By Nicole Scott, NDG Contributor
With just one day, literally away from one of the most portentous presidential elections since 1964, the similarities eerie, African-Americans must be willing to take a leap of faith and shift from the Democratic Party to the Green Party and vote for presidential candidate Jill Stein and her running mate Ajamu Baraka. We have been in this abusive relationship far too long, that has taken our votes for granted, has not benefitted us and continues to posture itself as our one and only savior from the scary alternative—the right wing Republican Party. Yet, after all of these years, policy-wise, it has failed miserably.
In 1964 when President Lyndon Johnson was facing Republican Barry Goldwater, an open racist and repugnant, much like Trump, Malcolm forewarned Blacks, who like many in the Black community today, to not be fooled by the fear mongering. He stated “The shrewd capitalists, the shrewd imperialists, knew that the only way people would run towards the fox [Johnson] would be if you showed them the wolf [Goldwater].” Do we not find ourselves facing this very same dillema today? Before I go any further, because I can already imagine the looks on your faces and what you must be thinking. Is she advocating that Black people vote for Donald Trump? Absolutely, emphatically NOT!
Donald Trump is indeed, the racist fascist, petulant, demagogue we suspect him of being. I have no doubt, should he win the election, he would do absolutely nothing to improve the status of the Black collective—but those are the operative words—Black collective. With the exception of a few chosen Blacks who have been given this Faustian bargain—that their individual success comes in exchange for towing the line, for maintaining the status quo and refusing to rock the boat, the masses of Blacks in America are already living in a Trump-like America.
In the city of Dallas Blacks represent slightly over 35% of those living below the poverty line. That means over 100,000 African-Americans are earning less than $11.00/hour when the living wage for just one adult is $10.24/hour. And yet the minimum wage in the state of Texas is $7.25. Texas is not an anomaly. It is merely a microcosm of the entire nation. A nation where according to Janet Yellen, the Chair of the Federal Reserve, wealth inequality is the highest it has ever been in the last 100 years.
I point this out because the Black collective, post integration, has a very distorted consciousness. Our lived reality versus how we perceive things to be do not align. We often live beyond our means, purchasing things that we not only can not afford, but do not need. We see ourselves as middle class based on our job, home or even automobile we may drive as opposed to our assets. Blacks have more student loan debt than Whites and Hispanics. Whites have 12 times the wealth of Blacks. Almost 50% of Blacks have no emergency savings. Hence, the masses of us are just getting by and one paycheck away from abject poverty.
During segregation, we knew we were disenfranchised, we recognized we were financially deprived. With the passing of integaration laws, the illusion of inclusion, we have been lulled into a slumber. We look at Oprah, Lebron, Beyonce and the Obamas on our large flat screen televisions and live vicariously through them. We somehow have deluded ourselves into believing that because these “exceptions” have made it, that means Black people are progressing, that things aren’t as bad as they actually are. Never mind the cold hard fact that we ourselves may be currently struggling or even if we’re not someone close to us is.
With all of the hardship, turmoil, oppression, lack of resources right in our midst we continue to put this false hope in a party that has failed us over the last six decades. But don’t take my word. Research the policies that Democrats have pushed that have crippled the Black community. The “war on drugs”, welfare reform, all specifically targeted Blacks and were orchestrated by Democrats. The gutting of funding for HBCU’s done by our Democratic Black president.
It is past time for Blacks to reasses our relationship with the Democratic Party. It is time for us to stop allowing the Democratic Party to frighten us into this blind allegiance to them because the big bad Republicans want to re-enslave us. The truth is the Democrats only offer a gentler, obtuse form of slavery.
Whether it is the President, the Governor or any elected official, no one person is going to save us. But there are policies that can greatly improve our day to day lives. It is time that we evolve in our polictical maturity and begin to leverage our votes to benefit us as a collective. Every ethinic group practices group politics except for us. It is not enough for me or a handful of us to be winning. We all gotta win.
I implore each of you to go to http://www.jill2016.com/platform and juxtapose it against Senator Hillary Clinton’s. Research Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka and ask yourself who do you think will speak for you. Forget what you might have “heard.” Research for yourself. And to those who might agree with the Green Party platform but feel they have no chance of winning, remember this is about building a movement. We have to be willing to sacrifice and struggle not for tomorrow, next year or even the next five years. We have to be willing to fight for the future of our children’s children. Vote your conscious. Vote Green 2016.