By C.C. Campbell-Rock
After a couple of centuries of analyzing rhetoric and actions by whites at the controls of the levers of political power, it’s safe to say that Black people don’t need a light to see through who the real anti-racists are and that we know that the Republican Party’s, and the GOP’s main currency is racism, white supremacy, and white superiority.
We also recognize the same characteristic in some Democrats. Take Virginia Senator Joseph Manchin III, who has held the seat since 2010. Manchin, the 34th governor of West Virginia from 2005 to 2010, voted to put Brett Kavanaugh on the U.S. Supreme Court. Presidential Candidate
Tulsi Gabbard is another. During a democratic presidential debate, U.S. Senator Kamala Harris took Gabbard to task for being a democratic contender after Gabbard has “spent four years, full-time on Fox News criticizing President Obama” and “buddied up to Steve Bannon” in order to “get a meeting with Donald Trump.”
Most recently, former Mayor Pete Buttigieg has been taking former Vice President Joe Biden to task for his vote to invade Iraq and Hunter Biden’s conflict of interest for sitting on a foreign corporation board, Burisma, while his father was in office.
Quick. Close your eyes and listen to Buttigieg explaining that he “didn’t get the job done,” to reform the systemic racism that permeated the South Bend, Indiana Police Department during his eight years as mayor.
What does he sound like? A straight up Republican.
He might as well have said, ‘No, I didn’t do anything about the killings of black men by my cops because I don’t care.’ His lack of action in handling the 2019 Father’s Day murder of Eric Jack Logan, 54, a father of seven by a Sgt. Ryan O’Neill, who didn’t have his body camera on, his firing and demotion of the city’s first African-American Police Chief Darryl Boykin, 13 days after he was elected in 2012, his refusal to fire Police Chief Scott Ruszkowski, who promoted an officer who killed a black man in 2012, and his recent responnse to a black woman who said she would not vote for him, ‘Ma’am, I’m not asking for your vote!’ speaks volumes of who Buttigieg is, when it comes to the black community.
If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it’s a duck.
Joe Biden recently said he worked with segregationists in Congress, during his long tenure as a senator, a fact for which Senator Harris took him to task.
Clearly, several of the democratic candidates have moved to the right, to win disenchanted Trump voters. But when will they get the memo that this is Mission Impossible? When will they embrace their base, which is significantly comprised of people of color with black women making up the majority? When will their platforms embrace our needs?
Most egregious, some even sounded like Republicans during the third debate when the subject of reparations came up.
When Biden was asked about reparations, he said, “We bring social workers into homes of parents to help them deal with how to raise their children. It’s not that they don’t want to help. They don’t know what— They don’t know what quite what to do.” Biden also said that parents should leave their record players and radios on at home so children would learn more words. His comments were deemed “tone deaf” by some black media analysts.
Biden has not voiced support for reparations, nor has he endorsed H.R. 40, The Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African-Americans Act, put forth by Congresswoman Shelia Jackson Lee, who is carrying on the legacy of the late U.S. Congressman John Conyers, who submitted H.R. 40 every year for 28 years, until his resignation.
“He believes that we should gather the data necessary to have an informed conversation about reparations, but he has not endorsed a specific bill,” according to his communications director, Kate Bedingfield.
Really? Black people must ask themselves, what kind of mentality does Biden really have, when it comes to Black people? His comments are reminiscent of the dangerous paternalistic point of views uttered by plantation owners.
“I think that right now our job is to address the crises facing the American people in our communities, and I think there are better ways to do that than just writing out a check,” Senator Bernie Sanders said on ABC’s The View.
“Here’s my fear about reparations, and I understand the issue, and I’m on board the legislation that will study the issue,” the Vermont independent said at the Wednesday event. “Here’s my fear: The Congress gives the African American community a $20,000 check, and says, ‘Thank you, that took care of slavery, we don’t have to worry about anything more.’ I think that’s wrong, I want to build, rebuild the distressed communities in America,” Sanders concluded.
Yeah, ok, Sanders. And just how will you do that. Action speaks louder than words. What’s your game plan?
Sen. Cory Booker has introduced similar legislation to HR 40 in the Senate. Sens. Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Kirsten Gillibrand, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have all co-sponsored the bill.
While these legislators should be for signing on to a study, why is a study needed?
Here’s a few facts to consider:
Average net worth of households
- Black households is $6,314
- White Households is $110,500
- a typical White household has 16x the wealth of a Black household
Average household income for
- White Americans is $71,300
- Black Americans is $43,300
- Black Americans: 26.2%
- More than 2.5x than white poverty rate: 10.1%
- Estimated 35-45% of wealth is inherited
- 1989 data on # of households who inherited wealth shows:
- 6% of black households inherited wealth from previous generations
- Average inheritance was $42,000
- 24% (4x as much) white households inherited wealth
- Average inheritance was $145,000
Most middle-class families gain wealth from equity in their homes
- From past/present housing discrimination home ownership rates today:
- White Americans is 73%
- Black Americans is 43%
As far as slavery reparations are concerned, when the only commitment on Capitol Hill is just a study, it’s clear that the filibustering that started with Thaddeus Stevens’ reparation bill in 1868 continues today. Surely, Republicans are happy to leave it at that. But when all the Democrats who are running for the POTUS don’t come aboard and offer full-throated support and actions for reparations, we must ask, when will the needs of their base be addressed?
Black Democrats are between a rock and a hard place. The field of potential nominees on the debate stage has been whittled down primarily to Whites, except Asian-American entrepreneur Andrew Yang and because they have had the economic wherewithal to continue campaigning. Not so for two candidates of color who have had to suspend their campaigns for lack of money: former HUD Secretary Julian Castro and Senator Kamala Harris. Corey Booker has vowed to stay in the race, even if he is not on future debate stages and despite missing his fourth quarter fundraising goal.
Tell us again why reparations shouldn’t be paid. We’ll wait.
Ultimately, black voters will support the Democratic nominee because Donald Trump Sr. and any other Republican who run are unacceptable, as the symbolic firewall of racism the Republican Party has erected. As far the Republicans in Democratic Clothing, have a seat.