by BAR executive editor Glen Ford
This week, the billionaires that fund the Democratic Party and its satellite organizations will decide which of the “Black Lives Matter” groups will get paid to lead the Black “movement.” The #BlackLivesMatter network and Campaign Zero are eminently qualified for funding, having “already been accorded the status and privileges of constituent Democratic Party organizations.” Who else will make the corporate cut?
“Black Lives Matter” Groups Hoping for a Big Payday
by BAR executive editor Glen Ford
“Two organizations are pre-approved for Democratic Party funding.”
If the Democratic Party is where grassroots movements go to die, then the run-up to presidential elections is a year-long procession of Dead Activists Walking. This week, the funders of the Democratic wing of the corporate Deep State – most prominently, currency manipulator George Soros – have invited the Good, the Bad and the Hungry elements of what is widely called the Black Lives Matter movement to make their case for cash infusions. The Democracy Alliance’s (DA) stated mission is “to build progressive infrastructure that could help counter the well-funded and sophisticated conservative apparatus in the areas of civic engagement, leadership, media, and ideas.” Translation: to transform leftish activist organizations into loyal, dependent annexes of the Democratic Party.
The rich can be quite fickle in bestowing their Midas touches, especially when it comes to Blacks. Back in 2004, Soros and other members of the Democratic Fat Cat Pack all but severed the cash umbilical cord to a host of Black organizations that had grown dependent on “soft” Democratic campaign money. Suddenly, the billionaires were running the Democratic ticket’s Get Out The Vote (GOTV) effort in Black precincts across the country, with virtually all of the old-line civil rights organizations kicked to the curb. Insulted, embarrassed and desperate for cash, 130 Black groups formed a band of beggars called Unity ’04 under the co-chairmanship of Urban League President Marc Morial, Dorothy Height, of the National Council of Negro Women, and University of Maryland political scientist Ron Walters. Walters fired off a letter of protest:
“This is an arrogant and divisive usurpation of power and it is destructive of our efforts that began most recently in the Civil Rights movement, where the efforts of Blacks to provide their own leadership in the act of political participation was understood to be the source of their power in the policy system as well."
“The ‘civil rights leadership’ never regained the steady quadrennial stipend to which they had grown accustomed.”
Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. whined, “It's insulting that none of us who have been responsible for most registration and turnout are at the table determining priorities.”
However, the Democrats went on to lose the 2004 election without the paid services of the “civil rights leadership,” who never regained the steady quadrennial stipend to which they had grown accustomed during decades of loyalty to the party. With the party machinery firmly in the hands of the Democratic Leadership Council, the corporate-funded faction co-founded by Bill Clinton and Al Gore for the express purpose of limiting the influence of Blacks and labor, the Black Unity ’04 groups were definitively put in their place – without two nickels to rub together.
As I wrote in The Black Commentator, on October 14, 2004:
“Traditional African American leadership is reaping the shriveled fruits of the narrow path it strode down three decades ago, when the ‘movement’ was demobilized in favor of brokered politics and periodic electioneering. Until now, Blacks were invited to the two- and four-year Democratic electoral party, but not to the permanent power party. Under the new regime, traditional Black organizations have been disinvited from the electoral party, as well. The goal is clear: The DLC means to prevent Black groups from taking credit for a massive African American voter turnout against Bush. By sidelining these organizations during the campaign, the DLC hopes to cripple their capacity to mobilize constituencies between elections. Since electoral and broker politics has been so central to mainstream Black organizations for the past 30-plus years, the game will, essentially, be over.”
“’Movement’ leaders promised corporate sugar daddies that they would run their organizations ‘like a business’.”
Despite insult and injury, the Black sideshow kept playing the Democrat’s tune, albeit for much smaller tips. However, the shock of the loss of status and funding by the Democratic Party resulted in an acceleration of the old line Black organizations’ historic drift towards dependence on corporate funding. “Movement” leaders promised corporate sugar daddies that they would run their organizations “like a business.” The Congressional Black Caucus, as a body, turned dramatically to the right in 2005, as Black lawmakers scrambled for corporate contributions.
The same year, George Soros and his peers formed the Democracy Alliance to terra-form U.S. leftish politics in the interests of the party. Some new Black groups were funded, eventually including ColorOrChange.org. However, a plutocratic purge in 2012 defunded ColorOfChange.org and a number of other outfits “working on issues relating directly to people of color,” according to the Huffington Post. ColorOfChange was later returned to the fold, and by 2015 was listed among the DA’s core “national partners and cross-issue organizations.”
Now enter, Black Lives Matter. The term has evolved from a catchy hashtag popularized by a specific network founded by three Black women, to a catch-all for every group vying for a recognition in the incipient “movement.” This week, some of them will be answering Soros & Company’s cattle-call, at the Democracy Alliances headquarters, in Washington.
Two organizations are pre-approved for Democratic Party funding. The Democratic National Committee has already endorsed the BlackLivesMatter network, praising “creators” Patrisse Cullors, Opal Tometi, and Alicia Garza by name. Despite the BLM network’s public rebuff of the DNC (“We do not now, nor have we ever, endorsed or affiliated with the Democratic Party, or with any party”), the Garza-Cullors-Tometi network pushed for a party-sanctioned presidential debate, while off-shoot Campaign Zero has gotten DNC approval to host a town hall presidential candidate forum. Both organizations have been accorded the status and privileges of constituent Democratic Party organizations, such as MoveOn.org. Their journey from “movement” to the Democrat plantation took less than a year – if the moment of impact of Officer Darren Wilson’s bullet in Michael Brown’s brain is the starting point.
And now it’s payday.