WE NEED A VIABLE BLACK POLITICAL AGENDA

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The upcoming United States presidential election is probably the most important one that will matter in this century. It will determine the direction of our country for years to come. The survival of our democracy is clearly at stake, as “tiptoe totalitarianism” slowly takes hold of our society.

At this point, the presumptive Democratic nominee is former Vice President Joe Biden. Biden has a checkered past. He has done some really commendable things, especially as former President Obama’s vice president. No doubt, many Black people support him for that reason alone. Others, however, are concerned about his past, which was less than sympathetic to Black people in certain instances. Because of this, some Black people are saying that they won’t vote for what is being called the “lesser of two evils” because the choices are both evil.

This is not a pragmatic stance, however. People must realize that in life there will always be choices. In fact, that’s what determines the trajectory of our lives – the choices we make. Truth of the matter is that there are usually challenges connected with any choices that we face in any given situation.

The upcoming election, however, presents us with a clear choice.

It should be very obvious by now that the current presidential administration is responsible for thousands of deaths due to the handling (or more correctly, mishandling) of the COVID-19 pandemic. A lot of people call the president ignorant, uneducated, and dumb, etc., but it is becoming more evident by the day that he is working from an agenda, one that is antithetical to Black and brown people. It is also ageist, sexist, and against the poor and infirm. In fact, it definitely appears to be following a eugenics platform.

Trump and his minions don’t seem to have a problem watching thousands of people die while they encourage people to return to work that will threaten their lives during the height of the pandemic! They know people will be sacrificed for the sake of the economy! Anyone who observes what’s happening with clear eyes must come to the conclusion that there is deliberate action at play. The U.S., allegedly encountering the pandemic later than some other countries, now leads all of them in the number of new cases and deaths. How can that be in a rich nation like ours? It is not an accident.

For the foregoing reasons it’s time that the Black community finally flexes its mighty muscles as a cohesive unit. Someone wisely pointed out that there is no “we” when it comes to groups. There will always be competing priorities therefore, compromise is always necessary, especially in politics.

So those Black people who are threatening to stay away from the polls because they don’t like Biden and can’t see a clear difference between him and President Trump are making a huge mistake! If they do what they have threatened to do, it could very well put the final nail in the coffin of American democracy. And for those who say it has always been bad for Black people in America, people haven’t seen anything yet when it comes to a possible future under another Trump administration, which has already basically started dismantling the United States as we have known it.

Instead of being passive and staying away from the voting booth, Black people should seriously consider unifying around an agenda BEFORE the upcoming Democratic National Convention to make sure that the community has some leverage regarding the platform that the Democrats ultimately adopt. The time for voting based on “emotions” and nostalgia is over if we want to survive as a people and a nation. Furthermore, it is time that the Democratic Party be held accountable and stop taking the Black community for granted.

Suggested items for inclusion in a Black Political Agenda could include but are not limited to: Reparations; Universal Healthcare; Free College; Criminal Justice Reform; Affordable Housing and Daycare; Livable Wage; and College Loan Forgiveness.

There are also other Black groups that have suggested items for a Black Agenda, and their input should be sought. Of course, there is a chance that everything would not be obtained, but these items represent the beginning of what could ultimately enhance the quality of Black lives in America. And for the naysayers, the truth is that it is all possible if we unify behind an agenda and insist upon its implementation.

We have only to get out of our own way and change entrenched behavior! A Luta Continua.

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