Category Archives: African American

Race is a lie …

I know I am beautiful and love my phenotype and genotype.   I love the skin I was born in.  It makes me unique.  I honor my lineage, appreciating my parents, grandparents, and great grand-parents.  I try my best to maintain my household, to keep my son safe and hopefully teach him the things necessary for him to survive this Matrix.  I don’t run away from my Caribbean culture and am always ready to embrace someone whose own lineage parallels mine.

I am not, however, a race.  The notion that people are permanently lumped together based on the color of their skin runs counter to human behavior.  Humans are always touted as tribal, social.  Academics will tell me that genetics meeting environment spawns various racial groups and the desire to create collectives for security and economic purposes.  I beg to differ.

Similar looking people who develop language and customs do so for temporary strategic reasons.  Maintaining and expanding my household today as well as 140 years ago in the Caribbean and 500 years ago in Africa required entering into security agreements with neighbors to ensure a prosperous hunt.  Maintaining order required agreement as to how disagreements would be settled.  But no household wanted to be blindly allied with an association of households based on skin color where the well-being of the household would be negatively affected.

This notion of a mass collective, of a nation-state, is derived from a few individuals wishing to use masses of people, whose lineages run closely together, as a platform for expanding their own vision.  The masses when successfully programmed to abide by rules, mores, and values published by a visionary few are enabled to bear the brunt of the cost of the visionary’s programs of expansion including the execution of war and trade.

Race is but one of the collective creation mechanisms used to help expand the wants and desires of the visionary few.  For example, as Europeans expanded into the western hemisphere, it was the construction and deployment of the race mechanism that facilitated the recruitment of people needed to colonize the Americas.  The masses paid the taxes, mined the gold mines, planted the tobacco plantations, and cleared the land of inhabitants generating benefits that flowed mostly to political, military, government, and commercial elites.  In exchange the masses took as payment access to credit and land upon which to settle.

Collectives, races are organized for a purpose.  Masses of Europeans were organized to conquer a land.  What are masses of African descendants in America organized to do?

In the American political economy today, “blacks” are organized to help extend the political visions of the leaders of America’s political parties.  Aiding in the organization are America’s black political elite who yearn for the prestige, power, and pensions the political industry offers.  The black political elite mines the black vote and brings masses of black voters to the polling places.  In exchange for their votes, “blacks” hope to receive programs that grant access to credit, employment opportunities, educational opportunities, and affordable housing.

The model is basically the same mass exploitative model used on those earlier masses of Europeans that colonized the Americas.  The difference is that while those Europeans, as a collective, were granted access to wealth creating/capital accumulation opportunities, Africans, as a collective, have been offered what I term “renewable wardship”, where the safety nets negotiated by the black political elite are only as good as the legislation that renews the availability every budget season of these social safety nets.  In other words, the European or white exploitative model offered access to liberty after an indentured period while the African or black exploitative model has offered offered continuous wage slavery where today masses of blacks are still relying on the benevolence of government.

The exploitative model, where blacks are massed and seduced for their votes in return for political packages that offer no capital return, does nothing for the uplift of the individual.  He or she is kept in constant beggar mode, petitioning government to pursue policies such as “closing the digital divide” or “closing the wealth gap” or “raising the minimum wage”; policies that government was not designed to implement.

The visionaries, the black political elite, are doing well off of this model where race is manipulated and operationalized to facilitate that black political elite’s ability to offer up masses as coal for America’s political engine, having no concern for the erosion it brings to self-determination and consciousness.

Race is a tool.  Race is a plantation that limits and enslaves.  Race is a lie ….

Democrats are hypocritical when criticizing political action committees

The eye-catcher …

After a long week of work, impeachment acquittal votes, and the jobs report, I came home last night prepared to chill out and maybe watch a little television.  My mother, the family’s original political analyst, shot me out a text asking if I was watching the Democratic debates.  I thanked her for letting me know then switched to ABC to check it out.

The last debate prior to the New Hampshire primary and the first one post the U.S. Senate’s acquittal of President Donald J. Trump, I expected the debaters to get in a few zings on Mr. Trump.  The debaters had to bring him up since the Democratic Party will need the candidates to spearhead the campaign not only against Mr Trump but against Republican senators up for re-election this fall who voted to acquit the President.

I also heard the unsurprising attack on corporate donations to campaigns.  U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, Independent of Vermont, and U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts, went all in on former South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg, former businessman Tom Steyer, and former New York mayor Mike Bloomberg, for, in Mr Buttigieg’s case, accepting donations from billionaires, and Messrs Steyer and Bloomberg, for attempting to buy elections with their wealth.  Mrs Warren and Mr Sanders reminded Americans that they were not going to be on the dole for donations from corporate PACs.

Two strategic takeaways.  First, will candidates want to continuously expend energy talking about a failure to pass articles of impeachment against Donald Trump when energy should be spent crystallizing the policy differences between candidates?  Second, are these candidates being disingenuous with Democratic voters when they criticize the existing campaign donation mechanism?

Wasting energy talking about impeachment …

Voters do not have long memories.  While Democrats are still fuming that the President survived impeachment due to votes along party lines, the more important independent vote will need to be swayed by a more effectual campaign tactic.  Mr Trump still has robust jobs numbers and stock market valuation increases to work with.  This week’s 225,000 increase in non-farm payrolls capped off a victory lap for the President and even though talk of recession persists, if he can positively spin his achievements on the economy, enough independents may decide to ignore his behavior and vote with their pocketbooks.  Talking about a failed removal attempt won’t outweigh stock market numbers sitting in the positive zone.

Nor will black voters, a block that Democrats constantly harp on as important, be swayed by calls for impeachment.  In the bigger scheme, beyond the emotion of getting rid of someone deemed as rude and bigoted, the type of person blacks are well equipped to handle due to historical experience to deal with, a focus on impeachment is more evidence that the Democratic Party is further de-emphasizing the immediate and medium range needs of blacks in America.  Independent thinking blacks, already questioning the allegiance their community has to the Democratic Party, need concrete political packages to stay on board.  I don’t see the Democrats delivering that at all.

The political markets are like any capital market. PACs are their private equity firms ….

The attempts on the part of Mr Sanders and Mrs Warren to create a negative view of political action committees and the donations they generate show a continuous practice of poorly educating constituents about how the politics matrix works.  Political action committees are the private equity firm equivalents for political markets.  They pick candidates they believe can help provide returns on and to the public policy positions that PACs take.

While they cannot manage a candidate’s campaign, a PAC can indirectly influence where that candidate should deploy political capital by providing the public with messages that influence voters to contact and persuade candidates to consider positions important to PACs. Like a private equity firm, PACs influence how well candidates perform in providing the products they should be good at providing: messaging and political packages.

A well informed voter will appreciate that this PAC apparatus is an organic outgrowth of the unique American political economy.  Democracy has created a market for votes and like any market there will be information seekers on the lookout for the best investment toward which capital should be deployed.  What candidates who disparage the model tell me is that they may not be viable enough to attract funding from information seekers such as PACs and prefer to hide that lack of viability by making the tired arguments about how bad taking PAC money is.

Conclusion….

So far Democratic candidate tactics for winning the presidency do not look effectual.  Talking about impeachment signals to black voters in particular that a party that wastes time on non-relevant issues or tactics should not be getting their vote.  Their views on campaign financing tells independent voters that they are disconnected from the realities of how markets for anything in America, including votes, actually work.

Whether Iowa is the first or last during primary season makes no difference to black political capital…

Aimee Allison, founder and president of the advocacy group She The People, wrote an interesting piece for The Hill.com where she asserts that the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary have an unsubstantiated influence on the Democratic Party’s choice for a nominee.  Ms Allison states the following:

“The Democratic Party’s decision to allow Iowa and New Hampshire to dominate the nominating process for president is hurting the party’s ability to win. Women and candidates of color have been harmed by the myth of ‘electability’ and whiteness of early states deemed vitality important to attracting donors, endorsements and volunteers to win.”

Ms. Allison goes on to argue that instead of focusing on Iowa and New Hampshire, the state of Nevada should be setting the tone for the selection of a Democratic candidate to beat President Donald Trump. Ms Allison states that:

“For that reason, Nevada should be top of mind right now for everyone from pundits to donors to voters who want to know who can gain the momentum needed to take the White House. Women of color are a fundamental pillar of the national party’s base, a quarter of all Democrats nationwide, and a similar 26 percent of the Democratic electorate in Nevada. The state was pivotal in the 2008 and 2016 presidential primaries, but it should have even more sway as such a clear mirror of Democratic demographics nationwide.”

The problem I have with the analysis is that Ms Allison assumes that black voters will tag along with the “people of color” posse in Nevada because of the state’s more diverse make up when compared to the whiter states of Iowa and New Hampshire.  The “people of color” label severely dilutes the historical concerns of blacks given that the other major groups within the people of color spectrum, Asians and Latinos, do not share the black experience of racial discrimination.  Rather, blacks may view these groups as current and definitely future competitors for capital, employment, and credit access especially as the Asian and Latino populations increase.

In addition, to make Nevada’s “people of color” choice have a greater impact on black voting, “people of color” in Nevada will have to communicate to blacks in other states the reasons for following their lead.  I think that the “people of color” reasoning will fall on deaf ears, particularly in the states of Georgia and Maryland.  Blacks in Nevada make up approximately 8.93% of that state’s population. When you throw in other races and ethnic groups, the total “people of color” population in Nevada amounts to approximately 28.99%.

Blacks in Georgia make up approximately 31.6% of the Peach State’s population while blacks in Maryland make up approximately 29.78% of the Free State’s population.  I don’t see black Georgians living in Albany, Atlanta, or Columbus, where their economies are driven by agriculture, fintech, and logistics, or blacks in Annapolis, Baltimore, or Prince George’s County, where their economies are driven by federal government employment, finance, and international trade, being influenced by a smaller black or “people of color” population living in Nevada, a state driven by tourism that imports just about all of its food or other resources.

Bottom line, blacks will look at their immediate household needs and local political economy environment when determining which candidate for president will provide the political packages that brings them any relief.  They will not follow the lead of Nevada based on its supposed diversity.

 

Why I align with BLEXIT …

BLEXIT is a movement that asks black Americans to think critically about their relationship with the Democratic Party.  The movement’s primary premise is that the Democratic Party has taken the black voter for granted, offering nothing of substance in exchange for the decades of significant support the black electorate has provided to Democrats.

Like most blacks I have been put off for years by the brush off Democrats impose on blacks especially during and after election season.  You always know when it is election season when a politician of the white, Democratic hue drops by a black church in search of good optics, electoral support, and donations.  You have to wait two, four, or six years before most of them come around and visit again.

The usual push back from Democrats is, “If you blacks leave us, who are you going to turn to? The Republicans? The GOP hasn’t done anything for you.”  Of course the GOP has not done anything for blacks.  Blacks haven’t received anything from the GOP because blacks haven’t offered a vote in exchange for anything from the GOP.  That is how politics works.  Besides being a blood sport, politics is about an exchange.  If blacks want something from the GOP, they will have to offer the vote or some other thing of value, i.e. donations, in exchange for a political package.

But the aversion blacks display to the Republicans should now be spread to the Democratic Party.  The Democrats and the Republicans have a duopoly on the electoral process having secured their positions as the two most dominant parties and grantors of political packages in America’s politics industry.  They have successfully kept third parties from mounting significant challenges to their market dominance, but as in any consumer society, the rational move for black voters should be to play off the two competitors against each other.  Make the parties compete for the vote and donations.

With 13% of America’s population, BLEXIT has to take on more meaning than just walking away from the Democrats.  BLEXIT should be about holding the vote back until one party decides to offer something of greater value that the other party cannot match.  Effective BLEXIT will require rank and file voters and black political leadership to design a strategy and implement tactics that keeps blacks relevant in a changing political environment.

It is doable, and my intent over the next few weeks is to demonstrate how it is doable.

Of Kobe, Negroes, and the Greatness of the Collective …

With all the talk of how Kobe Bryant rolled, Negroes, as a collective, while extolling Mr Bryant’s greatness, will never attempt anything that equates his greatness.  There are no great peoples, not among Africans, Europeans, or Asians.  So called “great peoples” were merely masses of humans begging to be led, opening themselves up to be expertly programmed by the few…..

Hail the anarchists and the aristocrats … for they built you …

Impeachment is a distraction for black voters

Blacks in America are participating in the impeachment fervor with as much intensity as other political group in America.  As commentator Attorney Antonio Moore cogently and passionately shares with his listeners, blacks own less than three percent of America’s wealth and that ownership percentage is decreasing. Blacks are wedded to the Democratic Party with anywhere from 88% to 90% of the black electorate voting Democrat since 1976, according to Attorney Moore.

Blacks are under economic duress from a capital allocation perspective.  Writing for The Nation, Leah Douglas notes that blacks today comprise less than two percent of America’s farmers and own one percent of America’s rural land. Ms. Douglas, citing U.S. Department of Agriculture data, points out that since 1969, 80% of black farmland has disappeared, in part due to sales of land held by families via a mechanism known as partition sales, where one family member can sell their portion of land to a developer and the developer puts the entire parcel up for sale where the law allows for the extinguishing of other family member ownership rights.  And citing U.S. government data, The Guardian reports that 1.3% of America’s farmers are black, owning .52% of the country’s farmland.

Why is this important? Because at the base of any access to capital is control of natural resources in your country.  Bonds, stocks, and currency derive their value from a working political economy and a working political economy derives its value from how well it can extract, process, manage, and distribute natural, financial, and human resources.  For those concerned with the economic well-being of the political collective known as black people, access to capital and garnering more income from capital must be top priority.

Let us not for get the disparity in household wealth as well.  According to an article by The Economist, mean black household wealth is $138,200, while median household wealth for blacks is $17,100.  And 19.4% of black households have net worth of zero or less, due in part to lower incomes and higher debt loads.

Whites are experiencing mean household wealth of $933,700, with a median household wealth of $171,000.  Only 9.2% of white households have a net worth of zero or less.

But to listen to the candidates for the Democratic Party nomination, you’d think that 13% of the population didn’t have a capital problem.  Besides the obligatory commentary on gun violence, access to healthcare, and white supremacy/nationalism, the candidates have offered no plans, tactics, or strategies for addressing the problem.

The only candidate coming anywhere close is Andrew Yang whose universal basic income plan is purportedly designed to address the pending doom of mass job losses spurred by robotics and artificial intelligence by offering each eligible American a stipend of a $1,000 a month to be used in any way the citizen wishes.  Mr. Yang hopes that the stipend goes to supplementing grocery costs, paying medical bills, other household expenses, or to savings.  What has been perceived as a giveaway has not yet given Mr. Yang any major traction although he had been able to qualify for all of the Democratic Party’s debates.

And not only are the candidates ignoring the black economic agenda, their comrades in the Congress appear to be as well. While there have been a number of bills introduced in the 116th Congress designed to increase diversity in banking or encourage minority business ownership (see H.R. 1432, H.R. 4101, and H.R. 5322), none have been introduced to allocate capital in such a way that the wealth gap is closed.

What are elected officials signaling? That they have other priorities and probably won’t move on the drastic measures that would be needed to bring about any equality where it counts; in capital.  The impeachment distraction will be short-lived, but the wealth and capital gap is not going away.

Blacks should start preparing to manage a future electoral clash between whites and Hispanics…

Blacks don’t have the numbers and it will get worse, unless….

Back in August I wrote the following regarding representative democracy’s failure of black people:

“Representative democracy has failed black people in America.  The representatives from the black community in Washington have been converted into agents for their respective party’s leadership, securing the votes needed so that they can pull up a chair at the trough.  Just like social media has turned subscribers to social networks into resource and product for advertisers, the electoral system has turned black voters into lumps of coal with black congressmen acting as the conveyor belt carrying the coal to the primaries and the national elections.”

In addition to this major fail of black leadership and representative democracy will be the further weakening of black political capital as a result of demographics.  According to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the portion of the American population identifying as “black” will increase to 13.3% in 2060, barely budging from the 2014 statistic of 13%.  Meanwhile, the population identifying as “Hispanic” will see their percentage of the population increase to 25.5% in 2060 up from 13% in 2014.

The population identifying as “white” will represent 49.4% of the U.S. population in 2060, down from the 2014 figure of 68.8%.

As a voting bloc, I expect that Hispanics will cement their position as the go-to ethnic group that sways at least the popular vote for president. The current “people of color” movement may have run its course by then depending on how much farther the interests of both groups diverge.  Assuming that blacks and Hispanics occupy in 2060 the regions of the country they mostly occupy today, there may not be a demographic clash.  Blacks still mostly occupy the south and southeastern United States while Hispanics mostly occupy Florida, California, Texas, Illinois, and New York.  Two of the states, California and Florida, because of the number of electoral votes they carry, will continue to influence the popular vote and the Electoral College vote.  Hispanics will be in a position to exercise substantial electoral clout.

This clout may come in handy on policy issues such as immigration and trade.  Blacks have expressed animosity to policy that favors immigration because they see immigrants from Latin American countries as competitive cheap labor.  Hispanics see immigration as access to better pay and living conditions while trade benefits Latino populations living on both sides of the southwestern border where there is an opportunity to access and transport more goods and services at affordable prices.

The issue for black political leaders will be how best to manage a political environment, based on a failed representative framework, within which the struggle for public capital will only intensify. One solution may be to go external and manipulate the system from the outside.

Manipulate the equation…Raise the ante….

Yvette Carnell last night described a voting strategy for getting the Democratic Party to take notice of black voters without black voters giving away all of their electoral capital.  The “down ballot” tactic allows black voters to exercise the option of skipping Democratic candidates for president, vice-president, Congress, etc., where those candidates do not offer adequate public policy in exchange for the vote.  Ms. Carnell stresses that blacks should just not show up, but should instead go to the polls and cast a vote on other issues reflected on the ballot with the goal of letting Democrats know that the voter showed up but did not see on the ballot a candidate that presented an adequate black agenda.

Another tactic I would suggest is that blacks skip the primaries and that this practice should start in 2020. Skipping the primaries raises not only uncertainty in both parties, especially the Democratic Party, but would force the parties to pay more attention to black public policy needs and start preparing substantive packages in advance of election so that packages can be put in place soon after an election.

I believe these are the sort of tactics that blacks should implement now in order to strategically position themselves as the price giver versus price takers.

Conclusion: A more active listening public administrator

There is no guarantee 40 years out that black political leaders external to the government will follow the above strategies in the face of changing demographics and political power.  Public administrators should get in the habit of being forward looking, however, as demands of the electorate in the political markets will call for changes in approach to governance.  To stay valid, public administrators have to listen to two constituencies: the elected official that oversees them, and the electorate that at least in theory oversees them both.