Black Democrats, Black Republicans fight each other for crumbs
By A. Peter Bailey
Trice Edney News Wire
On several occasions, I have listened carefully as a couple of Black Republican colleagues cite the grievous shortcomings and sins of the Democratic Party. More often than not I found myself in agreement with much of their analysis.
After their critique is finished, I ask the Black Republicans what should be the response of Black people to their analysis. Their answer is, “Switch to the Republican Party.” That suggestion is an immediate signal that they cannot be taken seriously. From approximately 1867 to 1936, Black folks, as a way of thanking President Lincoln for ending legal enslavement of our ancestors, voted overwhelmingly for the Republican Party.
Since 1936, Black folks have voted mostly for Democrats, especially in presidential campaigns. Again there were concrete reasons for this voting pattern — government programs launched by President Franklin Roosevelt and the passage of civil rights legislation eliminating legal white supremacy/racism, especially by presidents Harry Truman and Lyndon Johnson.
However, the reality is that neither the Democratic Party nor the Republican Party have ever voluntarily put our concerns and interests at or near the top of their agendas. In order to bring about change, many Black folks had to put their lives on the line. Significant numbers were killed by white supremacist/racist terrorists. The gains made by the Civil Rights Movement were not the result of a commitment to equal rights by either the Republican or Democratic parties but from the courageousness and tenacity of warriors for equal rights, equal justice and equal opportunity and the international conditions in which the United States was involved in a fierce propaganda war with the Russians. If that international condition had not existed, I believe the federal government would have sat by, while white supremacists /racists in the former Confederate states brutally crushed the Civil Rights Movement.
What serious observers of the current national scene should strive for is an independent Black economic, political and cultural movement not tied to the Democratic or Republican parties, yet willing to work with either on any issue of mutual benefit. Clear and doable guidelines for doing this are made by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in his book, “Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?,” Brother Malcolm X in his autobiography and in the goals and objectives of the Organization of Afro-American Unity and Chancellor Williams in Chapter 15 of his book, “The Destruction of African Civilization: Great Issues of the Race 2500 BC-2000 AD.”
Instead of following, these guidelines Black Democrats and Black Republicans continue to fight viciously with each other over which group of white folks to cling to and accept crumbs from — white Democrats or white Republicans, white liberals/progressives or white conservatives/reactionaries. It’s a pathetic and visionless sight to behold.