Thursday, March 23, 2006

The Need for Struggle: Blacks at a Political Impasse

Glen Ford and Peter Gamble in black commentator

"We have arrived at, and long passed, the juncture in Black politics when we can afford a false unanimity. Although there does exist an overwhelming consensus of progressive opinion among African Americans at-large, there is a deep and widening chasm between the people and those who purport to represent the masses - such as has not been seen since the mid-Sixties, when distinct strains of divergent Black political opinion gave motion to various oppositional movements. These movements were not opposed to each other, but were joined in opposition to racial oppression.

The result was a social transformation of America - accomplished by Black people - and which spawned the women's and anti-war movement: children of the Black movement, without which these social advances would not have been possible. The entire society was restructured, for the benefit of most citizens. But there was a price to pay - a great "white backlash" that has been most dramatically manifested in mass Black incarceration as a national policy since the early Seventies, the white reaction to Blacks stepping out of their place.

At the same time, during the early Seventies, we saw the ascension of a newly liberated class of Blacks who had cashed in on the chips that the Freedom Movement had provided. These African Americans saw a clear cut through the forest to the sunlight of profit - and took off like gazelles. The masses of Black folks applauded them, believing that their political and financial victories were our own. But they were not. [...]

Black Commentator is concerned most of all about Black political development, not because we are Afri-centric, but because we understand that nothing happens that is progressive in this nation that we have built occurs unless Black people are in motion.

It is therefore time for us to stop censoring ourselves, to stop biting our lips, and to speak the truth as we know it. Forget the Black business-leadership class. Replace them. They are no use, and they do us no good. read more


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