Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Waning Political Clout of Blacks in America Will Be A Disaster For the Unprepared

The majority of the pre and post Civil Rights beneficiaries who currently hold office are in their 60's-70's. They've been so ham-fisted about holding onto that itty bitty political clout there has been no training of successors. Think of Stephanie Tubbs-Jones dying suddenly as an example of the lack of preparation. These men and women have had their share of foibles but as they've served their terms they have focused on "black issues" and not been ashamed of it. As much as I cannot stomach the carelessness of Rev Inc. (Hot Comb Sharpton and Baby Daddy Jackson) there are times they've hit the ball in the corner pocket.

As we see all the "white guilt" about the history of this country is considered paid in full with the election of Barack Obama. I really don't think either he or many of the blacks that voted for him have seriously given this enough thought. As I stated in my post yesterday, he's so slow to react to direct attack that he's constantly being blind-sided. In the case of the voters some act as if they know the president personally and are not only defending him blindly but they are not prepared for the current backlash or any fallout still to come.

The president is not only facing outright opposition with a corporate media assist but members of his own party have no loyalty. It's nearly seven months into his (first or only?) term and I don't understand how anyone could fail to see the underlying problems. I blame the Democrats for this one. Too many aren't really supportive and have not lifted a finger to ensure party unity. I also predicted it would be them, not the Republicans who would implode this administration from the inside out. It's not as if I want to be right about these things either.

This is a matter of the future quality of life for many blacks who aren't part of the elite classes or aren't wealthy/celebrities. Those that live in large cities with robust populations of other blacks who are relying on government jobs or holding onto seemingly stable positions like nursing or postal jobs need to figure out a back-up plan pronto! These positions and the lifestyle attained from holding onto them is in jeopardy. Did anyone think they'd see the day when a post office closed? I know I hadn't. It's not as if these losses aren't impacting other communities but they have more intact families, less out of wedlock children as a whole and more men who are post-secondary educated and fulfilling their roles as providers and protectors. So whatever negatively impacts whites will be catastrophic to blacks. The unemployment rate for example is double for blacks and that only includes new claims not the chronically unemployed.

There's also a new political order underfoot: Latinos and Asians. Whites still have the numbers and dominate public office but I expect next year's Census to reveal Latinos as the largest "minority" population in this country. The Immigration Policy Center has released a report that shows Latino voters have increased 28.4% with Asians coming in second at 21.3%. Blacks are last at 15.1%. Now there are still more actual black voters but this number is going to decrease for a few reasons. Certain segments of the population are dying out, others will be barred from participation due to felony convictions and with the birth rates for educated black women at an all-time low - with only 30% being married. That's just less future voters to go around. Districts will be redrawn to represent the newest constituent configuration as well. It has already been estimated the Congressional Black Caucus may lose at least three (3) seats.

Also, the underclass populations are on the rise and the anti-social/violent behavior goes unchecked. The Obama administration is now discouraging many from home ownership under the HUD program by building more low-income rentals. I have no words. Actually I have two: Dunbar Village. This is the site of a crumbling, non-secure housing complex where 10 males broke into the home of a single mother and gang-raped her. It was a particularly heinous crime for the viciousness of the attack as well as the apathy of other residents who made no effort to assist or even call the police. Only four are in custody. Some of them tried to broker plea deals by giving information about murders they may have had information about. Six of the suspects have been free for the two years since this incident because people will not come forward with information. There are far worse problems than white racism when black people adopt a mindset that crime is tolerable and the protection of males based on race is more important than seeking justice.

Now of course any subsidized housing being built could have a percentage of vouchers set aside for mid-income applicants but if you know anything about this gov't organization you can see the abandonment as a mandate for entire populations. Applying for HUD housing is an already arduous task where it tends to be found in developing neighborhoods or those on the decline. You're not likely to find HUD housing in wealthier or more established neighborhoods because those residents want a minimum caliber and income level that is much higher. So let's get real here. Neighborhoods and groups of people are being written off. This is why it's so important for individual black women to expand their social circles and find a mate of caliber who is able and willing to care for them regardless of race.

Further if the Obama presidency tanks you can bet the door will be firmly shut to future aspirants who wish to rise the same way. He did not ascend politically with the expressed "blessing" of certain established black politicians. This was seen as an asset last year but now that he's in office and his isolation emerges perhaps that wasn't so good in the long run. Not unless he extends an olive branch to them - for some have actually been in office as long as he's been alive (scary I know).

I don't have all teh answers. I'm just here posing questions. Blacks really need to be preparing right now for their political cover regardless of what happens with this president but even more so because he's in office and there's a LOT of disgruntled people out there. You've got people being "allowed" to bring weapons to events he attends. Too many are relying solely on this one man holding this office. We need to be involved in local politics and staying on top of what's going on in our individual states.

I don't recall Louisiana publicly announcing they would raze public housing that was undamaged from the Katrina-related flooding. It prevented even more of those displaced from returning. Some blacks are still assuming they'll have fair warning for any plans that could negatively impact them because there's a black guy in charge. New Orleans had a rather sizable underclass population that is mostly gone now. Some think the lack of gov't response served as a experiment in population control. Whatever happened this current administration could have taken a more active role in assisting in the city's recovery but it has not. I think that represents the extent of any future involvement as well and people should take heed of it.

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9 comments:

blackgirlinmaine said...

You bring some really good questions and thoughts to the table. Too many of us are just happy Obama got elected without thinking about the long term picture. Truthfully unless he wakes up and stops seeking cooperation, he will be a one term president. Plenty of folks bought his message yet there are only so many times you can blame Bush or do nothing...folks wanted change and they want it now, not in 3-4 years.

You can best believe that the whites and others who supported the O-man will not be with him again unless he wakes up. Yet sadly too many of us are just happy he is in the White House with no thoughts that in the end a lousy first Black president can end up worse for us than if he had never been elected. As it is Barry is letting us know that for a man with humble roots his allegiance really is not with us at all.

Karen said...

I have seen these changes coming for the last 20 years - our fall into irrelevance due to our own lack of action.

When the old guard passes on, there will be no replacement because we adopted the "me generation attitude from the 80's" which the white majority could afford but we never could.

Unless Barry turns it around, his presidency is already over but we will all pay the price for it.

I have been preparing for this new order for the last 10 years and hope that many will take heed of your warning Faith and prepare also...

I feel a storm is coming...

P.S. - When I say preparing, I do not speak of Obama as 10 years ago, he was not even on the radar, but preparing for the day when Blacks as a group no longer had the political clout of previous generations... To be independent enough to be free to make choices without having them made for me.

I do not depend on the government for anything. I am literally a "free agent".

freethinker said...

Faith Blog: You've got people being "allowed" to bring weapons to events he attends.

This is a very interesting phenomenon, I still haven't exactly put my finger on what the guns really represent. Most importantly when whites see this behavior, and then when blacks see it allowed. It seems like the old tactic of putting an uppity negro back in their place through intimidation. The klan always liked to let it known to blacks just how close they could get to them, and this gun toting has the same ring to it. I believe in gun rights for responsible owners, but I also know what the sight of a gun in public when not in the posession of law enforcement can conjure in blacks and also whites. It reminds of the effects of hanging a noose up to black people and to racist whites it's a symbol to unify. It's conjures a vigilante justice whites have always felt justified in taking out against blacks and Obama is a "black". I wish Pres, Obama well.

Khadija said...

Faith,

Yes, our dwindling political influence WILL be yet another disaster for the masses of unprepared AAs.

Since we've lost the war to prevent AAs from becoming a permanent underclass in this country, I've been thinking about what comes next for those AAs who do manage to avoid this fate. Specifically, what comes next for the AA women that I've nicknamed "Sojourners."

I think it would be helpful for us all to ponder what strategic needs those few surviving/thriving AAs will have a decade from now. And how we might best position ourselves and our children to meet those needs.

This question is the LAST, remaining viable war that's left AFTER the various wars that AAs have already lost.
We lost the war to prevent AAs falling into mass, permanent underclass status in this country. We lost the war to preserve the AA family. As you've noted here, we've lost the war to preserve (much less expand) our political influence in this country. We are losing the war to preserve our mass economic gains over the past few decades.

All of that is a done deal, and I believe we need to turn our attention to focus on the strategic interests of those of us who will survive and thrive.

I've been reading a book by Thomas Bass about the Vietnam War called "The Spy Who Loved Us: The Vietnam War and Pham Xuan An's Dangerous Game.

To summarize the book: "Pham Xuan An was a brilliant journalist and an even better spy. A long-time correspondent for Time and friendly with all the legendary reporters covering Vietnam, he was an invaluable source of news and font of wisdom on all things Vietnamese. At the same time, he was a masterful double agent, a North Vietnamese intelligence agent...kept his cover in place until the day he died..."

The North Vietnamese sent Mr. An to the US in preparation for what they called "the war after the war." Meaning, the battle to preserve the victory that they (correctly) believed that they would eventually win over South Vietnam (and the foreign powers such as France and the US that were propping it up).

This meant that they were sending people like Mr. An to the US to study American culture (in order to better understand their future opponents---they sent him in the late 1950s, before the US seriously entered the Vietnam conflict--and at the point when they were still fighting the French!).

Thinking through "the war after the war" meant that they were already planning to have agents infiltrate the various worlwide Vietnamese refugee communities that would be created by their victory (they were thinking about this 20 years before their victory in the 1970s).

Those few AAs who survive and thrive also need to look to our future needs and interests.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Evia said...

Faith, this is the formula by which all groups in history have progressed in various societies around the world:

Culturally then economically then politically

Blacks in America are TRYING to do it in this order:

Politically, then economically, then culturally

As I keep saying, IF AAs as a GROUP are serious about making significant progress in the USA, they are going to have to have a RUCOSS (reasonably uplifting culture of some sort)

I really wish Obama the best, but of course "wishing" is magical thinking. Without a foundation and beams holding up a house, it is going to fall, no matter how much wishing I do. Right now, white Democrats and their supporters and vested interests are holding him up. That's the Democratic machine--an organized entity. There is no organized "black" foundation or beams holding him up. He, in essence is a beggar. He is all alone, aside from what white Democrats do for him with THEIR machine.

If an Hispanic, Korean, Jew or any other ethnic candidate is in high office, you'd best believe there'd be an organized constituent base made up mostly of their ethnics in top positions supporting their candidate, surrounding him, making sure about various things. Just voting for him is not nearly enough because he has some very savvy enemies, and his enemies didn't go away the day after he won. They'll be gunning (no pun intended) for him until the day he leaves office because there is tremendous power at stake.

The bottom line is that AAs are going to have to make a decision one way or the other, and I think that decision has been made already with the general AA behavior.It won't matter how much money AAs have because the money is not organized money (like the Jews, Koreans,). AAs don't have the cultural piece in place. We could actually each become millionaires and we would still be begging to be allowed inside because we don't have a cultural base to foster the cohesion and use the clout. That cohesion would operate like a big ethnic-racial fist. That's how the organized ethnics use their clout.

Since AAs haven't used the window of opportunity to come together culturally, it's all over and some people know this the same way that winners of elections can be named before the votes are all in. All you have to do is look at indicators. It's painful, but this is why some of us are trying to tell AA women to leave the sinking ship.

ActsofFaithBlog said...

blackgirlinmaine: Obama has been letting blacks know his allegiance is not with them but they won't listen. Of course if blacks focused on acclimating and wielding power the support would be reciprocated.

Karen: You've been one of the fortunate ones to have seen the writing on the wall with extra time to prepare. Many will be scrambling at the last minute while others will perish.

freethinker: Welcome. I don't know if the lack of security is about Obama specifically or about intimidating the masses. He has Secret Service detail for LIFE now. It's all of the unprotected that need to be concerned. Still...this is nothing compared to the existence that the average black female has to go through.

Khadija: I commented at your blog with an extensive reply which I'll repeat here:

I attended the Get Motivated! Business Seminar recently and will be doing a blog post to share some of what I've learned. One particular speaker really hit it out of the ballpark in my opinion. Colin Powell & Rudy Guiliani (poser extraordnaire) also spoke but were just meh to me. I do try to learn as much as I can from people even if I don't like them!!

Anyhoo, this one speaker (whose name I have to look up I admit I was waiting for Colin Powell to speak and wasn't paying attention) laid a few things out that we need to consider:

1. The first thing he said was DO NOT RELY ON THE PRESIDENT TO SAVE US! That caught my attention right away, lol!!

2. He thinks there's going to be a huge recession looming within 5 years and there will be little economic recovery for the masses, only the prepared.

3. He insists we all need an additional business in place and a job. He focused on internet-based ventures using reverse searches and finding the most popular products, setting up a website and being a 3rd party conduit between the buyer and the manufacturer (i.e watches) so there's no risk, no large sums of money put up, etc. You do have to be internet savvy though and be familiar with SEO.

I need to go through my notes and do some research but I was very encouraged by this speaker. He also mentioned that we needed to be careful with how we speak to and about ourselves (negative thoughts), said parents needed to stop propping their kids up with video games as a substitute for spending time with them, that women earning less money than men when they have the same skill set was offensive and to stop watching so much television.

It was INTENSE but exhilarating. Of course there's a follow-up seminar that you have to pay for but it's $39 and you can bring a relative for free. I'm not sure if that's a gateway to yet another program (probably) but it's better than doing nothing.

Of course the Learning Annex is around and we can go to the library to get books as well. So this is the time to really get focused. We have to save ourselves and the future generations.

Oh yeah he also mentioned something I REALLY LIKED: that we can overcome generational chaos if we've had to fend for ourselves thus far in life.


Thanks for the book recommendation as well !!!

Evia: Thank you for raising the level of discourse as always! I have one question after reading your comments: where are the black elite? They are supposed to have it all together...so where's the domination? Where's the culture? Other groups have their elite classes but they still make sure their lower classes don't sink too low. I've read other blog hosts say something akin to how the black elite don't want to invest in the black underclass due to their behavior and apathy but wouldn't it also be true that allowing a majority population within a minority group fall apart bring everyone down so to speak?

PioneerValleyWoman said...

Evia:

Faith, this is the formula by which all groups in history have progressed in various societies around the world:

Culturally then economically then politically

Blacks in America are TRYING to do it in this order:

Politically, then economically, then culturally

My reply:

The danger is that there truly is no thought to the cultural aspect!

The presumption seems to me that culture is irrelevant, when it comes to the masses of Af-Am thinking, except among those who tend to the moderate and conservative side of the spectrum.

Black culture today means whatever black people do that can be embraced for its apparent authenticity because a large proportion of black people do it.

For other groups of people, ie., groups of Asians and Jews who have had long-standing generational achievement in their families, culture means the heritage, the values, and so forth that has been passed down over generations, the values and behaviors that permit them to continue their onward progress.


Some examples:

A Jewish colleague was telling me about his son, who has just begun medical school. He explained that the orientation program was one in which parents and families participated.

The entering class of medical schools students received their white lab coats that they will wear during the course of their medical school career. Their parents then helped them put on their coats.

He mentioned that in some instances, there were generational connections, ie., the grandfather who is a medical doctor helping his granddaughter/grandson.

Faith:

Evia: Thank you for raising the level of discourse as always! I have one question after reading your comments: where are the black elite? They are supposed to have it all together...so where's the domination? Where's the culture? Other groups have their elite classes but they still make sure their lower classes don't sink too low. I've read other blog hosts say something akin to how the black elite don't want to invest in the black underclass due to their behavior and apathy but wouldn't it also be true that allowing a majority population within a minority group fall apart bring everyone down so to speak?

My reply:

In those discussions, the argument is that they are not going down, because they have no connection whatsoever to the lower classes.

Once upon a time, during Jim Crow segregation, the black elite had those connections, arguably because they had no choice but to feel part of the whole.

However, with greater access to elites of other racial backgrounds and their foundation in their own group, and the black lower classes beginning to embrace values that do not coincide with long-term healthy communities, the black elite checked out.

They don't know them, don't live among them, don't socialize with them, and in effect have nothing to do with them.

An important note is that among other elite groups that have connections to their lower classes, there is arguably the old social contract that the black community once had: the black elites lending support, in return for the black lower classes supporting the values Evia spoke of, the reasonably uplifting cultural values that made black unity possible and worthwhile.

ActsofFaithBlog said...

Pioneer Valley Woman: Thanks for your reply. Here's the missing element though (for me anyway). Some of these "elites" are actively ENCOURAGING the behavior of those they may wish to have nothing to do with and are making a profit from it. Think BET. So that isn't non-involvement that's exploitation.

Also there are some who are also actively engaging in the same behavior that is supposedly so dissatisfying except when they get caught they have connections that allow them to get away with these nefarious activities (think Kwame Kilpatrick or the Mayor of Atlanta's daughter). I just see a certain amount of hypocrisy involved in that line reasoning and failure to recognize the "whole truth".

Then there's the historical racism of many of these black men in demonizing darker hued black women. So while I can see a certain adaption of divestment which is what we are advocating for many black women of various class tiers I still think it's an aspect of the overall problem of blacks in this country who really don't have enough racial/ethnic pride in themselves to be able to accept their "blackness" and work together towards a common goal of elevating the group. It's too late now.

Perhaps had that initial separation truly been about behavior and not disdain of heritage it wouldn't have had the derailing effect that helped fuel further disengagement from normative behavior and broken bonds amongst the progeny of the survivors of slavery. Regardless of those ties the elite have there is still not one distribution network that is completely owned and controlled by blacks so I still have difficulty understanding how "elite" someone is when they still have to go elsewhere for basics that other groups of "elites" control.

PioneerValleyWoman said...

Faith:

You raise some important points about the black elite. Except insofar as they cultivate and benefit from the underclass culture, they should be all be put in the same category--they do not benefit black people as a whole, and should be treated that way.

You mentioned:

The Obama administration is now discouraging many from home ownership under the HUD program by building more low-income rentals.

Now of course any subsidized housing being built could have a percentage of vouchers set aside for mid-income applicants but if you know anything about this gov't organization you can see the abandonment as a mandate for entire populations. Applying for HUD housing is an already arduous task where it tends to be found in developing neighborhoods or those on the decline. You're not likely to find HUD housing in wealthier or more established neighborhoods because those residents want a minimum caliber and income level that is much higher. So let's get real here. Neighborhoods and groups of people are being written off.

My reply:

On the other hand, there is a possibility that there might not be any vouchers offered for this sort of program, once again, addressing the issues of who is being written off?

What if it is about developers getting money for building affordable housing, but limiting it to people who don't need vouchers, while the developers get tax breaks that make it possible to offer lower rents?

There is definitely a preference in some communities for moderate income housing as compared to low income housing. As you mentioned, people who need low income housing then lose out.

Another factor: in the wealthier communities, there is less likelihood that there will be properties available for the government to buy up or for a developer to buy up and then offer as low-income housing.

Not only are there zoning issues, but if anything, in some communities, the properties that can be developed are more likely to be developed for one or two family housing.

And as for the zoning issues, in wealthier communities, vigilant residents make sure that the preference is for housing that does not encourage the development of multi-family units.

And even if lower income residents can get housing and vouchers, can they afford to live in these communities otherwise?

Examples of guidelines:

People can't earn more than:

$25,000 for one person in western Mass: 1 Person

2 Persons, $36,900

eastern Mass:

1 person low income $31,550 median income $46,300
2 person low income $36,100 median income $52,950