“Keep on, keeping on” has to go away …

A black woman on the train.  Homeless by her account ans asking for spare change.  She gives her “testimony” about how God has brought her through trials and tribulations.  She reminds riders willing to listen that with their belief in God, they will prosper, even though at this present time her narrative of prosperity does not appear to be holding up for her.  Then again, her faith may be emboldening her to get up everyday and get on the train to do what she has to do and ask for a little help from strangers.

But is the “keep on, keeping on” narrative sufficient enough to lift the entire black collective living in the United States?

The religiosity-driven “keep on, keeping on” narrative has been expressed since Africans were brought to the western hemisphere over 500 years ago as part of the slave trade.  While the black man has been free from slavery in America for over 150 years, his mental and emotional state has not elevated to a state of awareness necessary for nationhood.  The black man is still immersed in pain and suffering.

The self-correcting necessary to move black people away from the “keep on, keeping on” will require a deep analysis as to its root causes, but hopefully when we conduct the analysis we will not spend too much time such that we create another institution or think tank within which professors labor over multiple approaches for discussing the problem.  We are stagnant enough as it is.

Black people also have to ensure that during our self-analysis that we are not using analytical approaches steeped in Eurasian philosophy.  There are too many Ivy League wannabe-educated black PhD s inserting Euro-poison into the analysis of black political issues.  Blacks need an analytical framework that is non-linear; can break down and identify the connecting dots between black pain and suffering; can identify the factors that cause blacks to view policy through pain and suffering, and; can convert the hurt narrative into a conqueror’s narrative.

Unlike the choruses of defeatism uttered by the homeless woman on the train, blacks need to start writing choruses of victory.  Staying in the kumbaya mindset will not help us.

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Cory Booker is not gaining traction with Black voters. His campaign is drawing to a close.

Just a few minutes ago I noticed a Facebook ad from Senator Cory Booker’s campaign telling voters that Democratic National Committee had raised the threshold for its third debate to donations received from at least 130,000 donors.  In February 2019, a donation threshold of 65,000 donors was reported.

PredictIt has Mr. Booker’s “yes” vote price at two cents.  Since Mr. Booker has qualified for the first debate by meeting the 65,000 donor threshold as well as receiving at least one percent support from voters polled, part of Mr. Booker’s market performance problem may be due to an inability to gain traction with the dominant block of Democratic primary voters: black people.  He is viewed by some in the black community as disingenuous, reports Blue Telusma for The Grio.com.

Until recently lesser known candidates such as Pete Buttigieg and Andrew Yang are besting the U.S. senator from New Jersey and I believe that unless Mr. Booker can at least improve his performance among black voters, he may be calling it quits before the September debates.

Blacks need a new political law game

The political battle between the Executive and the Congress has been intense to say the least over the last twenty-seven months since Donald Trump took office.  With post-Mueller report hearings ramping up next week, the saga only promises to continue way into campaign season.

My friends and family have expressed varying degrees of interest, with a significant number of opinions fueled more by emotion and less by critical thinking.  For example, the constant reference to “collusion”, a term that has no legal meaning, is disconcerting because it provides an example of how people are ignoring the particulars (even when readily available for examination) and rolling with the globs of misinformation thrown onto the plate most times by the mainstream media.

Black congressional leadership wasting political power …

What should also be disturbing is how two of the highest ranking blacks in the Congress, Maxine Waters and Elijah Cummings, are spearheading the charge in the impeachment debate.  Their distaste for the sitting president is evident, but what is less evident is how the use of a potent political law instrument as impeachment is supposed to translate into any increase in political power, wealth, or capital for black people.

If anything, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has expressed caution about pursuing impeachment, appreciating the argument from some inside her party that pursuing impeachment could have a negative impact on the Democrats’ ability to oust Donald Trump from the Oval Office in November 2020.  Mrs. Pelosi’s hesitancy on impeachment should have provided Ms. Waters and Mr. Cummings an opening to show leadership and go against the impeachment grain, not because it would be in line with Speaker Pelosi’s sentiment, but as a signal that the energy expenditure behind impeachment does nothing for their prime constituency: black people.

When you are marginalized, you agitate …

With at least 51 voting members in the U.S. House, blacks in the Congress are in a position to be the pivotal swing vote on a number of issues including impeachment. Numerically, black members of the House, where articles of impeachment would originate, could clog the wheel by holding back approximately 20% of the Democratic vote.  With this leverage, black congressmen could attempt concessions from either the House leadership or from President Trump, though it is less likely that the black caucus would try to negotiate with the President for fear of becoming a pariah in the Democratic Party.

Therein lies a telling dilemma. If the premier block of black congressmen cannot leverage numerical strength without fear of reprisal, what good is their strength?  Another irony is that for a group of congressman that represent a marginalized group, their fear of marginalization within Congress does not put them in a position to do more for their black constituents.

Maybe the answer is to stay outside the box …

On the other hand, maybe blacks, particularly those who embrace their status as marginalized, need an approach to political law that allows them to carve out their own independent niche; one that unapologetically finds the seams or openings in the political economy in order to access capital or create substantive platforms for constructing true communities. Current black leadership is too afraid to do that.