Tag Archives: diversity

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.

 

Diversity is a fraud.

As a black person I have grown increasingly suspect over the years of calls for diversity. It is not that I have succumbed to another race’s false sense of superiority over mine. It is because diversity is really nothing but an expression of weakness by blacks in America. It is a rallying cry for inclusion of those blacks who consider themselves the cream of the crop and deserving to be placed ahead of other blacks due to their education and their networks. Diversity is a willingness to shun the need to generate and contribute real economic value settling instead for creating arguments that have at their base the need to make white people feel guilty. Diversity is a feel good political package sold to black voters who stand as much of a chance of breaking glass ceilings as the Atlanta Falcons have at playing in the Super Bowl in next year.

As an expression of weakness, calls for diversity are calls for permission to enter a house you are otherwise unwelcome in. We’ve heard the arguments. “Inclusion is the right thing to do.” “Dr. King died because he believed we are all equal in character.” ” It is immoral to exclude people, etc. etc.” It really boils down to begging to be included, basing arguments on weak moral grounds that can fade away when tough economic times appear and animal spirits rise up to battle for scarce capital and jobs.

Diversity benefits only those who come from a certain pedigree. In the real world, diversity doesn’t get most blacks a full time job with benefits. What gets people work in the real world are skill sets that bring value to an employer’s efforts at output and a network that through his new employee an employer can tap into. This is especially important in an information driven economy where workers are no longer “nodes for manufacturing”, where the emphasis is on an employee’s manufacturing skills, but instead is a “node of information”, where the employee uses technology to gather data that helps his employer make the best resource allocations.

The flip side to this argument is that blacks may not be in the position to be “information nodes” given centuries of being locked out of certain networks. My answer is, tough. After being in North America for 400 years and 153 of those years post slavery, Black Americans have had opportune time to accumulate the educational and work experience to access information, garner the appropriate skills, and build valuable networks. Instead of diversifying ourselves into a system dominated by a racial majority and created for a racial majority, blacks need to offset the negative repercussions of the current system by supplementing the current system with a dose of increased self-reliance.

Earlier I described diversity as a feel good political package designed by a political party dominated by white people and sold by an educated small black elite to the masses of black voters. It is a weak package that is comprised of slight modifications to existing civil rights and labor laws with no meaningful transfer of capital involved. It is empty with the only blacks getting paid being the fraternity and sorority boys and girls who have some mid-level office driving cars that they look good in. Diversity has not translated into a political economy that takes us to a higher form of human engagement, one where the basic needs of all are truly provided for.

Diversity is a fraud.