By Dr. Claud Anderson, healing President
For centuries, America has been a killing field for young Black men, especially, by White police officers. And in nearly every instance, courts and grand juries allow those who profile, beat, or kill young Black men to go unpunished. Why? Because Blacks’ unique historical experiences were codified in this nation’s revered founding documents. The Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights declare America a land of exceptionalism, the cradle of democracy and a nation that values immigrants. Blacks were exceptional too. They were the nation’s only non-immigrants. They were valued only as human property, entitled to be treated just like field animals. This lack of respect for a Black man’s life, rights and contributions became infused into the nation’s national spirit and codified in the legal and political infrastructure. How the nation should view Black men was laid down by the United States Supreme Court’s infamous 1857 Dred Scott decision. The Supreme Court stipulated that, “A black man has no rights, that a white man is bound to respect.” Never reversed in over 150 years, this infamous ruling was locked into the collective American psyche and passed down from generation to generation of ethnic Whites. The first lesson immigrants learn when they come to this country is that they are prized and valued over native Black Americans. This prevailing attitude impacts every aspect of how our political and law enforcement systems view and treat Blacks.
This nation’s public policies of Benign Neglect and political correctness further depreciated value and rights of Black Americans and were constructed to kill off the Black Civil Rights Movement of the 60s and to make all forms of Blackness invisible. Benign Neglect took what had been a laser focus on Blacks in America and scattered attention to new special interest groups based on gender, ethnicity, language, cultural and handicap. Political correctness became the only acceptable filter for policies and discussion. Believing that social integration had resolved all of Black people’s problems, White liberals convinced Black leaders to become politically correct, abandon their own people and take up the cause of newly fabricated classes. Since Blacks were still bound by the legacies of slavery, Jim Crow semislavery, and the Dred Scott decision, Black America slid into a permanent underclass status. An underclass is a group who by the very nature of their impoverished conditions and powerlessness will be forced to live as beggars and criminals for the rest of their existence in America. Blacks are not guests in America. Since 98 percent of them are the direct descendants of slaves, they were here before 98 percent of the descendants of immigrants arrived. This nation was founded on the blood, sweat and labor of millions of de-humanized Blacks, but they were denied the fruit of their labor and suffering. The newly fabricated interest groups, especially immigrants, inherited “un-earned benefits,” respect and rights to which Blacks were entitled. The larger society adds further insult to injury when it participates in public dialogue that gives the false impression that all people and groups have contributed equally to the development of this nation. Nothing can be further from the truth.
The racial problems of Ferguson along with other police killings of Blacks will not abate until this nation addresses the exceptional history and achievements of Black Americans. Police power is freely exercised against Black men who are perceived as obsolete and powerless to do little more than march or riot. The larger society has a responsibility to resolve the long standing abuse of Blacks contained in our foundation documents and to erase the emanating legal precedents. Police, courts, grand juries, and prosecutors tend to see the enforcement of law through the eyes of history and the Dred Scott decision. They don’t believe it is their responsibility to eliminate structural racism in police departments, legal documents, or various levels of government. But, it is their responsibility regardless of how they have been socially conditioned. Today, in Ferguson, Missouri and across America, it is the right time, and it may be the last time that this nation will have to address and correct long standing racist views and legal rulings.
THINGS TO DO
1. DEMAND THAT BLACKS BECOME HIGHEST DOMESTIC PRIORITY
Considerable research indicates that increased immigration, especially of low skilled workers, is harmful most to native Blacks. (See Alerts and Newsletter articles at www.harvestinstitute.org for more detailed discussion.) Blacks should demand that government resources directed to help bring immigrants to the United States so that they can escape crime, poverty, gangs, poor education and unemployment, should first be directed to Blacks trying to survive the same conditions here in this country.
2. SUE PROSECUTORS
Make a detailed assessment of suspect cases. Prosecutors have qualified immunity from suit and great discretion, but when it appears that a prosecutor has manipulated a grand jury process, the prosecutor should be sued personally for conspiracy to violate civil rights. Blacks should also file federal lawsuits against prosecutors personally for giving police officers constructive immunity against prosecution in instances where Black men are killed.
3. RENEGOTIATE RELATIONSHIP WITH BOTH POLICITAL PARTIES AND CORPORATIONS
Blacks must inform all major political parties and major corporations that they intend to re-negotiate their relationship; that they will no longer tolerate being treated as if they do not exist and displaced by immigrants. Blacks must make it clear that they are no longer willing to support anyone who does not support them, and that neither Black dollars nor the Black vote should be taken for granted.
Vote as a Bloc: Blacks should follow PowerNomics principles and: “Vote in a bloc based upon quid pro quo agreements between politicians, their parties and Black people.” (PowerNomics: The National Plan by Claud Anderson, page 204). Withhold votes from any political party or candidate that assumes Black support and does not promise and deliver promised benefits to them. Assess accountability on politicians for whom Black support was decisional but from whom Blacks did not receive equivalent benefits.
Rolling Boycotts: Institute rolling boycotts and buying sanctions in every major city. Unannounced boycotts ought to target different businesses which have the economic power to chastise the political systems and change the social construct of Black economic exclusion. Demonstrate that Blacks can bestow their
considerable disposable dollars, or withhold them at will; demand jobs and business opportunities from those corporations.
Support Existing Black-owned Businesses: Alter personal buying habits to find and patronize Black-owned businesses that can fulfill your needs.
3. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE
Demand the government redirect a major portion of funds intended to provide benefits to illegal immigrants to help existing Black-owned business grow and to create new Black-owned businesses that create jobs.
4. REJECT SYMBOLIC REMEDIES
- Demand remedies that are measurable, whether from talking heads in the media, government entities or selected spokespeople.
- Do not permit empty rhetoric such as stay calm, let’s begin a conversation, open a dialogue, and most offensive of all, let’s begin to heal, to substitute for systemic changes.
5. FERGUSON IS PART OF THE PATTERN OF WHAT HAPPENS TO BLACK MEN. DO NOT PERMIT SOLUTIONS TO BE BROADENED TO MINORITIES, IMMIGRANTS, OR OTHER BROAD AMBIGUOUS GROUPS.
NOTES TO THE READER
The Harvest Institute (www.harvestinstitute.org) is a Black Think Tank with a perspective that comes from our vision of a Black America that is self-sufficient and competitive as a group within America. The foundation of the Institute and its views issues of race and current events are the books (www.powernomics.com) and by the founder and president, Dr. Claud Anderson. It is from this perspective that we look at Ferguson.
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