by Pascal Robert
Every “brother” ain’t a brother – and that goes for the sisters, too. “The ultimate idiocy of racial kinship politics is that it empowers an elite Black Misleadership Class that protects its own class interests to the detriment of the majority of the Black masses.”
The Fallacy of Racial Kinship Politics
by Pascal Robert
“Obama is permitted to code switch into Dr. King-like cadences while protecting Wall Street Banks that economically raped the Black community.”
Almost half-way into the second term of America's "first Black president," Black Americans still find themselves providing ample support for an administration that governs over some of the highest Black unemployment numbers in recent history, the gutting of all regional offices of the Minority Business Development Agency, historically Black colleges dropping in their bond ratings because the Obama Department of Education made Plus Loan requirements more stringent, and the highest overall rates of poverty since the Civil Rights Movement. However, Black Americans still rally around Obama whenever the slightest seemingly racist taunt or political ploy is dispensed by Republicans. This political Stockholm syndrome is an excellent indication of the sheer imbecilic nature of racial kinship politics.
Racial kinship politics stems from the ridiculous assumption that simply because a politician is Black he shares some "essential Black experience" that allows him to understand the condition of the Black community more viscerally and more easily attend to their political needs.
The assumptions stemming from racial kinship are the point where the amateurish nature of Black politics become most obvious. Most people fail to realize that it has only been since the implementation of the Voting Rights Act in the 1960's that Blacks have been comprehensive participants in the American electoral political process. After a century of fighting for basic human dignity in the face of sheer terrorism, Black Americans have often made the naïve assumption that the scars of that struggle are either worn or remembered by almost anyone of that race who claims representational capacity as an elected official.
The assumption that the experience of the Black freedom struggle somehow magically seeps into the pores of any Black person seeking elected office – if they can fake a Southern accent when speaking about the hard fought battles of the Civil Rights Movement – is more than a fallacy; it's collective political malpractice.
“Black Americans have often made the naïve assumption that the scars of that struggle are either worn or remembered by almost anyone of that race.”
A practical example of this racial kinship charade was illustrated when Obama yammered on at the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. The president talked about the bravery of those in the movement and what they stood for while his administration was dropping drones on innocent brown children all over the world. This, of course, in total disregard of the essence of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s life work. Many Blacks, lead by Obama's cadre of Black media elites that give him both cover and support, cloaking the full range of harm his policies cause, smiled with glee as the president spoke. Obama is the same president who fought to avoid applying retroactive sentence reduction to drug offenders (many of whom were black) as a recently enacted law allowed. Yet, the president was viewed as the natural fulfillment of Dr. King's Dream. If Obama is viewed as such a fulfillment, that Dream has become a nightmarish hell for the Black poor and working class under the Obama presidency.
The ultimate idiocy of racial kinship politics is that it empowers an elite Black Misleadership Class that protects its own class interests to the detriment of the majority of the Black masses. Some of these misleaders are actually veterans of civil rights struggles, which gives them license to confer “movement” bona fides upon rank politicians like Obama. Thus, Obama is permitted to code switch into Dr. King-like cadences with the most convincing pitch while protecting Wall Street Banks that economically raped the Black community during the subprime mortgage meltdown.
Furthermore, racial kinship politics assumes that all Blacks suffer from racism the same way. Moreover, it denies that many Blacks are willing enablers of the system that crushes the Black working class, and those on the margins. Should a Black factory worker who is worried about losing his job because of his attempts to unionize be energized about a Black lawyer being denied partnership at a firm that lobbies Congress to enact harsh anti-union policies, even if his denial may be racial? Which of those two injustices do you think is likely to draw more media attention? Which of the two is more closely related to the actual condition of a larger segment of Black America?
Racial kinship politics denies the reality that Black people, like any other people, are motivated by their economic interests. In the case of Black politicians, they are wedded to the interests of those that financially back them. For these corrupt elements, kinship politics is always a one-way street. For the Black masses, it is a dead end street, as is brokerage politics and the politics of charismatic masculinity. Black America no longer has the luxury to engage in these pathetic vestiges of a bygone age.
Pascal Robert is an Iconoclastic Haitian American Lawyer, Blogger, and Online Activist for Haiti. For years his work appeared under the Blog Thought Merchant: http://thoughtmerchant.wordpress.com/ You can also find his work on the Huffington Post here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/pascal-robert/ He can be reached via twitter at: https://twitter.com/probert06 @probert06 or firstname.lastname@example.org.