Black People : African-Americans Must Re-evaluate Political Tactics...

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by Aqil, Nov 18, 2004.

  1. Aqil

    Aqil Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Feb 3, 2001
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    New York
    By Hazel Trice Edney
    NNPA Washington Correspondent

    WASHINGTON (NNPA) - As Democrats ponder how to revive their party, African-Americans should consider exploring different political strategies to increase their clout, political observers say.

    "You've got to be realistic about politics. We keep playing politics as if it's some playground activity," said Arthur Fletcher Jr., former Assistant Secretary of Labor in the Nixon administration. "I didn't get President Nixon to allow me to establish the first affirmative action program by carrying signs and marching around the building. I was inside as the Assistant Secretary of Labor. If you are not inside the system, there are no levels that you can pull. And you can't risk being outside every time there's a national election." With 90% of its vote going to John Kerry, Fletcher said African-Americans are limiting their potential influence.

    Pointing to Secretary of State Colin Powell as an example, some critics say that even when working on the inside the Republican Party, there is only so much a Black person can do. "We may even have to think in some ways about a viable third-party strategy whereby we collectively put pressure on the Democrats and the Republicans and hold them responsible," said Kathie Golden, political science professor and director of the Delta Research and Cultural Institute at Mississippi Valley State University. "We have to speak in a collective voice. Although we are not monolithic, we are impacted by the same issues."

    The idea of an independent Black political party may be enticing, but it has been tried several times, all unsuccessful. "I don't think anybody can talk about what African-Americans are going to do until we see what Bush is going to do," said Katherine Tate, professor of political science and African-American Studies at the University of California at Irvine. "If he turns toward a very hard-core conservative track, African-Americans may mobilize in the same manner that they did in the mid-1980s against Ronald Reagan."

    Some lawmakers are already discussing how to narrow their focus. "We've got some evaluating to do. We've got a lot of evaluating to do. But one thing I don't want us to do is take the focus off of those things that affect people on a day-to-day basis," said Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md). "I think that the Democratic Party has got to continue to do that, and it has been our philosophy that if we continue to press and press hard on those issues that affect people on a day-to-day basis, that hopefully will yield success."

    Tate said she believes there will be little if any compromising by either party. "At this point, the Democrats seem very firm in wanting to stand as the rival party to Bush's Republican Party."

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  2. river

    river Watch Her Flow MEMBER

    United States
    Mar 22, 2004
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    Where the Niger meets the Nile
    I agree with Katherine Tate that we should not bury our votes in a fringe party. This would only dilute the influence we have on the mjor parties. No, that's not the punch line. Some people have said that we tore our @$$es when we abandoned the Dems earlier this month. My belief (and of course I may be wrong) is that we have showed them that they cannot take our allegience for granted so they will try harder to win us back seeing they cannot win without us.

    But we don't have to wait to see what Bush is going to do to evaluate where we are as a people and where we want to go. We are not short on issues that preceeded Bush and that require some effort and brain power on our part before we can be prepared to collectively withstand Bush or any undesirable politician that may come after him.