On the floor of Congress in 1864, while debating the 13th Amendment, a white man stood and said to the governing body of America that its Black citizens were "human beings, created by God" and should be endowed with all the rights afforded to white people.
He went on further, to call the opposing party a "gang of racists." That man was Thaddeus Stevens, and he was a Republican. The gang of racists he spoke of, were Democrats.
A century later, JFK, a Democratic President said these words:
"One hundred years of delay have passed since President Lincoln freed the slaves, yet their heirs... are not fully free. They are not yet freed from the bonds of injustice... this Nation... will not be fully free until all its citizens are free.... Now the time has come for this Nation to fulfill its promise."And today, we have a Republican Party Thaddeus Stevens would dislike and probably disown when it comes to race relations. And we have a Democratic Party, the descendants of that racist gang, that has cast itself as the saviors of Blacks.
Black Americans, the descendant of slaves, started out as Republicans, then changed to Democrats. Both parties have embraced us, used us, and then abandoned us. Both have been brother and oppressor, protector and murderer.
So why have allegiance to either party? Why not start our own? Well, there are many obstacles to that none the least of which is black folks have no sociological cohesiveness these days, but that is a blog for another day.
We are still the biggest unassimilated group in this nation. And if you are thinking "Black people are not a monolith," then you are responding to programming by the people who benefit from Black divisiveness. Black people need to be monolithic in politics. A monolith is big, broad and can, if positioned correctly, blot out the sun.
If all Black voters switched to Independent, it would be like nothing we've seen since the 1960's. It would be nonviolent and quiet but the results would change everything.
Imagine both parties fighting over tens of millions of votes. Imagine the Republicans having to take a position on race other than using it for divisiveness and blame. Imagine Democrats having to work for and please Black people for their votes, instead of taking them for granted. And imagine a Black President having to deal with a Black constituency by exchanging political capital for votes and not symbolic rhetoric and ethnic pandering. (Yes, I said pandering)
Black Democrats would have to acknowledge that the history of their party is mired in racism, hate and oppression and their current inclusion was done for political reasons, not brotherly love. If the Democrats are so great, then tell me why do we still suffer after more than a century in their good graces and after the election of their choice for the first Black President? I'll wait.
The Black Independent Party and its Badass Eagle Logo would issue the following platform:
- Reparations of $500 Trillion ($500,000,000,000,000) (Okay, it's just a scare tactic but it's should always be there as a reminder of who we are: Never Forget.)
- Decriminalization of drugs.
- Immediate end of for-profit prisons and mass incarceration.
- National Recovery and Jobs Act
- Reinstatement of Affirmative Action in all sectors of Business and Education.
- Reestablishment of the Fairness Doctrine, dismantling of the Big News Media and breaks for local newspapers so that a free press can be maintained.
And oh yeah, about the subtitle of this piece: King Sisyphus was made to roll the boulder up the mountain only to watch it roll back down again and again for eternity because of his pride and cleverness in the face of the gods. Why do we, the Black people, continue to carry the boulder of our support for two parties who historically have offered second-class citizenship at best and at worst, death? What kind of mindset takes mistreatment and marginalization as reward for boosting men to great power? Well, as I said before, that is a blog for another day.
For today, let's free Sisyphus.