Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Do Blacks Need To Start Their Own Party? by Akindele Akinyemi
I have been speaking with several people the past few days about the plight of BOTH the Democratic Party and Republican Party in this country. There are a growing number of young independent voters who are talking about starting their own political party. The reason? They have grown tired of both parties in general.
This may be true but let us look at the reasons of why people want to start their own party.
I have heard many people saying the Democratic Party take Black people for granted. Yes, they do so why do you continue to vote for the Democratic Party of they take advantage of our people? Why are you so comfortable voting Democrat if you know you are being raped by someone who does not hear your needs?
What kills me is the fact that many of us SKIP learning about the Republican Party from a historical standpoint and its historical relationship with African Americans in the United States. Instead of disciplining ourselves to learn the history of the Republican Party we conclude that they are racist because they are for the rich and hate the poor.
For example, our people in Detroit put their minds on auto-pilot and vote Democratic. The White liberals then remind Black liberals that people like the late Maryann Mahaffey fought for your rights. They then put Black faces on TV on why this White liberal woman was so great and we should continue her vision.
Yes, while Maryann Mahaffey was a great person. However, would someone like a Condoleeza Rice, Star Parker or some other sister, who have conservative values who fought for educational options for our children and fought to lower taxes in our community, would have received the same love and respect? Not in Detroit. Not anywhere in America. Why? Because they are Black Republicans!!!!
So the Democratic Party takes advantage of us and we never even find out about the Republican Party so now we are going to start our own party.
First, what would be the philosophy of this party? Most Black people are not monolithic thinkers so what are the primary functions of this party?
Second, who is going to fund it? Bob Johnson and Oprah Winfrey?
Third, while we run our own candidates will we have a conservative lean or a liberal lean to it? How do we motivate people to vote for this BLACK candidate who might not be the best candidate against the WHITE candidate but because he is BLACK you are going to vote for him. Never mind the fact he/she is corrupt, have stolen money and served time in jail for a crime they did commit you are still going to vote for this person based on their skin color and not their character.
What would the platform be for this "Black" party? Are we going to borrow socialist rhetoric from the Black Radical Congress? Personally, I feel that most of us would bring in our socialist/communist rhetoric as well as our Democratic viewpoint instead of building on a centrist viewpoint. Of course, we still have a faction that will blame racism for the downfall of Black people in this country.
Black people have been talking about setting up their own party for a long time. When all of those Black leaders met in Gary, Indiana back in the early 70s they talked about the "Black" agenda. Thirty years later we are still talking about the Black agenda. Nothing has changed other than Black people seeking better opportunities by moving out of the urban centers in their respective states.
I have even heard some of us talking about not joining ANY party and let the chips fall. This is counterproductive as well and demonstrates the fact that we are not participating in a system that our forefathers fought for.
When I hear people talking about NOT helping ANY party it shows a lack of education as it relates to civic education. The school system has not done a good job in promoting civic education in our classrooms and our children have grown up not appreciating the right to vote, the right to choose a political party or the right to express themselves in an intelligent manner.
I do not think running from both parties and starting your own party is the answer right now. If people are going to move towards this then Black people should demand more civic education training in their K-12 school districts. This way we can begin to plant the seeds of understanding on the importance of real political power in our community.
I also do not think that running from the Democratic Party and not participating in the voting process is the answer either. When I talk to Black people about the history of the Republican Party they have no idea that we made such a impact on shaping politics in this country. When I sit down and break down the policies that President Bush is imposing as well as current Republicans people have a better understanding of what is going on. Even if they still do not agree with the policies they can disagree from an intelligent point of view and not a media point of view.
Finally, I think our young adults should take the patience, time and understanding on what they are getting theirselves into. Read the history of BOTH parties and make a decision before you go off talking about starting your own party.