By Claud Anderson
NNPA Guest Columnist
The 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 Blacks was laid down in the United States Supreme Court’s infamous 1857 Dred Scott v. Sanford decision. The majority opinion, written by Chief Justice Robert B. Taney, held:
“[Blacks] had for more than a century before been regarded as beings of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the white race, either in social or political relations, and so far unfit that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect.”
That ruling, not reversed until the 1954 Brown decision, 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 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 1960s 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.
White liberals convinced Black leaders to become politically correct, abandon their own people and take up the cause of newly fabricated classes as Black America slid into a permanent underclass status.
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, Mo. along with other police killings of Blacks, will not abate until this nation addresses the exceptional history and achievements of Black Americans.
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 the highest domestic priority – Considerable research indicates that increased immigration, especially of low skilled workers, is harmful most to native Blacks. 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 the 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 the relationship with both political parties and corporations – Blacks must inform all major political parties and major corporations that they intent to re-negotiate their relationship, that they will no longer tolerate being treated as if they do not exist and refuse to be displaced by immigrants. Blacks must make it clear that they are no longer willing to support any entity who does not support them, and that neither Black dollars nor the Black vote should be taken for granted.
Blacks should follow PowerNomics principles in politics 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.
We should institute rolling boycotts and buying sanctions in every major city against corporations. Unannounced boycotts ought to target different businesses that 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.
4. Support Existing Black-owned Businesses – Alter personal buying habits to find and patronize Black-owned businesses that can fulfill your needs.
5. Economic Development Assistance – Demand the government redirect a major portion of funds intended to provide benefits to illegal immigrants help existing Black-owned business grow and to create new Black- owned business that create jobs.
6. Reject Symbolic Remedies – Demand remedies that are measurable, whether from talking heads in the media, government entities or selected spokespeople. Also, 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.
We must address the police killings of Ferguson and beyond with our dollars.
Claud Anderson is president and CEO of the Harvest Institute in Washington, D.C. He can be reached through www.harvestinstitute.org.