Clues to a Democratic Platform

Clues to a Democratic Platform

A while ago I read an article (can’t find it, but it stuck with me) by a person who used to be a religious conservative and who wrote about the people who still support Trump.  Regardless of your opinion of them, you have to accept that they support him because they are getting what they want.  The evangelicals have a President and party that will confirm the judges and politicians who will support their anti-abortion, anti-gay and pro-gun goals.

Further, the rich have their tax cuts.

And those that fear the erosion of white power are comforted by seeing Latino immigrants deported and caged, Muslims banned (unless they have money and support the rich here), anti-Semitism, sexual exploitation of women and oppression of blacks — only strengthened by the intersection of each group where there are common interests.

Finally, nationalism and disdain for foreign intervention has taken hold to the point where military leaders are suspect, and dictators are held in high regard.

Whether you think this is racism, anti-Christian, or hate, they support it because they are getting what they want.

If the President uses his position to line his pockets, engages in crime and has uncivil discourse toward those who oppose him only to further his narcissism, it’s fine with them, because they are getting what they want. Some people are still looking for some other explanations to avoid accepting that the people who support him are really who they appear to be and want what they are getting.

The betrayal of Christian values particularly in regard to selling your soul for fetuses, gays and guns made me think of not just how democracy is being destroyed, but Christianity too — how many of the 10 commandments are being “rewritten”?

  1. You shall have no other gods before Me, except fetuses
  2. You shall make no idols, and sleeping with the same sex is idolatry and gay
  3. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, and it is not Allah like the Muslims think
  4. Keep the Sabbath day holy because we like Jews’ money, but not how they treat Christ
  5. Honor your father and your mother, and the land of your birth where the military cannot act — dictators are good
  6. You shall not murder, unless they are foreign looking and you “fear” for your life — you can use your guns
  7. You shall not commit adultery, but you can grab women by the pu#$y and engage in “consensual” rape
  8. You shall not steal, and tax cuts for the rich benefit everyone
  9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor, but immigrants do steal, rape and are lazy
  10. You shall not covet like the blacks who want everything in the country for free, or they’ll steal it

I hesitate to post negative assessments because I really want to focus on solutions.  And that’s the real purpose of this post.  Really — I’m getting to it.  But this exercise really crystallized in my mind why his support is so solid — every member of a large constituency is getting what they want.  Sometimes you have to take a cold hard look at the bad in order to ask the right questions and find the solutions. 

So, what about Democrats and their candidates?  Do we have a platform where the major constituents are getting what they want?  Haven’t seen it.  Could we? Progressive, centrist, Blue Dog, LGBTQ, women and People of Color?

One digression. Republicans really do learn from their electoral defeats.  I’m not sure Democrats do. Republicans’ biggest fear wasn’t Obama, but the Obama Coalition. A large coalition of diverse interests which if it stayed together, could have swept and kept conservatives out of power.  Stopping Obama at every turn was the fastest way to discourage, disrupt and hopefully chip away at enough of that coalition so they could remain in power. It worked. 

And the practical thing Republicans learned is to make their takeover of Government complete.  Stopping President Obama and regaining Congress was not enough.  The Judiciary still gave Obama wins. Notice the Republicans have a full court press on placing as many conservative and even unqualified judges in place as possible. Judges who will still enact their agenda long after Trump is gone.

The biggest and best thing that has happened on the Democratic side is the formation of groups that are doing smart, effective actions that should be performed by the party, but aren’t.  Indivisible, Swing Left, Run for Something, etc.  Obama won because he organized, not just mobilized (Marshall Ganz).  Target specific seats to regain power.  Have a bench of people who are willing to serve in office at all levels, not just focus on the Presidency. 

But we really haven’t learned the lesson of Obama — it’s about power (of which representation is a tiny piece).  And frankly, we haven’t learned the lesson of Trump either (people worry more about what you say than what you do. I’m glad Trump has a big mouth. Otherwise he’d be getting away with a lot more).

But a platform that brings that coalition back together, despite the candidate; just like the right has a platform that excites its voters, despite the candidate’s flaws…something for everyone to get excited about, or at least for which they’re willing to work. A start —

  1. Religious Freedom and Women’s Choices
  2. Equal Human Rights: LGBTQ, Environment
  3. Foreign Policy: Middle East, Asian and African Cooperation
  4. Separation of Big Corporations and State
  5. Restore Government Checks and Balances, Voting Rights and Fair Representation
  6. Safe Neighborhoods and Reduced Incarceration
  7. Combat Sexual Predators and Target Traffickers
  8. Livable Wages, Upwardly Mobile Jobs, and Education
  9. Path to Citizenship
  10. Healthcare, Maternal Safety, and Opioids

Continue reaching across the aisle on criminal justice reform

The Danger of a Single Solution

This article irritates for the very reason that I became more active in fighting for black progress.  Everyone seems to have their one favorite solution.  And unless you are on their bandwagon, you aren’t woke, aware, or a true warrior for black liberation. And any other effort, in this case the misnomer, “black capitalism” is a waste of time. Since it hasn’t worked, it can’t work. If that is the criterion, then the one true path to black liberation hasn’t worked either and therefore, can’t work.

The stupidity (and if that offends you, it’s meant to, leave if you need to) is in believing there is one true solution.  No society or part of society overcomes its oppression with one approach. No community is being oppressed with one approach. That’s the cliff notes version. You’ve read as far as you need to.

The author’s one true solution –

               Actually closing the gulf requires dealing with inequities in housing, employment, investment, and assets. This task requires recognizing black people not as consumers or entrepreneurs but as citizens—as members of a society with a national debt to which black people have claim. To access their citizenship, black people need not spend more money at certain stores. They need not start more businesses. They need not settle for tax breaks. The price of black Americans’ citizenship has been paid many times over, and the bill is past due.*

News flash: Trump occupies the White House. The racist elements of society have let you know they have no intention of recognizing black people as citizens, dealing with the inequities or paying any bill that has come due.  They will lie, cheat, steal, oppress, cage and kill to remain in power. Changing is not an option under consideration.

The problem is not with black people, but that believing the only approach is for racists to change denies reality, especially if they have told you point blank that isn’t going to happen.

There is nothing wrong with black people that warrants we be subjected to poverty, injustice and inhumanity.

However, our response to economic oppression, injustice and being treated inhumanely can be ineffective, stupid, even delusional – even, if justifiably so.

Knowledge, opportunity and growth have purposefully been denied us in many areas, not just economically. But begging white people to change as a solution or before we can move forward, is stunting our growth and progress as well. We have no choice but to develop our own agency economically, politically, in regards to community and family, the law, environment, and every area of oppression, even if white people were to become perfect.

Yes, I can hear it, some of you can only feel free, if the racism stops, if they stop at a soul level rejecting you, and blackness, and start accepting you in how they think about you.  Sorry, don’t care.

What has always puzzled me is why so many black people get caught up in what racists think. It’s as if you can’t see yourself as an American until every last racist changes and accepts you – until then, America is not real.  That day is never coming, at least not in your lifetime. I’ve never even though it was a goal for which to aim.  I don’t care what racists think. The majority of you don’t have enough power or stamina to stop me, so there is no reason I should give a shit.

I only need to consider (not worry) about the few who can obstruct me. But their racism does not negate any part of my entire existence. The fact that some people hate me just because I’m black, makes me that much happier when my big, fat black ass walks past them unconcerned.  Some of you worry too much about what white people think to no useful end.

Instead of waiting for them to change and the inequities to end, we’re going to have gain enough power to stop and reverse them. If you don’t think we are capable of doing this, or your psyche is so damaged that doing it in the face of how they think about you is too hard to bear, you’ll probably comfort all the liberal white people who overdose on black oppression porn and wonder why the poor little black people would ever think of turning things around without them leading the way.  Because you see yourself the way they do.

I’ve thought a lot about how to deal with these black self-esteem issues and the need to be accepted by all white people, even racists. But it might be a waste of time. If begging white racists to change is your path to black liberation, we’ve had enough. It’s time to offer the people who are ready for it effective options.

*This paragraph shows that the author’s understanding of what he calls “black capitalism” is faulty if he believes it is about consumerism and not about the inequities he mentions.

https://www.thenation.com/article/nipsey-killer-mike-race-economics/

Reverse Engineer Oppression

WEALTH

 

Financial Literacy, Credit

Reconstruction, Wealth

Buy Black, Create Jobs

Scale Black Businesses

ACCESS

 

Transportation

Enviro-racism

Fair Tax Distribution

Close Digital Divide

POWER

 

Organizing, Voting

PACs: Collective, Black

Ballot initiatives

Redistricting & Census

STATE ENFORCED

 

District Attorneys

Bail Reform, Reentry

Police Accountability

Sentencing Reform

COMMUNITY/FAMILY

 

Identity Project

One Black Teacher

Role Models, Genealogy

Safety

VOICE

 

Self-esteem

Mindset

Empowerment

Actions to Take

FREEDOM

 

Food / Clothing

Shelter

Skills

Healthcare

LITERACY

 

Reading

Writing

Basic Math

Critical Thinking

HISTORY

 

Africa’s Great Civilizations

Many Rivers to Cross

Black in Latin America

Black History Flashcards

In each of the nine categories, the most effective strategies are identified.  As more effective strategies are found, the strategies will be updated. Links to more strategies will also be provided in future updates.

Never Enslaved Resistance

I think I heard a Wakandan say, the way white supremacy works is to play on your belief that everyone is rational, sometimes misguided and with the right arguments, possible to change.

Soon, you’ll be spending all your time responding to their comments about Wakanda instead of making Wakanda real everywhere.
Their ultimate goal is colonization, enslavement of the mind, even if not your country. The result is the same.
The desire to fix them will take over your mind like a virus, pushing aside your Black Panther Joy.
As computer malware slows down your computer until it uses all your resources, their goal is to make you exhaust all of your resources on them — while ensuring no progress AGAINST them is made. All the while they are making other moves against you.
What you see as necesarily defending yourself or position is falling into the trap that has been laid for you.
They have no intention of your arguments changing their minds, only frustrating you until your spirit gives out. #BlackPanther

DNC, RNC, whatever

Only one article, actually an interview with Marshall Ganz, has helped me really understand the 2016 election results.
http://talkingpointsmemo.com/cafe/can-the-democrats-get-organized
Many of the causes have actionable solutions, but would any of them be acted upon. Let’s deal with one in this piece.

One difference Ganz points out between the left and the right is the prevalence of groups on the right which are active all year long not only in their recreational, religious or business area of focus, but also politically, and the dearth of such groups on the left. The right has evangelicals, think tanks, ALEC, Chambers of Commerce, PACs for multiple issues, etc.

The left’s equivalent has been the civil rights movement and labor unions. Conservatives have unleashed every effort to destroy unions and the civil rights movement has waned.

When the article was published the only groups seen with the potential to fill the void, were Indivisible, a group modeled after the Tea Party’s successful protests, as a reaction to Trump’s election and which quickly grew to have a group in every district in the United States, and Bernie Sanders Our Revolution.

Very quickly after the Women’s March, many other groups gained prominence, Flippable, Swing Left, Sister District, Run For Something, Let America Vote. But would they make a difference?

First, everyone must thank Indivisible for holding the line against the several attempts to repeal Obamacare.

The former lack of these groups on the left is only part of Ganz’ revelation, the other is that neither the RNC on the right or the DNC on the left is really responsible for winning elections. They have a campaign and election function, but neither the RNC or DNC really enacts policy or has an issue focus or groups which can sway an election, especially not on the right.

Footstomp: Stop expecting the DNC to do everything. It can’t and more importantly, it won’t. If there is a candidate to support, issue or strategy that you believe should be enacted, you must find others who are doing it and join with them or start the campaign, advocacy or organization yourself.

What led to the successes in Virginia 2017
— the general backlash against the Trump administration, but such backlash has to have concrete outlets
1. More people, especially women, decided to run for office at every level and even contest solidly republican districts
2. Civic related groups, enacting strategies the DNC wouldn’t touch, were successful at organizing volunteers and securing funding to implement their strategies
3. African Americans, especially women, despite gerrymandering and voter suppression in some instances and perceived apathy in others, voted in large numbers
4. Energy for candidates, issues and or organizations at every level boosted turnout and votes for the state-wide candidates (Gov, Lt Gov, Atty Gen)
Some just wanted to send a message to the Trump administration, but that by itself, is unsustainable and may not have made enough difference without these other trends

Takeaway: It never made sense to look for the DNC to do everything. Voting is the beginning of your involvement, not the end. Pick a candidate to support, advocate for an issue, join a civic group, hold elected officials accountable, and/or run for office.

White supremacists shouldn’t worry

Am I subscribed to the wrong Black publications and news sources? So our top concerns are an unemployed football player and taking down the confederate monuments. Yo, confederate monument, why did you disapprove my mortgage application? Both are taking a backseat to the March against White Supremacy even (tangentially related to the monuments, I know). No wonder no one takes us seriously. What about Baltimore Ceasefire as the lead story.  Voter suppression? That’s right, Kap told us he doesn’t vote.  Try taking a knee next election day.  Donald Trump has some more friends he’d like to put in office.

Yeah, yeah, it’s about police brutality or the overall history of this nation.  But you have to go through boycotting the NFL and blackballing a player to get to the issue.  We allow our issues to get diluted and okie doked.  Sure Kap is being blackballed.  People may object to him protesting, but he’s still being allowed to protest.  Stay on topic — police brutality.

And things you can actually do that are less emotional, but way more effective than kneeling during the National Anthem.  Vote for District Attorney, the person who has lots of sway in who gets indicted and who doesn’t.  Vote for your state’s Attorney General.  Vote for judges, and where they are appointed, vote for who appoints them.  Finally, serve on juries so our point of view can’t be totally eliminated.  Not sexy, but way more effective.

Want something to do between votes.  Protest for bail reform, donate to bail outs.  Many folks are imprisoned simply because they can’t afford to pay their fines, fees and/or bail.  There was a national campaign to get mothers out of jail on mother’s day and fathers out of jail on father’s day.  Donate.  Get these people back into their communities and to their families. Protest to end this unwarranted incarceration and wrecking of people’s lives.

By all means, kneel during the National Anthem, or whatever form your protest takes.  But realize if every NFL  player were to kneel during the National Anthem, there would be zero impact on any District Attorney to indict the next police officer who wrongfully shoots a Black person.  These activities may move you emotionally, but alone they have no impact on white supremacy.  Often we’re just letting the white supremacists know they have nothing to worry about.

Then you can watch football games without guilt, be a giver like Kap — where he’s most effective anyway, and root for a Black football team owner to come about so Kap can be signed.

Me

Wish President Obama had had time to reorganize the Government along these lines

Best thing I’ve read since the election
Can The Democrats Get Organized? An Interview With Marshall Ganz

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/cafe/can-the-democrats-get-organized

What to do now
Resistance…Rebuilding…Renaissance
Resistance School (with shout outs to Organizing for Action and Indivisible)
https://www.resistanceschool.com/     #ResistanceSchool
What I’m doing (with a shout out to Color of Change)
reoHW2
Honorable Mention