[sixties-l] The Lesson Of Election 2000: Neo Slavery

From: radman (resist@best.com)
Date: 12/06/00

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    Date: Tue, 05 Dec 2000
    From: criticalman@earthlink.net
    The Lesson Of Election 2000: Neo Slavery
    By J Tolbert Jr,
    When it was published in 1967, Martin Luther King, Jr. asked a critical
    question in the title of his book, 'Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or
    Community?' Even before King considered it, this question was not unfamiliar
    to generations of Black people in America. In fact, 'Where Do We Go From
    Here' has always been central to our struggle. Unfortunately, this necessary
    cultural imperative, for any people is no longer an important consideration
    for many of our people. Our collective political behavior during the recent
    presidential election demonstrated that many of us are incapable of ever
    addressing 'Where Do We Go From Here' because we are satisfied being
    America's 'neo-slaves.'
    When 17th century Europeans went to Africa in search of labor to build their
    empires, they did not find a continent of 'slaves.' Instead, they found
    human beings who they (the Europeans) hoped to develop into slaves. The
    captured Africans eventually succumbed to servitude, but they didn't make it
    easy for the Europeans. Africans committed many acts of resistance and
    rebellion. They remained vigilant until the end of the 1960s, when someone
    told them they could be Democrats. Since then, the 21st century
    descendents of the enslavers have found a large population of 'free' and 
    Blacks to build the political empires of others without compensation.
    Touted as the best educated, wealthiest, and most sophisticated group of
    Africans ever produced in America, many of our people have totally
    abdicated their destiny to the whim of corrupt electoral politics. 
    Consistently used
    by the Democrats and permanently ignored by the Republicans, we spend our
    time and energy narrowly fixated over which wing of the white supremacist
    population is going to rule us. No matter what party wins; white folks are
    in sole charge of determining "Where do we (Black people) go from here?"
    There is no better example of this 'neo-slavery' than what occurs in the
    'City of Brotherly Love.' Every four years, 'Philadelphia Negroes' with
    money, good jobs, titles, and delusions of importance, berate the masses of
    the city's Black population with the slogan 'if you don't vote, you don't
    count.' What they might as well say is, 'if you don't vote Democratic, you
    don't count.' Partisan cheerleading then degenerates into a holy war against
    those Blacks who, critically analyze or question the sincerity of
    Democratic candidates.
    Black media people, Black politicians, and various HNICs, using the moral
    suasion of the civil rights movement, buttress this crusade by resorting to
    the 'racial guilt trip' -invoking the spirits of our ancestors and those who
    'died for the vote.' When 'National Negroes,' are sometimes brought in to
    stir up the masses, they suffer from selective amnesia when questioned or
    reminded of their previously expressed doubts over their party's turn to the
    right. Any rational dialogue about Democratic Party's treatment of its Black
    constituency is dismissed as a Republican plot to send us back to Africa.
    Our ancestors and those who 'died for the vote' have to be spinning in their
    graves' seeing how we relent to 'plantation politics' and end up, once
    again, being the recipients of political welfare-not power sharing in the
    Democratic Party. In retrospect, some of us need to stop criticizing the
    Republicans. For all the buck-dancing and fiddling that Blacks did on the
    stage at the Republican convention, at least the Republicans pay their
    Copyright 2000, J. Tolbert Jr., All Rights Reserved. J. Tolbert Jr. is the
    editor of The Digital Drum 2, an electronic newsletter which disseminates
    information and encourages critical thinking among people of African
    descent. To subscribe, email TheDigitalDrum2-subscribe@egroups.com

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