The Progressive wing of the Democratic Party has managed to launch a “people of color” narrative that says America’s non-European minority ethnic groups are falling behind in a democratic-capitalist system because of economic policies favoring white people. In order to close the resulting gaps in wealth and income between “people of color” and whites, government must put in place fiscal policies that re-distributes wealth in the form of universally subsidized health care, free college education, and other cash payments. America is, according to the “people of color” posse, a pigmentocracy where whites have a disproportionate amount of the benefits and because of this imbalance, the approach should be a “We’re all in this together” strategy; attacking the wheel house and putting a more equity-minded captain in charge of the ship of state.
The irony of this approach used by Progressive political merchants/traders/brokers in pursuit of votes is that the “people of color” narrative is itself a pigmentocracy that an increasingly vocal number of African Diasporans in America are becoming more aware of. I have heard some on social media equate “people of color” to a “mulatto agenda” and I have, in my moments of cynicism, found myself agreeing with that view. My moments of cynicism have been lengthening to hours of contemplation, however. Not only is this “people of color” narrative designed to maximize the number of voters for the Democratic Party, it is also designed to solidify the Democrats own brand of pigmentocracy.
The Democrats are catering to two emerging ethnic groups: Asians and Latinos, but have to remain mindful that “blacks” still provide them with a reliable source of votes in the electoral markets. “Blacks” given their historically disproportionate lower amounts of capital, wealth, and income, can be relied on to buy into the goody bags of social welfare spending Democrats offer. Asians can be relied on, along with European Americans, to finance campaigns. As the electoral markets become more corporate, Democrats will continue to downplay “black” in order to attract and keep the money and votes flowing in from Asian and Latino communities.
Why would “blacks” not expect the Democratic Party’s focus to flow more to the upper tier of the pigmentocracy, Asians and Latinos, versus to “black” communities? White Anglo Saxon Protestant and Jewish leaders of the Democratic Party are going to gravitate to groups expressing strong awareness of historical self and place. They will associate with those with a sense of lineage. “Blacks” have not sufficiently seized on those aspects of their culture. By making pigment the center of their political and economic narrative, they have marginalized themselves; made themselves easily managed or operationalized. These days, all the Democratic Party has to do to win the “black” vote is say, “Hey! The other guy is a racist! Don’t vote for him!” and throw in a few weak links to “racial” bias, and voila, “blacks” come out to vote in droves.
It would be much harder for the Democratic Party to have to win votes from a group that identified itself by the more independent aspects of its history and culture. European Democrats like to remind “blacks” of the pain and suffering their ancestors endured as slaves and the violence and discrimination they endured post slavery and Jim Crow and that the pain and suffering is always on the horizon and can only be kept at bay by a bunch of white Progressives walking around with diapers and safety pins. They will never play up the resiliency of blacks, that blacks can follow their lineage to sophisticated civilizations in West Africa, or that the very trade that sent their ancestors to the New World was not primarily based on race. If the slave trade was based on race, the European would have found a way to enslave every African he came across, including the African royal families and slave traders he engaged with.
A “black” people understanding this part of their history would not allow themselves to be marginalized into and politically managed based on pigmentation.
The upside of Kamala Harris’ withdrawal from the 2020 presidential primaries was that it signaled a willingness of some “blacks” not to accept the charade of the pigmentocracy or the mulatto agenda. To the probable surprise of the “people of color” narrative pushers, Senator Harris was deemed not a part of the community of African Diasporans whose ancestors came to the United States as slaves. She could not articulate their struggles and could not express examples of their resiliency. This tells me that those people erroneously referring to themselves by a word that connotes negativity are distinguishing themselves as a community and have put the political market merchants on notice that the view of multicultural groups based on pigmentation will prove itself a losing proposition best left in a mascara commercial.