Beyond the Rhetoric
By Harry C. Alford
Why the economic plight, political ineptness and the power of influence have not changed at all since the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 have been implemented? These “nigger bills” as President Lyndon Johnson would refer to them when talking with the Dixiecrat senators granted a lot of new freedoms to Black America. It looked like the white power structure was about to change dramatically. We gained access to the American dream but the access has not been taken advantage of.
It is not like “Pharaoh” still has not let us go. The big problem is our fault: We have not let Pharaoh go. Many of our major cities have Blacks as mayors. The Congressional Black Caucus should be a pivotal force in our Congress. We have enough influential supervisors in all levels of our law enforcement infrastructure that police corruption and brutality should be a thing of the past. Baltimore is a fine example. The city is 80 percent Black with a Black mayor who is the #3 officer in the Democratic National Committee. The Police Supervisor was just let go and the official federal report claims that police operations have been factually oppressive to that 80 percent Black community. Yes, there is something wrong and certain Black elected officials either did it or let it happen.
Philadelphia’s demographics are quite similar. However, the predominantly Black city council and former Black mayor have gone out of their way to let white construction workers from the suburbs go to the front line for jobs at the detriment of inner city construction workers via Project Labor Agreements. The new white mayor has the perfect excuse – Don’t blame me, the Black mayor before me set that system up and all of the other officials agreed with him. Yes, Black Philadelphia you have clung to Pharaoh. Quote the new white mayor: “I am just continuing the tradition which was set in place by the previous mayor who is Black.” Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Cleveland and on and on it doesn’t make a difference. The Black democratic vote is taken for granted and white opportunists just love it. The “party punks” blame it all on one of our two predominant political parties – Republicans.
This system is a guarantee to keep Blacks ignorant (they can’t determine who the enemy is). A key ingredient is our educational system. Charter Schools, School Choice, private schools are excellent vehicles to empower our children and break the mold that produces academic ineffective students. Poor education is a key ingredient to unemployment and under-employment. It breeds hopelessness which converts to crime, violence and despair. So why does the majority of Black elected officials fight against these answers?
The current Administration has been merciless in fighting against these recent trends in education. They have been lethal against for-profit colleges. They are putting some of them out of business like Corinthian College. One female Black congressperson has been the most outspoken against for-profit colleges. Funny, her grand-daughter is a graduate of one. Here is a remedy via our current sick political system. With the current attack on for-profit schools, one of them, Laureate International Universities came up with the solution for survival. They made former President William Clinton “Chairmen Emeritus,” a ceremonial position which will eventually pay him $18 million in income. In return Mr. Clinton’s wife, US Secretary of the State, gave the for-profit university system a grant (our tax money) for $52 million. That’s quite an exchange. Gangsters Al Capone and John Gotti would be so proud of that hustle. The morale of the story is: Pay first and then you get to play.
In addition to the encouragement of corruption, there is a fostering of crime. The multitude of deaths is growing and growing. The main reason is hopelessness (again) and drug trafficking. Why can’t we figure this out? We should see who is profiting the most from this. It is not the fault of guns – that is just a vehicle to apply the criminal activity and corruption. There is just no way that I am going to have my family sit at home with no protection. Come into my home with violence on your mind and I will meet you with the final solution.
Black America is at a disadvantage. In sum, they put all of the “chips” on one side which causes no balance. To vote 90 percent for a particular party is just plain stupid. We should have leverage on both sides. Right now the winning party has no obligation for the Black vote it is taken for granted. If each party actually respected the Black vote and not take it for granted we would have better leadership and good public policy.
The system we have now offers no strong leadership and continued despair. We have no quality of life in a collective fashion. Before voting do your homework and not join the party punks. The world would be better than this.
“I guess I have saved over 1,000 slaves in my efforts. I probably could have saved over a 1,000 more had they only known they were slaves.”
Mr. Alford is the co-founder, President/CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce. Website: www.nationalbcc.org Email: [email protected]