2011: preparing for the election of 2012


If 2012 is an extension of 2011, there could be hell to pay as both political parties continue their Year of Preparation to obtain the prize each seeks: the presidency of the United States.

Each will work hard to defeat the other; that is the American way. Don’t get mad at that. I’m just the messenger to remind all about this American genius. It is not devious. It is competing for power without using guns.

But race haunts this election. Few will oppose Republicans just because they are White. The question is how many will oppose Barack Obama just because he is Black? And as Black leaders are not up to the task, we must individually carry our own water and vote. We must work to be sure our agenda and needs are part of the planks of both parties.

Yes, you heard that right. We need to impact both parties. But if the president loses, we must not stop running the race, and not wait passively.

We as a people know everything about survival and how to stand up for our rights. Be prepared to act. Worldwide, passive is out, action is in.

“Equality” before the law is bedrock: Declaration of Independence, Constitution’s Bill of Rights. Even though Lincoln brought “equality for all” before the law out of the shadows and had it finally apply to the Negro through his Emancipation Proclamation and Gettysburg Address, it was muted for the Negro by Reconstruction and Jim Crow. And even though the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 were passed, we still find barriers to the big 3: voting, equal access and equal opportunity.

Six separate lists of my columns published in this paper are arranged by topic on my website to provide the evidence that this is still ongoing. See especially the ones documenting failures in the Police Department, hiring non-compliance, and leadership. Another is on the Star Tribune’s silence in covering such stories, which explains why you don’t read about it outside the MSR.

2011 has revealed dangerous indicators about voting. We need to work together to put countermeasures in place to counter acts of sabotage against Black voters in 2012.

Recently, Attorney General Eric Holder expressed his concern about election protocols put forward by 30 Republican governors, protocols that, if left unchanged, will make it extremely difficult for significant numbers of African Americans to vote in 2012. I do not oppose protocols, only those that promote unfairness and put barriers preventing Blacks from voting.

Attorney General Holder is probably 18 months late and certainly a dollar short in addressing this problem. See chapters three through six and eight of my 2002 book for my detailed discussion.

In the Old South, the main barriers were a poll tax and literacy tests. Today’s barrier makers are more sophisticated. We are faced with the failure of the federal government, state governments, and local municipalities to address and support the search of significant numbers of African Americans to find employment. Congress spends too much time dilly dallying and not enough time working to find meaningful approaches that will allow jobs to be created.

We need action. Minneapolis is at the top of the list of cities with Blacks as “last hired, first fired,” and most unemployed. We are also among the most over-trained groups graduating without exit jobs.

It’s always our fault, even as Blacks are still purposefully denied jobs (the city’s infamous, “we can meet minority hiring compliance laws without hiring a single Black person”).

As there has never been an all-Black legislature or government (federal or state), it is always White legislatures and governments that control the purse strings, create legislation, and define laws.

After nearly 200 years, Thurgood Marshall became the first African American on the Supreme Court. This has been compounded in this century by Black American leadership no longer being up to the task, due to the money they receive to collaborate with the City and State in their anti-Black statutes and policies.

So what will be the big picture for Blacks in 2012? Think of society for Blacks as a movie house with battered seats and tattered screens, but no projectors to project a vision onto the big screen, leaving just the movie’s title: Last Hired, First Fired, Heavily Trained but Barred from Jobs, produced and directed by Whites and their Black collaborators.

Think about it.

Stay tuned.


Ron Edwards hosts “Black Focus” on Channel 17, MTN-TV, Sundays, 5-6 pm; hosts “Black Focus” on Blog Talk radio Sundays at 3 pm; and co-hosts Blog Talk Radio’s “ON POINT!” Saturdays at 4 pm, providing coverage about Black Minnesota. Order his books at www.BeaconOnTheHill.com. Hear his readings and read his solution papers for community planning and development and “web log” at www.TheMinneapolisStory.com. 





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