A Black Agenda Radio Commentary by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon
As we near the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s historic denunciation of the Vietnam war and US global empire, it’s time to take close and critical look at our black political class. How far have they come in this past half century?
Feeling the need to outbid warmongering Democrats for the allegiance of military contractors and the military itself, the new Republican president proposes an unprecedented 10% increase in a Pentagon budget which already equaled the amount spent on arms by the next eight or nine countries combined.
So when can we expect to hear our black preachers, our black sororities, business and professional associations, and our black politicians, our shining black political class to decry and denounce this criminal misuse of the nation’s wealth? Sadly the answer we will not hear a peep from the black political class about the runaway war budget because they don’t have the permission of their masters, their bosses in the Democratic party. You see the Democratic party leadership are just as enthusiastic warmongers as Donald Trump. The main difference is that Democratic party leaders do not have Congress or the White House, but they DO own the minds, careers and what’s left of the souls of our black elite.
50 years ago, when Dr. King denounced the endless wars of American empire his support among white and black elites and corporate media vanished overnight, and he became one of the most denounced and despised men in America, profoundly unwelcome in most black churches, which nowadays claim to have been the cradle of the movement. If Dr. King repeated those denunciations today he might have many supporters among ordinary people, but he would be just as unpopular today as he was 50 years ago among much of our striving, career-minded, contract and grant seeking black elite.
It’s a lot like the aftermath of the Katrina disaster, during which bipartisan US elites conceived and executed a plan to permanently disperse about a quarter million people of African descent from New Orleans and the nearby Gulf coast. The large and presumably powerful Congressional Black Caucus was ordered by Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi to sit on its hands and neither demand nor take part in hearings around Katrina, or the criminal mishandling of relief and recovery efforts by local state and federal authorities and private parties. Pelosi didn’t want investigations into the crimes around Katrina because they would be headlines for months and she didn’t want Democrats to be identified as the party of black people coming into the 2006 elections. And then as now, the black political class obeyed its Democratic party bosses.
So maybe we have come a long way, some of us. But not our shining striving black political class, who seem to have learned nothing and forgotten nothing in the last half century. Dr. King prophesied in 1967 that
“…we will find ourselves organizing… for the next generation… concerned about Guatemala — Guatemala and Peru… concerned about Thailand and Cambodia… concerned about Mozambique and South Africa. We will be marching for these and a dozen other names and attending rallies without end, unless there is a significant and profound change in American life and policy.”
Maybe it’s time to recall and reclaim Dr. King’s stand against the eternal wars of US empire, while we forget and forsake our black political class and the capitalist party which holds them in thrall.
For Black Agenda Radio I’m Bruce Dixon. Find us on the web at www.blackagendareport.com, and you can share our commentaries and radio show on SoundCloud too, just look for Black Agenda Radio and Black Agenda Radio commentaries.
EDITOR’S NOTE: No material by this author or any other author published on this site should be read as a defense of Donald trump and his policies. For us Trump, the GOP and the Democrats are all part of the same malignant threat to Democracy, truth and honesty in fiscal affairs afflicting the US and the rest of the world. The purpose here is to show the partisan hypocrisy of the Democratic party and its numerous shills in Congress, media, “power ministries” (CIA, FBI, etc.) and elsewhere, all pushing for war to please their masters in the Military Industrial complex and Wall Street’s agenda of global hegemony at any cost. We should further note that these parties, if they were in office, would be implementing policies almost identical to Trump’s, so, as usual, the differences, such as they are in US politics, amount to a hill of beans and mere questions of style and topical priority.
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