Saturday, March 21, 2009

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Trading in the Currency of Black Irrationality

Crossposted from A Political Season

I consider myself a man of conservative views and a reluctant republican. I believe conservative ideology and principles to be superior to those which underpin the Democratic party. That's why I became a republican. I believe GOP implementation of those conservative ideals and principles is sorely lacking. That's what makes me reluctant.

I disagree quite strongly with black conservatives who give credence to the idea that black voter loyalty to the democrats is essentially a product of mass delusion and brain washing by the democratic party. In this meme, the democratic party is like a cult and blacks are weak minded children mesmerized by a pied piper.

LaShawn Barber kicks it this way:

Democrats consistently get 90 percent of the black vote. Why? Years of damage caused by liberal ideology and misinformation pumped into the black community for the past 25 years.

This train of thought posits a black community essentially too stupid and deluded by others to evaluate the parties on what they deliver and how they deliver it. She asks the following question:

So why did large numbers of blacks switch from voting for Republicans to voting for Democrats?

And gives this non answer to it:

Some say it was President John F. Kennedy’s perceived sensitivity to the oppression of minorities that endeared him and his party to black Americans.

I think this non answer is disingenuous, and the entire argument a species of falsehood. Its perpetuating a myth of black idiocy and irrationality while avoiding talking about GOP messaging and tactics. The GOP, on issues like law and order and affirmative action, has engaged in messaging tactics intended to pit its base against blacks. It has intentionally used wedge messaging, at times with racial undertones, to gain political advantage. Blacks have reacted accordingly by shifting their support to democrats. While it is true that democratic policies have not yielded their promised benefits, it is decidedly incorrect to characterize black engagement with democrats as proof positive that we are not rational political actors. This argument is almost religiously advanced by the right to justify non engagement with blacks, and deflects discussion away from the fact that the GOP has decided that blacks are not a political constituency essential to its aspirations for governance, and acts accordingly.

LaShawn, as conservatives to the right are wont to do, reminds her readers about blacks historical engagement with the GOP at a time when democrats were the party of Jim Crow. This is usually cited as support for the argument that blacks should return to the party of Lincoln (who would have left blacks in chains if it had served his purposes in saving the union), which always prompts me to retort "that was then, this is now". She goes beyond the myth of black political irrationality to cite lingering black memories of government's positive role in Reconstruction, desegregation and the New Deal as a more fundamental reason for black disaffection with the GOP. She posits that it is those memories that make us resistant to the GOP's message of distrust for government. The argument is a bit squishy and psycho babbilish in a way, but its a reasonable opinion. I find fault with LaShawn's view however, because it does not call to account the GOP's political practice at all. This discussion in her view seems to only revolve around black political irrationality (a position I reject) with no analysis or discussion of GOP behavior. In other words, Barber excoriates us for our behavior, and gives the GOP a pass for theirs. Behavior predicated on a calculus she readily admits:

....Republicans can win elections without the black vote; Democrats can’t.

A calculus by the way that demographic change in the United States will render obsolete between now and 2040.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

World Conference on Racism, Slavery Reparations and Obama

Berlin - Germany may boycott a UN conference on racism, over concerns that a preparatory document is singularly critical of Israel, daily Berliner Zeitung reported Saturday. At the same time, a German organisation promoting ties with the Jewish state...

File this under, Can't we just get along! There seems to be a lot of commentary on the planned World Conference on racism.

First, get this, first the US withdraws from 2nd World Conference against Racism, now word is, Germany may boycott UN racism talks critical of Israel. The Folks at Monsters and Critics are reporting on how Germany may boycott a UN conference on racism, over concerns that a preparatory document is singularly critical of Israel, daily Berliner Zeitung reported Saturday. As reported by the The NY TImes, The United States will not attend the second World Conference Against Racism in Geneva unless the conference’s main document improves, according to a State Department official, though the Obama administration sent a delegation to preparatory talks in Geneva.

The NY TImes, reports the long, unwieldy document seeks to ban criticism of religion, calls for slave reparations and attacks Israel as racist. Israel and some American Jewish groups urged a boycott of the April conference, and several close American allies, including Canada, said they would not go. The United States walked out of the first Conference Against Racism, in Durban, South Africa, in 2001, as a protest against an effort to compare Zionism to racism. More HERE

At the same time, reports Monsters and Critics a German organization promoting ties with the Jewish state is appealing for Germans to moderate their criticism of Israel's role in the Middle-East conflict.

'Germany should not yield to a UN conference that wants to accuse Israel unilaterally,' German Human Rights commissioner Guenther Nooke said of the anti-racism talks, due to take place late April in Geneva.

'We should initially try everything to change the text of the final document,' Nooke told the newspaper. 'But there will be no participation at all cost,' he added.

Several countries have criticised the fact the preparatory document specifically accuses Israel over its occupation of Palestinian territories.

Other misdeeds, such as the atrocities committed in the Darfur conflict, are not specifically named.

Meanwhile, the President of the German-Israeli Society Johannes Gerster has appealed for Germans to show greater solidarity towards Israel, in the face of the continuing Mid-East crisis. More HERE

AAPP says: I guess the Obama administration will have to decide whether it's stands against color aroused bigorty and racism or will it stand with Israel, Canada and Italy who have announced they will boycott the forum in Geneva.

The first conference, held in Durban in 2001, ended up with the US and Israel walking out, upset over statements of some delegates.

Maybe, just maybe, William Reed is right, when he wrote in EUR web recently, "Reparations for slavery is a proposal that some type of compensation be provided to descendants of enslaved people in consideration of the labor provided for free over several centuries, which has been a substantive and influential factor in the nation's development. The prospect of payment is not new." William Reed goes on to say:

In 1865, General William Tecumseh Sherman issued Special Field Orders, No. 15 granting each freed family forty acres of tillable land in the Georgia Sea Islands and around Charleston, South Carolina for the exclusive use of black people who had been enslaved. The army gave mules to settlers. President Andrew Johnson reversed the order after Lincoln was assassinated and the land was returned to its previous owners.

Black slaves built America for free, including the nation's Capitol and the White House. It's important that the nation's 44th President do what the 17th President did not do to properly atone for the ills of slavery - A system that gave rise to poverty, landlessness, underdevelopment, as well as to the crushing of culture and language, loss of identity, inculcation of inferiority among blacks, and the indoctrination of whites into a racist mindset - all of which continue to this day to affect the prospects and quality of Black People's lives.

America, and its companies, were "unjustly enriched" by a system that enslaved and exploited blacks. The Wall Street banks, and its investors, that the nation is writing checks to built America's infrastructure on the backs of blacks. The number of legal claimants for compensation is undetermined, but Obama could consider a $10,000 annual "slavery tax credit" to Americans who can show themselves descendents of slaves. Some two dozen members of Congress are co-sponsors of legislation to create a commission that would study reparations - that is, payments and programs to make up for the damage done by slavery.

The bill, US House of Representative Resolution 40 "Commission to Study Reparation Proposals for African-Americans Act" should be addressed so that such a commission will address who, what and how much is due. The NAACP supports the legislation. Cities around the country, including Obama's home of Chicago, have endorsed the idea, and so has a major union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. The old dog-eared adage that "the nation couldn't afford to pay" has been eliminated with the Wall Street buyouts.

If Obama has the confidence to think outside the box, he'll realize what economic stimulus reparations payments would be. The question has always been about how America would raise money to pay reparations, but if they can bailout the infrastructure's entrepreneurs to save America, what about bailing out the people who built it? Article HERE

Cross Posted on African American Political