And why politicians without one won’t ever be getting my vote again, regardless of their color.
Top Cabinet Picks Are Mighty White
As I see President-Elect Joe Biden beginning to rollout his proposed “experienced” cabinet, I’m noticing how mighty White it is. Biden continues to prove he’s the moderately conservative White man’s president, the safe choice for moderate Whiteness not interested in moving forward. He promised to have the backs of Black folks, but he promised to work for White folks, conservative White folks at that. Biden has a long history of giving Republicans what they want. The next four years will be no different. Biden is giving White people their security blankets of Whiteness with his cabinet selections.
I had a White Twitter follower chime in under my post after I made a statement about Biden’s picks, noting how they seemed okay based on the announcement of race and gender, as if minorities couldn’t be proponents of White Supremacy, and White women couldn’t be horrible to us as White men.
A follower completely missed the point (and he frequently does, which is annoying), but that’s what often happens when privileged White folks jump into Black threads without understanding how we see the world of Whiteness. Sometimes White folks should just be quiet. We’ve proven more times than we can shake a stick at that you guys don’t really know what time it is, even about yourselves.
We never have.
America is going backwards, not as far back as Republicans would’ve liked for us to go, but we’re definitely going back to a time where, in Biden’s head, things were good for America. Those times were still not good for Black people. Biden’s America is just as dangerous as Trump’s “Making America Great Again” America. Both were disastrous for Black folks, that’s for sure. Black people who watch American politics closely have seen this movie before, and we don’t like it.
We want a Blacker America, not pacifist pretending and promising to extend imaginary olive branches.
White Subliminal Messaging Matters
It’s the political subliminal messaging I’ve been waiting for. I knew Biden’s picks would speak volumes about how progressive he was and how far he will go to ensure Black people are given key leadership roles in his new Administration. Roles that would ensure Black people not only have power, but where they could also use those positions to affect change for us nationally while presenting to the world an America that appears to be moving on from its White ruling ways.
White women, White men, and White Hispanics are the biggest winners thus far, in Biden’s Administration, being given prized posts with actual power. I’ve seen only two Blacks named to top posts which aren’t exactly posts with power or large budgets, and while it’s still early, I feel comfortable saying Jim Crow Joe won’t be doing much in the way of pissing of his prized White working middle-class voters outside of selecting Vice-President Elect Harris to be his running mate. We’ve seen enough neoliberalism from both political parties to know what’s coming from every White Administration installed in America.
Representation matters. It matters because when you’re represented, you can ensure your representative presents your agenda. When you’re always represented, anything little chintzy crumb to the marginalized seems to be enough, especially when you’re not really interested in sharing. White people ensure minority representation is tokenized, hence the slow-to-no progress in the race relations. For many White people the appearance of too many Black people doing anything but cooking, cleaning, entertaining, dribbling, or throwing balls makes them uncomfortable, and jealous.
It’s clear White America doesn’t want to darken up their White government. White Presidents of the years may pick two or three tokens, but most of their leadership positions will be filled by people whom they can trust, who will think the way they think, and who will make White people comfortable. Those people would be White people or White people who are anti-Black and less likely to rebel, like Asians, White Hispanics, and even Jewish people. You don’t have to say you’re anti-Black to Black people; you show us by who you pick to lead us and who you surround yourselves with White people.
The Whiter the leadership, the less likely we are to change as a nation. Aggrieved Whiteness must have their concerns addressed, or else. So White folks in high places will promise Black folks change with their mouths, but their actions say otherwise.
The most diverse government America ever had was during the Obama years. Black people understood the power or representation of the subliminal message regarding inclusion. President Obama made certain there were Black and Brown people placed throughout his Administration because he understood representation matters. Of course Mitch McConnell and the Confederacy of Dunces were pissed, but that’s par for the course for White folks. Those snowflake bitch asses were mad back in 2008, and they are still mad. The White angry birds fortunately over corrected which backfired, but it’s only temporary. They’ll be back. A Black man made America a democracy. White people undermined it.
President Obama knew when Blacks aren’t included in key government positions, it guarantees we won’t be represented. He provided us representation because he knew we didn’t have an agenda. Even if we had a Black agenda, Obama knew White people would never allow him to tend to Black business.
No White president has ever worked hard to ensure our government reflected what America looked like. Biden won’t do it either. His reputation precedes him. Not only will he not do it, yet again, everything Black folks asked for, he declined. Biden gave us his Black agenda. He told us what he’s going to do for us; he didn’t offer us what we wanted. Black folks were happy that he had a plan with Black on it, but they didn’t understand the sham like those of us vested in policy do. The messages Biden sent before the election and now show Black people will get nothing but lip service and tokenism from his administration.
White subliminal messaging matters. It says more than White folks will ever know.
Broken Promises, Again
For Black people, a promise to have our backs is just like every other promise coming from a White president in America. It means nothing. When Black folks are made promises in having a say about how our government works, we all know how that works out for us (see the end of the Reconstruction Era). Nothing changes in America but the rate of how quickly people forget the past.
Nothing changes because the old trickery works.
When and if politicians make promises to us while running for public office, they either don’t keep them or rig them, so it gives the appearance that they are working for us. By the time we discover they broke their promises, they are already in power, maybe even out of power, but definitely laughing all the way to the bank. There is nothing we can do after we’ve given our votes away if we’re voting for a promise. White (and many Black) Democratic politicians know this and they use this strategy on Black voters just like White Republican politicians use the Southern Strategy (Lowest White Man) on racist, class-driven White people.
White politicians always make promises to Black voters they have no intention of keeping, and in the past, we’ve been forced to relinquish our little power for absolutely nothing in return. White politicians will tell Black people directly to our faces they are going to work for other groups and in the same breath tell Black voters they can’t do anything specifically for us. It’s the boldest shit I’ve ever seen. When all other non-White groups cannot repay White political figures of the Democratic Party with votes for working for them, The Democratic Party has the audacity to ask us to save them. This year must be the last year we Black folks save America, getting nothing in return while everyone else gets a free ride on our backs.
We catch hell when things are good for White people. We catch hell when things are bad for Black people. We catch hell because of White people. Why are Black folks so vested in sparing others hell when they aren’t vested in preventing us from experiencing it?
This is why Black people, specifically African-Americans need a Black agenda, a Black lobbying arm, and steady Black representation to advocate African-American (ADOS- African American Descendants of Slaves) interests. A Black agenda ensures we get something for our votes, our labor, our contributions to this shithole country, and our tax dollars. I’m advocating educating and freeing ourselves from White Supremacy and White patriarchy, being self-sufficient, and getting what America owes us.
There is a game being played in politics, and everyone else plays it except Black people. Life ain’t fair. Neither is America. Black people need to stop treating America as if we are playing a game where the people play fair and we win. Asking nicely and waiting patiently isn’t working. We need a plan, a new playbook, and an agenda.
Black People Need Their Own Political Agenda
Sadly, Black people don’t have an institution or a vehicle that works specifically for Black anymore. The NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) advocates for all people of color, which has become increasingly problematic because they advocate for groups that don’t advocate for Black people. No other national advocacy group for non-White people advocates for people other than the people within their group.
The National Council for Asians and Pacific Islanders don’t advocate for Black people. The Jewish Federations don’t advocate for Black people either. The American Mexican Association only advocates for Mexican communities in America. The National Network for Arab Americans only advocates for Arab-American communities and Arab community-based organizations. The Cuban American Foundation only advocates for Cuban people and Cuban interests. The Ku Klux Klan, a White nationalist terrorist group, has always advocated for the interests of White people, just like the Sons and Daughters of the Confederacy and all those little White secret society organizations, like the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.
The entire government, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, both political parties, and la-la-la was designed specifically for White people. Everything in America is designed for White people, and they keep a fucking White agenda!
If you clicked on any of the organizational links above, what’s clear is there is zero advocacy for Black and African American people in their “About” profiles or their “Who We Serve” pages on their websites. Political parties pretend to be multicultural and inclusive, but when you look at who gets elected, it’s predominately White folks.
The only national organization in America serving all “colored” people in America are Black people. We are our own worst enemy. Groups that have come to America post slavery, immigrants have created their own organizations to advocate their own collective groups’ interests. These ethnic advocacy groups have agendas, they lobby Congress, and they advocate at the state and local levels. If Black people want to know why we don’t get anywhere, look in the mirror. You’re sharing with people who do not share with you.
The NAACP and its supporters are using resources to help people who aren’t interested in our help, because they are helping themselves first. That’s what people who have common sense do. Some have more than we have, and yet we still continue to help them. It’s the equivalent of the poor tithing to a church where the minister is rich, the congregation has millions if not billions of assets in reserve (i.e. the Vatican), and they barely spend anything to help those who need it most. Black people must become laser focused on Black issues in order to improve our lots. No one is going to help us. No one is advocating for us. No one is advocating spending the money they raise on Black people. No other groups are lobbying for Black people or all people, just their respective people, not even most White people, so wake the fuck up!
Because of the NAACP’s “all the colors of the rainbow” focus, there has been a significant rift between the organizations and more progressive, younger African-Americans, including myself. I can’t be a part of an organization that helps people who don’t help us. I’m ready to do a new thing. It’s pastime and long overdue.
Black people need a Black agenda specifically and unapologetically for African American Descendants of slaves, and I’m here for it. No one should have anything to say about it either. We’ve helped everyone else, now it’s time for Black folks to help themselves. ADOS, founded by Yvette Carnell and Tone Talks, created a sound agenda that I like and one that I can easily get behind. Not only are they smart, Yvette does hilarious impressions that crack me up. The one thing I love about their movement is that it’s real, it provides data, and it works within the confines of what we’ve been dealt. They talk about current events and tie it back to the plights of Black people.
While this is not an all-inclusive agenda for every African-American group, every local and every state, it is a framework giving individuals interested in doing things in their own states and local communities. Each Black agenda item can be tailored to address any specific ADOS group’s state and local concerns and is comprehensive enough to be presented to politicians for national action.
An ADOS agenda is necessary. As Dr. Sandy Darity has noted on more than once occasion, Black American descendants of slavery have a distinctive ethnic identity because of our distinctive origins in the community that was enslaved in the United States.”
Everyone in America can have a recognized identity except Black Americans who are descendants of slaves. It’s by design. The intentions of America have been to keep the largest minority group until recently divided, misinformed, and improperly grouped to water down and/or erase African American descendants of slaves. As White America and anti-Black immigrants erase us, White America gets absolved. All Blacks don’t have the same grievances with America, therefore, we shouldn’t be grouped together as if we do. I’m not being xenophobic, I’m advocating for my people just like every other racial/ethnic group in America does.
While all Black is beautiful, all Black definitely isn’t the same. Black people are not a monolith, just like other groups aren’t. Normalize seeing Black people as groups.
If you’re confused about differences of Blackness, read my Our Human Family piece.
Black people need to realize that every group has an agenda (see the links above). Just do your own research on any American racial group and you’ll see they have an agenda just for their specific group. Their agendas are used to advocate for their respective groups’ interests, unapologetically.
Black people need to normalize thinking, speaking, talking, advocating and acting BLACK! We have been deceived into thinking we’re all under one umbrella, when everybody has their own umbrellas. We are worried about people who aren’t really worried about us.
Get comfortable fighting for Black rights. Stand for Black people. Educate Black children. Teach them to appreciate Blackness and to work in/for Black communities. Invest money in Black communities. Improve Black communities and make them competitive. Recycle Black dollars. If you’re an African America descendant of slaves (ADOS), do ADOS politics.
There are going to be Black gatekeepers who get mad, because they get paid to keep us in line and blinded. There are going to be White people who call our politics divisive without giving a second thought to the fact they have an entire political system working for them. Minorities might have something to say, but if you check out the websites about, nobody can say anything.
Black voters work and pay taxes, therefore we need to speak up for our people just like everyone else does. And from now on, when White people and White politicians tell you they can’t have a Black-only agenda, you tell them they cannot have your vote. Vote for politicians who can center the most disenfranchised group after America’s First People, Black people. If they can’t, fuck’em. We have nothing to lose.
The only way Black people can overcome the challenges we have is to advocate for ourselves. Learn the system, educate yourselves, your children, and your grandchildren, and do ADOS politics locally and statewide. If Georgia has taught us anything, working locally trickles up. While national elections are important, they aren’t as important as local politics. This year, we had Satan himself we had to contend with due to no fault of our own, so we made one big concession, one that we’ll likely regret for a long time. It’s the same concession so many of our ancestors before us made. Such concessions have never paid off for Black people in America. When you know better, you should do better, and we Black folks know half of American voters in 2020 are still good and racist.
White racists and their trusty POC (People of Color) sidekicks get to vote their White interests, every election cycle uninhibited, without having to worry about voter suppression.
The same applies for White liberal, moderate, progressives, and conservative voters. They get to vote how they want, for their White interests first, and the Democratic Party chases White-working-class voters down kissing their asses like they are the dope man.
Never again. Never again should Black people settle for nothing for our votes. We should no longer vote blindly. We should no longer trust politicians who are too afraid to declare his/her support for Black people. Never again should we support politicians or parties who give us nothing in return. Never should we approach politicians without a specific Black agenda, nor should we allow any politician to come to use specifically
Seriously, what do Black people have to lose at this point? We have nothing. We need to decolonize Black minds and Black politics. Black people pay taxes too, so we should have an agenda and a national organization just like everyone else. Period.
Embrace Black Identity Politics
White people and White politicians love identity politics until the politics needs to address Black people. American politics have always been for White people and about White people. The POC coalition was neatly grouped to get White leftover and scraps. As each group eventually discovered, if you want to be respected and have your needs addressed, you must pay to play and you need an agenda asking for what you want. Black folks are late to the party. We’ve been so busy saving everyone and looking out for the nation, we’ve neglected ourselves.
The more African America/Black voters demanding collectively and loudly our Black interests be addressed, the better. As far as the Democratic Party is concerned, why should they buy the Black cow when they can get our chocolate milk for free? We are giving what little we have away.
It’s okay to love America, it’s okay to have demands specifically for Black people, and it’s okay to have a Black agenda. Everybody else has one.
It’s time we stopped settling for seats at the table. The deals were made before we arrived to ensure we get nothing. Black folks need to stop being impressed with prepackaged agendas we didn’t craft, Black token placements in powerless position, Biracial substitutes who will not and cannot advocate on our behalf, and gatekeepers paid to keep us confused, misinformed, and advocating against our own interests.
Embrace Black identity politics and Black agendas. The only way things will change for Black people is if we change. Democrats cannot win without Black voters. No other group supports them the way we do. If they want to continue getting our votes, make them give us something for them.
The Black cows have an agenda now, and we won’t be giving away our chocolate milk for free anymore. We may not have a national organization advocating our interests, but that doesn’t mean we can’t support and advocate Black agendas.
Normalize having Black agendas and doing Black politics.
Marley K. in Quarantine 2020
Follow me at https://marleyk.medium.com
If you’re interested in more intelligent, unvarnished Black thoughts, you may enjoy these pieces: