all of the time, as an essential
part of shaping the environment in which they do business.
They then manipulate parties to carry out their agenda. Both
Blacks must learn how to see parties as structures that have
a certain utility, and use them to advance our agenda. Although
the agenda exists, we have not organized to push it forward
by treating the Democratic Party as one, very useful vehicle.
Thus, Blacks inside the Democratic structure do not act in
concert. Therefore, white corporate agents (or Black ones!)
win battles that they should, based on raw Black numbers,
Thus, we find ourselves in a situation in which there is a
question of whether Al Sharpton will be invited to
the January debates, or not!
It was in this spirit that we wrote, What a Black Presidential
Candidate Must Do.
Dr. Gerughty responds:
I certainly agree with your basic premise that the mass of
whites is hostile, some more overtly than others, to anyone
nonwhite, I do believe there are considerable numbers of whites
who share your aspirations (I, for instance, share your aspirations).
I have a deep and long-standing devotion to justice for all,
regardless of their size, shape, or color. I look to deeds,
not to rhetoric to evaluate.
Perhaps a little background may enlighten our conversation.
I am 70 years old, have two doctoral degrees, and am now retired
from academics where I served as dean in three different universities.
I have been in the health area for most of my life and am
a pathologist (forensic/anatomic/surgical). I have a fervent
desire to see that all persons receive (not promised) a quality
education that prepares them for life as it is, not as we
would like it to be. I was one of the first educators in higher
education to embrace affirmative action, not just in words,
but in deed, by seeing that those students, usually Blacks
and poor Whites, received the appropriate help to guarantee
they would benefit and graduate and not just have an opportunity
to do so and then be left hanging.
Whites gain and keep power and authority through slavery,
a thought that I am certain you recognize as it is quite apparent
in your writings. That is slavery on two fronts. The first
is educational - teach them only what they need to know (if
even that) so they can work the fields (careers), while the
second is economic - keep them in debt so that they will have
to do the work just to try to make ends meet. Both are despicable,
but highly effective in creating a made-to-order work force.
Now, back to our discussion. I agree that Blacks have not
done a good job of organizing within the Democratic Party
(I have also served as a political consultant and confidant
to both Democratic and Republican senators, governors, and
presidential candidates, although it took me many years to
learn just what was going on and be repulsed by it). One of
the problems I see is that nonwhites try to emulate Whites,
a huge mistake. There is absolutely no reason for any person
to shed his or her culture and beliefs just to gain a piece
of the pie that rightfully belongs to them in the first place.
As dean of the College of Health at Idaho State University,
my work with the Native Americans brought this home loud and
With the political climate being what it is, especially now
that fascism has arrived and ethnic/religious/gender/race
targets are developed further, now is the time to stand up
for what we believe. I really like your idea of a Black National
Caucus and your emphasis on history and legitimate group aspirations
of African Americans. How would you envision this group playing
into the politics of the Democratic Party? How can we overturn
the strangle hold on the Party by the "elite"? As
an example of their arrogance, if Al Sharpton is not invited
to the January debates, how can you overcome this dominance?
The Clintons, Liebermans, Gephardts, Edwards, etc of this
Party are not much better than the crazed lunatic we seek
to depose. As you so aptly stated, business manipulates both
parties to its advantage. I have great difficulty in envisioning
a day when you can speak with a unified voice that will be
heard and acknowledged, if we must continue in this one-party
system. Short a coup, the parties will continue ad infinitum
and we will be left to wallow in their dirt. That is why I
proposed the question of an independent (3rd) party.
I believe your observation that Blacks must act in concert
for what they believe is accurate and would be effective,
as far as that could go. It's the same old story of divide
and conquer and I, for one, am getting damn sick and tired
of the "privileged few" having their way at the
expense of others. Yet, to gain an overwhelming consensus
is difficult. I keep coming back to the need for education
(my bias) so that Blacks (as well as other nonwhites and whites)
can gain an understanding of how they are manipulated and
then strike accord among the large majority to unseat this
appreciate Dr. Gerughty's patient and thoughtful contribution
to a discussion that should be ongoing in every venue frequented
by Black "influencers" and those who consider themselves
allies of African Americans. To the extent that we do not address
these basic issues, we will continue to lose ground to an unworthy
gratefully acknowledges the following organizations for sending
visitors our way during the past week:
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