Elections 2022 Series Part 1
No Justice, No Peace, No Voting, No Piece
Misandry and the Dem's Manufactured Divide in Black Politics
This is Jon Jeter for Black Republic Media.
Heading into today’s midterm elections, the liberal class seems increasingly concerned that Black voters—and Black men in particular—won’t show up at the polls today. On cable news channels and in the legacy media, the chattering class trots out the usual arguments—your ancestors died for the franchise, the lesser of two evils, Vote Blue No Matter Who, blah blah blah blah blah—to prod, or shame Black men into voting.
This includes at least one—shall we say ‘colorful’—video titled “No Voting, No Vucking” encouraging Black women and Black gay men to withhold sex from their paramours unless they cast a ballot, presumably for the Democrats.
I am a Black man who has not gone to the polls in 14 years but at 57, I am perhaps not in the demographic that is targeted by this preposterous ad, and frankly, would not vote for some Zionist, corporatist halfwit hack for a weekend in a jacuzzi with either a young Pam Grier or an older Beyonce.
Nonetheless, “No Voting, No Vucking” reminded me of another election season 46 years ago. It was the bicentennial year and Rolling Stone Magazine had just broken the story. Aboard a recent flight, the singer Pat Boone had asked a question of Agriculture Secretary Earl Butz:
“It seems to me that the party of Abraham Lincoln could and should attract more Black people. Why can’t that be done?”
Butz, a staunch conservative appointed by Richard Nixon, replied:
“I’ll tell you why you can’t attract coloreds. Because colored only wants three things. You know what they want?”
Boone looked at him curiously.
“I’ll tell you what coloreds want. It’s three things: first, a tight pu!@y; second, loose shoes; and third, a warm place to sh*!. That’s all!”
I was 11 when the story broke and I remember being in the car with my father and how he would just howl at the mention of this ensuing scandal, often mumbling the punch line to himself. For the longest, I thought my old man was laughing at Black people in a kind of affirmation that Butz was at least partially correct.
It wasn’t until after my old man had died that I realized he was not laughing at us at all, but rather Butz, and his feeble attempt to depoliticize what was the radical vanguard of a populist revolution.
From sea to shining sea, this nation entered the 1970s in full revolt, led by a radical Black Power movement that demanded quite a bit more than good sex, or cozy toilet shoes. With Blacks accounting for more than a third of all unionized workers, paychecks in the U.S. were fatter than ever, accounting for a larger share of national income—about 51 percent of GDP—than at practically any time in recorded history. Correspondingly, fewer Americans were living in poverty by 1973—about 1-in-10—than ever before, and the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans’ that same year took home their smallest share of national income, roughly 4 percent, than ever before, or since. Couples married, saved, and spent less of their income on housing, a kilowatt of electricity, or college tuition.
Secondly, between 1970 and 1974, the number of African Americans enrolled in college increased by 56 percent, and 15 percent for white students. In 1970, the City University of New York’s vast network of post-secondary schools opened its doors to all of New York City’s high school graduates, just a year after Blacks and Puerto Rican students at City College demanded that university admissions reflect the racial makeup of the city’s high schools, which was at the time, half non-white. When nearly 1,000 mostly white students protested in support of their minority classmates, the Board of Education relented in July of 1969, announcing that enrollment in the municipal network of post-secondary schools would be open to all of New York City’s high school graduates beginning in the fall semester of 1970. Enrollment skyrocketed.
In January of that same year, St. Louis Cardinals’ center fielder Curt Flood sued Major League Baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn for violating federal antitrust laws. At issue was the league’s reserve clause prohibiting players from filing for free agency once their contractual obligation to a team had expired. Flood, who had been traded to the Philadelphia Phillies in 1969, likened the clause to slavery, and attributed his decision to challenge baseball’s owners to the militancy in the streets, telling the players’ union’s executive board:
“I think the change in Black consciousness in recent years has made me more sensitive to injustice in every area of my life.”
Despite support from retired players including Jackie Robinson and baseball’s first Jewish superstar, Hank Greenberg, Flood lost the lawsuit but the international reserve clause was abolished in 1976, leading to the modern wage scale for professional athletes today.
In August of 1970, tens of thousands of protesters poured into the streets across America for the Women’s Strike for Equality in the largest women’s rights demonstration since the suffragists. The following month, two African American employees at Polaroid in suburban Boston, Caroline Hunter, a chemist, and Ken Williams, a photographer, were on their way to lunch when they noticed a bulletin board mock-up of an identification card. The caption read: “Department of the Mines, Republic of South Africa.” The couple did some digging and discovered the ID cards were used by South Africa’s white minority to enforce the police state known as apartheid. When Hunter and Williams raised their objection to Polaroid executives, they were initially ignored, and ultimately fired, yet the couple went on to birth the international divestment movement that led to South Africa’s first all-races election in 1994.
Even the arch-villain Richard Nixon got in on the act, creating the Environmental Protection Agency in 1972, and introducing plans to provide a guaranteed minimum income to all Americans. Lawmakers did not pass the legislation, but it was the basis of the Earned Income Tax Credit which continues to this day to supplement the paychecks of millions of low-wage employees. Two years later, Congress approved the Section 8 rental subsidy program which provides roughly five million low-income families with housing vouchers. Meanwhile, voters in 1973 elected eight Black, big-city mayors including Tom Bradley in Los Angeles, Maynard Jackson in Atlanta, and Reuther’s nemesis, Coleman Young in Detroit. Before the decade was over, at least six other cities would elect Black mayors, including Ernest “Dutch” Morial in New Orleans, Richard Arrington in Birmingham, and Marion Barry in the nation’s capital.
And at the 1973 Academy Awards, Marlon Brando sent Native American actress and activist Sacheen Littlefeather to refuse the Oscar he’d won for the Godfather, as a protest against ugly Hollywood stereotypes of Native Americans and in support of the American Indian Movement. Later, in an interview with Dick Cavett, he credited African Americans for inspiring him to act.
“The Blacks have brought about changes because they were just damn angry about it and they thumped the tub and threatened and made some noise about it but if they had just been silent and thought ‘well gradually wisdom will come to those who are in the business of the movies and they will do right by us’ the day would never have come. We have a lot to be grateful for that the Blacks were as insistent as they were . . . but it’s a block-by-block fight.”
An autoworker who was a voracious reader, my father would’ve known all of this, and he recognized Butz’s cartoonish depiction of Black male voters for what it was: a feeble attempt at counterrevolution, and a misguided attack on the militant Black polity that was his nemesis.
In the nearly 50 years since Butz, the super-rich have managed to return the genie to its bottle, but their quandary today is how to keep it there. Or in other words, how do the Democrats motivate their party’s most ardent voters to go to the polls without doing a Goddamn thing for them?
My colleague, Denise Young, unlocks this puzzle in this, the debut episode of Black Republic Media. First, a word about BRM: our journalism is unforgivably Black, informed by the work of Ida B. Wells, Malcolm X (who began his career with the Nation of Islam as a journalist and the innovator of Muhammad Speaks), Mumia Abu Jamal, and our ancestors Glen Ford, Bruce A. Dixon and Mel Reeves. Our ambition is simply to bear witness to the suffering and struggle of the African in the Americas, and above all else to serve the people.
And with that, I will cede the floor to my esteemed colleague from Chicago’s South Side, Denise Young:
It’s election day! And that’s a good question. “How do the Democrats motivate their party’s most ardent voters to go to the polls without doing a thing for them?”
One truism is that Democrats prey on the loyalty of Black women and use us to encourage, convince, keep in line, even shame, chastise, and now, thanks to the vuckery that is “No Voting, No Vucking,” pun intended, penalize Black men.
Voting statistics indicate that Black women haven’t had to exactly arm wrestle with the Black community to vote Democratic. The first and only time my grandmother has ventured out since COVID-19 hit was to vote in November 2020, and she was two months shy of 96. I didn’t know whom I was more upset with for endangering her health: her or the silly alderman that arranged her transport to the poll.
The majority of Black people in this country are still poor and working-class folk. Despite not having our needs met, we hold on to the Dems’ broken and unfulfilled promises because frankly, the GOP never pledged to do anything. The Democrats are the party we associate with the passing of Civil Rights.
I get it. I’m a Black woman who has been a life-long, politically active Democrat coming out of a family of life-long Democrats. My family’s involvement in Chicago politics dates back to the early 1960s with Illinois State Representative and President of the Cook County Board of Commissions George W. Dunne who would two decades later align himself with Mayoral candidate, Harold Washington.
Tom Perez in 2016, as then Chair of the Democratic National Committee, announced that Black women were the backbone of the Democratic party after exit polls showed them voting 98 percent in the Democrat Doug Jones defeat of Republican Roy Moore. Black men also showed up in that same Alabama election at 93 percent. Black women collectively ought to be weary from being anointed the “backbone” of the Democratic party. In spring 2020 when Biden was vetting Black women for VP, I wrote then that we should be both tired of and outraged by the selective visibility given to us by duplicitous white liberalism. Never is this endowment of visibility bestowed upon Black women to promote what’s best for Black families. Acceptance of this endowment is a covenant to peddle and proffer liberalism’s agenda.
It is not coincidental that a Chuck’s, pearls, and AKA-etiquette adorned Harris would become the Biden Administration’s spokesperson on immigration. During her June 2021 trip to the Northern Triangle of Central America (Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador), Harris would address Guatemalans at a press conference:
“I want to be clear to folks in this region who are thinking about making that dangerous trek to the United States-Mexico border: Do not come. Do not come. The United States will continue to enforce our laws and secure our border.”
And somehow, her echoing the sentiments of the Trump administration was seemingly more melodic to the biased and cowardly liberal media than when Pence belted that the influx of immigrants was a national security and humanitarian border crisis. They call that six in one hand, half a dozen in another.
The trope of Black women being summoned to make white liberal BS taste less like manure is real. There is nothing magical about being beckoned to wring out the revolutionary in our men, children, and each other by feeding them and ourselves narratives vetted through the white gaze. In fact, the trick is on us, especially when we—Black mothers, grandmothers, aunts, wives, girlfriends, baby-mommas, sisters, cousins, homies—can’t testify that Black people and our communities are faring better than before the passage of the 1964 and 1968 Civil Rights Acts that ended unequal voter application requirements and housing discrimination based on race, respectively.
Stark fact: we are still a separate and unequal nation. In 1968, Black homeownership was at 41.1 percent and 41.2 percent in 2018; in 1968, Black incarceration was 604 per 100,000 and almost three times that at 1,730 per 100,000 in 2018; and in 1968, Black unemployment was 6.7 percent and 7.5 percent in 2018.
Another stark fact: Black women nor Black men need to be cajoled into voting. Despite no longer being the largest minority group in the country at just 14 percent, the Pew Research Center reports that Blacks proportionately have among the highest turnout rates in presidential elections, and we do so even in the midst of voter suppression. Blacks nearly matched white voter turnout in 2008 and surpassed white voter turnout in 2012.
Pew also shows that among Black folk who are college-educated, the difference in voting is slight: college-educated Black women vote at 74 percent versus Black men at 71 percent. The difference between non-college-educated Black women and Black men is greater at 61 percent and 50 percent, respectively. Noteworthy, the gap between Black women and Black men voters who do not have a college degree has been widening over time. But the pattern of Black women having a higher voter turnout rate than Black men is not unique to Black folks. Pew shows that in every national election since 1984, women in general have had a slightly higher voter turnout rate than men.
Yet, it is within this gap that liberalism and feminism feel justified in assigning Black men—NO ONE ELSE—the lead role of Captain-Save-a-Dem, as if the voting gap is as cavernous as potholes that go unfixed in Chicago’s Black neighborhoods or as wide as the wealth discrepancy between white people and Black people that is incapable of closing organically—no matter how many financial literacy initiatives crop up.
And no one else is interested in auditioning—not white women who in 2016 cared less about Hillary Clinton breaking through the glass ceiling and more about voting alongside their men; not Latinx voters who had an uptick in voting Republican in 2016, a nod to Trump, nor the younger Latino men who the New York Times/Sienna College poll shows are increasingly voting more conservatively for the GOP; and not Asian voters who are the fastest-growing minority population and who, depending on ethnicity, could serve as swing votes for either party.
Since September, pundits have debated the Democrats’ waning lead in key House, Senate, and gubernatorial mid-term races. The New York Times/Siena College poll released on October 17th reported that 49 percent of voters planned to pull the lever for Republican congressional candidates versus 45 percent of voters who were going to support Democratic candidates. And what both parties know, and the Dems especially rely on, is that, again, historically speaking, the Black vote has been critical in winning close races where the white vote consistently remains split 50/50 across the two parties.
I guarantee the liberal class has folded in its back pocket a blame-it-on-Black-men speech to defend anticipated undesired election results.
Unequivocally, the Democrats have failed Black America by ignoring the white supremacy-induced ills that plague our communities.
- Poverty persists in Black communities over generations. A Black adult today who lives in the bottom fifth of poverty is 21 percent likely to have had their parents and grandparents live in that bottom fifth of poverty, versus white people where this is true at less than 2 percent.
- Unemployment rates for Black people across the whole of the south, including MD and VA, are between 6.5 and 8 percent; in DE, MI, and NY, unemployment rates hit between 9 and 10 percent; and in IL, LA, TX, and DC, hovering at 10 percent and reaching toward greater than 11 percent.
- The school-to-prison pipeline is consistently priming Black youth for the criminal justice system with suspension and expulsion rates that are three to four times greater for Black students than for white students for the same infractions. And this data has been consistent since this country decided to get tough on drugs also known as funneling Black boys and men to prison. And, this data is consistent across school systems. Montgomery County, MD, for example, which reportedly has one of the best public school systems in the country has school-to-prison-pipeline numbers that mimic these stats.
- Black folks are still at higher risk than whites for heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, influenza, pneumonia, asthma, COVID-19, being killed by police, dying in childbirth, and infant mortality. And social factors, such as unemployment, living in poverty, homelessness, climate/environment, and others contribute to our susceptibility to disease and violence. How many generations of Black people will have diseases and disorders that can be traced to lead poisoning? Flint still doesn’t have clean drinking water.
Black folks could argue that while the Democrats have not developed policies to rectify the harm that institutional racism has purposely caused, the only way we have a shot at getting these crimes against Black America addressed is by voting, at least on the local level.
If that were the narrative, Black folks would have fodder for some robust discussion to reignite Black radical movement more broadly. Cool. Go down-ballot; home grow our own candidates and build a pipeline of candidates to follow that includes succession plans. Create a platform that speaks directly to the needs of the masses of Black people. Amplify reparations—it isn’t just the calculated earnings of our ancestors’ forced labor; it is also the millions of acres of land stolen from us north, south, east, and west. Engage Black folks who have been banished to the periphery of society. Assess policy from a lens of harm to Black people rather than which party sponsored it. Guide Black people on how to vote or not vote with the purpose of getting what our communities need to thrive holistically. Prioritize Black people and especially Black children. Black folks have done that and are doing that.
Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle is a grassroots think tank in Baltimore focused on policy advocacy. Founded by Black college students, who after graduation, transferred their champion-level debate team intellect and skill and their experience as student organizers to analyze public policy for their Baltimore communities. Making very practical use of its organizational website, they want Black folks to consume it. On the Legislative Work page, for example, users can access, “What Black People Should Be Paying Attention to in the 2022 Maryland General Election.” It isn’t propaganda-filled musings about voting Blue. Rather, it is a breakdown of questions and policies that are up for vote and actual recommendations for how to vote based on a provided Black-centered assessment.
Instead of this radical narrative of voting to change the conditions of our communities, we have some juvenile, unsophisticated narrative that Black men, who absolutely bear the burden of white supremacy, should be the ones to fix or claim fault for Democratic failures.
Black men serving as Captain-Save-A-Dem is real. I recently received a text from Defend the Black Vote, sponsored by People For the American Way. The text began with, “Black men matter in this election.” The first issue listed was abortion.
Tiffany Cross, formerly of MSNBC’s Cross Connection, explored the topic of Black men voting on the September 17, 11AM segment of the show. Cross and her guests—Cliff Albright, co-founder of Black Voters Matter, Roland Martin of Unfiltered, and Terrence Woodbury, Founder and CEO of Hit Strategies used Georgia’s heated races for Governor and U.S. Senate as topic context.
These brothers explained to us—as politicos—what many Black men feel and what critical analysis of the issue looks like from the Black male experience. Whether we agree with their politics is secondary to their authority to analyze actual Black male voting against the narrative. And while they did not agree on everything (they didn’t need to), they all concurred that Black men should not be blamed for any election outcomes, particularly when Black men have not been strategically and respectfully engaged as voters by either party. Yet, Cross did not allow their critical analysis to stand. I advise you to listen to the clip, but here is a quote from her segment:
“I will say, you know, that a lot of Black men sometimes feel like they’re ignored or they’re put down, particularly sometimes even by Black women in the media. So this is not that. But I do hear Roland’s point they felt ignored. But you feel ignored and then you go over to the other side? The oppressed feel oppressed so then you go and try align with the oppressor? So I’m not putting Black men down. But sometimes it’s like will some of you Kevin Samuels-following, Tarique Nasheed-quoting people please look at the truth and see what’s happening and get in line with some of the Black women, its majority, like he said, vote Democrat, but that margin of people who could be plucked away from your people, and go advance policies that harm your people, I just don’t understand that.”
Cross nullified the analysis provided by Albright, Martin, and Woodbury with sassy, sister-girl, sanctimony—a sardonic reductionism of Black men and the Black male experience. But real talk: it was a put down of Black men, and to sell it as anything else is gaslighting the audience. And the reference to both Kevin Samuels (God rest his soul) and Tarique Nasheed was not meant as a compliment to either subject or to brothas who may find validity in their commentary. And both parties are the oppressor.
I spoke with Zakiya Sankara-Jabar, Co-Founder of Racial Justice Now, and posed a single question to her: why was not these black men’s analysis enough?
The unfettered and unfiltered narrative that Black men must vote, must vote Democratic—Blue-No-Matter-Who, and must vote in step with Black women’s political choices is a dangerous message for Black women to broadcast and rerun. At best, it positions Black women as the mules for white men’s and women’s dirty work. At worst, it positions us in direct conflict in a much larger, graver context with our men—identifying and treating them as the enemy.
Best or worst case, the message authorizes the production of the likes of “No Voting, No Vucking.”
The “No Voting, No Vucking” video, which dropped October 4th during National Voter Education Week, is a tutorial on the assault on Black intimacy and on the acceptance of the white supremacist fabrication of Black male and female sexual pathology. Mindless, crass, and dare I say silly, “No Voting, No Vucking” fails to impart any wisdom to its primary target, Generation Z, our young people, about voting, how to leverage the Black vote, or, more importantly, Black liberation.
Here’s what some Black men are saying:
I also had an extended conversation with Darryl James, author, publisher, and filmmaker based in Los Angeles and Talib Muhammad of Chicago’s Sankofa Movement, Social Justice Advocacy. Here’s a snippet of what these brothers had to say:
Without giving a frame-by-frame recap of why this video is deplorable and counterrevolutionary, there are a couple of things that need to be brought to the forefront. First, the two-bit skit has the sista objectifying the brother—she rates his face, abs, and will wait ‘til later to rate his “D.” Imagine if the character were a brotha tossing out that he would give it a minute before he graded that “P.” The fusillade of sexism and degeneracy claims against the Black man collective from around the globe would be enough to put a brother’s face in the dictionary under sexual miscreant.
Second, Trina delivers porn-level innuendo with awful metaphors such as “gerrymander in this coochie.” Again, in this age of men offering women an unsolicited smile potentially being considered offensive, I cannot imagine a Black man uttering in a campaign video that he wanted to gerrymander a woman’s vagina. Side note to the lyricist—gerrymander is a tactic that physically divides communities, particularly Black and working-poor communities. It is unethical, and we are politically victimized by this practice. The metaphor may have been thought clever, but it wasn’t.
This video—in a manner that is not entirely clear—is plugged as part of When We All Vote, the non-partisan voting initiative co-chaired by a bevy of celebrities, including Michelle Obama, Stephen Curry, H.E.R., and Tom Hanks, which is supported or led by Civic Nation, a DC-based non-profit designed to spur activism for contemporary issues.
BLK (the Black dating app owned by Match and led by marketing and brand chief, Jonathan Kirkland) is taking production credit for this racist, misandrist, anti-hip hop PSA. The responsible entities collectively reprise the role of Daddy Bush in the Willie Horton PSA and promotion of Black depravity.
Once again, white supremacy demonstrates how seriously it does not take the Black community by preempting our agency to choose our own spokespersons and leaders in matters of political, economic, and social standing and to craft and prioritize our own messages.
Dayvon Love, a Baltimore-based political organizer and Director of Public Policy for Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle on In Search of Black Power, asked Dr. Cleo Manago, Black-African defense-focused human rights activist, to give an example of popular culture and popular representation perpetuating what Dr. Manago coined as the Black trauma trance. And, Dr. Manago without a moment’s hesitancy, pointed to the “No Voting, No Vucking” video.
Dr. Manago emphasized that this video uses Black entertainers as spokespeople who are not particularly “transformative or helpful to the Black consciousness.” Here is a clip from Dr. Manago’s and Brother Love’s conversation:
Black people collectively must be in a trauma trance if we do not understand that the concept of sex as an incentive for voting transports Black men and women straight back to auction blocks. White men and women deemed us sexually insatiable animals to mask the beginning of what would prevail as their centuries-long sexual depravity and brutality against us—African men, women, and children.
Further, this PSA is a reminder directly from the white settler project that Black people are here only to serve it. Voting serves them, the system and institutions. Voting does not serve us as it once did, as it once promised. If the collective of Black women were to use our Divine portals as compasses to guide Black men, then we should have done that when the federal government was a decade in on watching our communities disintegrate from the crack it infused into our neighborhoods. But that would have served us. That would have disrupted white corporatists’ first wave of a steady supply of denizens for privatized prisons. That may have interrupted Black women’s allegiance with feminism, compelling us to drop the ugly mantra that we don’t owe Black men shit, and instead pick up from the likes of Black Panther Kathleen Cleaver who understood that white supremacy—not Black men—is our enemy. At the very least, it may have acknowledged Black women’s role in the drug game as reaping some of the financial benefits.
But voting is not really the topic of this video, as Dr. Manago so righteously explained. Black male degeneracy is the topic. Black male deference to Black women is. Black male invisibility and inferiority are—the thingamatizing and trivializing of Black men and of Black women. This video simultaneously dismisses Black men as it discusses with Black women, that, per liberalism, feminism, and white supremacy, Black women have custodial-level charge over Black men. This video teaches Black people that our intimate connections are transactional rather than transformative. How can we ever build families and create communities from transactional connections where “the booty is the goal?” These products are never just entertainment.
Worse than the Democrats preying on the loyalty of Black women voters is liberalism’s and feminism’s use of Black women in media and the academy to consecrate the scapegoating of Black men.
Black feminists in media and the academy make it clear that no one cares about what Black men think politically or relative to their socio-economic needs. Their suffering is their suffering, endemic to the extent that they neglect to create Black boy joy as Black women have created Black girl magic. Cross showed that disregard in the midst of Black male thought surrounding her.
But she’s not alone. In February 2019, Symone Sanders, at the time a Democratic strategist and political commentator for CNN, responded to Luke Campbell’s criticism of Kamala Harris as an unfavorable presidential candidate when her record as Attorney General for California was anti-Black man. Sanders tweeted,
“Uncle Luke is not a political mastermind or strategist. Why do Black men keep popping up with their unsolicited opinions about Kamala Harris?”
Sanders’ tweet reminded me of criticism my son received in first grade 25 years ago by his white female teacher. She wrote in the comment section of his report card: “Stephen raises his hand too much to ask and answer questions. Please discuss with him.”
Both statements have the stench of, “stay in your place, boy.”
Brittney Cooper, associate professor of women’s and gender studies and Africana studies at Rutgers University-New Brunswick, tweeted in October 2020,
“I’m reminded that in the 19th century Black women used sex strikes to make sure that brothers didn’t vote against Black interests. Which is to say, there has always been this rogue Black male element among us. And sisters have always been on point. Anyway, I’ve said enough today?”
Cooper made Black men sound like rabid dogs with her “rogue Black male element” comment. For the record, she was unable to offer the exact source of her reference when asked by other tweeters.
Cross, Sanders, and Cooper—via their gaslighting, infantilizing, and indicting of Black men, respectively—relegated Black men to the other side of the scratch line as the enemy. And they do this while arm-locked with liberalism and feminism which do not care about the plight of Black America, and especially not on Black America’s terms.
And Black men are responding in kind to this treason. Dr. Tommy J. Curry, Professor of Philosophy and Personal Chair in Africana Philosophy and Black Male Studies at the University of Edinburg, tweeted his criticism of Cross’s commentary:
“The fact that we are having this conversation shows how insidious BM demonization is. The punditry from the left & feminists dumped all democrat failings on BM when not only do BM vote majority Democrat but the conservative BM are not Blk American. Ethnicity matters in this case.”
And this is not Dr. Curry’s first time calling out the left’s and feminism’s covert operations against Black men. Besides his scholarship which he generously shares via his active social media presence, Dr. Curry’s, Man-Not, Race, Class, Genre, and the Dilemmas of Black Manhood gives a historiography of feminism’s co-authorship of the narrative demonizing Black men. And he is not the only Black man to speak so emphatically about leftist and feminist collusion to erase Black men socially, politically, economically, physically, mentally, and intellectually. Torraine Walker, Dr. Travis Harris, Dr. T. Hasan Johnson, Dr. O’shan Gadsden, and others in media and academia are exposing, calling out, and refuting anti-Black misandry and the delegitimizing of Black men’s authority, power, and agency.
Typically, when someone demonstrates a shift in behavior contrary to what one believes should happen, someone else might simply ask, “Why did you make that decision?” But no one is asking Black men, “why?”
Not asking Black men why their voting behavior is changing serves three objectives. Firstly, it douses discourse about either political party earning Black men’s or Black people’s votes. Secondly, it posits Black men as forfeiting being part of the democratic process. And there is a third consideration: Black men who look at alternatives to voting Democratic may be onto something—maybe they read and interpreted the Black liberation manifestos our ancestors left us.
The intent of “No Voting, No Vucking” is to reassign the blame for Black suffering to Black men, absolving its white benefactor. Stacey Abrams’ attempt at Georgia’s governorship has stirred headlines, “Stacey Abrams Struggles with Black Male Voters in Georgia While Wielding National Clout.” These messages serve to further disenfranchise Black men, swathing them as deficient and undeserving of their place in our community and society at large.
We all should be outraged at even a whisper that Black men need to be given a treat to vote, like dogs rewarded for learning a new trick. Black men were the first among us to vote. They have been politicized since they walked off plantations with families in tow at the start of Reconstruction. When we invoke the “my ancestors died for the right to vote” mantra, I doubt we do so as homage to the untold number of Black men who were violently murdered during the height of Reconstruction and the onset of Southern Democrats’ Jim Crow to halt Black progress—Black men voting and running and holding office; Black families self-governing; Black communities emerging and thriving.
Fast forward to the Civil Rights Movement. The Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) at Shaw University was training ground for so many of our young Black men alongside young Black women. Chuck McDew, Charles Sherrod, Marion Barry, Bob Moses, my goodness, Stokely Carmichael (who would be Kwame Ture), Joseph Waller, Jr. (who would become Omali Yeshitela) and others who would take their SNCC experience to the Black Panther Party, the African People’s Socialist Party, into our city governments, academia, and elsewhere—our Black men have always been politicized.
Jon began this conversation by asking how the Democrats convinced Black folks to vote for them without making good on serving Black interests.
A second truism: Our division on the topic of voting is manufactured, as is the gender war between Black men and Black women. Today, and every election Tuesday, we can vote, we can abstain, and it will be all right if we do both as revolutionary action that bends the moral arc of the universe toward Black liberation.
Another truism: The white settler project—draped in blue or red—is not inclined to make good on serving Black interests.
In the tradition of Black radical thought, let us all refer to Brother Malcolm’s unmatched critical analysis and characterization of white supremacy to begin a new conversation: when all the “political crooks will be right back in your and my community…with their false promises which they don’t intend to keep,” we—Black men and Black women—better know that “a ballot is like a bullet. You don’t throw your ballots until you see a target, and if that target is not within your reach, keep your ballot in your pocket.”
I’m Denise Young with Black Republic Media.
How we got Here: