The question for America this morning is “Has democracy ever lived in the United States? It is reasonable to question a system that allows slavery and second class citizenship to call itself a democracy.
From inception to this very day America, these United States has structured and shaped its laws to empower a few at the peril of the masses. The laws from state to state were all designed to allow that
state 's rich and powerful to remain so and stop others from becoming rich or powerful.
Dr. Claude Anderson in his classic work “Black Labor White Wealth” demonstrates through the states laws how the people of color were controlled through laws that kept them from moving up the social and economic ladder. It is safe to say democracy was never the intention of the founding fathers of the country we call the United States.
But they are only united in cause not laws. As we hear the cry election cycle after election cycle “states rights over federal law”. The cry today is for every state to be free to do what is necessary to oppress the poor and take advantage of the weak.
The most vile way of oppression was slavery and Jim Crow. These laws that allowed racism to be practiced and sanctioned by the states. These laws empowered the rich to get richer and they serve the poor whites well because they were allowed to feel that they were better than the blacks because the law was on their side.
Today, the nation is faced with the strongest attempt since World War II to put the “Jack back in the Box.” After the war people realized that the powers in Washington cared little about human life. Every poor black or white was only worth what he could do the save the American way of life for the rich and powerful.
The fight for fair wages and civil rights begin in honest. The poor black, and the poor white begin to see through the scheme of the oppressors. The people wanted a democracy that worked for all, not just a powerful few.
Thomas Jefferson said, and I quote "The end of democracy and the defeat of the American Revolution will occur when government falls into the hands of lending institutions and moneyed incorporations."
The Republican governors decided the time was right to destroy the unions and take back every gain women and Negros had gained. State by state by state the republicans have been having their way busting unions and rolling back laws that advanced the woman.
When I look at the problems we are faced with now, I think of something I read in Bill Clinton's My Life. “the challenge of dealing with complicated problems like Somalia, Haiti and Bosnia inspired one of Tony Lake's best lines: “Sometimes I really miss the Cold War.””
When I think of the things being done to the poor now, I miss the Jim Crow days. Then it was clear. There were plain black and white issues. The poor wanted to be paid, the rich didn't want to pay. The people of color want to be treated like humans, the whites didn't want them to eat, sleep, or drink with them.
But it is not the plan today. Much of what is done is disguised. The financial crisis created by George W. Bush or the people around him, placed there by his dad and Dick Cheney is the key to taking away all rights and wages possible of the poor and oppressed. This is the Death of Democracy. The Bush wars bankrupt America and the threat of terrorism created the climate for taking away democratic rights.
Again Thomas Jefferson said: “The country is headed toward a single and splendid government of an aristocracy founded on banking institutions and moneyed incorporations and if this tendency continues it will be the end of freedom and democracy, the few will be ruling...I hope we shall...crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations which dare already to challenge our government to trial and bid defiance to the laws of our country. I sincerely believe that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies."
The war caused good people to join bad people in the name of “country first. Steve Jobs called for all Americans to come together to uphold a way of life that he had opposed most of his life. But the Bush against the 9/11 terrorist made him line up with the rest of the rich and power and say: “ Regardless of our political persuasions, I want you to know that we're here to do whatever you ask to help our country.”
Fear will cause you to give and give end, the Bible says: “Fret not thou self because of evil doers” fear destroys the mind long before the enemy destroys the body. We all have ask ourselves if we are Americans first and foremost. Barack Obama as a key note speaker at the Democratic Convention in 2004 called for the end to Red States and Blue States that we might have a United States.
But we are liberals, conservatives, and other, we care nothing about anything but keeping things the way they are as long as we are oppressing the poor and appeasing the weak. Democrats reject anything initiated by Republicans and Republicans reject anything initiated by Democrats. The poor lose every time and the rich win every time one way or the other. Every piece of legislation is about keeping things the way they are until someone at the top demands real change. The people have little or no say and are made to work longer and harder for less.
The states of Michigan and Wisconsin with republican governors at can to power through or from the corporate world have led the way in the death of democracy by taking rights (union busting) and making laws that move the individual and community out of the picture all together. The best example is the Public Act 4 of 2011 in Michigan.
The partisan law that empowers the Governor to appoint emergency “czars” with sweeping authority to overrule elected officials in financially troubled cities or school districts, including the ability to overturn local laws and nullify collective bargaining agreements is the open sign to all poor and weak Americans that you have no democracy.
The people in the 40's and 50's fought back. Today the people are so beaten down from ten years of fear from 9/11 that they are not willing to fight back hoping that they can shorten the suffering. But this will not last. There is a difference in d ante and peace. The same thing that is happening in other places of oppression will come to America. Democracy has died only to get up again stronger than before.
A New Day in Detroit
The city of Detroit is in transition, it is moving away from the strong city for blacks to share power and authority. All through the 70's and 80's the black citizens of Detroit enjoyed the fact that the power to be couldn't ignore them. For things to move in the city or indeed in many cases the state the people of Detroit had to be acknowledged. There will had to be considered.
The last time I can remember the will of the people being acknowledged was when the newly elected Mayor Denis Archer proposed moving city hall to the old G.M. Building on Grand Blvd. There was a powerful out cry. I explained to Mayor Archer and the army of G.M. representatives with him that in didn't look good for so many G.M. people to be at the public hearing. There presence make it look like it was their idea. That crowd of vocal radicals wouldn't accept it just base on it not being an insider of Detroit idea.
The G.M. people agreed to leave but the loud vocal protest continued. The cry was don't give away what is our city hall. I make the case that the building didn't belong to the city and the G.M. building was a central location. People could gain access by moving the city hall and with computers and fax machines (so popular then) all locations were central.
But the crowd didn't let up, they cried no and they meant no. I thought it would help the new mayor if I explained to the crowd that he was only making a suggestion. So, I told the old parable of three men riding a mule, but only one can ride up front. The mayor was only acting as a leader and that is want leaders do. They don't say which way you all are going let me get up front. The offer a path and wait for followers.
Today the city is losing the power of collect bargaining and any control of the jobs and authority over city work. And the people are satisfied to let it go in hopes for better days ahead. There is no cry for control.
The Black Surprise
The nomination and election of the man we call the first Negro or Black person to become president of the United States, surprise and shock me every step of the way. I never thought that a person of color would be president of the United states in my life time or my son's life time. And I am not sure if his name was Brown, Johnson or Smith he would have won the nomination or the presidency. But today Barrack Obama a person of color is hoping for a second term.
The candidates on the GOP side of the race make me think it is possible if not probable that he can win a second term. Perry can't debate, Romney can't decide, and the rest of the group just ain't got it. Newt Gingrich is sharp with is tongue and super intelligent but seen as wicked by a party that is religious if not Christian.
But the big black surprise is this Cain guy. I mean that he is a survivor and one tough cookie. Cain as look his challengers in the eye and remained strong and defiant. He has reminded me of the late great Coleman A. Young mayor of Detroit 1973-1993, nothing shakes him. He as stood up to the debate and the press on all questions and grounds. Herman Cain has remained on message 9 9 9.
But can a person of color and I do mean a real Negro, African- American, son an ex- slave and share cropper represent the GOP? Man.
The present GOP was the Democratic Party for a long time. But between the Civil War and Civil Rights things changed. The Republican gave us Emancipation and the Democrats gave us Jim Crow. Even Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a Republican a registered Republican but that's another story.
Ideologist in both parties don't talk about it and intellectuals don't teach about the flip-flop but it is the same fight today that is dividing the country over the intent of the founding fathers concerning the Negro. Some of the same men that owned slaves help write the very Constitution that is used to bring justice and freedom to the slave.
The GOP today is all about what the Democrats were about between the Civil War and Civil Rights, “returning America to the state in which they claim it was meant to have been” Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens, Cornerstone speech, 1861.
Can a southern-dominated, fundamentalist, evangelically controlled party nominate a man that is everything they have said a person of color could ever be? Can a person born to be a slave become the leader of those that would have him a slave today?
Can We Believe the Council
The Detroit City Council led by Councilwoman Saunteel Jenkins has fired a shot that the mayor of the
city, or at least that is what they would have us think. But one has to wonder is a deal that aids the mayor in his effort to privatize all city work?
Across the nation mayors and governors alike are killing strong city unions. They are out to balance budgets at all cost to the middle class works in America. And this looks like the same thing here but will a mandate from city council.
I wouldn't want to believe that a young women that workxs under the strongest pro union and poor peoples council person there ever was would be a part of anything that was anti-union. I know that the late great pro-union Maryann Mahaffey fought for the poor when bus tickets went up but she went to jail to stand up for unions. I had the pleasure of going to jail with her in a union fight or two and standing with her to fight for lower bus fare for the poor.
So, I am going to be positive and believe that council person Jenkins is truly working for the poor to have better bus service and the other council persons were glad to have something to say on the matter.
I hope council person Saunteel Jenkins runs for mayor, I still think it is time for a women to have the seat.