Category Archives: gentrification

Can Blacks hold Democrats in Maryland hostage in November 2020? They should try …

Black Maryland’s numerical clout …

Approximately 3,954,027 voters are registered to vote in Maryland. With a black population hovering around 30% of the Free State, if we used that percentage to determine the number of black registered voters in Maryland, we come up with approximately 1,186,208.

In 2016, Hillary Clinton received approximately 740,000 more votes in Maryland than Donald Trump picking up ten electoral college votes in the process.  If black Maryland voters, 90% of whom vote Democratic, had decided to either stay home or vote “down ballot” on other issues, Mr Trump might have left Maryland with ten extra electors.

More importantly, the black community in Maryland may have been in a position in the 2018 midterms to bargain for more political packages, whether in the form of grants, contracts, or social services.  Putting the fear into Democratic leadership about the extent to which black votes mattered may have resulted in a better benefit exchange for the vote.

But is the political will there?

This type of button-holing may be tough to sell to black voters.  There may be the fear that Democrats, whether in the state house or the Congress, may harbor resentment against that type of bold behavior and punish blacks in the process by cutting or eliminating programs.  Not a politically cool place to be in.

On the other hand a less cool place to be in is where blacks are incurring the ravages of gentrification.  For example, The Baltimore Fishbowl, citing data from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, reported that the city of Baltimore experienced the fifth highest rate of gentrification, falling behind New York, Los Angeles, Washington, DC, and Philadelphia.

Gentrification goes beyond just seeing new white faces in a predominantly black neighborhood.  The higher rents and increased property taxes while easily absorbed by new white neighbors may only serve to increase the burden of living experienced by incumbent residents.

In addition to black residents being forced to leave their homes or neighborhoods due to increased rents or property taxes, those who stay in neighborhoods not yet touched by gentrification may be living in deplorable conditions due to a failure of the city to provide adequate services.  Reporter turned candidate for Congress, Kimberly Klacik, raised these issues in her reporting on Baltimore and has successfully turned her reporting into a platform for a run against former congressman Kweisi Mfume.

Changing the electoral mindset …

It is time for blacks in Maryland and nationwide to reverse this mindset.  Fear of political reprisal from the Democratic elite needs to be replaced by a boldness to demand a redirection of public capital and resources into black communities, including black owned banks and businesses.  Holding back the vote during primary season and focusing on down ballot local issues may send Congressional Democrats the message that ignoring the black community by failing to meet its capital needs can be very costly.

Towards a political strategy of increasing black sovereignty …

How white capital spreads like a virus …

I don’t think that one need go through a winding, mundane academic discourse for why blacks in the American jurisdiction need to pursue sovereignty.  Everyday, American social culture tells blacks living in the American jurisdiction that we do not belong here.  Socially, blacks have been lumped into a generic “people of color” box, on the false pretense that non-whites share the negative effects of systemic racism; that we are all in the same boat sitting in steerage while whites enjoy the privilege of capital accumulation, access to credit, better jobs, and higher income.  America’s political left argues that this unequal treatment calls for public and social policy that should somehow put whites and non-whites in equal positions economically and politically.

Members of the Left that take this position lack an appreciation for how much time and man has not changed.  Europeans came to North America, the Caribbean, and South America under a charter from monarchs that, in a nutshell, required exploitation of the land and people found in these places.  Monarchs wanted to expand their national power and enrich their coffers in order to finance the competition they experienced between each other.  They borrowed gold from wealthy members of their respective societies and encouraged their surplus labor with promises of religious freedom, greater incomes, and landownership of their own, to help conquer these new worlds.  By these initiatives, western culture would spread and flourish with non-Europeans being either absorbed as best they could or eliminated.

Non-Europeans were never meant to be included in the governance of these new lands or in the distribution of natural resources i.e. land, minerals, etc., that accompanied conquest.  Blacks were brought to the western hemisphere as chattel slaves, the tools that would plant and harvest the tobacco and cotton plantations of the American south and the sugar plantations of the Caribbean.

And like a virus, this occupation by capital of non-white spaces continues in the form of gentrification, where generous monetary policies by America’s central bank inflated assets already held mostly by American descendants of Europeans which provided the collateral that backed the loans that were used to buy homes under stress in black neighborhoods.  Americans of European descent no longer need to use armed force to wrest land from non-whites.  Central banks now aid Europeans with capital to spread their influence.

Reparations won’t happen …

For the past two or three years, a movement of American descendants of slaves (ADOS) has been advocating for government policy that delivers on past promises by the United States government to provide slaves with land as recompense for physical bondage.  ADOS believes that providing a direct capital infusion to descendants of black American slaves is the best approach to closing the wealth gap between whites and blacks while compensating blacks for the labor stolen from them and used to build the American economy.

Politically, ADOS doesn’t have a chance.  There is no definitive support in either chamber of Congress for any reparations initiative.  The only black American in the race for the Democratic nomination for president, U.S. Senator Cory Booker, Democrat of New Jersey, has not made reparations a campaign narrative. Given his standing in the polls, he does not have the political capital to offer a policy proposal on the matter.  Without a champion in the executive or the Congress providing stewardship for policy or legislation, reparations will not happen.

The current system poses an existential threat to blacks …

After 500 years in the western hemisphere, if blacks are still fighting to close a capital gap that eliminates the buffer between blacks and devastating unemployment, homelessness, and bankruptcies, then it is time to shift paradigms and create a new political economy.  Civil rights violations stemming from race discrimination. Lack of jobs stemming from race discrimination. Poor education funding resulting from racial discrimination. These issues should be non-existent where blacks are not subject to policies and laws designed by whites for the benefit of whites.

It is time for blacks living in the American jurisdiction to pursue public policy and law that generates a parallel political economy where law, technology, and politics converge to provide blacks with a sovereignty that better ensures their survival.