TL;DR:We are not our ancestors’ wildest dreams. In fact, we may be their nightmare. Scroll down to W.E.B. DuBois opinion piece from the May 1922 issue of “The Crisis” titled “Kicking Us Out” where he points out how the two-party system works AGAINST the Black progress movement and that Black people need a more radical approach to gain political leverage and influence.
Today, y’alls Democratic Presidential candidate, one Joseph R. Biden, Jr., thought it was a good idea to mention (unprovoked) that if Black people don’t vote for him then we aren’t Black. It was truly one of those unnecessary moments we are used to with him, where he just can’t help but to say something even when the moment doesn’t warrant it. Today, that was on a Breakfast Club interview with Charlamagne, you know the unofficial self-appointed Black voice of America. Also, don’t forget Charlamange supported Mayor Pete. Nevertheless…here we are so *shrug*. I digress.
Biden started off a bit sassy, as if he was channeling the Black woman he is pretending to nominate as his VP. The whole interview was a regurgitation of talking points. Charlamagne asked what will the Democratic Party will do to earn the Black vote and Biden went into a tirade about how much Black people love him. South Carolina really got him feeling himself. Black people in general got him feeling real comfortable because I did not hear him provide any response to what that quid pro quo would be. What Biden was very clear about was that “other things” caused the mass incarceration of Blacks, not his 1994 Crime Bill. Joe Biden also said he has a “Manifesto for Black America”. A manifesto, y’all! And he said it was different than this pandering “Lift Every Voice”Plan for Black America. To say I am excited to read it is an understatement.
Which leads us to the most talked about moment: the end of the interview when Biden felt it necessary to remind Black people that if they have a problem choosing between him and President Pumpkin Spice then they aren’t Black. What does that even mean? In all honesty? What does not being Black mean? Especially coming from this old white man? Was it a joke or was he serious (of course he was serious). And yet we still have Black people falling over themselves defending Biden because he is the lesser of two evils. Anybody but Trump, right? (Biden has apologized for his “wise guy/cavalier” comment. Whew Chyle, it’s gonna be a long journey to November.)
Y’all know that nothing has FORMALLY designated him the nominee, right? There is this whole thing called a convention that is being undervalued while primary elections continue to postponed and/or cancelled.
And yes, COVID19 puts a monkey wrench in next steps but I promise you, if there were a Republican primary this year, they would’ve figure this shit out because Republicans do not care about decorum. They care about winning, period. Democrats, on the other hand, think they are above the fray. But the truth is, they will sell out their “base” (see: Black people and minorities) if there is a conflict between what the people need and maintaining the status quo. A status quo that keeps them in power and their campaign contributors happy (see: very rich liberals). Never forget Malcolm X’s warnings about the white liberal. I digress.
Please excuse me because I am about to talk my shit.*cracks knuckles*
Joe Biden, the problematic Democratic-establishment selected “chosen one” who Black people are once again suppose to hold our noses to and put in to office just like we were supposed to do with Hilary in 2016. And he has been sooooo accustomed to getting our love, thanks to his Uncle Joe persona born from the Obama Administration, that he struggles with genuinely connecting with a demographic he feels entitled to.
Do you ever realize that Joe Biden’s response to why Black people should support him is to run off a list of Black people/orgs who support him, which makes you wonder which came first: Joe Biden doing anything to earn the support of the Black community during his 40+ years of being in politics or Black people blind loyalty to Biden due to his association with Obama knowing he is not the most qualified candidate from the pool of 50-11 we had to choose from. (And no, the we didn’t pick him. The establishment did. This is their bed to lie in.)
I know we love to spit yarns about being our ancestors wildest dreams but this aint it, y’all.
How can I confidently make such a statement? By reading the words of our Ancestors.
“May God write us down as asses if ever we are found putting our trust in either the Republican or Democratic parties.”
-W.E.B. DuBois, The Crisis – 1922
The Crisis Magazine was the official publication of the NAACP. It was founded in 1910 by W.E.B DuBois, a respected ancestor, whose work and vision helped provide a path forward for Black progress. DuBois had an opinion section in The Crisis and in his May 1922 editorial he did not mince words in how the Black electorate should politically position itself. Below is the full text of DuBois opinion piece because context is key.
A few take aways:
- We really have to stop feeling “obligated” to support either party, especially when neither party is loyal to us. Neither party really “wants” us. They tolerate us. The need our votes to stay in power and will continue to offer empty promises because they know they have our backs against the wall. How long must we vote for the lesser of two evils?
- What does it say that one race of people could make such a dramatic shifts from one political party (Republicans) to another (Democrats) in such a short spans of time? That was a survival move. It should have been a short-term fix while we sorted out next steps, but Jim Crow proved to be an awful distraction.
- DuBois had hit his breaking point. This piece was published in 1922. Warren G. Harding was president. In 1921, Harding gave a speech in Deep South Alabama where he basically stated that he hoped Blacks and whites could enjoy full citizenship which stunned both Black and white people. But Harding made it clear to his racist white constituents that full citizenship did not mean social equity. Make that make sense. Harding made A LOT of promises to Black Americans. DuBois was suspect of Harding because of his lack of public support for social equity and racial amalgamation…and rightfully so. He wrote an open letter to Harding explaining such.
- 100 years later and we are still in the same position. Same shit. Same toilet. Still asking the same questions. Aren’t y’all tired, yet?
- Have you read the constitution? Do you understand the process or just what they say the process is. One of the greatest tools used against the electorate, republicans and democrats alike, is the process of dumbing them down. Our attention spans are shorter. Our desire to research and seek knowledge on our own has diminished. Critical thinking skills are at an all-time low while group-think is at an all time high. Who stands to benefit from our ignorance? Whose power is consolidated through the trust of the public based on bias information provided by those who the public is suppose to trust.
- We need to listen to our ancestors actual dreams, not the projections we have created for ourselves to make us feel good.
- It’s too late for the 2020 election. Do what you have to do. But legit, from post-2020 and beyond, we need to seriously push back at both parties and hit them with the “what have you done for me lately” or seriously pool our political capital toward other political parties, whatever they may be. We kept our end of the bargain, to our own detriment because 100 years of doing the same thing has us looking just like what DuBois said…asses.
Now, without further ado…
From Emancipation in 1863 up until 1912 Negroes voted the Republican ticket as a matter of religion. The effort of Taft to get rid of his obligations to the Negro vote so disgusted Black men that a concerted effort, led by the late Alexander Walters, was made to get Negro support for the Democrats in 1912. A special section of the National Democratic Campaign Organization was devoted to this work and Candidate Wilson promised the Negro “justice, and not mere grudging justice.” He was elected and did as near nothing to help the negro as he possibly could. Some concessions came by sheer compulsion and war necessity but the net result was that the Democratic Party said: We do not want the Negro votes. In 1916 the Negro was between the “Devil of Wilson” and the “Deep Sea of Taft” while Roosevelt rejected them from Bull Moose and catered to Louisiana. In 1920 Cox refused even to receive a Negro delegation and Harding got the Negro vote. Immediately he went to Texas and Florida and consorted with the White Southern politicians. Since then it has been reported again and again that he is very desirious of building a white Republican Party in the South; that he advises the Negro to follow white leaders and not aspire to led himself. Finally, Mr. Harding has openly and authoritatively invited at least half the Negroes to leave the Republican Party.
To some of our bewildered race, This may appear not simply as a calamity but as the absolute nullification of our political power. The Democrats won’t have us and the Republicans don’t want us. Is there anything to do but impotently wring our empty hands.
There is. This is our opportunity. This spells our political emancipation. Mr. Harding’s sincere invitation should be accepted forthwith, and Mr. Cox’s rejection should not be forgotten. We are invited not to support either of the old, discredited and bankrupt political parties. In other words, we are being compelled to do what every honest thinking American wants to do—namely, support some third party which represents decency and ideals. Just as the two old parties have combined against us to nullify our power by a “gentleman’s agreement” of non-recognition, no matter how we vote—in the same way they have agreed to nullify the vote of every forward-thinking honest American. The revolt against this smug idiotic defiance of the demand for advanced legislation and intelligence is slowly sweeping the country.
The longer it is held back by czarist methods the more radical and bitter will be the eventual recoil. We are invited to join this radical reaction. We are compelled to join. We accept the invitation and rejoice in compulsion. May God write us down as asses if ever we are found putting our trust in either the Republican or Democratic Parties.”