By Arelya J. Mitchell, Publisher
The Mid-South Tribune and the Black Information Highway
Well, I have just finished my Kool-Aid as I sat this one out. The election turned out as I had been predicting that America will re-elect its first African American president and the margin would be bigger than what was let on. Now that that has happened, business as usual goes back to normal.
I drank my Kool-Aid as I saw Black Americans jump up and down with joy. That was fine. It was the same’o same’o, but it was fine. Because as we all know, America’s two major political parties held an election operating Blacks like puppets and using them as the ultimate litmus test strip as to how conservative or liberal a candidate is.
I leaned by on my elbows knowing once again that either way this election went down the Black populace will continue to experience economic genocide, that Black-owned businesses and Black entrepreneurship will continue to be eulogized under the auspices of such code words as ‘minority’ and ‘diversity’ which really mean any other race but Black. As Sandy leaves our shores and clean-ups begin, Black construction firms will be left out or have to work under the umbrella of white mainstream construction firms. The same economic rules that shut out Blacks during the Katrina clean-ups will be again applied to Black-owned firms. Banks will continue to produce fictionalized CRA reports regarding Black-owned businesses and Black entrepreneurs.
During this election it was the Hispanic vote that took center court. During this election it was the women vote that took center court. Only towards the end when the Democrats knew that the party just might not get that huge white vote that it got in 2008 did it send out the call to the cotton fields for Blacks to come in save the party yet again. What they had working for them this time was the voter suppression warfare. And Blacks reacted by making it a point to go to the polls. However, I doubt very seriously if this was out of love for President Obama rather than out of love for those who fought for the right to vote long before he was even born—if anyone cares to take a poll on why. Doesn’t matter. At the end of the day, the Black vote will be forgotten.
Only toward the end did America’s first Black president feel a need to sprinkle some Blacks in the picture during campaigning—Oh yes, why not? This is the same President who yelled to the world that he was not the President of Black Americans; this is the same President who treated Black press like the S-word; this is the same President who dared not mention that Black Americans have the highest unemployment rate of any group in America.
Black Americans will not take a leaf out of the Hispanic populace’s book. They will not see that the Hispanic vote is getting respect because Hispanics are becoming booming business owners and booming entrepreneurs who will create jobs and produce jobs for their own as well as others. The Hispanic vote is grounded by more than numbers; it is grounded with an economic-ownership that will continue to make it a voice not to be toyed with. And justifiably so.
Black-owned businesses and entrepreneurship will always be viewed as hobbies, denied access to capital, blatantly discriminated against by those same big banks that took billions in bailout monies then turned their behinds up to this Black president and bought carpet and gave themselves high falutin’ raises. Black-owned businesses and entrepreneurs will always be viewed as having to be nurtured by Corporate America through those mentoring and ‘training’ programs to score Affirmative Action points. And as we go into the 21st Century, Silicon Valley which is producing millionaires every other day will be closed to Black-owned start-ups, closed to Black engineers, Black mathematicians, Black code writers, and other Blacks who knock on the door. They know Black Silicon-wannabes won’t knock down the door and barge the hell in as the government continues to give white-India-oriental-Martians-anything-except-Black internet companies lucrative contracts in the billions. That this corporate welfare won’t be challenged, because they know America has now produced a generation of Blacks who believe that being professional is equated with being submissive. And we do have some ‘binders’ of Black submissive professionals who have nervous breakdowns when they discover the Black ceiling is a built-in structure in Corporate America or that they can be promoted straight out the door or curtailed into ‘Black’ positions. Numerous Black professionals witnessed such in the late 1990’s when Coke decided most of them with their Ivy League degrees weren’t worth promoting. All of which resulted in a class action lawsuit which Coke had to settle.
We did not expect America’s first Black president to save us, but we did expect him to exhibit an economic leadership that would make Black Americans part of the country’s economic agenda nationally and internationally. We did expect him to invite Black economists to sit down at the table to see what has to be done to bring Black Americans into America’s capitalism. We did expect him to sit down with Black economists with an agenda that would spell out how many Black-owned businesses must begin to create and produce jobs not only for Black Americans but for other Americans as well. We did expect him to get beyond a passé leadership of thinking of Black citizens and Black-owned businesses only in terms of “job training”, “mentoring”, welfare, food stamps, Medicaid, and Medicare. We did expect him to get beyond what has already been laid out by those who came before him and on whose backs he rode to get to this historical position. Instead we got a mediocre-thinking Harvard-educated Black President who has no economic vision for his own race, disrespects his own race, and yells at members of the Congressional Black Caucus for “whining” as if they were children who needed to be spanked than listened to. Do you think he would have dared done this with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus? We think not.
There are Black economists at HBCUs and other institutions with ideas and ideals—with economic models that can be part of the solution of America’s economic woes. But no, only white billionaires and white economists are invited to sit down at the President’s economic table. In time of an economic crisis, one expected this first Black president because he is Black to have more empathy and a panoramic view to gauge the whole problem. To seek solutions outside the box. During the Depression and in other economic crises, Blacks have never been included as having any worth or capable of alleviating America’s economic burden. What else is new?
Black citizens are going down the road of economic extinction. An economic holocaust. As the Hispanic populace begins to thrive more and Cuba is opened up for business (and it will be), Hispanics will become prosperous, head toward a substantial middle class, and its vote will continue to carry clout. Hispanic leadership has common sense and guts. Black leadership has emotion and the ability to step back and let every f-ing group come in and throw out the baby and the sink. It only rises to the occasion to march during civic unrest. With the same resolve it commits itself to march against civic injustice, it should make the same resolve to fight against economic-ownership deprivation. To be job creators. To be job producers.
Do I sound angry? Do I sound like I am sick and tired of being sick and tired—to paraphrase the honorable and late Fannie Lou Hamer?
As African nations open their economic doors, Black Americans will be closed off because it continues this economic self-mutilation of making no demands, this economic persona that it can only be thought of in terms – shall I repeat—of welfare, job training (for jobs that never materialize), food stamps, crime, black male fodder to fertilize prison privatization, penitentiary-like public school systems that turn out ignorant Black students who are not ready for the 21st Century job market and who think Ebonics should be their primary language. But the FACT is there are Black geniuses out there being smothered in this crap of neglect everyday. But the Fact is Blacks know there are gifted Black citizens out there and Black-owned businesses, entrepreneurs and HBCUs with the potential to grow bigger and better. To take America to the next level to compete internationally. And there are progressive thinkers of every race and color out there who know what has to be done but who cannot get through the front gate of the White House to present these economic-ownership models.
And what this Black president needs to do is go back and look at the Small Business hearings Sen. John Kerry held to see how much BLACK businesses were discriminated against and blackballed when they fought back; how these Black business owners had to testify behind closed doors for fear of being further blackballed, and this was in 2007! I personally know of too Black business owners who are dead in their graves from heart attacks and strokes because they were played with by the Small Business Administration that aided and abetted banks that knew it was perfectly all right to use white women and any other race other than Black to qualify for loans to meet their quota.
Do I sound like a raging fool? Then let me expound.
This is a Black president who has no vision of Blacks ever fitting into the American Economic Dream. And where there is no vision, Black Americans will perish.
Yes, some Blacks will get it and push on, because they have a reality check that in another twenty-five years, the Black race in America will be economically extinct. Because you cannot continue to have an economic model based on consumption—based on a Nielsen projected $1.1 trillion in consumption to keep building up other groups other than your own group and survive economically. Because as we know, nobody loves a poor Black person like America. And just like its vote, a Black American is disposal. Its children are expendable. Its businesses are nil. And what Blacks have to offer in terms of 21st Century labor has been rendered obsolete by NAFTA. And that genie can’t be put back in the bottle.
Let me rage on! And start putting my straight jacket on.
I listened to President Obama’s victory rhetoric. But in the end I know what I’ve known for far too long: If Romney had won, the Black vote would be disposable. And now that President Obama has won, the Black vote is still disposable.
This is the same Black president who did not step foot inside a Black neighborhood except in a Black church which was deemed malleable to his lily white strategists. This is the same Black president who had counted on getting the 2008 percentage of nearly 70 percent of white vote and a high percentage of Hispanic vote. However, as the 2012 race went on the white percentage started sinking to about 40% or below and the Hispanic vote could possibly waver. Then and only then was a frantic 911 sent out for Blacks to get out there to vote. This is the same Black president who fought valiantly for gay rights, for his billionaire buddies, for Hispanics via immigration legislation, and for big banks that continue to discriminate against Black-owned businesses and Black entrepreneurs.
And speaking of immigration, every Black community needs to put up a replica of the Statue of Liberty and welcome in immigrants to set up shop and make their fortunes off the African-American economic consumption model and move into America’s mainstream capitalism. Into the American Dream. Now I have nothing against immigration, but I have a problem when a country that allows economic access for a group who didn’t pay dues while continuing to economically discriminate against its own Black citizens who made Cotton king, fought in every war, shedded blood, only to return home to be treated worse than any terrorist who came over to take flying lessons to bomb the World Trade Center. There is literally enough for all; but in theory it is understood that Black Americans should always be poor, dependent and blocked. Economic Black History will bear me out
Blacks will continue to let this President turn his back on us and continue to embody what both parties have—to take us for granted and ignore us. Blacks will continue to focus on reparations for slavery instead of reparations for illegal Segregation when it was clearly shown that the nation violated its own Constitution when it let mainly the South establish Jim Crow law and Black Codes. Blacks do not have the balls to do as the Japanese-Americans who were unlawfully placed in camps during World War II and who later sought and received reparations. If Wall Streeters can be bailed out with billions upon billions yet ‘mo billions then Black America needs to be bailed out with reparations for Segregation. Not slavery. Segregation. Every Black organization that is now focused on reparations for slavery should change that focus to Segregation.
I’m going to stop now and take a breath. A couple of them.
Yes, I’ve finished drinking my Kool-Aid, and I feel good in my protest. And don’t expect me to shut up and be a good little N-word. Like I said before, I’ve had enough of this S. Because I know as long as we continue to live in a country where the Democratic Party takes our vote for granted and where the Republican Party ignores us, not only will our vote remain disposable, we become disposable.