By John the CEO
A founding father of modern bankers once said, “give me control of a nation’s money supply and I care not who makes the laws.” This dark principle is something that our political leaders have failed to understand about those who really run this country. If you look at the Civil War, the same bankers who financed the North also financed the South, yet most of us never knew this because the history books that lied to us were also funded by the same cartel. Even today, if you follow the money trail of billionaires, they don’t just pump money into one party, but all parties they feel can impact their objectives. They also fund candidates of all parties as a way to maintain leverage so that if one candidate gets out of line with their bigger strategy, they will take away money from that candidate and give it to the competitor.
This is how American (and global) politics works. If you truly want to win, you have to play the game in a similar manner.
But oh no, not us. Somehow, we allowed the flawed notion of piling up into only one party take over our political thought. And we wonder why we don’t get ahead. Groups within the Democratic camp who are less loyal than Black Americans got far more benefits for their agenda than we did, yet we stay loyal like a lover who waits years for a cheating mate to realize how good we are. When friends try to tell the wishful thinker to leave that cheating lover, she or her gets mad. When side jump offs constantly come at the cheater, she or he will fight the side pieces but not the cheater. That’s how our community has approached political power in this country for the most part since the end of slavery.
Fortunately, in every generation, there have been a few bright spots among us who try to show a better way. Frederick Douglass was one of those. Marcus Garvey was another, not to skip past Booker T. Washington who, though too cozy with Republicans, was still motivated by being economically independent. At first, Martin Luther King was too socially Marxist in his strategy, but later, he would warn America “we’re coming for that check.” The latter King was definitely much wiser about economics than his earlier version. The same was true of Malcolm X, who smartly realized our political strategy needed to incorporate a global pattern, not an oversimplified local one.
Once these two bright spots were taken out in the 1960s, Black America slowly slipped into the strategy we’re in now: The Democrats gave us social and civil rights rhetoric (and were forced to sign off on voting rights), so let’s be loyal to them forever, even if we get nothing else. No group in the history of America has held such a blind loyalty to any party. All successful groups have had their hands in multiple parties.
But not us!
So when the ADOS movement came along, with it’s emphasis on carving out a distinct identity for brothas and sistas whose lineage is from American slavery, many Black America 1.0 people (old and young, by the way) got very uncomfortable. And this lineage need not be limited to slaves, as there were Black (or Negro) freedmen in the early 1800s who had their property seized by certain whites and the government at all levels allowed it (and even stole lands, too). All of the acts of ethnic cleansing that our ancestors suffered, and along with it, seizure and transfer of wealth to whites, incurred a debt that has to be repaid. Justice requires that.
The Republicans at the time, though some meant well, allowed, and in some cases, encouraged, southern plantation owners to gradually reclaim the South. That power lasted until the 1960s. The Freedmen’s Bureau, which was supposed to administer some kind of reparations for us, was purposely staffed by enough incompetent leaders so that it failed a few years later. Even when we improved during the Radical Reconstruction era roughly between the 1870s and 1890s (extending that success into the early 1920s), the government at all levels sanctioned or actively participated in acts of ethnic cleansing that brought us right back to a net worth of nearly zero.
I said all of that to say that when Ice Cube came out with his Contract With Black America this summer, Black America 1.0 attacked him, and still are. Never mind most of them didn’t bother to read it or at least check out a video where he explained it. They went on the offensive for their “cheating lover” the Democratic Party. “How dare he try to take me from my man” is what they might as well have said as they defend Biden tooth and nail–as if Ice Cube even told them to leave the party. (For the record, he did not). And when the Hispanic an LGBT community got what they wanted with less loyalty, Black America 1.0 attacked them, too, just like when side piece goes after their boyfriend or girlfriend.
Yet do we ever attack the one doing the cheating and neglecting? The Democratic Party has “cheated” and “neglected” our community. I can just imagine all the anger seething right now as I say this, but pipe down. I’m not advocating ALL of us leave the massa’s party, but SOME of us should. Why? Because that’s how politics in ALL nations works. Once the Democratic Party sees a flight of enough of us, they will finally take notice, I guarantee it. This is how the leverage of power works. This is essentially what Ice Cube is saying, as well as ADOS and other brothas and sistas with common sense who think outside the narrow box we’ve put ourselves in for decades.
What do I mean by “leverage?” When you shop for a car, do you lock in on only one car dealer, or do you shop more than one? You can’t let one car dealer be the only one you talk to. If they realize they’re the only car dealer, they will rip you off and tell you to take it or leave it. The Dems have been doing this to us for decades, and we passively aggressively give in to their demands because sadly, we’ve been reduced to political weaklings, acting on emotion. For the powerful, politics IS business. In business, you have to be a ruthless negotiator, cognizant of all your options as leverage to walk out of a deal if necessary. Many of us are not used to tough business negotiations, which is why it is extremely difficult to understand how important it is to have leverage with the Democratic leaders. It’s long overdue that we upgrade from this outdated, non-negotiable Black America 1.0 to the more ruthless 2.0.
Why do I use the version number metaphor? Consider the Apple iPhone. The iPhone is at version 12 now, because Apple realizes that they have to change in order to stay competitive with other phone makers. Similarly, we have to upgrade our thinking to stay competitive with other groups vying for access to power. Yet we’ve been stuck in version 1 since the end of slavery (Reconstruction got us to 1.5, but then the party we loved back then, Republicans, essentially helped the racist Dems take us back to 1.0, and they’ve been doing it ever since).
Coming back to a new way of wielding Black political power in America, we have to face the fact that this is not a one-party country. The Republican party, as much as you may loathe them, wields considerable power. We can’t just sit back and complain how racist they are, pout, fold our arms, and shut the doors, hoping for some unknown Democrat to save us “some day.” While we’re pouting, the top leaders of both parties, who are white, are pals with each other, golfing and jetting together to their secret, secure meetings where you’re not allowed. Wealthy people know this, so they have their hands in both parties, too (keep your friends close, and your enemies closer). There are third party groups out there, too, notably, the Libertarians. The LGBT group has agents in all parties, as do the Hispanics and Asians. And their leaders stay focused on their agenda.
But what do our “leaders” do? I wrote about what they did July 2019 during the Democratic debates. They were aiming to please the Hispanics and LGBT (nothing wrong with either group’s strategy as they did what they were supposed to do). The Congressional Black Caucus did likewise. Nobody, and I mean nobody, was caping for us! That should be a red flag that our strategy is way, way off. We’re not wielding power properly.
And by the way, no one is saying that Ice Cube is our “leader.” He is just one man with a platform. To me, we should all be leaders—at least, those with enough intelligence and negotiation savvy to make things happen for the rest of us. Don’t wait around like sheep waiting for a shepherd. Let’s turn the sheep into shepherds! To wrap this up before it becomes an encyclopedia, we have to have agents in ALL parties. We’re at war for our future, so we need spies in the enemies camps. This makes Black America 1.0 mad because they dare not make their “cheating husband” mad. But we gotta leave that thinking behind and slay the Goliath called racism (which is a weapon wielded more dangerously at the top, not by the average person). When one party keeps making empty promises that never get fulfilled, we have to be prepared to leave in order to keep them in check. Make these parties compete so that the one with the best deal wins. And as we make these incremental wins, let’s not forget to also launch and grow a political party of our own, in parallel, as yet another angle of leverage. Ok, I said enough. Run with this, those who are wise and intelligent among us.