A Black National Party is Needed
The one main thing Black people in America seem to be cognizant of in the recent Democratic and Republican party presidential debates, is those parties candidates’ disregard of issues Black people want addressed. None of the Democratic or Republican presidential candidates have yet to debate topics relating to the concerns of the Black national community in America. The presidential candidates appear to be self-interested and ignorant, or indifferent to the concerns of Black people, which also is an indictment of the Democratic and Republican parties they represent.
The Republican Party has not represented or addressed the concerns of Black people since they helped enact the post-slavery Civil Rights acts but then later betrayed Black people in the Tilden-Hayes Great Compromise of 1877 that made deep concessions to the then white supremacist Democratic Party to re-establish white supremacy and new forms of slavery in the South.
Today, the Republican Party spews inflammatory racist political rhetoric about Black people to its constituent base of working class and poor white people, place token Black Republican faces in a few managerial positions as spokespersons and window-dressing for the Party, and remains totally ignorant or indifferent to Black peoples’ collective concerns.
The Democratic Party is the mirror image of the Republican Party minus the overt inflammatory racial rhetoric, and is just as poisonous. Historically, the Democratic Party had been the party of the wealthy, white supremacist elites, and was against any economic or political freedoms and gains of the Black national community in America. It wasn’t until the rise of presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson that Black people left the Republican Party to join the Democratic Party en masse. However, the Democratic Party has not represented or addressed the concerns of Black people since they pushed Congress for the enactment of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
Today, the Democratic Party acts as the friends of Black people by day and the enemies of Black people by night. They stifle the concerns of Black people in Congress. They place token Black Democrats in positions to be seen and not heard and are devoid of any decision-making power. And to add insult to injury, they take Black people for granted every election cycle. The Democratic Party views and treats Black people as if they are their property.
So how should the Black national community deal with the two-party, con-artist game of America, is the million-dollar question?
The Black national community in America must follow the example of the UNIA (Universal Negro Improvement Association), OAAU (Organization of African American Unity), Mississippi Democratic Freedom Party, and the Black Panther Party by disconnecting our political affiliation with the Democratic and Republican parties and begin establishing a non-partisan, independent Black National Party (BNP). A Black National Party that would unapologetically pursue Black people’s interests, put forth a Black National agenda, and run candidates from our party in local and statewide elections.
It’s political suicide for Black people to remain as a subservient political appendage of the Democratic or Republican parties. It is high time for a Black National Party to represent Black people and our interests in America.
Kerry “Shakaboona” Marshall is Co-Founder and Editor of The Movement magazine, Prison Radio correspondent, founding member of the Human Rights Coalition (HRC) and a Child Life-sentenced prisoner.
—Prison Radio, January 22, 2016